(We open in one of the smaller branches of the New York Public Library. A large room is set up as a children's room, with colorful books on kid-height wooden and metal shelves, magazines filled with activities shown off on a display table, and two large crates with children's music records sitting on a wooden table in a corner. Stuffed animals, a cork board with papers pinned to it, and bright-colored posters decorate the room. A large group of children sit on a worn-but-still-bright rug depicting the 48 US states, with a symbol representing something that each state produces, from Maine lobsters to a movie reel for California.)

Sach: (He peers into the room from the adult section of the library) Boy, we have a packed crowd today!

Sally: (She and the boys are behind him, holding a book) I'm not surprised. Everyone's still off for Thanksgiving. The kids probably need things to do.

Butch: I'm kinda glad we agreed to read to the kids. This is gonna be fun!

Whitey: I can't decide which book I wanna read!

Sach: (Hugs a book to his chest) I know which one I'm gonna read. I love fairy tales!

Chuck: Which one did you pick, Sach?

Sach: I think I'll do "Rapunzel" today. That one has that scary witch an' the nice endin'.

Slip: Just how many fairy tales do you know? *raises an eyebrow*

Sach: I know a lot of 'em. Wanna hear 'em all?

Slip: *Folds his arms* Not partically.

Sally: What are you reading, Slip?

Slip: *Slight smirk* Robin Hood.

Sally: Ah. That sounds like you, all right. (She smiles) I'm doing "Make Way For Ducklings."

Sach: Hey Slip, how's your arm feelin'? Do you need anyone to hold the book for ya?

Slip: *makes a face* I can hold a book just fine, Sach.

Sally: How are you feeling, honey?

Slip: I'm fine. I'm here, ain't I?

Sally: I'm sorry. I guess I'm just a bit worried. After everything that happened a few weeks ago...

Slip: Hmm... *turns away to look at the crowd of kids & subconsciously rubs his shoulder*

Chuck: *Leans over Sally and shakes his head* He's been a bundle of joy lately, can ya tell?

Sally: (Sighs) Just wonderful. He barely says two grunts to me at Uncle Louie's. Has he been this much fun at home?

Chuck: And then some.

Chuck: *Sighs* Why don't we just carry on? No sense in letting him drag us down.

Sally: All right. We'd better let Sach go first. He looks like he's going to burst.

Sach: Really? Can I go first? Can I?

Chuck: Sure, Sach, go ahead.

Sach: Oh boy!

Sally: Shh! The head librarian is introducing us. (She grins at Chuck and Slip) I'm sure glad the children librarian here is a friend of my Uncle and Aunt's. I've really enjoyed volunteering here.

Librarian: (Nods) We have a special treat for you today, children. Some friends of mine are coming here to read you a couple of good stories! And first (as Sach bounces out) we have Mr. Horace Jones. Let's give a big round of applause for him!

Sach: (Bows as the kids and their parents applaud) Thank you, thank you. And now, I'm going to read you one of the world's most famous fairy tales, the one about the chick with the crazy hair do, "Rapunzel."

Little Boy #1: Ehh, but that's for girls!

Sach: Not the way I tell it! (He opens the book) Once upon a time...

(Fade out on Sach reading to the children. Fade in on a tall stone tower in the middle of a dark forest. As the camera moves closer to the tower, we hear a lovely female voice performing "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from the 1950 Disney "Cinderella." When the camera finally focuses on the one window, we see that it's Sally. She wears a long purple peasant gown trimmed with ruffles and purple Mary-Janes. As the camera moves closer, it reveals that she's brushing her long, blond hair...which is much, much longer than usual. It's so long, it goes across the tower room and back again!)

Sally: (Lets out a sigh as the song ends) I wish I could find my dreams! I'd give anything to get out of this tower and have a real adventure. I love my books and my harp and my paintings and my birds, but I never see anyone besides Lady Zelda. I don't even have any real human friends!

Zelda: *Enters the room* You don't like my company?

Sally: (Jumps and turns around) Lady Zelda, you frightened me! Don't do that!

Zelda: I'm so terribly sorry, Sally.

Sally: (Sighs) That's all right. I wasn't expecting you today. (She grins) Did you bring some new adventure stories with you? I've read all of mine ten times!

Zelda: I don't have any with me today. I just wanted to check in on you.

Sally: All right. I don't know why you're worried. It's not like I go anywhere. I've never seen anyone here besides animals and you!

Zelda: My dear, you are in my custody. I simply want to make sure all is well.

Sally: I know. You're my adopted mother. You took me in when my birth parents didn't want me. It's just...I've never met another human besides you. I've never even met a man, except for the male animals.

Zelda: Trust me, they aren't worth the effort.

Sally: That's not what my stories say. (Holds out "Beauty and the Beast') What about this one? She turns an ugly beast into a handsome prince! That's one of my favorites! Or "Cinderella." She meets her prince at a ball.

Zelda: These stories are made up! Things like that don't happen.

Sally: I'm not so sure...

Zelda: My dear, *takes her chin in her hand* you are so naive. There is nothing out there of interest to you.

Sally: I just want to know.

Zelda: *Stares deeply into Sally's eyes* There is NOTHING out there that's of interest to you.

Sally: I...I...want... (Her eyes become clouded) I...

Zelda: You want to be a good girl and listen to me. Look deeply, and you'll find I speak the truth.

Sally: (Her eyes are now completely glazed over) I want to be a good girl. I am your daughter. I will obey you.

Zelda: Very good. Now behave yourself for I must be leaving now.

Sally: (Nods) I will behave. I will wait for you. Will you be climbing down my hair?

Zelda: Yes, I will.

Sally: Here you go, Lady Zelda. (Sally leans over the window and throws her hair down. It's so long, it goes to the ground.)

Zelda: Thank you, my dear. *Climbs down on her hair*

(As Zelda ascends the hair, we hear rustling and whispering in the woods. She turns towards the trees and bushes by the tower, but sees nothing. She shrugs and takes off into the brush.)

*There's more rustling in the woods, then we see the boys emerge.*

Sach: (Dusts off his ragged blue peasant outfit) That was a close one! Do you think that chick saw us?

Slip: Don't think she did.

Butch: (His is green, and he has what looks like a flute in his back pocket) I hope she doesn't work for the king! She might turn us in!

Chuck: *Wears a brown peasant outfit* For what? We're only borrowing, anyway.

Butch: I don't think that gardener saw it that way.

Sach: Yeah! He chased us out of the garden with a pitch fork!

Whitey: *Wears a yellow peasant outfit* And that pitch fork looked really sharp!

Sach: He might have turned us into peasant shisk-kabob!

Butch: (Points to the tower) Do you think we could hide there? Maybe we could get the chick up there to let her hair down!

Sach: Yeah, she's kind of cute, an' she sings nice.

Slip: *Standing next to the tower, looking up; wears a maroon peasant outfit* Yeah...

Sach: Ok, who thinks they can do the other chick's voice the best?

Whitey: How about you, Sach?

Sach: Well, I can sure try. (He calls up to the tower) Hello, dear! I've come back to tell you somethin' important!

Sally: (From in the tower) What is it, Lady Zelda?

Sach: You'll have to toss your hair down, so I can tell you!

Sally: All right. (Her hair tumbles out of the window in a golden shower.)

Butch: Who gets to go first?

Slip: *Pushes the end of her hair out of his face* I'm goin'!

(Cut to the top of the tower. Sally sits by the window, her eyes still glazed. She brushes the top of her hair.)

Sally: Hello, Lady Zelda. What is it... (Her eyes widen when Slip appears) You're not Lady Zelda!

Slip: *As he climbs in* No, I ain't. *gets a good look at her; his eyes widen* Yer beautiful...

Sally: Thank you. Who are you? You look...well, a little bit like the men in my books.

Slip: *As the others finish climbing in behind him* Well, we are men...

Sally: I've never seen a real man before. Lady Zelda says they're of no interest to me.

Slip: 'Scuse me?

Sally: She says they are all thieves and naves and would hurt me. I'm just a naive girl.

Slip: Maybe we are a little bit of those things...

Sally: (She moves back in horror) Are you going to hurt me?

Slip: Huh? No! *smiles at her* I wouldn't wanna hurt someone as pretty as you.

Sally: You wouldn't?

Slip: No, I wouldn't.

Sally: I...I believe you. You don't look like you're going to hurt me. (She smiles) Do you like books? I have all kinds of books, on every subject you could imagine! (Shows him the yellow bird in a cage) And my canary Sunshine. She keeps me company.

Slip: She's cute, an' I do like books. *shakes his head* You've really never seen a man before?

Sally: Only in my books. I've never left the tower before, not since Zelda brought me here when I was a baby. My parents abandoned me in the woods, and she found me and took care of me.

(Sach's lips are going overtime.)

Butch: You've never been outside of the tower?

Sally: (Shakes her head) Never. Lady Zelda says there are too many people who would hurt me out there, try to steal my innocence or my hair. She says I have to stay here.

Slip: We're fixin' that.

Sally: What do you mean?

Sach: We could take you with us! Find a place where we could all hide!

Slip: It ain't fair that she's keepin' you trapped in this tower.

Butch: You should be free, like the birds outside.

Sally: Outside... (frowns) But Lady Zelda said...

Sach: She was probably tellin' ya a fib. Not all men wanna hurt pretty ladies like you!

Sally: Well, none of you have hurt me...

Slip: We're just lookin' to help ya.

Sally: Well, you...you're very sweet. You don't seem like you'd harm anyone. (Frowns) But what about Lady Zelda? What will she say if I'm not here? She did raise me.

Slip: She ain't doin' a very good job of it.

Sally: Well...she is my guardian, but you...you say you'll take me on adventures.

Slip: An' how would you like yer first adventure? Just to proof we mean ya no harm?

Sally: Well...I think I would...

*Slip moves in slowly and gives her gentle kiss.*

Sally: (She closes her eyes and smiles. When she opens them, her eyes are no longer clouded) That was...wonderful. So sweet and melting... (She sighs) Boys, let's go.

Slip: *smiles* Now that's what I wanted ta hear.

Sally: (Frowns) I just remembered something. There's only one way into the tower, and that's via rope. Unless any of you can do magic.

Whitey: *Produces some rope* I've got the rope!

Sally: You're wonderful! (Gives Whitey a kiss on his cheek)

Sach: Anyone got some more rope? I want a kiss, too!

Slip: Don't push it, Sach.

Sally: Well, let's go, then!

(Fade out on the six climbing out of the tower. Fade in on what looks like a typical medieval town set. The Boys and Sally are in the back of a carriage hauling vegetables. Sach and Chuck are braiding Sally's very, very long hair.)

Sach: (Grins as he finishes his part) There! That'll keep it outta the way while we're in town.

Chuck: How did you manage to grow it this long? It's amazing!

Sally: I've never had it cut. Lady Zelda won't let me.

Sally: She says it's prettier this way.

Slip: I ain't gonna disagree wit' that.

Sach: (He jumps off the carriage first) Ok folks, everyone out! Ride's over!

Sally: This is such a lovely place! I've only seen places like it in my books.

Sach: This is where we live, Boweria. Well, we live here when we ain't runnin'.

Sally: Running from what?

Sach: The cops. The King's men. They don't like us borrowing things.

Slip: We don't get along wit' them too well.

Sally: That's horrible! I can't imagine anyone not getting along with all of you.

Butch: (He sees lots of people running around) Why don't we go to our favorite baker's shop and find out what's going on? Everyone's in such a hurry today!

Slip: If he don't know, no one does.

(They enter a small building filled with displays of bread and pastries. A man in a white coat and chef's hat stands behind the counter, putting a loaf of bread in the display. He makes a face when he sees the Boys.)

Baker: Oh no. Not again! Please, I like you boys, but I don't want you eating half my inventory without paying! I lost so much money on that...

Sach: Relax! We're only going to eat a quarter of your inventory, starting with that bread...

Slip: *Whacks Sach with his hat* Knock it off. We ain't here ta eat. *turns back to the Baker* What's wit' everyone out there? They're all runnin' around like chickens.

Baker: Oh, they're preparing for the arrival of our King and Queen! They're having a special ball tonight. They do every year on the anniversary of the birth of the lost princess.

Sally: Lost princess?

Baker: (Nods) A witch stole the princess from our king and queen when the child was an infant. No one has seen her since.

Slip: Really?

Sally: That's terrible!

Baker: That's what the stories - and the king - say.

Sally: Those poor people. I wonder what the witch did with the child?

Baker: No one knows. They've searched for her for over twenty years and haven't found anything.

Slip: Ya don't say?

Baker: I do say. (Sees a cart roll up; his eyes widen) If you're going to get anything, do it! I think our monarchs have arrived!

Sally: (She takes Slip's hand) Let's go see the King! I've never seen a real King before!

Sach: Maybe we shouldn't...

Slip: *Grins* Why not? I say we should.

Butch: But what if they catch us?

Slip: It won't be the first time.

Sally: Come on! (She pulls them outside, just in time to join the crowd gathering around the huge red carriage. Louie and Gertrude step out, wearing the same king and queen costumes they wore in "Bowery and the Beanstalk." Sally smiles.)

Sally: Oh, they're so sweet. And you know, I think...they almost seem familiar...somehow...

Slip: Well, they are the King and Queen.

Sally: No! I mean, somewhere a long, long time ago...

King Louie: (Looks around) Hello, my subjects. We are here to announce this year's ball (sad sigh) in honor of our little lost daughter. We have never given up hope that she may someday return to us.

Queen Gertrude: The ball is tonight, and it's open to everyone, peasant and noble alike. We hope to see all of you there.

Slip: *Turns to Sally* How would ya like to go to the ball?

Sally: I'd love to! I've never been to a ball.

Butch: But we can't go looking like this! (Indicates his plain green peasant garb)

Sally: Couldn't we get some of that...what is it called?....money somewhere?

Slip: *Clears his throat* Yeah, we could prob'ly get some of that.

Sach: (Mutters to Slip) Any ideas how?

Slip: *Mutters* How do we usually get it, hmmmm?

Sach: Beggin' the baker?

Slip: Natterally.

Baker: (He joins them as the King and Queen greet their people) Aren't they just dears?

Sally: They're the only King and Queen I've ever met, but I'm sure they're the nicest, too.

Slip: They sure are. *pauses a moment* Y'know, we're thinkin' of goin' to the ball, but... *sighs* we don't look fit for som'en fancy like that.

Sally: We don't?

Baker: You? Going to a ball at the palace? I've seen your manners. They'd throw you out in five minutes.

Slip: We ain't that bad!

Sally: Oh, I'd love to go! What do you need to go to the ball?

Slip: A little scratch would be depreciated.

Baker: I'll tell you what. How about all of you work in my bakery this afternoon? If you do a good enough job, I'll pay you. (Smiles at Sally) Can you bake, my dear?

Sally: I've never baked before, but I can try!

Sach: Do we get food freebies?

Baker: There will be plenty at the ball tonight.

Slip: *Ignores Sach* It's a deal.

Baker: Very well, then. (He opens the door for them.) Shall we?

Sach: Shall we what?

Slip: *Aggravated; loudly at Sach* GO TO WORK!

Sach: Ok, ok. You don't need to shout!

Sally: (She laughs as the others enter) Oh Sach! (We fade out on her laughter)