Disclaimer: the story of Rapunzel, her prince and the dwarf, Rumplestiltskin are not mine and its another look at a possible alternative ending, The title came from the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda's poem by the same title, translated from the original Spanish.
Where now are the wild apples? They once formed the branches and the essential rungs of the tree that your prince charming used to ascend the tower that held you prisoner, now. The leaves are now barren and the autumn wind atlernately caressesses and batters at them, depending on the time of day and air currents.
With the uncanny sense given to his kind not to mention the one that featured so prommiently during their early meeting.

Her hair in the slantwise sunlight through that old tower window was always so very long and fine, not as wild and wind-blown as the girl he remembers spinning by daylight streaming in through the window during the day and by the glow of lit candles by night.

Back then she had finely made if simple peasant garments swen with love and a certain amount of native skill. He had found her beatuiful yet unattainable, and he has to wonder if that was the reason he now watches over her. He resented his role in that love affair, and perhaps he would from time to time voice his opinion on the matter.

If he was being honest with himself and with her, he should have known that nothing would have come of their brief association no matter how fond of each that they were, but he could dream, could he not?

He had grown quite fond of the girl, now a princess, and in unguarded moments he can still see that girl in the guise of the fine princess with flowing curtain of wheat-blond hair in the fine silk and satin gowns with a vertiable legion of ladies-in-waiting and maids to brush out and style that hair.

He realizes with a start, looking back this way, that he misses her, her voice, her conversation, even the disagreable task of teaching the arcane art of spinning straw into gold; and as he completed the task of stacking the logs onto the hearth of his fire place that what he missed most of all was her laughter.

If that is the reason for the discernible distance between them now, then so be it.