The Princess and the Pea

February 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm (Fairy Tales, Humor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Once upon a time there was a Prince, named Wendell, who never wanted to leave his mother’s side. That’s right; he was a complete mama’s boy. This unfortunate trait was not helped by the fact that his mother the Queen kept telling Wendell every girl he liked was not good enough for him. To prove to her darling boy that these women (princesses mostly) were not worthy of him, the Queen devised a ridiculous plan that would “prove” if a girl was a real princess, for a Prince could only marry a real Princess.

Her plan was to place a pea under 20 mattresses and 20 down comforters, and then any girl who did not feel the pea obviously couldn’t be a real princess. Now, as there is no possible way anyone could feel a pea under that many mattresses, no real princess would ever be found, and the Queen would never lose her darling Wendell to another woman.

One stormy night, a knock sounded on the castle door. Wendell, excited at the prospect of a guest, scurried over to the door and opened it before the butler could. Standing on the doorstep was a girl. A very very wet girl. She might normally be pretty, but just then she looked like a drowned rat — that is how awful the weather was. So Wendell let the girl in.

“I’m so sorry to barge in on you like this,” said the girl, “but it was raining so hard, and my carriage broke down, and yours was the only place nearby.”

“It is no trouble at all, right Mama?” Prince Wendell asked eagerly.

“No dear, it is no trouble at all. I am Queen Henrietta, this is my son Prince Wendell.”

“Thank you, my name is Princess Elizabeth.”

“Welcome Princess Elizabeth. Let me just get the servants to prepare a room for you,” the Queen said with a glint of mischief in her eye.

And so the servants hauled the 20 mattresses and 20 down comforters out of the basement, and into the room where the Queen was placing a pea on the bed frame. When the room was finished the Queen sent a servant to show the girl her room.

Once she arrived in the room, Elizabeth was confronted with the tall tower of mattresses. “How am I supposed to get up there?!” The princess exclaimed. As she looked at the stack of mattresses, she recalled hearing tale of this Queen. One of her friends, Princess Mary, had stayed the night here, and was rudely ejected from the castle after saying she slept well. So Princess Elizabeth devised a plan.

The next morning, Princess Elizabeth woke up early, and climbed from her makeshift bed on the floor, up to the top of the mattress tower. Soon after she finally made it to the top, the servants came to help her get ready and take her to breakfast.

At breakfast Queen Henrietta asked her customary visiting-princess question: “How did you sleep last night?”

Princess Elizabeth, guessing what the Queen was up to, said, “Oh just awfully! My bed was so hard; I hardly slept a wink! I just couldn’t get comfortable all night. I am sure my skin is black and blue. I am surprised that you would allow a guest to sleep on such a horrible bed. I had always heard of your hospitality, Queen Henrietta, but I am afraid that I just can’t agree with what everyone says after last night!”

Prince Wendell poked his mother, and whispered: “Mama! She’s the one! She felt the pea! A real princess. Wow!” The Queen was shocked. How in the world had a bed made of 20 mattresses and 20 down comforters not been soft enough? Whatever the reason, the Queen was trapped; she had to let her son marry this girl.

“Well Princess,” said the Queen, “You have passed my test; you are indeed a real princess. And as a real princess, you may marry my son. I will make plans for the wedding to take place in one week.”

“WHAT?!?!?” Shouted the Princess, leaping to her feet. “I only came here because my carriage broke down. I don’t want to get married. I have a country to run, and I am not going to let some Mama’s boy Prince swoop in and take my power! Oh no! I’m going back to England!” And with that the Princess dashed from the castle, fixed her carriage all by herself, and rode back to England. Where she ruled as Queen for many years and never got married.

The prince and his mama were baffled by the girl’s reaction. They too lived long and happy lives, entertaining not-so real princesses for the rest of their days.


If you would like to read the original Hans Christian Anderson story of the Princess and the Pea, follow this link:



  1. Brenda said,

    Sam this is hilarious! Great job. I love that she fixed her “broken down” carriage all by herself. AND that she was out driving a carriage all alone in the first place (no footmen . . . no horses?). Queen Elizabeth was quite the independent lady!

  2. Cattenborg part I « Not Quite 1001 Nights said,

    […] had some doubts about Brigit’s royal birth (she was related to Queen Henrietta, of the pea incident, and is therefore naturally suspicious). Because her son had told her that he planned on marrying […]

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