The Princess and the Pea

ONCE upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a
princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He traveled all over the world to find
one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was
difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them
that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked
very much to have a real princess. One evening a terrible storm came on; there was
thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly a knocking was heard
at the city gate, and the old king went to open it. It was a princess standing out there
in front of the gate. But, good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her
look. The water ran down from her hair and clothes; it ran down into the toes of her shoes
and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.
"Well, we'll soon see about that," thought the old queen. But she said
nothing, went into the bed-room, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on
the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty
eider-down beds on top of the mattresses. On this the princess had to lie all night. In
the morning she was asked how she had slept.
"Oh, very badly!" said she. "I
have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was
lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It's
horrible!" Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea
right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds.
Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin. So the prince took
her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a real princess; and the pea was put in the
museum, where it may still be seen, if no one has stolen it.














A note from the author:
If you just got to this Web site: it has more fairy tales, instructions for cat's cradle, and a book about an American girl who goes to boarding school in England
called Blow Out the Moon..

To start the book at the beginning, go to either:
Chapter One (the beginning of the published book)

OR the old chapter one, which some people hated and some people loved: "Chapter I. The Adventure of the Very Loud Living Room."

If you got to this page from Chapter Two, I'm glad you like the book so far and I hope you keep reading! And remember,
if you draw a picture of this story and send it to me, I'll put it in the story. --Libby (the author) Email:

I bet you can guess which story THIS is, even though it's not a very good picture. I drew it in second or third grade and the teacher said it wasn't a good DRAWING, but that it did show the story well.


Go back to the list of chapters and stories




Blow Out the Moon (old title There and Back Again) copyright 1999, 2000 Libby Koponen. All rights reserved.