The Princess and the Pea
by Hans Christian Andersen
A long time ago in the past, there was a prince. He was very sad because he didn’t have a princess. He wanted to marry a princess.
The prince looked for a princess, but he couldn’t find one in his country. He traveled to other countries, but he still couldn’t find a good princess. Sometimes, a woman said she was a princess, but she was not really a princess. So the prince came home again, and he was very sad because he really wanted a princess, but he couldn’t find one.
One evening, there was a bad storm. There was lots and lots of rain. In the middle of the storm, the prince heard somebody knocking on the door.
The prince opened the door. There was a woman standing outside. She was very wet from the storm. Her clothes were wet, and her hair was wet. Everything was wet! The woman said she needed a place to sleep for the night. And the woman said she was a princess!
The prince didn’t know if she was really a princess. But he had an idea.
The woman went into the bathroom to take a shower. And the prince went into her bedroom, and he put a small pea on the bed, under the mattress. Then, he put another mattress on the bed. Then, he put another mattress on the bed! Then, he put another mattress on the bed! He put twenty mattresses on the bed, on top of the pea.
That night, the woman slept in the bed with twenty mattresses.
In the morning, the woman woke up. The prince asked the woman to eat breakfast with him. When they were eating breakfast, the prince asked the woman, “How did you sleep? Was your bed okay?”
The woman said, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t sleep very well. The bed was not very good. It felt like there was something in the mattress. Today, my back hurts.”
The prince knew that the woman was a real princess. Only a real princess can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.
The prince asked the princess, “Will you marry me?” And the princess said, “Yes! Of course!”
So the prince and the princess got married, and they lived together happily ever after.