Princess and Pea
Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but he wanted a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but he couldn‘t. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real or not. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he really wanted a real princess.
One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and a lot of rain. Suddenly a knocking was heard at the door, 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 her shoes and yet she said that she was a princess..
Well, we’ll soon find that out, thought the old queen. But she said nothing, and went into the bedroom, 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 feather 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!“
“There was something under the mattress and I couldn‘t sleep at all!“
So the queen knew that she was in fact a real princess for only a real princess could be so sensitive.
The prince was very happy and they married, and lived happily ever after.