The True Princess

The True Princess :

Once upon a time there lived an old king and his wife. They both had a son who was brave and wise. He was just stepping into his youth while his parents insisted on his marriage. He was not interested in getting married at that early age however and said. 'Dear parents. I would not wish to get married until I find my lady love who is fair and beautiful. She should be a true princess.”

The parents had no choice but to agree because they thought that finding a true princess would be very easy. They got beautiful dames from everywhere across the world to show him his lady love. But he agreed for none. The old king and his queen were determined and they did not want to give up.

One day, they got a cute princess from a far kingdom. The prince looked at her with interest but soon turned his face.

He said, "She is cute true. But she is very short. I wouldn’t marry her."

The next time they got a pretty tall damsel.

The prince sure was taken away by her beauty but then said. “She sure is pretty. But she is not very fair like how I want my bride to be.”

The King then got a fair and tall young lady. The prince looked at her with wide open eyes and then soon looked away and said, "She sure is very pretty but her smile is not very good"’

The prince had something to say about each lady. The king showed him hundreds of girls but the prince was interested in none. He said, “I am sorry father. All the girls whom you show are certainly pretty but they are not the true princesses.”

The king soon became very worried and upset. He did not know where to find a true princess for his son.

The very next day turned out to be very windy and gloomy and it rained very heavily. The king, the queen and the prince were all locked up at home. They were all sitting beside the fireplace in their private chamber while there was a huge knock at the door.

“Who’s that?” shouted the soldier in charge.

“Please open the door for I am drenched in the rain and am cold and tired,” answered a sweet voice from behind the door.

The soldier looked at the king and the king nodded agreeing for the request. The huge door was pulled open and there stood a fine-looking lady. The prince was spell bound looking at her. The king was surprised to see such a stunning looking girl there.

He asked, “Please come in my dear lady. What brings such a beautiful lady like you here at this hour in the rain?”

“I had come to the forest nearby with friends for picking up a few wild flowers and it started to rain heavily when we all friends got separated. Could you please let me rest here until the morning,” asked the girl.

“You certainly may,” said the old queen. "But who are you?” she continued.

“I am the princess of the next kingdom,’ replied the girl.

The king, the queen and the prince looked at each other. They had no heart to disagree with her. But it was a very difficult situation to agree for too because she was all drenched in rain and was dripping wet and it was certainly difficult to conclude that she was a princess the way her dress had turned out to be.

The prince took his mother aside and asked her, “Dear mother, Is there a way of finding out if this girl is the true princess? I have already given my heart to her.”

The old queen thought for a while and said, ‘There sure is a way to find out. Send her to bed now.”

Having said this, the queen went to make the princess’ bed ready. She went into the sleeping-room, took off all the bedclothes and laid a pea on the bottom of the bed. Then she put twenty mattresses on top of the pea and twenty eider-down quilts on the top of the mattresses. And this was the bed on which the princess was to sleep. She called the princess, showed her bedroom and said, “Dear princess, please sleep on this special bed made for you.”

“How do I climb till there?” asked the princess and the queen said.

“I have a special ladder made for that” and got a ladder for her.

The princess climbed up and slept on the bed. The next morning when she woke up, the old queen came to meet her to find out if she had had a good sleep. The princess was still yawning and it appeared as if she had had a tiresome night.

“My dear child, did you have a good night?” asked the queen.

“Oh, very bad!” said the Princess. “I scarcely closed my eyes all night! I am sure I don’t know what was in the bed. I lay on something so hard that my whole body is black and blue. It is dreadful! It was as small as a pea!”

Now they perceived that she was a true Princess, because she had felt the pea through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down quilts. No one but a true Princess could be so sensitive.

So the Prince married her, for now he knew that at last he had got hold of a true Princess. And the pea was put into the Royal Museum where it is still to be seen if no one has stolen it.

The True Princess

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