Once upon a time there was a prince who wished to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess.
He travelled around the world to get one, but nowhere could he get exactly what he wished. There were beaufitul princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether or not they were real ones.
There was always something about them which was not as it should be. So he came home again and was unhappy, for he would have loved very much to get a real princess.
One evening a dreadful storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents.
All of a sudden 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 door. But , good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. The water ran down from her hair and outfits; it ran down into the toes of her footwear and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.
“Well, we will shortly find that out; ‘ thought the old queen. But she said nothing at all, went into the master bedroom, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and Laid a pea on the bottom.
Then she took twenty mattresses and laid all of them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses.
On this the princess had to rest all night. In the morning she was questioned how she had slept.
“Oh, really badly! ” said the lady. “I have hardly closed my eyes through the night. Heaven only knows what was in the mattress, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s awful! “
Now they realized that she was a real princess simply because she had felt the pea right through the twenty beds and the twenty eider-down mattresses. Nobody but a real princess could be as very sensitive as that.
So the royal 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 nobody has stolen it.
That is a true story of Real Princess and the Pea.