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  • "The Princess and the Pea."

  • There once was a prince, and he wanted a princess, but then she must be a real princess.

  • He traveled right around the world to find one, but there was always something wrong.

  • There were plenty of princesses, but whether they were real princesses, he had great difficulty in discovering; there was always something that was not quite right about them.

  • So at last, he had come home again, and he was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly.

  • One evening there was a terrible storm; it thundered and lightened, and the rain poured down in torrents; indeed it was a fearful night.

  • In the middle of the storm, somebody knocked at the town gate, and the old king himself went to open it.

  • It was a princess who stood outside, but she was in a terrible state from the rain and the storm.

  • The water streamed out of her hair and her clothes; it ran in at the top of her shoes and out at the heel, but she said that she was a real princess.

  • "Well we shall soon see if that is true," thought the old queen, but she said nothing.

  • She went into the bedroom, took all the bed clothes off and laid a pea on the bedstead. then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on top of the pea, and then twenty feather beds on top of the mattresses.

  • This was where the princess was to sleep that night.

  • In the morning, they asked her how she slept.

  • "Oh, terribly bad!", said the princess. "I have hardly closed my eyes the whole night! Heaven knows what was in the bed."

  • "I seemed to be lying upon some hard thing, and my whole body is black and blue this morning. It is terrible!"

  • They saw at once that she must be a real princess when she had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds.

  • Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin.

  • So the prince took her to be his wife, for now he was sure that he had found a real princess, and the pea was put into the museum, where it may still be seen if no one has stolen it.

  • Now this is a true story.

"The Princess and the Pea."

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