by Hans Christian Andersen
The story tells of a prince who wants to marry a princess, but is having difficulty finding a suitable wife. Something is always wrong with those he meets, and he cannot be certain they are;real;princesses. One stormy night (always a harbinger of either a life-threatening situation or the opportunity for a romantic alliance in Andersen's stories).
A young woman drenched with rain seeks shelter in the prince's castle. She claims to be a princess, so the prince's mother decides to test their unexpected guest by placing a pea in the bed she is offered for the night, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. In the morning the guest tells her hosts that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed; which she is certain has bruised her. The prince rejoices. Only a real princess would have the sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding. The two are married, and the pea is placed in the Royal Museum.
Ages 3-6; 24 Pages; Paperback