Once upon a time, there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess, but a real princess. He travelled all over the world with the old queen, but nowhere could he find what he wanted.
Many princesses from across the world came for the prince, but whether they were real princesses or not, it was difficult for both the queen and the prince to conclude. There was always something which was not quite real about each of them.
So, the queen and the prince came back to their palace. The prince was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly.
One evening, a terrible storm came on; it was followed by thunder and lightning. The rain poured down in torrents.
The prince and the old queen were having dinner and discussing about the terrible storm.
On that terrible fearful night and in the middle of the storm, a lady was going towards the palace gate for help. Finally, she knocked at the gate.
“I am a princess,” said the beautiful lady. But no one could believe as she was in a miserable state from
head to toe due to the stormy weather. The water was streaming out of her hair and her clothes.
But she tried her best to convince the queen and the prince that she was a real princess. “Well, we shall
soon see if that’s true,” said the old queen.
The queen thought of taking a test to prove whether the lady was a real princess or not.
The old queen went to the guest room. She ordered her maids to remove the bed-sheet and keep twenty mattresses piled one over another and twenty feather beds on the top of the mattresses.
After the maids had left, the queen laid a pea at the bottom of the mattresses. She did it to see how delicate the princess was. Thereafter, she sent for the princess.
When the princess reached there, the old lady said to her, “Dear princess, this is the place where you have to sleep. Feel at home. If you need anything, let me know at once.”
The princess tried to sleep but could not sleep the whole night.
She was so disturbed; she couldn’t close her eyes the whole night. She kept on turning both sides in her bed
throughout the night.
Next day, the queen asked the princess whether she was able to sleep comfortably. The princess replied, “I hardly closed my eyes the whole night. Heaven knows what was there in the bed. It seemed as if I were lying upon some hard thing. My whole body became black and blue this morning.”
The fact was that the princess felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. Nobody but a real princess could have such a tender skin. Finally, the prince found his real princess. He was sure about it. They got married and lived happily ever after.