Narrator: Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled allover the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. One evening a terrible storm came on; A knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it.
King: Who are you? What are you doing out in this terrible weather!
Princess: I´m a princess. Please help me. I am all wet, look at my clothes and hair!
Narrator: The king took the princess inside the palace, while she kept saying that she was a real princess.
Queen: (thinking) Well, we’ll soon find that out.
Narrator: The queen said nothing, she went into the bedroom, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses. On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she asked the princess.
Queen: How did you sleep, my dear princess?
Princess: Oh, very badly! . I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’shorrible!
Narrator: Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds. Nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.
Prince: Now I know that you are the real princess that I was looking for. Do you want to marry me?
Princess: Yes, I want to marry you, kind prince!
Narrator: So the 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 no one has stolen it.
By Hans Christian Andersen