IF: the Princess spent a miserable night

November 02, 2010

    Once upon a time, there was a Princess who found herself alone on a stormy evening, knocking at the gate of a strange castle. How she came to be in this predicament I cannot say, though I think it was most likely the fault of the Royal Travel Agent. Presently the gate opened, and the Princess cried, “Oh, kind sir, please let me in out of the rain--I am a poor lost Princess, and so cold and wet and miserable!”

    Now, when the Queen of the castle heard there was a strange Princess knocking at the gate, she was delighted, for she was on the lookout for Princesses. She ordered the second-best guest room to be prepared, and went to make sure the maid had aired the mattresses properly.


     The second-best guest room had only nineteen feather mattresses (the very best guest room had twenty-three, and the Royal Bedchambers even more), but the maid was still likely to skip a few mattresses to save time. As the Queen examined the bed, she slipped a single pea beneath the bottom mattress. (I am sorry to say that she also removed a shriveled pea from last week’s test, which tells you something about the maid’s mattress-airing habits.)


    At last the bed was ready and the Princess was shown to her room for the night.


    “How did you sleep?” the Queen asked anxiously next morning.


    “Alas!” cried the poor Princess in great misery and distress, “I slept very, very poorly--not even a wink!”


    “Do not distress yourself,” the Queen said artfully. “I am sure that the rest of your party will turn up in a month or two--if the dragon hasn't gotten them,” she added as a cheerful afterthought.


    “I wasn’t worried about that,” the Princess replied.


    “Indeed,” said the Queen. “What
did keep you awake then? Indigestion?--excessive travel fatigue?--that shocking cold you've caught from standing in the rain?”

    “Oh, no,” answered the Princess. “None of that troubled me in the least. What kept me awake was the horrible lumpy-bumpiness of the mattress! I could have slept as well in a stone-field--I am sure I am all over black-and-blue.”


    “Excellent!” exclaimed the Queen, which the Princess thought quite unfeeling in a hostess until she explained about the pea. 


    “Now that I know you are a True Princess, my dear, will you marry my son?” asked the Queen.


    “Certainly, if I like him and he likes me,” the Princess answered. 


     This, fortunately, turned out to be the case, so the Princess and the Queen's son were married. The Queen never tired of telling how she discovered a True Princess with the aid of a pea--though I think it more likely that the maid forgot to air the top mattress and the feathers had got all in clumps.
    
Whatever the case, they all lived 
        Happily
               Ever
                        After.

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7 comments

  1. fantastic line work - nicely captured

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  2. I LOOOOOOVE the "Princess and the Pea!" SO nicely illustrated!!

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  3. This is brilliant, really well done. I love the incorporation of the story and the art - fantastic work

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  4. so beautifully done...i love the layering of the mattresses and all of the different line work! xxoo

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  5. This is wonderful Amanda!! I love that pile of mattresses and the expressions on their faces :) Thank you for visiting my blog!

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