18 July 2024

The Prince's Dilemma

Once upon a time in a far-off land, there lived a kind and handsome prince named Frederic. This prince, a man of great honor, was on a mission. He wanted to find a bride who was not just a feast for the eyes but also had the heart of a true princess.

The Search Begins

So, Prince Frederic set out on his quest. He sent out invitations far and wide, asking princesses from neighboring lands to visit his castle. Each princess received a royal welcome with a grand feast and a bed piled high with twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts. But here's the kicker: the prince had a little trick up his sleeve. To test their royal blood, he'd sneak a pea under the mattresses. If they were true princesses, they'd feel the pea and not sleep a wink.

The Disappointments

Despite his clever plan, Prince Frederic's search turned up empty. Night after night, princess after princess failed the test. They slept soundly atop the mountain of mattresses, unaware of the little pea. Each morning, when asked how they slept, not one mentioned the discomfort the prince expected a true princess to feel. Frederic's heart grew heavy. He wondered if his dream of finding a true princess would ever come true.

The Arrival of the Stranger

Then, on a night when the wind howled and the rain poured down, something unexpected happened. A knock echoed through the castle. At the gates stood a young woman, drenched from head to toe, seeking shelter from the storm. With a heart as kind as his, Prince Frederic couldn't turn her away. He welcomed her in, offering a warm meal and, of course, a bed prepared with the same peculiar test.

The Test

True to form, the prince didn't skip his little trick with this unexpected guest. Underneath the mountain of mattresses and quilts, he placed a single pea. If she were a true princess, surely she'd feel the pea and her rest would be ruined.

The Surprising Result

What happened next took Prince Frederic by surprise. In the dead of night, the stranger stirred. Come morning, she shared with the prince how she'd tossed and turned, unable to sleep, all because of a strange discomfort. Could this be the moment Prince Frederic had been waiting for? Had he finally found a true princess, sensitive enough to feel a pea through twenty mattresses and twenty quilts?

The Arrival of the Stranger

Thunder roared and lightning lit up the sky as dark clouds loomed over the castle. Out of the stormy night, a knock echoed through the grand halls, startling everyone inside. Drenched and shivering, a young woman stood at the gates, her clothes soaked, her hair clinging to her face. Despite her ragged appearance, there was something regal about her. Without hesitation, Prince Frederic welcomed her in, offering warmth and shelter from the relentless storm. She was given a feast fit for royalty and a bed to rest her tired bones.

The Test

Following tradition, Prince Frederic decided to test the stranger's claim of being a princess. With the castle asleep, he tiptoed to her room, placing a single pea beneath the pile of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts. Surely, if she were a true princess, her sensitivity would reveal itself, he thought. As dawn broke, the castle lay in wait, wondering if this stranger would pass the peculiar test that had foiled so many before her.

The Surprising Result

As morning rays peeked through the curtains, the young woman appeared, eyes heavy with sleeplessness. To everyone's surprise, she spoke of a restless night, tormented by something hard in her bed. Despite the luxurious comfort, she felt as if she had slept on a stone. The prince listened, barely containing his excitement. Here, at last, was someone who had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and quilts—a true princess in every sense of the word.

III.1. The Recognition

Over the moon, Prince Frederic knew he had found a partner for life in the mysterious traveler. Her sensitivity to the pea, beneath layers upon layers of mattresses, was proof enough of her true nature. Not just any lady could feel such a small object so deeply. "You must be a real princess," he exclaimed, marveling at her keen perception. Her honesty in expressing her discomfort, when others might have stayed silent, sealed the deal for him. This was no ordinary encounter; it was destiny calling.

III.2. The Wedding

No time was wasted in preparing for the grand celebration. Banners flew high, and music filled the air as the entire kingdom gathered to witness the union of Prince Frederic and his true princess. Joy and laughter echoed through the halls, a testament to the love that brought them together. Guests from far and wide marveled at the couple's happiness, sharing in their joy and feasting on the splendid array of dishes served. As the newlyweds danced under the stars, everyone agreed that this was a match made in heaven.

III.3. The Moral of the Story

From this tale, we're reminded of a simple yet profound truth: what truly matters lies within. Beauty and riches may catch the eye, but the heart's sensitivity and character's depth win true love. The princess's ability to feel the pea, something so minor yet significant, speaks volumes about her genuine nature. Let's remember, in our own lives, to look beyond the surface and appreciate the inner qualities of those around us.

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