The Princess Hates Peas.

It had been days since sleep was enjoyed. Every night she said her good evenings and climbed that tower that they called a bed. The bed alone was an accident waiting to happen. One false turn and she could literally break her neck. This night she trudged up to her room hoping to find it changed, knowing it had not.

She opened the door and stood staring at the ladder they set up for her to get to that plateau of mattresses. She knew what would happen. She would toss and turn because of that lump. The princess already knew that it was a pea. A simple pea placed under the bottom mattress to test her. If she slept well she was not a princess, if she didn’t sleep she was a princess.

The only problem with the entire scenario was that Queen, that over bearing woman who just couldn’t bring herself to accept the girl as a princess. Every morning the Prince would ask how she slept. Every morning she would say terrible and the prince would jump up from his chair and ask her to marry him. The Queen would then interrupt, she always made some excuse for the continuing torture of the girl.

“The mattresses are not soft enough.”

“It’s too noisy outside the castle.”

“The peas are not regulation size.”

The excuses go on and on. The princess knew she hated the queen and despised peas. She had been pushed too far. Six days of Pea sleeping! Lack of sleep had driven past the breaking point. Sure she could remove the pea and sleep well, but the joke was that she would be put to death if she wasn’t a princess. How was that for irony?

She stood looking up the ladder. She did love the prince, but she grew angrier and angrier thinking about the pea. Finally she turned away from the bed and crept out of the small room. She made her way down the steep steps, the twisting stairway that led to the kitchen. She would have her own revenge on the peas this night. The kitchen was empty and the princess knew where she wanted to go. Two baskets near the stove held the dried green balls of evil.

She heaved one basket to the window that was directly above the moat. She lifted with all of her might and dumped the entire thing out and in to the water. She went back and did the same with the other, keeping a small handful of the peas for herself.

She crept out of the kitchen and along the grand hallways of the castle. She listened at the large doorway that led to the throne room. She heard the voices echoing in the grand room.

“I don’t care; no one is good enough for our Pooky Poo.” The queen boomed in her nauseating way.

“But dear, he needs a wife.” The king replied in a tone that seemed almost like pleading.

“Mummy,” the princess heard the prince speak. “She is the last princess left. You have managed to take care of all the others. This girl is wonderful and sweet. She cares for me and I care for her.”

“That is not my fault. None of them were good enough for you. None of those woman are good enough to take my place…or your father’s” The ‘or your father’s’ seamed a bit weak.

“You must stop spoiling the boy.” The King said rather quietly. “I married you to help me with his upbringing, but you go too far.”

“I am sorry dear. Did you say something to me?” The queen’s tone was strong and belittling.

“No dear,” the mouse wearing the crown replied.

“As I thought, I am Queen! It is my duty to protect the kingdom from outsiders who pretend to be what they are not!”

“Yes dear,” the mouse wearing the crown replied.

The princess always marveled at how terrified the two men were of the Queen. She was an imposing creature, taller than the King and about 3 times larger, but he was still the King.

She moved across the doorway and down the large hall that lead to the Royal chambers. She first entered the prince’s room and quickly placed a pea under his mattress. Next she entered the royal bedroom and was not surprised to find two single beds. She placed a pea under the King’s mattress and ten under the Queen’s.

“That will teach her.” She said softly as she sneaked out and back to her small room.

She climbed the ladder and readied herself for a fitful sleep on a lump that felt more like a boulder than a pea. She tossed and turned, but was happy in the knowledge that there were three others enjoying the pea torture that night.

The morning came and the princess almost ran down the hall to the dining room for breakfast. As she entered she saw the King and the Prince at the table. They looked terribly tired. They seemed to yawn back and forth as if members of two battling choirs.

“Good Morning, I slept terrible, lump in the bed.” She answered before the questions were asked.

“Join the club,” the prince said between yawning.

“We were just talking about the need for new mattresses in the castle.” The King yawned.

“Yes well I thought you may enjoy a pea in your bed as well.” The princess said without hesitation. “In fact I put ten under the mattress of the queen and she will be…”

“Good morning my King and my Prince!” the Queen bellowed, “Oh and you girl.”

“Princess,” the girl replied.

“So you say,” the queen replied with quite a bit of venom.

The Princess was surprised by the perky Queen. She seemed well rested, even chipper.

“You slept well?” The princess asked.

“Of course I did, silly girl. Did you?”

“No, I think we have gone over this. I did not sleep well, big lump in my bed,” the princess stated with a tone of irritability.

As the servers began to bring out the plates of food for a Royal breakfast something was nagging at the Princesses head. She sat there looking at the king and the Prince, thinking there was something odd. Just then both the prince and the king yawned together and the Princess looked over at the Queen.

The queen was smiling her smile, her mean and snooty smile. She filled her plate with sausage and bacon, her eyes already devouring the food on her plate. Her eyes were clear and her cheeks were pink. This was not a woman who had not slept the night before.

“How is it you are so well rested?” The princess asked the Queen.

With her mouth full of bacon she answered, “Whaf do you fean?” The Queen quickly swallowed her food, “I slept as well as any night silly girl. Lucky for me our chambers are far away from the forest creatures that would have kept you up all night with their yells and howls.”

“No, I mean how can you be well rested when I put 10 peas under your mattress. The king and the Prince did not sleep with one pea under their mattress, but you have slept well with ten. How?”

The king looked at his wife. The prince looked at his step mother. They both looked back at the Princess.

“Insolent Child!” The Queen boomed as she stood. “You dare test the Queen!”

“Yes I guess I do dare,” the princess said, allowing all of her anger and lack of sleep control her words.

“Guards! Guards!” The queen bellowed. The guards were rushing into the dining hall as the queen brought her finger down and pointed towards the princess. “Take this imposter away to the dungeon!”

“Yes!” a loud and powerful voice echoed even more loudly than the queens. Everyone turned with surprise to see the King standing with a look on his face that was the opposite of the kindness he normally displayed.

“Take the imposter to the dungeon.” He repeated.

The guards moved to the princess and began to escort her out of the dining hall. The queen smiled an evil smile as the Princess was hauled off. The King cleared his throat.

“Guards, I said take the imposter away. Leave my daughter in law here.” He turned and faced the queen, “Time to go dear.”

“No! No, I am the Queen. I rule the land, I am Queen.”

The King smiled at the woman, “Peas don’t lie.”

“Argh! I hate peas!” The Queen yelled spitting bacon at everyone.

The princess grinned, “They aren’t so bad.”

…and they all lived happily ever after…

(Except the evil step mother and ex queen, she lived rather poorly.)

The END.

The Princess Hates Peas.

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Fun with FairyTales

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  • hahpistuff
  • Paul Rees-Jones
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