story  written by Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrated by Grandma Peaceful

There was once a prince, and he wanted a 

princess, but then she must be a real Princess. He 

travelled right around the world to find one, but 

there was always something wrong. There were 

plenty of princesses, but whether they were real 

princesses he had great difficulty in discovering; 

there was always soming which was not quite 

right about them. So at last he had come home 

again, and he was very sad because he wanted a 

real princess so badly.

One evening there was a terrible storm; it 

thundered and lightninged and the rain 

poured down in torrents; indeed it was a 

fearful night.

In the middle of the storm somebody knocked at 

the town gate, and the old King himself sent to 

open it.

It was a princess who stood outside, but she was 

in a terrible state from the rain and the storm. The 

water streamed out of her hair and her clothes; it 

ran in at the top of her shoes and out at the heel, 

but she said that she was a real princess.

‘Well we shall soon see if that is true,’ thought the 

old Queen, but she said nothing.

She went into the bedroom, took all the bed clothes 

off and laid a pea on the bedstead: then she took 

twenty mattresses and piled them on top of the 

pea, and then twenty feather beds on top of the 

mattresses. This was where the princess was to 

sleep that night. In the morning they asked her 

how she slept...

‘Oh terribly bad!’ said the princess. ‘I have hardly 

closed my eyes the whole night! 

Heaven knows what was in the bed. I seemed to be 

lying upon some hard thing, and my 

whole body is black and blue this morning. It is 


They saw at once that she must be a real princess 

when she had felt the pea through twenty 

mattresses and twenty feather beds. Nobody but a 

real princess could have such a delicate skin.

So the prince took her to be his wife, for now he 

was sure that he had found a real princess.

they got married and went on a long honeymoon, 

with the Prince's bicycle, and they got happy all 

life long and had plenty lovely children...

Now this is a true story.