Monday, October 3, 2011

Here's what Really Happened with the Princess and the Pea

Princess Anna and the Pea (as well as the watermelon, the pig, and some other stuff)
(Another picture book story without the pictures - where's a good illustrator when you need one? Actually the illustration above is from Ashley Smith a wonderfully talented illustrator who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah)

Prince Stumpdillyumpton was sure Anna was a Princess. She was too pretty to be anything else.

“Father,” said the Prince, “I think we should invite Anna to stay. And there’s something else…I think she is really a Princess.”

“Very well,” said King Secundus. “We will invite her to stay, but you will have to give her the test.”

So, Anna stayed. She ate a huge dinner, chased the Prince’s cat around the castle, and even arm wrestled the Prince himself. The King and Queen watched her carefully. When it was time for bed, Anna was given the finest room in the castle with a bed made of one hundred of the softest mattresses in the kingdom. Under the bottom mattress the Prince placed one small pea.

“How did you sleep?” asked Prince Stumpdillyumpton the next morning.

“I slept better than a log,” said Anna, “but the bed seemed a little tall.”

“She’s no Princess,” said the King.

“She looks like a Princess,” said the Prince. “I think I should try the test again.”

So, Anna stayed. She ate a huge breakfast, showed the Prince how to catch worms, and then raced him around the castle for most of the afternoon. That night Anna slept on only fifty mattresses and they were not nearly the softest in the kingdom. Under the middle one the Prince placed a watermelon and a pig.

“So,” asked the Prince the next morning, “how did you sleep?”

“Oh, much better than even the night before,” said Anna as she started in on a huge plate of ham and eggs. "I even had an interesting dream about ham and melon sandwiches."

“Now do you believe me?” said the King.

“She still looks like a Princess. I think we should give her another chance,” said the Prince.

So, Anna stayed. After breakfast she showed the Prince how to skip rocks in the moat, where to find the best blackberries in the forest, and then accidentally gave him a black eye while trying to teach him how to box. That night, she was relieved to see that her bed was just one mattress stuffed with straw. Under it the Prince had placed an elephant, a small family of porcupines, and a troupe of circus jugglers.

“I guess you didn’t sleep too well,” said the Prince the next morning.

“But I did. In fact I think that was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had,” said Anna.

“Are you convinced now?” said the King.

“Hmmm…” Prince Stumpdillyumpton thought for a moment. “She really does look like a Princess. I don’t think we’ve been using the right test.”

“Oh,” said the King. “What test would you recommend?”

“How about if we just call her father, King Primus, on the phone and ask him?”


jioll said...

so, you're saying - just ask the king? that's it? well - holy groundwater! Of course.....

good story bart...the princess is great. Is she modeled after your daughters?

Urthman said...

She's modeled after one of my nursery kids.

Amy W said...

Love this. So very cute and quirky!! Visual!

rain said...

I don't know if you remember us or not, Bishop Kowallis, Jeff and Rainey Anderson? You married us. And FYI, it's still fantastic. :)
Anyway, I'm loving your stories. And Jeff is a fantastic illustrator. Just thought you should know. His website is

Urthman said...

Rainey -- Of course I remember you and Jeff and I am very glad you two are doing so well. Thanks for pointing me to Jeff's web site. I knew he was an artist, but I hadn't seen his recent work. --Bart