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The Princess and the Pea - The Modern Day Version

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Imagine the prince's surprise when the visitor blurted out, "A princess shouldn't be out in weather like this!" Well now, this was a revelation straight from the equine animal companion's mouth! The prince was struck orally inoperative for a moment, then invited the dryness-challenged visitor to enjoy their hospitality in the castle overnight.

While this was certainly a joyous development for the prince, his mother felt very threatened that someone was taking her son away from her. But rather than acknowledging the validity of her feelings and airing them in a constructive way, the queen decided on a ruse to test the visitor's claim.

She sneaked up to the bedchambers and found the room where the person. of saturation would be sleeping. She tore off all the bedding from the frame and placed one single pea on the bed slats. Then she placed 10 futons on top of the pea, and on top of that, 10 eiderdown quilts.

"There," said the queen. "If that drenched wench downstairs is really a princess, she will be refined enough to notice this lump and be unable to sleep."

The next morning at breakfast, over the royal granola, the queen innocently asked the young woman how she had slept.

"Abominably," she replied. "I didn't get a wink all night."

The queen's eyes grew wide. Had her plan worked too well?

The visitor continued. "First of all, the bed was piled high with eiderdown quilts. Barbaric! How could I sleep, thinking of the poor geese who unwillingly surrendered their feathers for my comfort?"

The queen reddened a bit but said nothing.

"Then, as I was removing all the extra futons to share them with some of the less fortunate peasants living around the castle, I found a pea placed beneath them all. Shocking, with the state of the world as it is, that someone would waste food like that."

With these statements, the queen nearly choked on her soy milk. The prince, who had learned of his mother's scheme to screen out a princess, was so excited he couldn't keep silent any longer. "So you really are a princess!" he yelped.

"Last night I was, yes," she replied. The quizzical looks from the prince and queen led the woman to elaborate: "Last night I was a princess; this morning I am an ancient Viking warrior. Oh, you sillies I'm channelling! I have over a dozen past personalities that periodically inhabit my body everyone from Charlemagne's mistress to Aesop's brother-in-law. And Cleopatra. But then, everyone's been Cleopatra at some time or other. Let me tell you, it makes for some interesting conversation at parties! It's all pretty exciting for an economically disadvantaged spoonmaker's daughter who grew up on the wrong side of the drainage ditch."

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