Written by Hans Christian Andersen, The Princess and the Pea is a fairytale that makes even modern royalty look undemanding.
It tells the tale of an incredibly picky prince who was having trouble finding himself a bride.
Actually he knew who he wanted for his bride but she was a married woman who chain-smoked, and frankly she thought the whole idea of being under a microscope as the wife of the future king was rubbish.
Oh wait. That was a more recent prince.
Anyway, he was forced to look far and wide… rather, told his staff to look far and wide… yet continuously found himself paired with women who he didn’t believe were princesses because of things like bad table manners or being too thin. Or too fat.
Or too old. Too naive. Too racy.
Too serious. Too chatty. Too quiet.
Jeez man, make up your mind.
Then one dark and stormy night -- a prerequisite in all good fairytales -- a mysterious lady turned up at the castle door requesting somewhere to sleep for the night.
For whatever reason, she told the prince she was a princess, because obviously a princess would be out on a dark and stormy night without palace bodyguards, her butler, her dresser, her chauffeur or executive chef.
The prince let her in. Despite her soggy dress and dripping hair, she was a looker.
However his overbearing mother had been born royal, married royal, and bore royal fruit. She would never be caught dead running around at night in soaked clothes, unaccompanied by her ladies in waiting. Therefore she had doubts on the stranger's claim and hatched a plan to test the girl's regal status.
The supposed princess was offered a preposterously magnificent bed, topped with over 20 mattresses, with a single pea hidden among the ludicrous amount of bedding.
The prince declared that only someone accustomed to the finer things in life, such as a tower of mattresses, could have experienced pain from a pea, and so the two married.
I mean, she didn’t even get to ‘sleep on it’! What? What?
Today's fairytale features Elly, our very own Panther Princess who lays claim to numerous beds throughout Casa Wonderpurr. I only recently became aware of Elly's bed domination when I placed a cushion on a newly recovered chair and saw her immediately jump onto to it, and take a nap.
The other story is how desperate she is to remain an indoor cat. She had been indoors for about two years when we had the carpeting replaced shortly before we put the house on the market. We told the carpet installers NO CATS OUTSIDE. So when Ray saw a tiny black cat on our back porch that overlooked the woods and creek, we were upset. She probably was lying in a sun puddle near the front door when the installers went out, pushing her outside with them. Anyway, she headed for the woods as I ran around the house to get her. Knowing how feral she can be when it comes to being handled, I felt dread that I would lose her. The woods hide a creek that was steep and dry. If she decided to run, she could fall and there would be no way I could rescue her.
Instead I didn't try to go to her, rather I called her out. We carried on a conversation for some time with me calling her name and she answering me with a tiny meow. Finally she emerged from the woods. Oh, I didn't tell you: it was fall and there was a thick carpet of brittle leaves I would need to carry her through to get her back inside. No one was more shocked than me when she let me pick her up, and walk ever-so-slowly through the leaves. With each step I clutched her tightly. How would I get her inside without her EXPLODING all over me? Talk about murder mittens, she's tiny and mani-pedis are a definite No No. But when I rounded the house and reached the front door, I somehow mustered the confidence to hold her with one hand to open the door, and then FLUNG her inside. Needless to say she scampered off, overjoyed to be back inside.