there was once a Prince who wished to marry aPrincess; but then she must be a real Princess. Hetravelled all over the world in hopes of finding such alady; but there was always something wrong.Princesses he found in plenty; but whether theywere real Princesses it was impossible for him todecide， for now one thing， now another， seemedto him not quite right about the ladies. At last hereturned to his palace quite cast down， because hewished so much to have a real Princess for his wife.
One evening a fearful tempest arose， it thundered and lightened， and the rain poureddown from the sky in torrents： besides， it was as dark as pitch. All at once there was heard aviolent knocking at the door， and the old King， the Prince's father， went out himself toopen it.
It was a Princess who was standing outside the door. What with the rain and the wind，she was in a sad condition; the water trickled down from her hair，and her clothes clung to herbody. She said she was a real Princess.
“Ah! we shall soon see that!” thought the old Queen-mother; however， she said not aword of what she was going to do; but went quietly into the bedroom，took all the bed-clothes off the bed， and put three little peas on the bedstead. She then laid twenty mattressesone upon another over the three peas， and put twenty feather beds over the mattresses.
Upon this bed the Princess was to pass the night.
the next morning she was asked how she had slept. “Oh， very badly indeed!” she replied. “I have scarcely closed my eyes the whole night through. I do not know what was in my bed，but I had something hard under me， and am all over black and blue. It has hurt me so much!”
Now it was plain that the lady must be a real Princess， since she had been able to feel thethree little peas through the twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. None but a realPrincess could have had such a delicate sense of feeling.
the Prince accordingly made her his wife; being now convinced that he had found a realPrincess. The three peas were however put into the cabinet of curiosities， where they are stillto be seen， provided they are not lost.
Wasn't this a lady of real delicacy?