THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA

- By Hans Christian Andersen
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Hans Christian Andersen (/ˈændərsən/, Danish: [ˈhænˀs ˈkʰʁestjæn ˈɑnɐsn̩] (listen); 2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), in Denmark, was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's fairy tales, consisting of 156 stories across nine volumes[1] and translated into more than 125 languages,[2] have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well.[3] His most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films.[4] One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest boulevards, skirting Copenhagen City Hall Square at the corner of which Andersen's larger-than-life bronze statue sits, is named "H. C. Andersens Boulevard."[5]

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess.

One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it.

It was a princess standing out there in front of the gate. But, good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. The water ran down from her hair and clothes; it ran down into the toes of her shoes and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.

"Well, we'll soon find that out," thought the old queen. But she said nothing, went into the bed-room, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses.

On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept.

"Oh, very badly!" said she. "I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It's horrible!"

Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds.

Nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.

So the prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a real princess; and the pea was put in the museum, where it may still be seen, if no one has stolen it.

There, that is a true story.

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Word Lists:

Torrent : a strong and fast-moving stream of water or other liquid

Lightning : the occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud, accompanied by a bright flash and typically also thunder

Museum : a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited

Horrible : causing or likely to cause horror; shocking

Kingdom : a country, state, or territory ruled by a king or queen

Difficult : needing much effort or skill to accomplish, deal with, or understand

Claim : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof

Right : morally good, justified, or acceptable

Through : moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location)

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Rating: B

Words: 720

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