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Welcome to Storytime with Dad. To read along and do fun activities, sign up for a free Kids Club membership at storytimewithdad.com.
Today we will be reading, The Princess and the Pea.
Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess, but she had 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 out there alright, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones or not. There was always something about them that was not quite right. So he came home again and was very sad, for he wanted very much to meet a real princess.
One evening a terrible storm came on. There was thunder and lightning and the rain poured down. Suddenly a knock 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 feather 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 hardly 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 feather beds. Nobody but a real princess could have felt it.
So the prince asked her to be his wife, because now he knew that she was a real princess. The pea was put into the museum, where it may still be seen to this day, if no one has stolen it or eaten it.
The Princess and the Pea is a story by Hans Christian Andersen, written in 1835! He was far ahead of his time because the story is meant to teach us not to judge people by how they look. Now, there are a few lessons we can take from the story, but if you paid attention to his description of the princess you’ll notice how much she didn’t look like a princess. By the end of the story, though, we know she is! So, if the king, queen, and prince had judged her based on how she looked, they would have missed out on a very rare chance to actually find a real princess.
Life is a lot like this story. You are going to meet people and think you know if they are nice or mean based on how they look or what other people have said about them. But, it’s very important not to judge people before we get to know them. Often times, they will surprise us with just how interesting, kind, and fun they are to be around!
Sometimes, people will look different than we do, act different, like different things, or have a different looking family than us. But, most people are very nice and these differences make them very interesting. Being different sometimes makes them afraid to introduce themselves to us, too. We should all be kind to other people and try to get to know them, just like the royal family in the story.
I mentioned the Kids Club at the start of this episode. So, if you want to read along, get some coloring pages, word finds, and other activities related each episode, sign up for a free membership at storytimewithdad.com.
Thanks for listening! I’ll see you again next time.
Narrated by: Grant Dryden