Once upon a time, there was a prince called Prince Whiskers who had just recently become of age to get married. He was a very good looking young man, who any single young girl would want to marry. Most would even pretend that they were a princess just to have a chance! He searched all around the world to find a real princess who also shared his interest in animals. The way the prince found out who was a real princess was that his mouse, Whiskers, would be interested in them. Ever since Prince Whiskers was five he had loved animals. This was because he had met a little mouse (which he named Whiskers) who came to his enormous dining table and started eating peas. Now, he loved peas and so if any other person or mouse shared his passion: then they were immediately his best friend. The Queen, however, absolutely despised peas and mice so tried several times to get rid of them. She also believed that eating peas couldn’t help you at all or save a life – what, and roast dinner could? This is the story of how a perfect situation came up where she could get three wins in one.
When Prince Whiskers and Whiskers had finally searched every single country, they returned home feeling disappointed and unlucky. It was in the middle of a storm when the prince’s luck changed. There was thunder and lightning and the rain was a torrent. The royal family were eating their roast dinner but the prince shared a big bowl of peas with his mouse. Whilst they were eating, they heard a faint, dainty knock at the door. The king himself went to answer the door to find a girl soaked to the foot, water dripping down her hair and spilling over and out of her shoes. The girl claimed that she was a real princess. The prince came to their great big door and immediately Whiskers ran out and jumped into Princess Annabelle’s arms.
Whilst the ‘princess’ (that the prince liked because Whisker liked her) and the prince were talking, the king and queen discussed whether she was a real princess. The king quite liked her and, in honesty, so did the queen. But, she had an evil plan to get her son a wife in the end (good) but test whether the girl was a princess by putting thirty nine cotton mattresses on top of one mattress (filled with all the peas in the kingdom). This, the prince and Whiskers would not be happy about. Underneath all the mattresses, would be Whiskers the mouse (bad). If even the tiniest amount of weight was added: the mouse would be squashed.
It was time for bed and the queen had placed her plan into action with everything in place; having taken Whiskers from the prince’s pocket when she hugged him goodnight. Being a very intelligent mouse he cottoned on (underneath cotton mattresses) what was going on. Having a massive love for peas, Whiskers chewed out of under the mattresses by eating through them, leaving only one and just narrowly avoiding being squashed. The mouse crawled away back into the prince’s pocket.
When the girl woke up she felt a sore pain in her back as small as a pea. The princess complained to the king and the queen who then realised that she really was a princess…
And so it turned out that eating peas could save a life – even if it was only a mouse’s.
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This story is dedicated to Jamie, who wanted a different version of a fairy tale.