The Full Story of the Princess and the Pea

ONCE upon a time, there was a prince who wanted to marry a real princess. He had to find a person who understood the true meaning of being sensitive so that she would be able to have compassion on her subjects. He traveled 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. They all seemed able to cry on command, but could any of them feel a slight change in temperature or the brush of the lightest feather against their cheek? So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess, but those truly sensitive girls are hard to come by.

One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. The absolutely perfect weather for a fibromyalgia flare-up. 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. She didn’t mention the terrible pain she was in from the sudden change in barometric pressure nor did she mention how the rain pelting against her skin felt like ever so many needles. Why? She was a true princess and did not need to prove her sensitivity.

“Well, we’ll soon find that out. You seem perfectly normal to me, just a little wet,” thought the old queen. But she

said nothing, went into the bedroom, 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 Tempurpedic beds on top of the mattresses.

On this the princess had to lie all night. Poor thing. 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!” She thought, “On top of having to deal with my fibro flare-up, I was given a bed that made my back burn and made my head ache. I am so tired right now that I can barely stand, and YOU ASK ME HOW I SLEPT? Really?”

Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty Tempurpedic beds. She was truly the most sensitive person in the land.

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

That’s right. We are fibro princesses! Hear us roar! Too much?

photo by Jenny Cardinale

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. Which would be ridiculous. That pea was the villain of this story. Why would anyone want to see that? Why didn’t they burn it?

This very, absolutely, without a doubt, true story is the perfect example of how those with Fibromyalgia show a strength of spirit to rule kingdoms but a sensitivity that gives them the ability to empathize with the worst of living circumstances.

Orginal Story from with my comments.

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