The next day, the queen looked forward to finding out if the princess had indeed felt the pea under all of those mattresses. The princess didn’t look like she had slept well and the queen asked her how the night had fared.
“I’m sorry, but poorly. After climbing up on all of those mattresses, I felt terrible. The ceiling was too close and nothing felt smooth. So I took off a mattress and tried again. It was worse. Then I took off a third. The ceiling wasn’t too close, but the discomfort of reaching the floor, where I was starting to want to be in the first place was increasing. I finally gave up and slept on the first mattress I removed. I woke up early enough to put it back into place. I didn’t get much sleep at all. Why do you all sleep up so high?”
That wasn’t really enough for the queen to know if the princess had really felt the pea or if the discomfort from the mattresses had only been compounded by the height. After apologizing, the queen offered another room with a better bed for this night. The princess was hesitant.
“Please accept,” the prince asked her, despite wanting this to be over. “My mother is ashamed and wishes that you have a good night’s sleep before you go.”
The perhaps-princess acquiesced to that. The prince hoped this would be the end of it. Yet later he saw his mother scheming.
“Your last attempt failed,” said the prince. “Perhaps let the girl have a good night’s sleep and let her move on? She hasn’t mentioned anything about wanting to marry me.”
“That’s only because of the mattresses,” the queen replied. “I have a better idea this time.”
The queen prepared a new bed. The prince ran his hands through his hair and hoped it wouldn’t be nearly as embarrassing as the last thing she had tried.