“Thank you for letting me stay,” said the princess, “but I really must be going.”

“You… slept well?” the queen asked.

The princess shrugged, but decided not to elaborate. The queen really needed to know, so pushed the issue.

“Then it was better than the previous night.”

The princess sighed. “It was. Once I got rid of the peas under the bed. I’m not sure how they could have gotten there, they were mush. If they had been on top of the mattress I would have left, but I figured I could handle one night of their mush as long as I wasn’t on top of it.”

“Mother!” the prince said.

“She is a princess, all right,” said the queen.

The prince didn’t agree with how his mother determined that. “Anyone would have noticed that!”

The queen nodded. “But only true royalty would call me out on it.”

“That’s nice and all,” said the princess, “but I really have to go.”

“Have a good time,” said the prince.

The queen put up a hand. “You… you are not interested in marrying my son?”

The princess frowned. “No. Not really.”

“Let me get you a good steed to get you on your way,” said the prince. He quickly moved the princess away from his mother, knowing he would have to deal with this for some time. “I’m so sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry,” said the princess. “I know you’ll find your princess eventually.”

The prince sighed. “I’d much rather a prince, at this rate.”

“I’ll send my brother over. You two might get along.”

The prince and the princess wished each other well and the princess departed.

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