Princess And The Pea

Princess And The Pea Bunny Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Peas” today, the first thing that came to mind was the classic fairytale of The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen. So, I chose a bunny as my princess for this sketch. As stories go, this one is incredibly short. A prince searches all around for a princess, but can’t find a suitable one. Then a princess shows up at his castle dripping wet from the rain and his mom, the queen, is a bit suspicious of her nobility. So, the queen stacks up twenty mattresses and places a single pea at the bottom to see if she might feel it. The next morning, the princess says she slept horribly and was bruised black and blue by something hard in her bed. This proved that she was a true princess, so the prince marries her and then they put the pea on display in a museum. Yep, that’s the entire story. It came to mind because I once played the part of the prince in the musical version of the tale on stage. I just remember how cool the set was with all of the mattresses, but I’ve already forgotten all of the songs.

I do like the idea of someone requiring a lot of sensitivity to be a princess. One would think that’s a very wonderful trait for someone of nobility to have indeed. Though, it’s still impossible to tell from this story if her sensitivity would actually extend to the people in her royal court. There’s not really any proof that she cared about anything more than her own comfort. So, she could still be a sociopath, but I like to assume that this does indeed mean that she’s sweet, loving, and caring to all. Though it’s an odd and short story, it’s survived for so many years and has been retold over and over again. And, I’ve no clue if a bunny would pass a test like this one. She would probably just jump down and eat the pea in the end, which would make the story even weirder. But, it’s fun to imagine these animals living out our human tales, particularly when the tale itself is just a touch absurd.

And somehow another weekend has already zoomed past. I’m not sure how that happens, but I guess time does really fly when one is having fun. Philippe and I are going to have burgers tonight, which really makes my inner child happy. I’m going to go offline for awhile and enjoy the last few hours of the weekend before it’s time to return to work in the morning. Like a little child, I always want to try to stay up a bit later on Sunday to squeeze out every last moment. This never happens, as my body knows the time and I just end up falling asleep with a book in my hand. Sometimes the book hits me in the face, which wakes me momentarily. It would be embarrassing were it not for the fact that everyone else is already sleeping. I certainly don’t have the grace of someone royal, but I do love stories, and it was fun to take a moment to recreate my own version of that classic scene from The Princess and the Pea.

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Princess And The Pea Bunny Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 2 years ago

    Fantastic Charlie! I’m glad that you are going offline to enjoy the remaining hours of your weekend! We all need to unplug now and then!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah for unplugging a bit… especially on the weekend!

  2. Fascinante, Charlie, tienes razón, no me acordaba del cuento

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Muchas gracias, Eduardo! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s a bit of an odd story, but a fun one!

  3. Mary Roff 2 years ago

    Adorable bunny princess, Charlie!!! I never even thought that the princess might be sensitive to only her own comfort and I’m sure that’s not the case with the bunny princess. Hope you have wonderful week ahead!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, the bunny princess is certainly pure of heart! Hope you have a great week ahead as well!

  4. Lisa 2 years ago

    I do love her expression as she looks down. Next up, Rapunzel. A rabbit with really really long ears!

    What a wonderful day! The weather is gorgeous. Too bad it’s the end of August!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 Ohhhh… Rapunzel bunny would be funny indeed! Glad it was a wonderful day there!

  5. Marisela Delgado 2 years ago

    Charlie, so beautiful! I love all of your beautiful colors. So pretty! The Princess Bunny is so cute. Sociopath…..that made me laugh. I think the Princess Bunny is sweet. 💜 Do you remember Carol Burnett’s version? I love her. So, does your mom have any pictures of you dressed like the Prince that she might want to share? 😁😁 Teasing.
    Side note: your etch a sketch painting is fabulous! I used to love mine! Once, I somehow sketched the state of Texas; the outline. Everyone was so impressed, but they kept trying to get me to do it again but, I couldn’t. wonk, won I think I still have mine stashed away somewhere.
    Yay, I managed to do some crafting! 😋

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 hehe… yeah, the story doesn’t quite tell us how far her sensitivity goes! lol And yes, I love Carol Burnett! I think my mom has pictures from newspaper clippings of various shows. I have photos in a box somewhere but I’ve forgotten where. Glad you liked the Etch A Sketch painting… and impressed you were able to get something that looked like something on that thing! hehe

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 2 years ago

    Do you remember that wonderful musical, Once Upon a Mattress with Carol Burnett? Was it in this production that you acted? Boy, did I love the hijinx in that show – and all the lojinx as well. Kept hoping my high school would perform this one, but we didn’t. Your princess bunny is pretty adorable as she peers over the top of this cairn of mattresses, wondering if she’ll ever get a good night’s sleep. Or maybe she’s running through her recipes, searching for the one pea soup. You’ve done it again – another delightful illustration of a great story.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕 I do remember the Carol Burnett version, and it’s so weird… I think that was the one, but it’s all a blur now. And glad you enjoyed my princess bunny!

  7. Mike Powell 2 years ago

    Your bunny is cute, Charlie, but I was really drawn to the colorful patterns of all of the cushiony mattresses. Your attention to those kind of secondary details make your paintings especially enchanting.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mike! 😃💕 What a lovely compliment! Yeah, I sometimes get lost in the secondary details… hehe… it’s fun to add little touches.

  8. cheryl anderson 2 years ago

    My second favorite story in all its iterations. I love the idea you have, that the bunny would just eat the pea. I wish I were a writer and could work up that into a picturebook. Also, thank you very much for crediting Andersen. So many adaptations of his stories don’t mention him.

    (My first favorite story is The Little Red Hen, another that has been adapted many times. That’s the one where the hen gets no help plowing the field, sowing the wheat… baking the bread… so at the end she eats it up herself.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Yeah, this is really a fun story and the number of adaptations over the years is stunning! 😃💕 And love the Little Red Hen story… honestly I’d do the same! lol

  9. rubiescorner 2 years ago

    I so remember this fairy tale.

  10. Sandra Strait 2 years ago

    I would think the test for a bunny princess would be to find the pea, and dig through the mattresses to eat it! I love reading the annotated versions of the old fairy tales. So much of what we know about history concerns the rich and noble, who were able to write, leaving their version of things. Through fairy tales, we gain more understanding of daily life among the common people. The Brothers Grimm were aptly named, because common life was so often grim.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      I love that idea of the bunny princess eating her way down to the pea! 😃💕 hehe And yeah, it’s interesting how those stories have become universal as they were rather specific in their time. And yep… those brothers had it grim back then!

  11. Zertab Quaderi 2 years ago

    Love this! The perspective and colors are awesome!

  12. Mugdha 2 years ago

    Hello Charlie,

    I love your bunny princess but I love the colorful mattresses even more. They look so comfy. Your version of the Princess Bunny finding the pea and eating it sheds light on a new age princess quality – effective problem solving. 🙂 So yes, the prince’s suspicious mother had better watch out. 😉 I hope you enjoyed your burger dinner and I wish you a lovely, happy, colorful week ahead.


    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 hehe… yay for princess problem solving! Love that! And hope you have a lovely week ahead as well my friend!

  13. LoriCtoo 2 years ago

    So sweet! I am glad you reminded us of this short little story. If only it was that easy to marry into royality!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 hehe… I know right? All those riches, just for one little pea.

  14. Laura Kate 2 years ago

    Once upon a Mattress. Our daughter also was in a middle school production of this musical. She played the princess. Some notable songs: “The Swamps of Home” “Shy” and “Sensitivity” – this last number notable because it was written in 5/4 time.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Yes! I couldn’t remember any of the songs. hehe… but I was in a ton of shows back in the day. I’ll have to listen to them again! 😃💕

  15. Priscilla DeConti 2 years ago

    I just love your paintings and your stories! This is no exception 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 years ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 That makes me so happy to know!

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