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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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here!
Princess And The Pea Bunny Rabbit Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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30 thoughts on “Princess And The Pea

  1. 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!!

  2. 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!

  3. 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! 😋

    1. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

  7. 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.

    1. 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!

  8. 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.


  9. 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.

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