Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Princess Who Ate the Pea

[image from - original source unknown]

[for the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads prompt:
un-fairy tales. Re-posted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry]

She'd been told, of course,
about the princess and the pea:
the girl with such delicate sensitivities
she could feel a pea under fourteen layers of mattresses.

What does it mean, then,
when her bed has concrete blocks in it
and the message is "Get used to it,
you made your bed now lie in it.
What doesnt kill you makes you stronger"?
How strong does a woman
have to be?

In her world, the prince did not come.
There were no glass slippers.
She got stuck in the wrong fairy tale,
the Cinderella one.
But the Good Fairy got the address wrong,
so she has been cleaning chimneys
for way too long.

She feels more like
the aging woman in the Dickens parlor,
draped in spiderwebs,
from waiting for her suitor
for decades.
She is always brushing
those damned cobwebs off her face.

Un-fairytales are her medium.
She has got un-fairy tales down.

She has learned to cut her own way
through the thornbushes
and free herself from her own stone garret.
She has learned to gallop at a high lope
across the fields
on the great adventure of life,
on her own,
with a brave heart for the journey,
no need to be rescued by a knight on a white horse,
clinging limply to his back as he leads the way
forward into Tomorrow.

 Un-fairy tales can get repetitive.
One may feel like she is beginning
a new chapter every other week.
It can be exhausting.

And delicate sensitivities?
One needs to toss those overboard
right from the start,
and develop a hearty cackle
and a Can-Do attitude.

But she still Believes,
for all that,
in fairy tales.


  1. Oh Sherry, this is an excellent response, and knowing where it comes from makes the voice so authoritative and real. I thought the second stanza was just brilliant, and the line: She has learnt to cut her own way through thornbushes...

  2. I really like how you have included many of the fairy tales... poor thing really does look like she needs a break.

  3. I love it.. strong brave woman. Who needs the prince in his horse to rescue us...

    Happy day ~

  4. I like this, Sherry. Continue to gallop on your own white horse! Write your own story as you lope along. All fairy tales don't have to have the same ending.

  5. Poor thing working her way through so many fairy tales...but she has the faith to still believe in them...a great write!!

  6. Laughed at "cling limply to his back" and loved the whole thing, Sherry. (Although maybe it should have said "cling limply to his back and then washed his socks"!)
    My husband often thinks he rescued me from something. I'm forever having to remind him I was perfectly happy on my own.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  7. I liked this view; I can see the reality of your words! I also feel like CinderElla...still waiting for my own corner, own chair. I love your ending, the faith continues to carry on...
    Great Job!

  8. oh so true ... and such beautiful words ... loved the ending even more ... a great piece ...

  9. really imaginative , so much from a strange, alluring art work. It's empowering!

  10. Clever. Brilliant. Compelling. Almost you make me believe in un-fairy tales. No, scrap that. You do make me believe!

  11. What a lovely, optimistic poem, Sherry. I loved reading it.

  12. Happy Sunday Sherry!
    I love the creativity of this.
    All I will say is good for her!

    Very nicely done.
    Nice image too.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Imaginary Dreams

  13. A very enjoyable read. The ending was great!

  14. Very nice. And for all that, I still believe too.

  15. Sherry,
    I love the concept of 'un-fairy tales.'
    In fact, a dose of reality in this cruel world!!!
    I'm not sure that many children escape into the world of Fairy Tales.
    Do they leave their games consoles for that length of time???

    Great thoughts Sherry...
    Happy Sunday, Eileen

    PS: Sherry, thank you for your visit to my Blog. No snow yet. Simply to remind me of what has yet to arrive!!!!

  16. I enjoyed this - in all its permutations. :)

  17. Great write, cute imagery :)

  18. You really made me smile, Sherry! I just love how you have created this portrait using good old fairy tales we recognize. Great ending too!

  19. This is even better the second time around, Sherry! You know, I think those glass slippers might very well be uncomfortable anyway....but perhaps it would be better to TRY to wear those slippers than to keep cleaning chimneys. And those cobwebs would surely be annoying after a while. Who knows...don't lose hope...there could be a fairy tale in your future yet! (They don't all involve princes...but you might find yourself in your OWN castle somewhere yet!!)

  20. Awesome poem Sherry. Its sad when the good fairy goes the wrong way, perhaps, lets just believe that what doesn't kill people definitely makes them stronger. And I loved the positive note in the end about her still believing. Overall a lovely poem. :)

  21. Great words. Resilience is often the key to success, no matter how many knock downs we get.

  22. a true heroine! Truly the princess in the fairy tales is boring and weak. The princess in the un-fairy tales is best of all!

  23. Lovely poem. Unfortunately un-fairy tales are more common than fairy tales. But i'm glad that your woman still believes in them. This poem feels as if it has come from a very deep place within your heart.

  24. Love this. This is the true-to-life-tale that we all find ourselves in.

  25. Ah "unfairytales" how lovely - spider webs and all:)

  26. perhaps she needs to change her definition of fairy-tale. It seems to me that she has created her own reasons to celebrate her life.

  27. ha. you know, i am not sure i want the 'trappings' that come with fairy tale lives, you know.....we waste a lot of life looking for them and probably missing out on some of the goodness...perhaps yours will end up once more by the shore....smiles.

  28. I tend to un-believe in un-fairy tales. I think this tale is yet to be un-un-told...
    This was a special poem Sherry.

  29. Well some of us frogs are swimming in cream waiting for it to turn to butter so we jump out of the vat find a princess and get kisses work hard to buy a white horse so we can become a knight slay a dragon and finally after all that battle heaven and hell to rescue our princess and live happily in spite of all our sports injuries for the few years we have remaining. Patience darling your prince is coming!

  30. One of my favorites, I just love this. The fairytales and the unfairy tales. Perfect.

  31. There is such strength in these words, which I truly admire...and her delicate sensitivities still shine through in her poetry.

  32. Oh this is so great... really the best part is to develop that atiitude instead of letting the spider webs grow... one the most fascinating Dickens characters...

  33. I don't know what to say about the words or the writer...well expressed dichotomy :-) (-:

  34. Sherry,

    I love the Can-Do cackle, the healthy spirit and the humour!!!
    Spiderwebs get us all at one time or other!!!
    Great poem Sherry...My second reading:)

  35. Spider webs...I like that. We all have to believe in fairy tales. Hope should never die.

  36. Oh! Spoken like the Wild Woman that you are, Sherry! LOVED this!

  37. Princes would have disappointed, they do not make beds. I've often wished for support and loved when my friends found true partners. And I love this unfairy tale.

  38. I think we can create & define our own fairy tales ... what makes us uniquely happy, and not some conventional image of what life should be.

  39. But the Good Fairy got the address wrong,
    so she has been cleaning chimneys

    Sometimes it isn't fair. Why should bad times inflict the same people all the time. Others seem to have all the luck! Truly said Sherry!


  40. great job of weaving all the fairy tales into this Sherry...

  41. You made me laugh, sigh, then nod in agreement, and smile again. Thanks for the workout and I couldn't agree more. Did you have a particular journey in mind?



  42. Though not always narratively satisfying, un-fairy tales can have more drama and emotion than a fairy tale. Roughing it alone can be action-packed, for sure.

  43. great take on the prompt!

    well, un-fairy tales are what most of us are living through every day. :)

  44. Your last two stanzas are so very true. Enjoyed every word, Sherry.

  45. Thats the rude reality..
    Well composed!


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!