The church bells rang, the choirs sang, the rice was strewn about.
A team of silver horses drove the wedding carriage out.
But when, at last, the wedding night arrived in all its glory,
The Prince learned “ever after”’s the beginning of the story.
All tucked in bed, the Princess said, “Goodnight, sweet prince, goodnight.”
But soon her legs were twitching—clearly something wasn’t right.
“My love, my life, what troubles you,” the Prince asked of his bride.
She answered not, but turned and kicked him squarely in the side.
“What ho?!” he shouted as her flailing feet attacked him twice.
“My love,” she said, “I’m sorry, but I think that it’s the rice!
The rice thrown by the revelers as we did take our leave—
It’s made its way into our bed, on this our wedding eve!”
The gallant prince pulled back the thousand thread-count silken sheet,
And found a solitary grain of rice beside her feet.
He brushed it off. “Fear not, dear heart, ’twas but a lowly sprinkle!”
Back down lay he. “Ahem,” said she, “The blanket has a wrinkle.”
He smoothed it, but before he had a chance to rest his crown,
She said, “I think my pillow’s got a little too much down.”
Three feathers did he pluck out from beneath her pillow case.
“And also, dear, one knot unravelled from my nightgown’s lace!”
He sighed, and tied the tiny string with hands so quick and nimble.
“My sheet has got a tiny lump just like a fairy’s thimble!”
He grumbled and he grunted, but he pressed it good and flat.
He closed his eyes until she said, “My love, I hear a gnat!”
And as he lit a candle to go searching for the pest,
It dawned on him that this was just the first night of the rest.
Perhaps a princess isn’t all that she’s cracked up to be—
If only he had wed a maid who hadn’t felt the pea!