Once upon a time, in the days of the great Kingdom of Hawaii, there was a brave but lonely prince named Ikaika. No matter how hard he searched, he could not find a true princess anywhere in the empire. He traveled everywhere, all over the Hawaiian islands and began to think that his destiny was to reign alone one day. At last, he turned to the only person who could possibly help, so he decided to ask his mother, the noble lady Kuulei, the royal governess of the island of Hawaii.
“Mother, I have done my best to look for a true princess. I searched from island to island, from ahupuua to ahupuua, from hale to hale and I didn’t find any. Your wisdom is needed to find my true love, and as you see I can’t do it alone, “said the handsome prince Ikaika.” My dearest son, you cannot just go out and search for a princess. Fate will unite the two of you. Your princess will come to you in Akua, the second night when the moon is full, “said the wise lady.
The months passed, the full moon nights had come in abundance and Prince Ikaika was beginning to silently doubt his mother. Now he was sure that he would never find a mate and leave no heirs to rule the island chain. However, the following akua night (when the fishing was exceptionally good), there was a terrible storm in Kona. The rain was pouring down, thunder and lightning lighting up the Pacific skies. Suddenly, a series of knocks hit the palace door. The former High Chief Keala rushed from his chambers past his guards and threw the doors wide. A beautiful girl was lost on her doorstep. Soaked, water dripped from head to bare feet, but she spoke proudly:
“Big boss, my father’s house is far away and he governs his affairs as well as you do. This terrible night scares me. If you offer me shelter, your people will surely receive the same in my father’s house. And I promise I will entertain you with my singing, my hula dance and I will leave before dawn. I am Uilani, and I am at your mercy, “promised the maiden in a low voice.
Of heavenly beauty she was indeed, as this is what her name represents. The friendly chief invited her in and led her into the great hall. The servants rushed to help and wrapped the trembling princess in thin sheets to dry her. Rich kava, fresh poi, and grilled fish ‘ono were served to help him rekindle his spirits. Meanwhile, the excited senior boss rushed to his wife and son’s bedrooms. “My dear family, indeed a future princess has come to our door. She will dance the traditional hula to impress our son and enlighten everyone.
The night was happy. The monarch and court greatly enjoyed the skillful and graceful hula movements and the charming voice of the princess. She wished everyone good night and asked to be taken to her sleeping place.
“Father, as much as I wish it to be true, I don’t want the wish to blind me. How will I know that she is what she says, that she is indeed a princess, and perhaps my future queen of our kingdom?” ? “asked the dubious prince as soon as he left the room.
“My son, we have prepared a plan, because your wise mother knew this day would come. A princess should be loving and speak her mind whenever she notices trouble in the hearts and minds of her people. Nothing is too insignificant, and one must notice the little things to rule a kingdom properly. Therefore, there will be a single Kona brown pea under her pili grass mattresses. Not under one or two, but under 20 mattresses. If she is a true princess, Little Peaberry should pinch her a bit, making her fidgety and talking. However, if she sleeps comfortably for the rest of the night, she’s not meant to be your girlfriend. “
Lady Kuulei went to her room and brought an old kapa bag containing a small pea of perfectly oval shape. The tiny bean was harvested from their precious coffee fields in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Very carefully he placed the bean under the lowest mattress, then called out to his servants: “Escort the princess to bed, as her bedroom has been prepared. But be sure to keep an eye on her and listen closely in case she needs anything. She is our guest and we want the princess to be comfortable. “
The next morning, a sumptuous breakfast was served in front of the royal hale on a sun-drenched beach. This display had surprised the maiden who had planned to leave quietly that morning. “Aloha, how did you sleep dear?” the governess asked innocently; that he had already realized that his guest had been tossing and turning all night and had barely slept.
“My lady, as grateful as I am to have found a safe place to spend the night, I could not close my eyes, as I was not entirely comfortable. It may seem insignificant to others, but there was something that pinched me underneath from one of the mattresses. I offer my deepest apologies to anyone who may be offended by my saying so, but I couldn’t sleep, “said the princess.
Hearing this delicious news, Prince Ikaika smiled knowingly towards his mother and father. Here was the lady who would be sensitive enough to notice the hearts and minds of her people, the kanaka maolis every discomfort and concern. And thus, the beautiful Uilani would be a true Hawaiian queen, ensuring peace and the throne with her delicate manners and insight.
Prince Ikaika proposed to her and she soon married his princess Uilani, and they lived happily ever after. The delicate Kona pea, however, was kept by the future queen in the same kapa bag that her predecessors held. He kept him close as he might also need to call the little pea to find a good wife for his future child one day …