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 much he searched, he couldn’t find a true princess anywhere in the empire. He traveled all over the Hawaiian Islands and began to think that it was his destiny to rule alone one day. Finally, he turned to the only person who could possibly help him, and decided to ask his mother, the noble lady Kuulei, the royal governess of the island of Hawaii.
“Mother, I have done everything possible in search of a true princess. I searched from island to island, from ahupuua to ahupuua, from hale to hale and I did not find any. Your wisdom is necessary to find my true love, and as you see No I can do it by myself,” said the handsome Prince Ikaika. “My dear son, you cannot just go looking for a princess. Fate will bring you both together. Your princess will come to you in akua, the second night when the moon is full,” thus spoke the wise lady.
Months passed, many full moon nights had come and Prince Ikaika began to silently doubt his mother. He was now certain that he would never find a mate and leave no heirs to rule the island chain. However, the next Akua night (when the fishing was exceptionally good), a terrible storm broke out in Kona. The rain fell hard, thunder and lightning lit up the Pacific skies. Suddenly, a series of knocks hit the palace gate. Old High Chief Keala himself rushed out of his quarters, past his guards, and flung the doors wide. A beautiful girl was lost in her doorway. Drenched, water dripping from her head to her bare feet, but she proudly spoke:
“Great chief, my father’s house is far away and he governs his affairs as well as you do. This terrible night frightens 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 dancing, and I will be gone before dawn. I am Uilani, and I am at your mercy,” so softly promised the maiden.
Of heavenly beauty she was indeed, for this is what her name signifies. The gracious chief invited her in and led her into the great room. Servants rushed to help, wrapping the shivering princess in thin sheets to dry her off. She was served rich kava, fresh poi and grilled ‘ono fish so she could get her spirits up. Meanwhile, the excited big boss hurried to the bedrooms of his wife and his son. “My dear family, indeed, a princess-to-be has appeared at our door. She will perform the traditional hula dance to impress our son and enlighten everyone.
The evening was joyous. The monarch and the court tremendously enjoyed the skillful and graceful hula movements and the enchanting voice of the princess. She wished everyone a good night and asked to be guided to her sleeping place.
“Father, as much as I wish it to be true, I don’t want to be blinded by the wish. How will I know that she is what she says, that she is indeed a princess, and perhaps my future queen of our kingdom?” ?” the doubtful prince asked as soon as she left the room.
“My son, we have prepared a plan, for your wise mother knew this day would come. A princess must 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 small things to rule a kingdom properly. Thus, there will be a single Kona Coffee Pea placed under her pili grass mattresses. Not under one or two, but under 20 mattresses. If she is a true princess, little peaberry should give her a little pinch, making her fidget and talk. However, if she sleeps comfortably the rest of the night, she wasn’t meant to be your girlfriend.”
Lady Kuulei went to her room and brought back an old kapa bag containing a small, perfectly oval-shaped pea. 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 his servants, “Escort the princess to bed, as her bedroom has been prepared. But be sure to keep a close eye on her 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 maid that she had planned to leave quietly that morning. “Aloha, how did you sleep, dear?” the government innocently asked; who had already realized that her guest had been tossing and turning all night and had hardly slept.
“My lady, as grateful as I am to have found a safe place to spend the night, I couldn’t close my eyes as I wasn’t entirely comfortable. It may seem insignificant to others, but there was something that pinched me under my breath.” one of the mattresses. I offer my sincerest apologies to anyone who might feel offended by saying so, but I couldn’t sleep,” the princess said.
Hearing this delightful news, Prince Ikaika smiled knowingly at 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, securing peace and the throne with her delicate manners and insight.
Prince Ikaika then proposed to her and 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 had. She kept him close to her, as she too might need to call the little pea to find a good wife for her future child one day…