Healthy and General

The Princess on the Kona Peaberry

5 min read
princess on the kona

Once upon a time in the days of the grand Kingdom of Hawaii, there was a brave, yet lonely prince named Ikaika. No matter how hard he searched he couldn’t find a true princess anywhere in the empire. He traveled far and wide, all over the Hawaiian islands and began to think that his fate was to reign alone one day. At last, he turned to the only person that could possibly help, and so decided to ask his mother, the noble lady Kuulei, the royal governess of the island of Hawaii.

“Mother, I have tried my best in seeking for a true princess. I searched isle-to-isle, ahupuua to ahupuua, hale to hale and have found not one. Your wisdom is needed to find my true love, and as you see I can not do it alone,” said the handsome Prince Ikaika. “My dearest son, you can not just go out and search for a princess. Fate will bring you both together. Your princess will come to you at akua, the second night when the moon is full,” so spoke the wise lady.

Months passed, full moon nights had come plenty, and Prince Ikaika was quietly beginning to doubt his mother. He was now sure that he would never find a mate, and leave no heirs behind to rule the island chain. Yet the following akua night (when the fishing was exceptionally good), there was a terrible Kona storm blowing. Rain poured down heavily, cracking thunder and lightning bolts illuminated the Pacific skies. Suddenly a series of knocks hit the palace door. The old high chief Keala himself went rushing from his quarters past his guards, and pushed open the doors wide. A beautiful girl stood lost at his doorstep. Soaking wet, water dripping from head to bare toes, yet proudly she spoke:

“Great chief, my father’s home is far and he rules his matters as well as you do. This terrible night frightens me. If you offer me shelter, your people would most certainly be given the same at my father’s house. And I promise to entertain you with my song, my dance of hula and shall leave before dawn breaks. I am Uilani, and I am at your mercy,” so softly pledged the maiden.

Of heavenly beauty she was indeed, as this is what her name stands for. The gracious chief invited her in, and led her to the great room. Servants rushed to aid, and wrapped the shivering princess in fine linens to dry her off. Rich kava, fresh poi and roasted ‘ono fish were served so she might gather her spirits. Meanwhile, the excited high chief hurried to the sleeping quarters of his wife and his son. “My dear family, indeed a future princess has shown up at our door. She will dance the traditional hula to impress our son and to enlighten all.

The evening was merry. The monarch and the court enjoyed the princess’ skilled, graceful hula movements and enchanting voice tremendously. She bade a good night to everyone and asked to be guided to her place to sleep.

“Father, as much as I wish for it to be true, I do not want to be blinded by desire. How will I know that she is what she claims, that she is indeed a princess, and maybe my future queen of our kingdom?” asked the doubting prince as soon as she had left the room.

“My son, we have prepared a plan, because your wise mother knew this day would come. A princess must be caring, and speak her mind whenever she notices trouble within her people’s hearts and minds. Nothing is too in-significant, and one must notice small things in order to rule a kingdom properly. Therefore, there will be a single Kona coffee peaberry placed beneath her pili grass mattresses. Not beneath one, or two, but under 20 mattresses. If she is a true princess, the tiny peaberry should pinch her a bit, causing her to be restless and speak out. However, if she sleeps comfortably through the remainder of the night, she was not meant to be your bride.”

Lady Kuulei went to her chamber and brought an old kapa pouch containing a small, perfectly oval-shaped peaberry. The tiny bean was harvested from her precious coffee fields in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. She very carefully placed the bean beneath the lowest mattress, and then called to her servants, “Escort the princess to bed, as her sleeping chamber has been prepared. But be sure to have a close eye and ear 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 maiden who had planned to leave quietly that morning. “Aloha, how did you sleep, my dear?” asked the governess innocently; who had already been made aware that their guest had tossed and turned all night, and barely slept at all.

“My lady, as grateful as I am to have found a safe place for 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 beneath one of the mattresses. I offer my deepest apologies to anyone who might be offended by me saying so, but I was unable to sleep,” the princess spoke.

Upon hearing these delightful news, the Prince Ikaika smiled knowingly towards his mother and father. Here was the lady who would be sensitive enough to notice his people’s hearts and minds, the kanaka maolis every discomfort and worry. And therefore the beautiful Uilani would be a true Hawaiian queen, securing the peace and throne with her delicate manners and insight.

Prince Ikaika then proposed and soon married his princess Uilani, and they lived happily ever after. The delicate Kona peaberry, however, was kept by the future queen in the very kapa pouch held by her predecessors. She kept it close, as she also might need to call on the tiny peaberry in order to find a good wife for her future son one day…