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The Little Prince
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
CHAPTER 1 – HAT
The book says, “Snakes eat the whole animal. And they sleep for six months.”
I think about the life in the forest. I make my first picture. This is my picture number one.
I show my fantastic picture to one person. And I ask this person, “Are you scared?”
This person answers, “How can I be scared? It is a hat.”
My picture is not a picture of a hat. It is a picture of a big snake. An elephant is inside the snake. Then I make my picture number two. The picture shows the inside of the big snake. Now people understand. This is my picture number two.
People tell me what they think. They tell me that it is not good to make pictures. They tell me that it is better to study geography, history, maths and grammar. After these words, I don’t want to make pictures. I don’t want to make pictures because my picture number one and picture number two are not good for the people. People don’t understand simple things.
And now, I am not a child. I am a big person. I have a job. I am a pilot. I fly planes. I fly in many countries. And it is true that geography is good for me. Geography can help me if I am lost in the night.
In my life, I work with people every day. The people are often serious. Sometimes I meet a person who is a little normal. When I meet this person, I show him my picture number one. I always have this picture with me. I want to know if this person understands life. But the person always says, “It is a hat.” Then I never speak to this person about big snakes or forests or stars. And we speak about work, sport and family. And the person is happy. For him I am a normal man.
I live alone. I don’t know people for an open conversation. But one day it all changes. I have an accident in the Sahara Desert.
Something is broken in my plane. I have nobody in the plane with me. It is not easy to repair the plane alone. But I must do it. It is a question of life or death. I have water for only a week.
CHAPTER 2 – SHEEP
The first night, I sleep on the sand. I am a thousand miles from a land with people. I think that no people are around me. So I am shocked when somebody speaks to me in the morning.
I hear these words, “Please, draw me a sheep.”
“Draw me a sheep!”
I jump up. I look around. And I see a little man.
This is the picture of the little man.
My picture is not very good. The original model is better. It is not my mistake. I know how to draw only two pictures. They are pictures of a snake from the outside and a snake from the inside.
I look at this little man. I am really surprised. Don’t forget that I am a thousand miles from a land with people. Something is very interesting. This little man is not tired. He is not hungry. He is not thirsty. He is not scared. He doesn’t look lost in the middle of the desert, a thousand miles from a land with people.
The little man says, very slowly, “Please draw me a sheep.”
It is all very strange to me. I am a thousand miles from a land with people. I am in danger of death. But I take a pen and paper from my pocket. I want to draw a picture. Then I remember that I know only geography, history, maths and grammar. And I tell the little man that I don’t know how to draw.
He says, “It is OK. Draw me a sheep.”
But I don’t know how to draw a sheep. So I draw him a picture which I am able to draw. It is a big snake from the outside. And I am shocked when the little man says, “No, I don’t want an elephant inside a big snake. A big snake is a very dangerous animal. And an elephant is very big for me. Where I live, everything is very small. I need a sheep. Draw me a sheep.”
So I make this picture.
The little man looks at the picture. Then he says, “No. This sheep is ill. Make me another sheep.”
I draw another picture.
My friend smiles at me, “You must see it too. This is not a sheep. It is a ram. It has horns.”
So I make another picture.
But this picture also isn’t good.
“This sheep is old. I want a sheep which can live a long time.”
It is not easy for me. I don’t have time for this. I must start my work on the plane. So I draw this picture.
And I say, “This is a box. The sheep is inside.”
I am surprised when I see the light in his face, “This is what I want! Do you think that this sheep needs a lot of grass?”
“Because where I live, everything is very small.”
“I think that there is enough grass for the sheep. This is a very small sheep.”
The little man looks at the picture. And he says, “The sheep is not very small. It is a very nice sheep.”
This is my first day with the little prince.
CHAPTER 3 – PLANET
I want to know more about the little prince. I want to know where he lives. The little prince asks me many questions. I also ask him questions. But he doesn’t answer my questions. But when he speaks, I slowly start to understand many things.
For example, when he looks at my plane, he asks, “What is this thing?”
I answer, “It is a plane. It can fly. It is my plane.”
And I am happy when I tell him that I can fly. Then he says, “What? Are you from the sky?”
“Yes,” I say.
“It is funny!”
And the little prince starts to laugh. I am angry. My situation is not good. How can somebody think that it is funny?
Then he says, “So you also come from the sky like me. What is your planet?”
At this moment I start to understand more about him. I ask, “Do you come from another planet?”
But he doesn‘t answer. He looks at my plane again. Then he says, “On this thing, you can’t come from very far.”
And he starts to think. Then he takes the picture with his sheep. And he looks at his sheep.
But I want to know more. So I ask again, “Where is your planet? Where do you want to take your sheep?”
He is quiet. Then he says, “The box is a good thing. At night, I can use the box as a house for the sheep.”
“Yes. And I can also give you a rope. Then you can tie the sheep during the day.”
But the little prince is shocked when I say this, “Tie the sheep? It is a funny idea!”
“But if you don’t tie the sheep, the sheep can run away. You can lose the sheep.”
The little prince starts to laugh again.
“But where can the sheep go?”
“It can go to many places. It can go left. It can go right.”
The little prince says, “The sheep can go away on my planet. It is OK. Where I live, everything is so small.” He is a little sad. Then he says, “Where I live, nobody can go very far.”
Now I know a second important thing. The planet of the little prince is very small. It is like a house.
But it isn’t really a big surprise. I know that we don’t have only big planets like Earth, Mars or Jupiter. We have also hundreds of other planets. These planet are sometimes very small. If you want to see these planets, you need a very good telescope.
When an astronomer discovers such a planet, he doesn’t give the planet a name. He gives the planet only a number. The name of the planet is, for example, Asteroid 3251.
CHAPTER 4 – ASTEROID
I think that the planet of the little prince is Asteroid B-612.
In 1909, one astronomer discovers this asteroid. The astronomer is from Turkey.
He speaks about his asteroid at a big conference. But nobody believes him because he has Turkish clothes. It is crazy but people do these things.
But there is something good for Asteroid B-612. A Turkish leader says that people in Turkey must have clothes like Europeans. The astronomer speaks about his asteroid again in 1920. He has very nice clothes. And now everybody believes him.
I speak about Asteroid B-612 and I speak about its number because people like numbers. When you tell people that you have a new friend, they never ask you questions about important things. They never ask you, “Is his voice nice? What games does he play? Does he have butterflies at home?”
They ask, “How old is he? How many brothers does he have? How big is he? How much money does his father have?” If they know these numbers, they think that they know this person.
If you say to the people, “I know a small red house. It has beautiful flowers in the windows. A lot of birds fly around the house,” the people can’t imagine the house. You must say to the people, “I know a big house. It is very expensive. You can buy this house for one hundred thousand dollars.” Then the people say, “It is a nice house.”
If you say to the people, “The little prince exists because he laughs and he wants a sheep,” this information is not enough for the adults. They don’t believe you. They think that you live in a dream. But if you tell them, “The planet of the little prince is Asteroid B-612,” they believe you. This is how the people think.
If you understand life, you don’t need numbers. You need to hear a nice story. You like to hear, “The little prince lives on a small planet. The planet is very small. The little prince is alone. He wants to have a friend.” If you understand life, this is what you want to hear.
CHAPTER 5 – ELEPHANTS
It is six years after my meeting with the little prince. When I think about him, I am sad. But I write about the little prince, because I don’t want to forget him. It is sad when you forget a friend. Not everybody has a friend.
This is the reason why I have paper and colours in my hands now. It is difficult to draw for me when I am old. But I want to do it.
I want to make my pictures very good. But I am not sure if I can do it. One picture is OK, but another picture is not very good. I make some mistakes in the size too. Here the little prince is very big. Here he is very small. Maybe the colour of his clothes is not correct. But I try to draw as well as possible.
But sometimes when my picture is not perfect, it is not my mistake. It is the little prince’s mistake. He never explains things to me. Maybe he thinks that I am like him. But unfortunately, I don’t see the sheep in the box.
Every day, new information about the little prince’s planet comes. I also know more and more about his journey to the Earth. The information comes very slowly. The information comes during moments when the little prince thinks about his past.
For example, on the third day, the little prince speaks about a problem with the baobabs. Baobabs are big trees. The conversation about baobabs starts when the little prince asks me a question about the sheep.
“Is it true that sheep eat little trees?”
“Yes. It is true.”
“It is good.”
I don’t understand why it is so important that sheep eat little trees. But the little prince says, “So they also eat baobabs?”
I tell the little prince that baobabs aren’t little trees, “The baobabs are big trees. The baobabs are very big. They are like houses. And, for example, if you put nine big elephants on your planet, these elephants can’t eat one baobab. The baobabs are so big.”
The idea of nine elephants is funny for the little prince. And he laughs, “On my planet, elephants must stand on elephants.”
But then he says something clever, “When the baobabs are young, they are very small.”
“It is true,” I say. “But why is it important that your sheep eats the little baobabs?”
He says, “It is simple. Think about it. It is not very difficult.”
So I start to think about the problems with baobabs. Soon, I have the answer.
CHAPTER 6 – TREES
I think that on the little prince’s planet, there are good plants and bad plants. It is normal for all planets. And of course, there are also good seeds of good plants and bad seeds of bad plants. But we can’t see seeds. They are in the ground. But one day, every seed wakes up. Then the seed starts to grow. The seed grows slowly to the sun.
When the plant is very small, you don’t know if the plant is some vegetable or a rose. And you can let the plant grow. But when you see that it is a bad plant, it is important to destroy the plant fast.
It is true that there are bad seeds on the planet of the little prince. They are the seeds of baobabs. The ground of the planet is full of them. If you see a baobab too late, you can’t destroy it. Then the baobab grows over the whole planet. And if the planet is too small, two or three baobabs can destroy the planet.
“It is a question of discipline,” the little prince tells me.
“When I wash my face in the morning and when I put on my clothes, then it is time to clean my planet. It is necessary to pull the baobabs when I see them. Sometimes it isn’t easy because they are similar to roses when they are very young. It is a very boring job, but very easy.”
And one day he says to me, “You can draw a beautiful picture. The picture can show this situation to children. This information can help children when they travel around the universe.
In life, it is sometimes OK to do your work later. But when you do your work with baobabs later, it is always a big problem. I know a planet with a lazy man. Now he has a big problem. He has three big baobabs on his planet. He is not happy.”
And, when the little prince speaks about the planet, I make a picture of this planet.
People know only a little about the problem with baobabs. And it is possible that one day when you are lost on an asteroid, you can have this problem too. I believe that it is important to know that baobabs can be very dangerous for a small planet.
I work so hard on this picture because I want to tell children about the problem which they don’t know.
I also make the picture very big. It is big because the problem with baobabs can be very big.
CHAPTER 7 – SUN
Step by step, I start to understand the secrets of the little prince’s life. For a long time his only fun is to watch beautiful sunsets.
This information comes on the fourth day in the morning. The little prince says, “I really like sunsets. Let’s look at a sunset now.”
“But we must wait,” I say.
“Wait? Wait for what?”
“Wait for the moment when the sun is down.”
The little prince is very surprised. Then he laughs. And he says, “I am always thinking that I am at home.”
Everybody knows this. When it is noon in the United States, the sun is going down in France. If you can fly to France in one minute, you can watch the sunset.
But the little prince’s planet is very small. You only need to pull your chair four or five metres. And you can watch the sunset when you want.
The little prince tells me about a day with forty-three sunsets. He says, “When you are very sad, sunsets are great.”
“The day with forty-three sunsets must be a sad day. Is it true?” I ask. But the little prince doesn’t answer.
On the fifth day, new information about the little prince’s life comes. He asks me, “If a sheep eats little trees, does it eat flowers, too?”
“A sheep eats everything what is green,” I answer.
“Does a sheep eat flowers with thorns too?”
“Yes. The sheep eats flowers with thorns too.”
“I don’t understand,” says the little prince, “Why does the flower have thorns if a sheep can eat the flower?”
I don’t know. At that moment I am very busy. I need to repair my plane. I am scared because my situation starts to be very serious. I have so little water. I think that my death is close.
“Why does the flower have thorns?”
The little prince always wants an answer to his question. But at that moment I am angry because I can’t repair my plane. I answer without thinking, “Thorns are good for nothing. Flowers have thorns because they want to hurt others.”
The little prince is thinking for a moment. I see that he is a little angry. Then he says, “I don’t believe you! Flowers are weak. The thorns give them power. Flowers believe that their thorns are big weapons.”
I say nothing. I am very busy with my plane.
CHAPTER 8 – FLOWER
I am still repairing my plane when the little prince says, “Do you really believe that flowers have thorns because they want to hurt others?”
“No, I don’t believe it! But I don’t want to think about it. I am busy with my plane. It is a serious thing!”
He is shocked.
He looks at me. My hands are touching the engine. The engine is dirty. My hands are dirty too. The little prince doesn’t like the engine. But the engine is important for me.
“You talk like the adults!”
The little prince is not happy. I know that it is my mistake. I don’t feel OK. But the little prince continues, “You mix everything together!”
The little prince is angry.
“I know a planet with a gentleman with a red face. He doesn’t have a flower. He doesn’t look at stars. He doesn’t love other people. He only counts numbers. And all day he repeats again and again, like you, ‘I am a serious man! I am a serious man!’ And he is very proud. But he is not a man, he is a mushroom!”
“He is a what?”
The little prince is now very angry. His face is white.
“Flowers have thorns. Sheep eat flowers. And you think that it is not good to try to understand why flowers have thorns. There is a war between the sheep and the flowers. And you think that it is not important?”
The little prince is still very angry. He continues.
“You think that the war between the sheep and the flowers is not more important than the numbers of the gentleman with a red face? I know a flower which is the only flower in the world, which exists only on my planet. It is a flower which a little sheep can eat for breakfast. And you think that this is not important?”
His face is now red. He continues.
“If you love a flower which is in the sky, then you are happy when you look at the stars. You are happy because you know that your flower is he says up there. But if the sheep eats the flower, then the sky is very sad for you.”
He can’t say another word. He starts to cry. The night comes. I put my tools on the ground. How important are my tools, my engine, my death now? On one planet, on my planet, the Earth, there is a little prince who needs me. I take him in my arms. I hold him. I say to him, “The flower which you love is not in danger. I can draw you something which can protect your flower. I can draw you a fence. You can put the fence around your flower. I can…”
I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t know how to talk to him, how to be his friend again. It is so strange when somebody cries.
CHAPTER 9 – GLASS
I soon have more information about the flower. On the little prince’s planet the flowers are always very simple. They are small and they don’t talk. They grow in the grass in the morning, and they are gone in the evening.
But it all changes one day. There is a different seed. It comes from some place which nobody knows. Soon a new flower starts to grow. First she is very small. The little prince watches her very carefully. The flower isn’t like other flowers on his planet.
The flower can be a new type of baobab. But she is not a baobab. She is really a flower. Soon she starts to prepare for opening. The preparation for this moment is long. The flower doesn’t want to show her colours fast. Then one morning, exactly at sunrise, the flower shows her colours.
And after all her preparation for this moment, she says, “Ah! I am sorry. Give me some time. I need some time to be perfect.”
But the little prince can’t hide his feelings, “Oh! How beautiful you are!”
“Yes, I am beautiful. Look at me,” the flower says. “And I am born at the same moment as the sun.”
“I think that it is time for breakfast,” she says, “Can you bring me some water?”
The little prince is surprised. The situation is new for him. But he brings water to the flower.
The flower starts to play with the little prince. Her play isn’t always nice.
One day, for example, when she speaks about her four thorns, she says to the little prince, “I am ready for tigers. They can come.”
“There are no tigers on my planet,” says the little prince, “And tigers don’t eat grass.”
“I am not a grass,” the flower says, “I am not scared of tigers, but I am scared of wind. Do you have something which can protect me from wind?”
“It is not good when a flower is scared of wind,” says the little prince, and he thinks, “This flower is very complicated.”
“At night I want to be under glass. It is very cold here where you live. The cold is not comfortable. I come from a place where…”
But she stops at this moment. Flowers grow from seeds. They don’t know about other worlds. The flower feels stupid now. She knows that the little prince sees that she can lie to him. She quickly coughs two or three times. She wants to show the little prince that she is cold and that he doesn’t care about her well.
“The glass? I can look for the glass but you still talk to me,” says the little prince.
Then the flower starts to cough a little more. She wants to show him how bad he is.
The little prince has a lot of love in his heart. But he can’t believe the flower. For the little prince, it is important how somebody speaks to him. And the flower doesn’t speak to him well.
CHAPTER 10 – VOLCANOES
“It isn’t good to listen to the flower,” the little prince tells me one day. “Never listen to flowers. You have to only look at them and smell them. My flower makes my planet beautiful. She smells so good. But I don’t know how to like her. The story about the tigers makes me so angry. But it isn’t good to take it so seriously. It is good to love the flower because she is so beautiful and she smells so good.
He then continues, “When we are young, we don’t know many things. The flower makes my planet beautiful. It isn’t correct to leave her. Now I know it.”
I believe that when the little prince leaves his planet, wild birds help him.
He then continues, “When we are young, we don’t know many things. The flower makes my planet beautiful. It isn’t correct to leave her. Now I know it.”
I believe that when the little prince leaves his planet, wild birds help him.
On the morning of his departure, he prepares everything. He cleans his active volcanoes. There are two active volcanoes on his planet. They are very good when he needs to cook his breakfast in the morning.
He also has one volcano which isn’t active. But, he says, “You never know!” So he cleans this volcano too. If the volcanoes are correctly cleaned, there are no eruptions.
Of course, on Earth people are very small. They can’t clean volcanoes. And because people don’t clean them, the volcanoes can be a big problem.
Before his departure, the little prince also pulls the last little baobabs. He thinks that this is his last day on his planet. He doesn’t plan to come back.
He gives water to his flower. Then he brings the glass. At that moment, he wants to cry.
“Goodbye,” he says to the flower. But she doesn’t answer him.
“Goodbye,” he says again. The flower coughs. But it is not because she is ill.
“I am sometimes stupid,” the flower says. “I am sorry.”
The little prince is surprised that the flower is sorry. He doesn’t understand why the flower is nice to him.
“Of course, I love you,” the flower tells him. “Maybe, you don’t feel that I love you. It is not your mistake. It is my mistake. It is not important now. But you are sometimes stupid too. Try to be happy. Don’t put the glass on me. I don’t need it.”
“But the wind…”
“The wind is not a problem. The night air is good for me. I am a flower.”
“But the animals…”
“I have to be stronger than two or three caterpillars if I want to see the butterflies. I think that they are very beautiful. If there are no butterflies here, who can visit me when you are so far? And I am not scared of big animals. I have my thorns.” And she shows all of her four thorns to the little prince.
Then she says, “Don’t stand here. You want to leave. So, go!”
She says it because she doesn’t want to show her tears. She is a very proud flower.
CHAPTER 11 – KING
The little prince is close to the asteroids 325, 326, 327, 328, 329 and 330. So he visits these asteroids first. He wants to be busy. He wants to learn something.
There is a king on the first planet. The king has nice clothes. He is sitting on a big chair.
“Ah! Here is a visitor,” the king says when he sees the little prince.
And the little prince thinks, “How can he know who I am? He doesn’t know me.”
“Come closer to me. I want to see you better,” says the king. He is very proud that he is a king for somebody now.
The little prince looks around. He needs a place where he can sit down. But the king’s clothes are on the whole planet. So the little prince is standing. And because he is tired, he yawns.
“It is not good to yawn before a king,” the king tells him. “You can’t do it.”
“I can’t stop it,” says the little prince. “My journey is very long, and I am tired.”
“Then you have to yawn,” says the king, “People usually don’t yawn before me. It is very interesting. Yawn again!”
The little prince wants to yawn for the king. But he can’t do it now. He says, “I am sorry. I can’t yawn when you tell me to do it,” says the little prince.
The king is not happy because people must do what the king says. But, because he is a very good man, what he wants is reasonable.
“Can I sit down?” the little prince asks.
“I order you to sit down,” the king says. And he pulls a piece of his clothes so that there is some space where the little prince can sit down.
The little prince is thinking about one thing. The planet is very small. The king doesn’t control much.
“Can I ask you a question?” says the little prince.
“I order you to ask me a question,” the king says.
“What do you control?”
“I control everything,” says the king.
The king looks at his planet. Then he looks at the other planets, and all the stars.
“Are you the king of all?” asks the little prince.
“I am the king of all,” says the king. He doesn’t control only his planet. He is the king of all the universe.
“And do the stars do what you want?”
“Of course,” says the king. “They do it fast. They do exactly what I want.”
CHAPTER 12 – MOUSE
The king’s power is very interesting for the little prince. With such power, the little prince can watch many sunsets every day, not only forty-four, but seventy-two, or a hundred, or two hundred on the same day. And he can still sit in one place.
At that moment he remembers his little planet, and he feels a little sad. He asks the king for something, “I want to see a sunset. Please, can you order the sun to go down?”
“If I order a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a book, or to change into a sea bird, and if the general doesn’t do it, is it his mistake?” asks the king.
“Your mistake,” says the little prince.
“Exactly. We must ask what others can do,” the king continues. “The control has to be reasonable. If you order your people to jump into the sea, they can start a revolution. I can control because my control is reasonable.”
“And my sunset?” says the little prince, who never forgets a question when he asks it.
“You can have your sunset. I can order it. But I have my rules. We must wait. You can have your sunset when the conditions are right.”
The little prince doesn’t want to wait. “When are the conditions right for my sunset?” the little prince asks.
“Wait!” says the king, then he takes a big calendar. “This evening at seven forty. And you can see that everything is as I order.
The little prince yawns. He is sad that the conditions are not right for his sunset. Then this planet starts to be boring for him.
“I have nothing to do here,” he says to the king. “I want to continue on my journey.”
“Don’t go,” says the king. He is happy because finally he is a king for somebody. “Don’t go. You can be my minister!”
“Minister of what?”
“Minister of justice.”
“But there is nobody here who I can judge.”
“You never know,” says the king. “Maybe there is somebody here who we don’t see.”
“But I can see all your planet,” says the little prince. He looks at the planet again. “There is nobody else on the planet.”
“You can judge you,” says the king, “It is very difficult. It is more difficult than to judge other people. If you can do it, it is because you are really a clever man.”
“But if I want to judge me, I don’t have to be here,” says the little prince. “I can do it in other places too.”
“I believe,” says the king, “that somewhere on my planet there is a mouse. I hear the mouse at night. You can judge the mouse. You can send the mouse to prison.”
“I don’t want to send the mouse to prison. Now I think that I can leave.”
“No,” says the king.
The little prince is ready for his departure. But he doesn’t want to make the old king sad. So he says, “If you want to control me, you can give me a reasonable order. For example, you can tell me to leave now. I think that the conditions are right.”
The king says nothing. The little prince waits for a moment. Then he doesn’t want to wait longer. And he starts to leave.
“You are my ambassador,” the king shouts.
“Adults are very strange,” the little prince thinks when he continues on his journey.
CHAPTER 13 – PEOPLE
The little prince comes to the second planet. He sees another strange man. The man likes when people admire him.
“Another person who admires me!” says the man when he sees the little prince.
He believes that all people admire him.
“Good morning,” says the little prince. “You have a funny hat.”
“I use this hat when I say good morning to people who come to visit me. But not many people visit me here.”
“Really?” says the little prince.
“Really. Clap your hands,” says the man.
The little prince claps his hands. And the man touches his hat and he moves the hat a little.
“This is more fun than the visit to the king,” the little prince thinks.
The little prince claps his hands again and again. The man touches his hat again and again.
After five minutes of this exercise the little prince starts to be tired of this game.
“Do you only touch your hat? Or can you do something else?” he asks.
But the man doesn’t hear him. This type of people never hear other people. They hear only when somebody admires them.
“Do you really admire me very much?” he asks the little prince.
“What is ‘admire’?”
“To admire is to believe that I am the most handsome, the richest and the most intelligent man on the planet.”
“But you are the only man on your planet!”
“Yes, I know that I am the only man on this planet. But please admire me.”
“I admire you,” says the little prince, “but I don’t understand why it is so important to you.”
The little prince has nothing else to do on this planet. So he continues on his journey.
“Adults are very strange,” he thinks when he is leaving this planet.
When the little prince visits the next planet, he sees a man. This man drinks a lot. He is drunk.
This is a very short visit. And it is a sad visit.
“What are you doing?” he asks the drunk man. The drunk man sits before bottles. Some bottles are empty. Some bottles are full.
“I am drinking,” says the drunk man. His face is not happy.
“Why are you drinking?” the little prince asks.
“I want to forget,” says the drunk man.
“To forget what?” asks the little prince.
“To forget that I feel horrible,” says the drunk man. And he puts his head down.
“Why do you feel horrible?” asks the little prince. The Little Prince wants to help the drunk man.
“I feel horrible because I drink so much. I know that it is bad to drink so much!” says the drunk man. Then he is quiet.
The little prince leaves the planet.
“Adults are very, very strange,” he thinks when he continues on his journey.
CHAPTER 14 – BUSINESSMAN
The little prince visits the fourth planet. There is a businessman on this planet. He is very busy. He is so busy that he doesn’t look at the little prince when the little prince comes.
“Good morning,” says the little prince. “Your cigarette is finished.”
“Three and two make five. Five and seven make twelve. Twelve and three make fifteen. Hello. Fifteen and seven make twenty-two. Twenty-two and six make twenty-eight. I have no time to light the cigarette again.
Twenty-six and five make thirty-one. It is five hundred and one million, six hundred and twenty-two thousand, seven hundred and thirty-one.”
“Five hundred million what?” asks the little prince.
“Are you still here? Five hundred and one million… I don’t remember. I have so much work to do! I am a serious man. I don’t want to lose my time with things which are not important. Two and five make seven…”
“Five hundred million what?” repeats the little prince. He wants the answer to his question.
The businessman looks at the little prince, “I am fifty-four years old. I don’t like when somebody stops my work. It doesn’t happen often. I remember only three times.
The first time, twenty-two years ago. A bird falls on my table. The bird makes a horrible sound. And I make four mistakes in my calculation.
The second time, eleven years ago, I have rheumatism. I don’t have enough exercise. I don’t have time for such activity. I am a serious man.
The third time is now! Where am I? Five hundred and one million…”
The businessman understands that if he wants to have peace, he has to answer this question.
“Millions of those little things which you sometimes see in the sky.”
“No, not flies.”
“No. The little golden things. Lazy people like them because they can dream when they look at them. But I am a serious man! I have no time to dream.”
“Yes, the stars.”
“And what do you do with five hundred million stars?”
“Five hundred and one million, six hundred and twenty-two thousand, seven hundred and thirty-one. I am a serious person. I need numbers which are correct.”
“And what do you do with those stars?”
“Nothing. I own them.”
“You own the stars?”
“But I know a king who…”
“Kings don’t own. They control. It is very different.”
“And why is it good to own stars?”
“When I own stars, I am rich.”
“And why is it good to be rich?”
“When I am rich, then I can buy more stars if somebody discovers them.”
“But how can you own the stars?”
“It is simple. Who owns them?” asks the businessman.
“I don’t know. Nobody.”
“Then I own them because I am the first person who has this idea.”
“Is it enough?”
“Of course. When you find a diamond, it is your diamond. When you discover an island, it is your island. When you have a new idea, you patent it and it is your idea. Now I own the stars because I am the first person who has this idea.”
“It is true,” says the little prince. “And what do you do with them?”
“I look at them. I count them and I count them again,” says the businessman. “It is difficult. But I am a serious man!
The little prince wants to know more.
“If I own a jacket, I can put the jacket on me and I can take it with me. If I own a flower, I can pick the flower and take the flower with me. But you can’t pick the stars!”
“No, but I can keep them in the bank.”
“How can you do it?”
“It is easy. I write the number of my stars on a little paper. And then I put the paper in the bank.”
“And it is enough?”
“It is enough,” says the businessman.
“It is funny,” thinks the little prince. “But it is not very serious.”
The little prince says to the businessman, “I own a flower. I give her water every day. I own three volcanoes. I clean the volcanoes every week. I also clean the volcano which isn’t active. You never know. It is good for my volcanoes. It is good for my flower that I own her. I help my flower and I help my volcanoes. But you don’t help the stars.
The businessman opens his mouth but he can’t find words.
And the little prince leaves.
“The adults are very interesting,” he thinks when he continues on his journey.
CHAPTER 15 – LAMP
The fifth planet is very interesting. It is a very small planet. There is only a lamp and a lamplighter on this planet.
The little prince doesn’t understand why there is a lamp and a lamplighter on the planet. There is enough light because the planet is under many stars. There are no other people on the planet who need a lamp.
The little prince thinks, “This man is strange. But he is less strange than the king, the businessman or the drunk man. His work makes the world more beautiful.
When he turns on his lamp, it is like a new star in the sky, or new flower. When he turns off his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star to sleep. It is a beautiful job. And because it is beautiful, it is a good job.”
When the little prince comes on the planet, he says to the lamplighter, “Good morning. Why do you turn on and turn off your lamp?”
“It is an order,” says the lamplighter. And he turns off the lamp.
“What is the order?”
“The order is to turn on and turn off my lamp. Good evening.” And he turns on his lamp again.
“But why do you do it so often?”
“It is the order,” says the lamplighter.
I don’t understand,” says the little prince.
“It is simple,” says the lamplighter. “The order is the order. Good morning.”
And he turns off his lamp. Then he says, “It is a terrible job now. I remember better days in the past. I turn off the lamp in the morning. In the evening I turn on the lamp again. I have all the day for me, and at night I can sleep.”
“And is the order different now?”
“The order is the same,” says the lamplighter. “It is the problem! Year by year the planet is turning faster and faster. And the order is still the same!
Now the planet turns around every minute. And I have no time to sleep. I turn on and I turn off my lamp every minute.”
“It is funny! Your day is only one minute long.”
“It is not funny,” says the lamplighter. “Our conversation is already one month long.”
“Yes. Thirty minutes. Thirty days. Good evening.” And he turns on his lamp again.
The little prince watches the lamplighter. He likes more and more this man who follows the order. He wants to help his new friend.
“I can show you how you can stop your work.”
“I always want to stop my work,” says the lamplighter.
The little prince continues, “Your planet is so small that you can walk around it in three long steps. You only have to walk more slowly. And you can always be in the sun. When you want to stop your work, only walk. And you never have to work again.”
“How can this help me?” says the lamplighter. “The one thing which I love in life is to sleep.”
“Then you are not lucky,” says the little prince.
“I am not lucky,” says the lamplighter. “Good morning.” And he turns off his lamp.
The little prince continues on his journey. He thinks, “The other men, the king, the drunk man, the businessman can laugh at this lamplighter. But he is better than the other men. It is because he cares about something else, not only his things.
This man can be my friend. But his planet is too small. There is no place for two people.”
The little prince doesn’t want to say the real reason why he doesn’t want to leave this planet. He doesn’t want to leave because the planet has one thousand four hundred and forty sunsets every twenty-four hours!
CHAPTER 16 – GEOGRAPHER
The sixth planet is bigger than the last planet. The little prince sees an old gentleman. The man writes big books.
“Oh, here comes an explorer,” he says when he sees the little prince.
The little prince sits down on the table. He is tired from travelling so long and so far.
“Where are you from?” the old gentleman asks him.
“What is this big book?” asks the little prince. “What are you doing here?”
“I am a geographer,” the old gentleman answers.
“What is a geographer?”
“A geographer is somebody who knows where the seas are, and rivers, cities, mountains and deserts.”
“It is very interesting,” says the little prince. “Finally here is a man who has a real job,” he thinks. And he looks around at the geographer’s planet.
“Your planet is very beautiful,” he says. “Does the planet have oceans?”
“I can’t say,” says the geographer.
“Ah!” the little prince is sad. “And mountains?”
“I can’t say,” says the geographer.
“And cities and rivers and deserts?”
“I can’t tell you,” says the geographer.
“But you are a geographer!”
“It is true,” says the geographer, “but I am not an explorer. There is no explorer on my planet. The geographer doesn’t discover cities, rivers, mountains, seas, oceans and deserts.
The geographer doesn’t have time for travelling. He doesn’t leave his office. But the explorers visit him in his office. He asks them questions and he writes what they remember.
And if the information is interesting to him, then the geographer has to ask more questions about the explorer. He has to know if the explorer is a good person.”
The little prince wants to know why the explorer has to be a good person.
The geographer says, “An explorer who is a bad person can give information which is not correct. And also an explorer who drinks very much can give bad information.”
“Why?” asks the little prince.
“Because drunk people don’t see correctly. Then the geographer can draw two mountains in a place where there is only one.”
“I know somebody,” says the little prince, “who drinks a lot. He can be a bad explorer.”
“It is possible. So when the explorer is a good person, then I have to check if his information is correct.”
“Do you visit the place?”
“No. It is too complicated. But the explorer has to give me proof. For example, if he knows about a big mountain, the explorer has to bring some stone from the mountain.”
Then the geographer smiles. “But you come from very far! You are an explorer! You must tell me about your planet!”
The geographer opens his big book. He prepares his pen.
“Tell me about your home,” says the geographer.
“Oh, where I live,” says the little prince,” it is not very interesting. It is very small. I have three volcanoes. Two volcanoes are active, and one volcano isn’t active. But you never know.”
“You never know,” says the geographer.
“I also have a flower.”
“We don’t write about flowers,” says the geographer.
“Why not? The flower is the most beautiful thing on my planet!”
“Because flowers don’t live very long. In geography we have very correct books. Our books are almost always true. A mountain usually doesn’t change its position. An ocean usually doesn’t lose its water. We write about things which are here for a long time.”
“But volcanoes which aren’t active can be active again,” says the little prince.
“If volcanoes are active or not, it is the same for us,” says the geographer. “A volcano is a mountain. It is important. A mountain doesn’t change. Your flower is different. Your flower can be gone soon.”
“My flower can be gone soon?”
“My flower can be gone soon,” thinks the little prince, “and she has only four thorns for protection! And she is home alone!”
The little prince is sad. But he wants to continue on his journey. “What is an interesting place to visit?” he asks.
“The planet Earth,” the geographer answers. “It is a nice planet.”
And the little prince continues on his way. He is still thinking about his flower.
CHAPTER 17 – EARTH
The seventh planet is the Earth. The Earth is a very big planet. There are a hundred and eleven kings on Earth. There are also seven thousand geographers, nine hundred thousand businessmen, seven and a half million drunk men, three hundred and eleven million men who need to be admired. Together two billion adults live on this planet.
The Earth is really big. I want to show you how big the planet is. I want to give you one example. Before electricity, four hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and eleven lamplighters work on Earth. These lamplighters have to turn on and turn off the lamps on six continents.
When you look at the Earth from some distance, you can see a beautiful show. The lamplighters are like the dancers in the opera. Their organization is perfect.
The lamplighters of New Zealand and Australia come first. They turn on their lamps. Then the lamplighters of China come, then the lamplighters of Russia and India, then the lamplighters of Africa and Europe, then the lamplighters of South America and of North America. And they never make a mistake. It is beautiful.
Only the lamplighter of one lamp at the North Pole, and his colleague at the South Pole, have easy lives. They work twice a year.
When I speak about the lamplighters, you can think that there are many people on Earth. Now I want to tell you more about people on Earth. People take very little space on Earth.
If the two billion people on Earth stand close together, they can all be in one square. The square is twenty miles long and twenty miles wide. You can put all people on a small island.
Of course, adults don’t believe this information. They think that they take a lot of space. They think that they are as important as the baobabs. But they can make their own calculation. They love numbers and they like to count.
But you don’t have to do it. It is not necessary. Believe me.
When the little prince comes on Earth, he is surprised. He is surprised because he doesn’t see any people.
He starts to think that he is on the wrong planet. But then he sees something in the sand.
“Good evening,” says the little prince.
“Good evening,” says the snake.
“What is this planet?” asks the little prince.
“It is the planet Earth. You are in Africa,” the snake says.
“Ah, are there no people on Earth?”
“This is the desert. There are no people in the desert,” says the snake.
The little prince sits down on a rock. He looks at the stars.
“Look at my planet,” the little prince says, “my planet is up there. But it is very far.”
“It is beautiful,” the snake says. “Why are you here?”
“I have some problems with a flower,” says the little prince.
“Ah!” says the snake. And he is quiet.
CHAPTER 18 – GARDEN
“Where are the people?” the little prince continues in the conversation with the snake after some time. “I feel alone in the desert.”
“You feel alone with people too,” says the snake.
The little prince looks at him for a long time. “You are a funny animal,” he says, “You are very slim.”
The snake says, “I am slim but I am stronger than a king.”
The little prince smiles, “You are not very strong. You don’t have legs. You can’t travel very far.”
“I can take you very far,” the snake says.
He turns around the little prince’s leg. “When I touch somebody, I can send the person back to the land from which he comes,” the snake says, “but you are a good person, and you come from a star.”
The snake continues, “You are so weak on this planet. I can help you one day if you want to go back to your planet. I can bite you. And you can travel very far.”
“Oh! I understand,” says the little prince.
The little prince says goodbye to the snake. Then he is walking in the desert. He meets a flower.
“Good morning,” says the little prince.
“Good morning,” says the flower.
“Where are the people?” the little prince asks.
“People?” I believe that six or seven people live on Earth. I see them sometimes in a caravan. But you never know where they are. The life is very difficult for them because they don’t have any roots. The wind takes them away.
“Goodbye,” says the little prince.
“Goodbye,” says the flower.
The little prince sees a high mountain. The only mountains which he knows are the three volcanoes which are as high as his knees.
He thinks, “From this high mountain, I can see the whole planet and all the people.”
He goes to the top of the mountain. But he only sees other mountains around.
“Hello,” he says.
“Hello, hello, hello,” the echo answers.
“Who are you?” asks the little prince.
“Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?” the echo answers.
“Let’s be friends, I am alone,” he says.
“I am alone, I am alone, I am alone,” the echo answers.
“This is a strange planet!” he thinks. “The planet is dry and hard. And people here only repeat what you say to them. On my planet I have a flower. She always speaks first.”
The little prince is walking for a long time through sand and rocks. Then he finally sees a road. And all roads go to people.
“Good morning,” says the little prince. He is standing before a garden full of roses.
“Good morning,” say the roses.
The little prince is looking at the roses. They all look like his flower. He is surprised.
“Who are you?” he asks.
“We are roses,” the roses say.
“Ah!” says the little prince. And he is very unhappy. His flower says that she is the only flower of her kind in the whole universe. And here are five thousand roses, all the same, in one garden!
He thinks, “So my rose is not very special. I have only a normal rose. So I have a normal rose and three volcanoes which are as high as my knees. It isn’t much. I think that I am not a great prince.”
And, he is lying in the grass and he is very sad.
CHAPTER 19 – FOX
Then the fox comes.
“Good morning,” says the fox.
“Good morning,” the little prince says. “Who are you? You are very pretty.”
“I am a fox,” says the fox.
“Play with me,” the little prince says, “I am very sad.”
“I can’t play with you. I am wild,” the fox says.
“Ah! I am sorry,” says the little prince. But after some time, he asks, “What is wild?”
“You are not from here,” says the fox. “What are you looking for?”
“I am looking for people,” says the little prince. “What is wild?”
“People,” says the fox, “have guns. They hunt. It is a problem for me. They also have chickens. I like chickens. Are you looking for chickens?”
“No,” says the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What is wild?”
“When I am wild, I am not connected to you and you are not connected to me.”
“You are not connected to me?”
“It is true,” the fox says. “For me you are only a little boy, like other little boys. And I don’t need you. And you don’t need me. For you I am only a fox like other foxes. But if I am not wild for you, you need me and I need you. You can be the only boy in the world for me. I can be the only fox in the world for you.”
“I start to understand,” the little prince says. “I have a flower. I think that she isn’t wild for me.”
“It is possible,” says the fox. “On Earth we can see many different things.”
“Oh, my flower is not on Earth,” the little prince says.
The fox asks, “On another planet?”
“Are there hunters on your planet?”
“It is interesting. And chickens?”
“Oh, nothing is perfect,” says the fox.
After some time, the fox says. “My life is always the same. I hunt chickens. Men hunt me. All the chickens are similar, and all the men are similar too. So, it is a little boring.
My life can be better if I am not wild for you. When I hear your steps, I can be happy. The other steps can scare me. But your steps are like music to me. And it is not all. Do you see the corn fields there? I don’t eat bread. For me corn is not important. The corn fields say nothing to me. And it is sad.
But you have golden hair. You hair is beautiful. The corn is also golden. When I see the corn, I remember you. When I hear the wind in the corn, I can be happy.”
The fox is quiet. The fox looks at the little prince for a long time. “Please, stay with me for some days!” the fox says.
“It can be nice to stay with you,” says the little prince. “But I don’t have much time. I want to find friends. I want to learn new things.”
“We only learn about things which are connected to us,” says the fox. “People don’t have time to learn. They buy things from shops. But because there are no shops where you can buy friends, people don’t have friends. If you want a friend, be connected to me!”
“OK, what do I have to do?” asks the little prince.
“You have to be very patient,” says the fox. “First, you have to help me not to be wild. You have to sit at a little distance from me in the grass. I can watch you with one eye and you say nothing. Words can be a problem sometimes. But every day you can sit a little closer.”
CHAPTER 20 – SECRET
The next day the little prince returns.
“It is better if you return at the same hour,” says the fox. “If you come, for example, at four in the afternoon, then at three I start to be happy. At three thirty I am more happy. At four I am very happy. I can show you how happy I am.
But if you come at different time, I don’t know when I can start to be happy. We need some rules.”
“Why do we need rules?” asks the little prince.
“The rules are important. They make one day different from other days. The rules make one hour different from other hours. For example, hunters have their rules too. They dance with the girls from the village every Thursday. So Thursday is a beautiful day. I can walk to the village with no problems. If the hunters dance on different days, I don’t know when it is holiday for me.
So the little prince spends some time with the fox every day. And when the hour of his departure is near, the fox says, “Ah! I’m sad. I want to cry.”
“It is your mistake,” says the little prince, “I don’t want to hurt you. But you want to be with me.”
“Yes, of course,” says the fox.
“But you cry!” says the little prince.
“Yes, of course,” says the fox.
“But then you get nothing!”
“I get something,” says the fox, “the colour of the corn helps me get something.”
Then the fox says, “Go and look again at the roses. You can understand now that your rose is special. Then come back to say goodbye to me. I have a present for you. The present is a secret.
The little prince goes to look at the roses again. He speaks to them.
“You are not like my rose,” the little prince says, “you are nothing to me at this moment. Nobody is connected to you and you are connected to nobody. You are like my fox on the first day, not connected to me. But the fox is my friend now, and the fox is special to me.”
Then he continues, “You are beautiful, but you are empty. Nobody wants to die for you. Of course, if somebody only walks around my rose, my rose is not special to this person. But my rose is more important to me than all the other roses because she is the rose who I give water. She is the rose who I put under the glass. She is my rose. I listen to her when she is not happy. And I listen to her when she is happy.”
The little prince returns to the fox.
“Goodbye,” he says.
“Goodbye,” says the fox. “Here is my secret. It is a simple secret. You see clearly only with the heart. What is important, eyes can’t see.”
“What is important, eyes can’t see,” repeats the little prince. He wants to remember this secret.
“The time which you spend with your rose makes your rose so important.”
“The time which I spend with my rose makes my rose so important,” says the little prince.
“People forget one truth,” says the fox. “But this truth is important. You are responsible for something what is connected to you. You are responsible for your rose.”
“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeats.
CHAPTER 21 – TRAINS
“Good morning,” says the little prince.
“Good morning,” says the man who works at the railway station.
“What do you do here?” the little prince asks.
“I change the direction of the trains,” says the man. “I send some trains to the right, some trains to the left.
And at that moment a train goes around very fast.
“They hurry,” says the little prince. “What are they looking for?”
“Nobody knows what they are looking for,” says the man.
And a second train goes around, in the opposite direction.
“Are they going back?” asks the little prince.
“They are not the same people,” says the man. “They are different people. They are coming back.”
“They are not happy where they are?”
“People are never happy where they are,” says the man.
And a third train goes around.
“Do they want to catch the first people?” asks the little prince.
“They don’t want to catch anybody,” says the man. “They are sleeping. Or they are looking outside the windows. Only the children are pressing their noses against the windows.”
“Only the children know what they are looking for,” says the little prince. “Children use their time to play with toys. And the toys start to be very important to them. And if somebody takes their toys, they cry.”
“Children are lucky,” the man says.
The little prince continues on his journey.
“Good morning,” says the little prince when he meets a businessman.
“Good morning,” says the businessman. He is a businessman who sells pills. The pills help people when they are thirsty. If you take one pill a week, you don’t have to drink.
“Why do you sell the pills?” asks the little prince.
“Because the pills save a lot of time,” says the businessman. “The pills can save fifty-three minutes a week.”
“And what do you do with the fifty-three minutes?”
“What I want.”
“When I have fifty-three minutes,” the little prince says, “I like to walk very slowly to a fountain.”
CHAPTER 22 – DESERT
It is now the eighth day after my accident in the desert. I listen to the story about the businessman and I am drinking my last water.
“Your stories are very nice,” I say to the little prince, “but my plane is still broken. I have nothing to drink. I also want to walk very slowly to a fountain.”
“My friend, the fox, says that…”
“My dear little man, this has nothing to do with the fox.”
“Because soon I am dead.”
But the little prince says, “It is good to have a friend. And if you can die soon, it is good to have a friend too. I am very happy that I have a fox as a friend.”
“He doesn’t see the danger,” I think. “He is never hungry or thirsty. He only needs a little sunshine.”
But he looks at me and maybe he knows what I am thinking because he says, “I am thirsty too. Let’s look for a well.”
It is crazy to look for a well in this big desert. But we start to walk.
We walk for many hours. Then the night comes. The stars start to shine. I see them as in a dream. I am very thirsty. The last words of the little prince dance in my head.
“So, you are thirsty, too?” I ask him.
But he doesn’t answer my question. He only says to me, “Water can also be good for the heart.”
I don’t understand his answer, but I say nothing. I already know that he doesn’t answer my questions. He is tired. He sits down. I sit down next to him.
After a quiet moment, the little prince speaks again, “The stars are beautiful because there is a flower on one of them.”
“Sure,” I say. Then I look at the sand. The sand is all around us. We see the sand in the light of the moon.
“The desert is beautiful,” he says.
It is true. I always love the desert. When I sit down on sand in the desert. I see nothing. I hear nothing. But something beats and something shines in the desert.
CHAPTER 23 – WELL
“The desert is beautiful,“ says the little prince, “because it hides a well somewhere.”
I agree with the little prince. When I am a little boy, we live in an old house. And people say a story about the house. The story says that the house has a treasure somewhere in the floor. Of course, nobody can find the treasure. Maybe, nobody is really looking for it. But this treasure makes the house special. My home is hiding a secret.
“Yes,” I say to the little prince, “what is beautiful, we can’t see!”
“I am happy,” he says, “that you agree with my fox.”
Then the little prince starts to sleep. I take him in my arms. I start to walk again.
I am full of emotions. I am holding the little prince. I feel that I am holding a great treasure. In the moonlight, I look at his white face, his closed eyes, his golden hair which moves in the wind. And I think, “What I see here is only a shell. What is most important, we don’t see.”
And when his mouth opens a little with a smile, I think again, “What is so beautiful about this little prince is his relationship with his flower. I can see a picture of a rose which shines from his heart when he sleeps.”
I feel that I have to protect this light. The wind can take the light away.
I continue to walk. And in the morning, I see the well.
The little prince wakes up and he says, “People get on their trains, but they don’t know what they are looking for. People run around. It is not necessary.”
The well is not like the wells of the Sahara. The wells of the Sahara are only holes in the sand. This well looks more like a village well. But there is no village here. And I think that I am in a dream.
“It is strange,” I say to the little prince, “everything is ready, the bucket, the rope.”
The little prince laughs. He takes the rope. And he lets the bucket go down the well. When the bucket is going down, we hear some interesting sound.
“Can you hear it?” says the little prince. “The well is singing.”
CHAPTER 24 – WATER
When the bucket is full of water, I say, “I can pull the bucket up. The bucket is very heavy for you.”
Slowly I pull the bucket up. I leave the bucket on top of the well. I am tired but happy. The song of the well is still in my ears. When I look at the bucket, I can see the sunshine in the water.
“I am thirsty,” says the little prince. “I want to drink this water now.”
I help him hold the bucket. He drinks with his eyes closed. It is nice. It is a special moment. The water isn’t only a drink. The water comes from our walk under the stars. It is made from the song of the well, from the work of our arms. It is good for the heart, like a present.
When I am a little boy, I like Christmas very much. It is a special time. I like the light of the Christmas tree, the Christmas music, the smiles of the people. All these things make the Christmas time and Christmas presents special.
“Where you live,” says the little prince, “the people have five thousand roses in one garden, but they don’t find what they are looking for. But what they are looking for, they can find in one rose or in a little water.”
“Yes, it is true,” I say.
And the little prince says, “But the eyes don’t see it. You have to look with the heart.”
I drink a lot of water. I feel well now. The sand at sunrise is the colour of honey. And that colour is making me happy, too. So I don’t understand why I feel so sad.
“Do you remember your promise?” says the little prince when he sits down next to me.
“You know, a fence which can protect my flower from my sheep. I am responsible for this flower.”
I take my pictures out of my pocket. The little prince looks at them. He laughs when he sees the baobabs.
“Your baobabs look like some vegetable.”
I am very proud of my baobabs.
“Your fox, his ears look like horns, and they are too long!”
And he laughs again.
“You are not fair, little prince,” I say, “I can’t draw. I can draw only snakes from the outside and snakes from the inside.”
“Oh, it is OK,” he says, “it is OK for children. The children understand.”
I draw a fence. And I give the fence to the little prince with a heavy heart.
“You have plans which I don’t know. Maybe something ends here.”
But he doesn’t answer me. He says to me, “You must work now. You must go back to your plane. I can wait here. Come back tomorrow.”
CHAPTER 25 – WALL
Next to the well there is an old wall. When I come back from my work the next evening, I see the little prince from some distance. He is sitting on top of the wall. He is talking to somebody.
He says. “This is not the right place.”
Some voice must say something to him because the little prince says, “Yes, yes, this is the right day, but it is not the right place.”
I continue my walk to the wall. I still can’t see or hear anybody. But the little prince says again, “Sure. You can follow my steps in the sand. You only have to follow me to that place. It can all happen tonight.
I am twenty meters from the wall and I still can’t see anything. The little prince speaks again, after a pause. “Do you have good poison? Are you sure that you can do it very quickly?”
I stop. My heart is beating strongly. But I still don’t understand the situation.
“Now go away,” says the little prince. “I want to go down from the wall”.
Then I look down at the sand under the wall. I am shocked.
There is a yellow snake there. It is a snake which can kill you in thirty seconds.
I want to take my revolver. But when I am trying to take it, I also make a step back. The snake hears it. He starts to move and he is quickly gone in the rocks. I still hear him but I don’t see him.
I come to the wall. I catch the little prince in my arms. His face is very white.
“What are you doing here?” I want to know. “Why are you talking with the snake?”
He looks at me. His eyes are sad. He puts his arms around my neck. I feel his heart. His heart is beating like the heart of a bird which is dying.
He says to me, “I am happy that your plane is OK. Now you can go home.”
“How do you know it?”
I am here because I want to tell him that my work is finished.
He doesn’t answer my question, but he says, “I can go back home today, too. It is very far. I need somebody’s help for my next journey.”
CHAPTER 26 – PRESENT
I know that something strange is happening. I am holding the little prince in my arms like a little child. But I feel that he is falling down into a big hole. And I know that I can’t help him.
His face is very serious now. He says, “I have the sheep. And I have the box for the sheep. And I have the fence.” And he smiles sadly.
I wait for a long time. I see that he is feeling a little better. Then I say, “Dear little man, you are scared.”
Yes, he is scared, but he laughs a little, “I am scared of tonight.”
It is difficult for me. I know that it is not possible to change what the little prince wants to do. I can’t imagine my life without the sound of the little prince’s laugh. For me, it is like a fountain in the desert.
“Little man,” I say, “I want to hear you laugh again.
But he says to me, “Tonight it is already a year. My star is exactly in the same place as last year.
“My little friend, is this only a bad dream? Is the meeting with the snake, the plan for tonight only a bad dream?”
But he doesn’t answer my question. He says to me, “What is important, we can’t see.”
“Yes, I know.”
“It is the same with the flower. If you love a flower which lives on a star, it is good to look at the sky at night. Then all the stars have flowers.”
“Yes, I know.”
“At night, you can watch the stars,” the little prince says. “My star is very small. I can’t show you where my star is. It is better if you don’t know. My star can be one of the many stars for you. So, when you look at the stars, they can all be your friends.
I have a present for you,” says the little prince and he laughs again.
“Ah, little prince, my little prince! I love to hear you laugh,” I say.
“This is my present, my laugh,” says the little prince.
CHAPTER 27 – BELLS
“I am not sure if I understand,” I say. “Your laugh is a present?”
“People look at stars, but the stars are not the same for everybody. For people who travel, the stars are guides. For other people the stars are nothing, only small lights in the sky. For scientists, they are problems. For my businessman, the stars are important because they make him rich. But all these stars are quiet stars. For you, it is different.
You have stars like nobody else. When you look at the sky at night, there is one star where I live. And because I laugh on one of these stars, you can feel that all stars are laughing. You have stars which laugh.” And he laughs again.
“When I leave,” the little prince continues, “you can be sad. But believe me, time can help you be less sad. Then you can be happy that you know me. You can always be my friend. You can always laugh with me.
And sometimes you can open your window only for fun. And your friends can see you how you laugh at the sky. You can tell them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And your friends can think that you are crazy. But it is OK.”
And he laughs again.
“And for you the stars can be like little bells which laugh.” And he laughs again.
Then he is serious again, “Tonight, don’t stay with me.”
“I don’t want to leave you,” I say.
“Tonight, it can look as if I feel pain. It can look as if I am dying. Don’t come to see it. It is not necessary.”
“I don’t want to leave you.”
But he says, “I also ask you not to come because the snake can bite you. Snakes are bad sometimes. Snakes can bite you only for fun.”
Then he says, “It is also true that snakes have no poison for the second bite.”
Then the comes. I don’t see the little prince leave. I don’t hear him when he goes away from me. When I catch him, he is walking fast.
He only says to me, “Ah! You are here.” And he takes my hand. But he is not happy.
“It is wrong that you are here. It is not good for you. It can look as if I am dead. But I am not dead.”
I am quiet.
“You must understand. My star is too far. I can’t take this body with me. It is too heavy.”
I am quiet.
“When you see only an empty shell, don’t be sad. There is nothing sad about empty shells.”
I am quiet.
He tries to explain it again. He says, “This night can be very nice for me. All the stars can be wells with a rope and a bucket. All the stars can have water for me.”
I am quiet.
“It is great fun! You can have five hundred million little bells. And I can have five hundred million fountains.”
And he is quiet too because he is crying.
CHAPTER 28 – DEPARTURE
“Here is the place. Let me continue alone,” says the little prince.
And he sits down because he is scared.
Then he says, “My flower is on my planet. I am responsible for her. And she is so weak! She has only four thorns which can’t protect her enough.”
I sit down too because I can’t stand.
“It is all,” he says.
He waits for some time. Then he stands up. He takes one step. I can’t move.
I see something yellow which moves quickly near his leg. He doesn’t move for a moment. He doesn’t cry. Then he falls slowly as a tree falls.
Now it is six years after the little prince’s departure. This is the first time when I tell this story. When I return, the people are happy when they see me. I am sad because the little prince is gone. But I say to the people that I am not sad, that I am only tired.
Now I am not so sad. I know that the little prince is on his planet because I don’t find his body at sunrise.
And at night, I love to listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells.
But here is something interesting. The fence for the sheep is not very big.
So sometimes I think, “What is happening on his planet? If the sheep jumps over the fence, the sheep can eat the flower.”
But sometimes I think, “Of course not. The little prince puts his flower under the glass every night and he watches his sheep well.”
Then I am happy. And all the stars laugh a little.
Sometimes I think, “Everybody can forget sometimes. Everybody can forget to put the glass over the flower in the evening. And the sheep can come to the flower in the night and…” Then the bells change to tears.
For some people it is not important. But for you who also love the little prince and for me, these things are important.
So, look up at the sky. And ask the question, “Is the flower still on the little prince’s planet?” And you can see how everything changes.
And adults can never understand that this is so important.
For me, this is a very beautiful and also very sad land. I want to make another picture of this land. It is the same as the picture before, but I want to draw the land again. I want to remember the land better. It is the land where I say goodbye to the little prince.
Look at this picture carefully because you can come to this place one day when you travel in Africa, in the desert. And, if you really come to this place, please don’t hurry. Wait for a little moment.
Then if a little man comes, if he laughs, if he has golden hair and he doesn’t answer your questions, you know who he is. If this happens, please write to me quickly that the little prince is back.