Chapter 21 (The little prince and the fox)
It was then that the fox appeared.
"Good morning," said the fox.
"Good morning," the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing."I am right here," the voice said, "under the apple tree."
"Who are you?" asked the little prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at." "I am a fox," the fox said.
"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."
"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince. But, after some thought, he added:"What does that mean--'tame'?"
"You do not live here," said the fox. "What is it that you are looking for?"
"I am looking for men," said the little prince. "What does that mean--'tame'?"
"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?" "No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends.”
“What does that mean--'tame'?" "It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties." "To establish ties'?" "Just that," said the fox.
"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part,have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."
"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . ."
"It is possible," said the fox. "On the Earth one sees all sorts of things."
"Oh, but this is not on the Earth!" said the little prince. The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious."On another planet?" "Yes." "Are there hunters on that planet?" "No.""Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?" "No." "Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.
But he came back to his idea.
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ." The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please--tame me!" he said."I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."
"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . ."
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince. "You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me,every day . . .”
The next day the little prince came back. "It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just anytime, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . ."
"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.
"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vine yards. But if the hunters danced at just any time,every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”
So the little prince tamed the fox.
And when the hour of his departure drew near--"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry." "It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ." "Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince. "Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."
The little prince went away, to look again at the roses."You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world."
And the roses were very much embarassed. "You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passer by would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because itis she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose. And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
Chapter 25 (The pilot and the little prince)
"Ah," I said to him, "I am a little frightened--"
But he interrupted me. "Now you must work. You must return to your engine. I will be waiting for you here. Come back tomorrow evening . . ."
But I was not reassured. I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed . . .”
Chapter 27 (The pilot and the little prince)
Then, sadly-- "It is much farther . . . It is much more difficult . . ."
I realized clearly that something extraordinary was happening. I was holding him close in my arms as if he were a little child; and yet it seemed to me that he was rushing head long toward an abyss from which I could do nothing to restrain him . . .
His look was very serious, like some one lost far away. "I have your sheep. And I have the sheep's box. And I have the muzzle . . ."
And he gave me a sad smile.I waited a long time. I could see that he was reviving little by little.
"Dear little man," I said to him, "you are afraid . . ." He was afraid, there was no doubt about that.
But he laughed lightly."I shall be much more afraid this evening . . ."
Once again I felt myself frozen by the sense of something irreparable. And I knew that I could not bear the thought of never hearing that laughter any more. For me, it was like aspring of fresh water in the desert.
"Little man," I said, "I want to hear you laugh again."
But he said to me: "Tonight, it will be a year . . . My star, then, can be found right above the place where I came to the Earth, a year ago . . ."
"Little man," I said, "tell me that it is only a bad dream--this affair of the snake, and the meeting-place, and the star . . ." But he did not answer my plea.
He said to me, instead: "The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen"
"Yes, I know . . ."
"It is just as it is with the flower. If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night. All the stars are a-bloom with flowers . . ."
"Yes, I know . . ."
"It is just as it is with the water. Because of the pulley, and the rope, what you gave me to drink was like music. You remember--how good it was."
"Yes, I know . . ."
"And at night you will look up at the stars. Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found. It is better, like that. My star will just be one of the stars, for you. And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens . . . they will all be your friends. And, besides, I am going to make you a present . . ." He laughed again.
"Ah, little prince, dear little prince! I love to hear that laughter!"
"That is my present. Just that. It will be as it was when we drank the water . . ."
"What are you trying to say?"
"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my business man they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You--you alone--will have the stars as no one else has them--"
"What are you trying to say?"
"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night . . . You--only you—will have stars that can laugh!"And he laughed again.
"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them,'Yes, the stars always make me laugh!' And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you . . ." And he laughed again.
"It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh . . ."And he laughed again.
Then he quickly became serious: "Tonight--you know . . . Do not come."
"I shall not leave you," I said.
"I shall look as if I were suffering. I shall look a little as if I were dying. It is like that.Do not come to see that. It is not worth the trouble . . ."
"I shall not leave you."
But he was worried."I tell you--it is also because of the snake. He must not bite you. Snakes--they are malicious creatures. This one might bite you just for fun . . ."
"I shall not leave you." But a thought came to reassure him: "It is true that they have no more poison for a second bite. "
That night I did not see him set out on his way. He got away from me without making a sound. When I succeeded in catching up with him he was walking along with a quick and resolute step.
He said to me merely: "Ah! You are there . . ."And he took me by the hand.
But he was still worrying."It was wrong of you to come. You will suffer. I shall look as if I were dead; and that will not be true . . ."
I said nothing.
"You understand . . . it is too far. I cannot carry this body with me. It is too heavy."
I said nothing.
"But it will be like an old abandoned shell. There is nothing sad about old shells . . ."
I said nothing.
He was a little discouraged. But he made one more effort: "You know, it will be very nice. I, too, shall look at the stars. All the stars will be wells with a rusty pulley. All the stars will pour out fresh water for me to drink . . ."
I said nothing.
"That will be so amusing! You will have five hundred million little bells, and I shall have five hundred million springs of fresh water . . .”
And he too said nothing more, because he was crying . . .
"Here it is. Let me go on by myself." And he sat down, because he was afraid. Then he said, again: "You know--my flower . . . I am responsible for her. And she is so weak! She is so naive! She has four thorns, of no use at all, to protect herself against all the world . . ."
I too sat down, because I was not able to stand up any longer.
"There now--that is all . . ."
He still hesitated a little; then he got up. He took one step. I could not move. There was nothing but a flash of yellow close to his ankle. He remained motionless for an instant. He did not cry out. He fell as gently as a tree falls.
There was not even any sound, because of the sand.
( Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry )
I love the little prince, it's so true... And I'm drowning into tears, right now..