Little Prince(《小王子》英文版)

Little Prince(《小王子》英文版)
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  Written By Antoine de Saiot-Exupery (1900~1944)

  Little Prince(《小王子》英文版) -1

   

  Preface

   

  To Leon Werth

  ask the indulgence of the children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up. I have a serious reason: he is the best friend I have in the world. I have another reason: this grown-up understands everything, even books about children. I have a third reason: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold. He needs cheering up. If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate the book to the child from whom this grown-up grew. All grown-ups were once children– although few of them remember it. And so I correct my dedication:

  To Leon Werth

  when he was a little boy

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 1 ]

  - we are introduced to the narrator, a pilot, and his ideas about grown-ups

   

   

  Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal. Here is a copy of the drawing.

  In the book it said: "Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion."

  I pondered deeply, then, over the adventures of the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing. My Drawing Number One. It looked like this:

   

   

  I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.

  But they answered: "Frighten? Why should any one be frightened by a hat?"

  My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained. My Drawing Number Two looked like this:

   

   

  The grown-ups‘ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

  So then I chose another profession, and learned to pilot airplanes. I have flown a little over all parts of the world; and it is true that geography has been very useful to me. At a glance I can distinguish China from Arizona. If one gets lost in the night, such knowledge is valuable.

  In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence. I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn‘t much improved my opinion of them.

  Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted, I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept. I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding. But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say:"That is a hat."

  Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars. I would bring myself down to his level. I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties. And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 2 ]

  - the narrator crashes in the desert and makes the acquaintance of the little prince

  So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to, until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six years ago. Something was broken in my engine. And as I had with me neither a mechanic nor any passengers, I set myself to attempt the difficult repairs all alone. It was a question of life or death for me: I had scarcely enough drinking water to last a week.

  The first night, then, I went to sleep on the sand, a thousand miles from any human habitation. I was more isolated than a shipwrecked sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Thus you can imagine my amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It said:

  "If you please– draw me a sheep!"

  "What!"

  "Draw me a sheep!"

  I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard. I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness. Here you may see the best potrait that, later, I was able to make of him. But my drawing is certainly very much less charming than its model.

   

   

  That, however, is not my fault. The grown-ups discouraged me in my painter‘s career when I was six years old, and I never learned to draw anything, except boas from the outside and boas from the inside.

  Now I stared at this sudden apparition with my eyes fairly starting out of my head in astonishment. Remember, I had crashed in the desert a thousand miles from any inhabited region. And yet my little man seemed neither to be straying uncertainly among the sands, nor to be fainting from fatigue or hunger or thirst or fear. Nothing about him gave any suggestion of a child lost in the middle of the desert, a thousand miles from any human habitation. When at last I was able to speak, I said to him: "But– what are you doing here?"

  And in answer he repeated, very slowly, as if he were speaking of a matter of great consequence: "If you please– draw me a sheep…"

  When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. Absurd as it might seem to me, a thousand miles from any human habitation and in danger of death, I took out of my pocket a sheet of paper and my fountain-pen. But then I remembered how my studies had been concentrated on geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar, and I told the little chap (a little crossly, too) that I did not know how to draw. He answered me:"That doesn‘t matter. Draw me a sheep…"

  But I had never drawn a sheep. So I drew for him one of the two pictures I had drawn so often. It was that of the boa constrictor from the outside. And I was astounded to hear the little fellow greet it with, "No, no, no! I do not want an elephant inside a boa constrictor. A boa constrictor is a very dangerous creature, and an elephant is very cumbersome. Where I live, everything is very small. What I need is a sheep. Draw me a sheep."

  So then I made a drawing.

   

   

  He looked at it carefully, then he said: "No. This sheep is already very sickly. Make me another."

  So I made another drawing.

   

   

  My friend smiled gently and indulgenty. "You see yourself," he said, "that this is not a sheep. This is a ram. It has horns."

  So then I did my drawing over once more.

   

   

  But it was rejected too, just like the others. "This one is too old. I want a sheep that will live a long time."

  By this time my patience was exhausted, because I was in a hurry to start taking my engine apart. So I tossed off this drawing.

   

   

  And I threw out an explanation with it.

  "This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside."

  I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my young judge:

  "That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this sheep will have to have a great deal of grass?"

  "Why?"

  "Because where I live everything is very small…"

  "There will surely be enough grass for him," I said. "It is a very small sheep that I have given you."

  He bent his head over the drawing:

  "Not so small that– Look! He has gone to sleep…"

  And that is how I made the acquaintance of the little prince.

   

   

  [ Chapter 3 ]

  - the narrator learns more about from where the little prince came

  It took me a long time to learn where he came from. The little prince, who asked me so many questions, never seemed to hear the ones I asked him. It was from words dropped by chance that, little by little, everything was revealed to me.

  The first time he saw my airplane, for instance (I shall not draw my airplane; that would be much too complicated for me), he asked me: "What is that object?"

  "That is not an object. It flies. It is an airplane. It is my airplane." And I was proud to have him learn that I could fly.

  He cried out, then: "What! You dropped down from the sky?"

  "Yes," I answered, modestly.

  "Oh! That is funny!"

  And the little prince broke into a lovely peal of laughter, which irritated me very much. I like my misfortunes to be taken seriously.

  Then he added: "So you, too, come from the sky! Which is your planet?"

  At that moment I caught a gleam of light in the impenetrable mystery of his presence; and I demanded, abruptly: "Do you come from another planet?"

  But he did not reply. He tossed his head gently, without taking his eyes from my plane: "It is true that on that you can‘t have come from very far away…"

  And he sank into a reverie, which lasted a long time. Then, taking my sheep out of his pocket, he buried himself in the contemplation of his treasure.

  You can imagine how my curiosity was aroused by this half-confidence about the "other planets." I made a great effort, therefore, to find out more on this subject.

  "My little man, where do you come from? What is this ‘where I live,‘ of which you speak? Where do you want to take your sheep?"

  After a reflective silence he answered: "The thing that is so good about the box you have given me is that at night he can use it as his house."

  "That is so. And if you are good I will give you a string, too, so that you can tie him during the day, and a post to tie him to."

  But the little prince seemed shocked by this offer: "Tie him! What a queer idea!"

  "But if you don‘t tie him," I said, "he will wander off somewhere, and get lost."

  My friend broke into another peal of laughter: "But where do you think he would go?"

  "Anywhere. Straight ahead of him."

  Then the little prince said, earnestly: "That doesn‘t matter. Where I live, everything is so small!"

  And, with perhaps a hint of sadness, he added: "Straight ahead of him, nobody can go very far…"

   

   

  [ Chapter 4 ]

  - the narrator speculates as to which asteroid from which the little prince came

   

   

  I had thus learned a second fact of great importance: this was that the planet the little prince came from was scarcely any larger than a house!

  But that did not really surprise me much. I knew very well that in addition to the great planets– such as the Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus– to which we have given names, there are also hundreds of others, some of which are so small that one has a hard time seeing them through the telescope. When an astronomer discovers one of these he does not give it a name, but only a number. He might call it, for example, "Asteroid 325."

   

   

  I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612. This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope. That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909.

   

   

  On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration. But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said.

  Grown-ups are like that…

   

   

  Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume. So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance. And this time everybody accepted his report.

  If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

  If you were to say to the grown-ups: "I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof," they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: "I saw a house that cost $20,000." Then they would exclaim: "Oh, what a pretty house that is!"

  Just so, you might say to them: "The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists." And what good would it do to tell them that? They would shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child. But if you said to them: "The planet he came from is Asteroid B-612," then they would be convinced, and leave you in peace from their questions.

  They are like that. One must not hold it against them. Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.

  But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference. I should have liked to begin this story in the fashion of the fairy-tales. I should have like to say: "Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet that was scarcely any bigger than himself, and who had need of a sheep…"

  To those who understand life, that would have given a much greater air of truth to my story.

  For I do not want any one to read my book carelessly. I have suffered too much grief in setting down these memories. Six years have already passed since my friend went away from me, with his sheep. If I try to describe him here, it is to make sure that I shall not forget him. To forget a friend is sad. Not every one has had a friend. And if I forget him, I may become like the grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but figures…

  It is for that purpose, again, that I have bought a box of paints and some pencils. It is hard to take up drawing again at my age, when I have never made any pictures except those of the boa constrictor from the outside and the boa constrictor from the inside, since I was six. I shall certainly try to make my portraits as true to life as possible. But I am not at all sure of success. One drawing goes along all right, and another has no resemblance to its subject. I make some errors, too, in the littl e prince‘s height: in one place he is too tall and in another too short. And I feel some doubts about the color of his costume. So I fumble along as best I can, now good, now bad, and I hope generally fair-to-middling.

  In certain more important details I shall make mistakes, also. But that is something that will not be my fault. My friend never explained anything to me. He thought, perhaps, that I was like himself. But I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through t he walls of boxes. Perhaps I am a little like the grown-ups. I have had to grow old.

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 5 ]

  - we are warned as to the dangers of the baobabs

  As each day passed I would learn, in our talk, something about the little prince‘s planet, his departure from it, his journey. The information would come very slowly, as it might chance to fall from his thoughts. It was in this way that I heard, on the third day, about the catastrophe of the baobabs.

  This time, once more, I had the sheep to thank for it. For the little prince asked me abruptly– as if seized by a grave doubt– "It is true, isn‘t it, that sheep eat little bushes?"

  "Yes, that is true."

  "Ah! I am glad!"

  I did not understand why it was so important that sheep should eat little bushes. But the little prince added:

  "Then it follows that they also eat baobabs?"

  I pointed out to the little prince that baobabs were not little bushes, but, on the contrary, trees as big as castles; and that even if he took a whole herd of elephants away with him, the herd would not eat up one single baobab.

   

   

  The idea of the herd of elephants made the little prince laugh.

  "We would have to put them one on top of the other," he said.

  But he made a wise comment:

  "Before they grow so big, the baobabs start out by being little."

  "That is strictly correct," I said. "But why do you want the sheep to eat the little baobabs?"

  He answered me at once, "Oh, come, come!", as if he were speaking of something that was self-evident. And I was obliged to make a great mental effort to solve this problem, without any assistance.

  Indeed, as I learned, there were on the planet where the little prince lived– as on all planets– good plants and bad plants. In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth‘s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin– timidly at first– to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.

  Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of that planet was infested with them. A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces…

   

   

  "It is a question of discipline," the little prince said to me later on. "When you‘ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rosebushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work," the little prince added, "but very easy."

  And one day he said to me: "You ought to make a beautiful drawing, so that the children where you live can see exactly how all this is. That would be very useful to them if they were to travel some day. Sometimes," he added, "there is no harm in putting off a piece of work until another day. But when it is a matter of baobabs, that always means a catastrophe. I knew a planet that was inhabited by a lazy man. He neglected three little bushes…"

   

   

  So, as the little prince described it to me, I have made a drawing of that planet. I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood, and such considerable risks would be run by anyone who might get lost on an asteroid, that for once I am breaking through my reserve. "Children," I say plainly, "watch out for the baobabs!"

  My friends, like myself, have been skirting this danger for a long time, without ever knowing it; and so it is for them that I have worked so hard over this drawing. The lesson which I pass on by this means is worth all the trouble it has cost me.

  Perhaps you will ask me, "Why are there no other drawing in this book as magnificent and impressive as this drawing of the baobabs?"

  The reply is simple. I have tried. But with the others I have not been successful. When I made the drawing of the baobabs I was carried beyond myself by the inspiring force of urgent necessity.

   

   

  [ Chapter 6 ]

  - the little prince and the narrator talk about sunsets

  Oh, little prince! Bit by bit I came to understand the secrets of your sad little life… For a long time you had found your only entertainment in the quiet pleasure of looking at the sunset. I learned that new detail on the morning of the fourth day, when you said to me: "I am very fond of sunsets. Come, let us go look at a sunset now."

  "But we must wait," I said.

  "Wait? For what?"

  "For the sunset. We must wait until it is time."

  At first you seemed to be very much surprised. And then you laughed to yourself. You said to me:

  "I am always thinking that I am at home!"

  Just so. Everybody knows that when it is noon in the United States the sun is setting over France.

   

   

  If you could fly to France in one minute, you could go straight into the sunset, right from noon. Unfortunately, France is too far away for that. But on your tiny planet, my little prince, all you need do is move your chair a few steps. You can see the day end and the twilight falling whenever you like…

  "One day," you said to me, "I saw the sunset forty-four times!"

  And a little later you added:

  "You know– one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…"

  "Were you so sad, then?" I asked, "on the day of the forty-four sunsets?"

  But the little prince made no reply.

   

   

  [ Chapter 7 ]

  - the narrator learns about the secret of the little prince‘s life

  On the fifth day– again, as always, it was thanks to the sheep– the secret of the little prince‘s life was revealed to me. Abruptly, without anything to lead up to it, and as if the question had been born of long and silent meditation on his problem, he demanded:

  "A sheep– if it eats little bushes, does it eat flowers, too?"

  "A sheep," I answered, "eats anything it finds in its reach."

  "Even flowers that have thorns?"

  "Yes, even flowers that have thorns."

  "Then the thorns– what use are they?"

  I did not know. At that moment I was very busy trying to unscrew a bolt that had got stuck in my engine. I was very much worried, for it was becoming clear to me that the breakdown of my plane was extremely serious. And I had so little drinking-water left that I had to fear for the worst.

  "The thorns– what use are they?"

  The little prince never let go of a question, once he had asked it. As for me, I was upset over that bolt. And I answered with the first thing that came into my head:

  "The thorns are of no use at all. Flowers have thorns just for spite!"

  "Oh!"

  There was a moment of complete silence. Then the little prince flashed back at me, with a kind of resentfulness:

  "I don‘t believe you! Flowers are weak creatures. They are name. They reassure themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons…"

  I did not answer. At that instant I was saying to myself: "If this bolt still won‘t turn, I am going to knock it out with the hammer." Again the little prince disturbed my thoughts.

  "And you actually believe that the flowers–"

  "Oh, no!" I cried. "No, no no! I don‘t believe anything. I answered you with the first thing that came into my head. Don‘t you see– I am very busy with matters of consequence!"

  He stared at me, thunderstruck.

  "Matters of consequence!"

  He looked at me there, with my hammer in my hand, my fingers black with engine-grease, bending down over an object which seemed to him extremely ugly…

  "You talk just like the grown-ups!"

  That made me a little ashamed. But he went on, relentlessly:

  "You mix everything up together… You confuse everything…"

  He was really very angry. He tossed his golden curls in the breeze.

  "I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman. He has never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved any one. He has never done anything in his life but add up figures. And all day he says over and over, just like you: ‘I am busy with matters of consequence!‘ And that makes him swell up with pride. But he is not a man– he is a mushroom!"

  "A what?"

  "A mushroom!"

  The little prince was now white with rage.

  "The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years. For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same. And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them? Is the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important? Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman‘s sums? And if I know– I, myself– one flower which is unique in the world, which grows nowhere but on my planet, but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning, without even noticing what he is doing– Oh! You think that is not important!"

  His face turned from white to red as he continued:

  "If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, ‘Somewhere, my flower is there…‘ But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened… And you think that is not important!"

  He could not say anything more. His words were choked by sobbing.

   

   

  The night had fallen. I had let my tools drop from my hands. Of what moment now was my hammer, my bolt, or thirst, or death? On one star, one planet, my planet, the Earth, there was a little prince to be comforted. I took him in my arms, and rocked him. I said to him:

  "The flower that you love is not in danger. I will draw you a muzzle for your sheep. I will draw you a railing to put around your flower. I will–"

  I did not know what to say to him. I felt awkward and blundering. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more.

  It is such a secret place, the land of tears.

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 8 ]

  - the rose arrives at the little prince‘s planet

  I soon learned to know this flower better. On the little prince‘s planet the flowers had always been very simple. They had only one ring of petals; they took up no room at all; they were a trouble to nobody. One morning they would appear in the grass, and by night they would have faded peacefully away. But one day, from a seed blown from no one knew where, a new flower had come up; and the little prince had watched very closely over this small sprout which was not like any other small sprouts on his planet. It might, you see, have been a new kind of baobab.

  The shrub soon stopped growing, and began to get ready to produce a flower. The little prince, who was present at the first appearance of a huge bud, felt at once that some sort of miraculous apparition must emerge from it. But the flower was not satisfied to complete the preparations for her beauty in the shelter of her green chamber. She chose her colours with the greatest care. She adjusted her petals one by one. She did not wish to go out into the world all rumpled, like the field poppies. It was only in the full radiance of her beauty that she wished to appear. Oh, yes! She was a coquettish creature! And her mysterious adornment lasted for days and days.

   

   

  Then one morning, exactly at sunrise, she suddenly showed herself.

  And, after working with all this painstaking precision, she yawned and said:

  "Ah! I am scarcely awake. I beg that you will excuse me. My petals are still all disarranged…"

  But the little prince could not restrain his admiration:

  "Oh! How beautiful you are!"

  "Am I not?" the flower responded, sweetly. "And I was born at the same moment as the sun…"

  The little prince could guess easily enough that she was not any too modest– but how moving– and exciting– she was!

  "I think it is time for breakfast," she added an instant later. "If you would have the kindness to think of my needs–"

  And the little prince, completely abashed, went to look for a sprinkling-can of fresh water. So, he tended the flower.

   

   

  So, too, she began very quickly to torment him with her vanity– which was, if the truth be known, a little difficult to deal with. One day, for instance, when she was speaking of her four thorns, she said to the little prince:

  "Let the tigers come with their claws!"

  "There are no tigers on my planet," the little prince objected. "And, anyway, tigers do not eat weeds."

   

   

  "I am not a weed," the flower replied, sweetly.

  "Please excuse me…"

  "I am not at all afraid of tigers," she went on, "but I have a horror of drafts. I suppose you wouldn‘t have a screen for me?"

  "A horror of drafts– that is bad luck, for a plant," remarked the little prince, and added to himself, "This flower is a very complex creature…"

  "At night I want you to put me under a glass globe. It is very cold where you live. In the place I came from–"

   

   

  But she interrupted herself at that point. She had come in the form of a seed. She could not have known anything of any other worlds. Embarassed over having let herself be caught on the verge of such a na飗e untruth, she coughed two or three times, in order to put the little prince in the wrong.

  "The screen?"

  "I was just going to look for it when you spoke to me…"

  Then she forced her cough a little more so that he should suffer from remorse just the same.

  So the little prince, in spite of all the good will that was inseparable from his love, had soon come to doubt her. He had taken seriously words which were without importance, and it made him very unhappy.

  "I ought not to have listened to her," he confided to me one day. "One never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace. This tale of claws, which disturbed me so much, should only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity."

  And he continued his confidences:

  "The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little strategems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…"

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 9 ]

  - the little prince leaves his planet

  I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds. On the morning of his departure he put his planet in perfect order. He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. He possessed two active volcanoes; and they were very convenient for heating his breakfast in the morning. He also had one volcano that was extinct. But, as he said, "One never knows!" So he cleaned out the extinct volcano, too. If they are well cleaned out, volcanoes burn slowly and steadily, without any eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are like fires in a chimney.

  On our earth we are obviously much too small to clean out our volcanoes. That is why they bring no end of trouble upon us.

   

   

  The little prince also pulled up, with a certain sense of dejection, the last little shoots of the baobabs. He believed that he would never want to return. But on this last morning all these familiar tasks seemed very precious to him. And when he watered the flower for the last time, and prepared to place her under the shelter of her glass globe, he realised that he was very close to tears.

  "Goodbye," he said to the flower.

  But she made no answer.

  "Goodbye," he said again.

  The flower coughed. But it was not because she had a cold.

  "I have been silly," she said to him, at last. "I ask your forgiveness. Try to be happy…"

  He was surprised by this absence of reproaches. He stood there all bewildered, the glass globe held arrested in mid-air. He did not understand this quiet sweetness.

  "Of course I love you," the flower said to him. "It is my fault that you have not known it all the while. That is of no importance. But you– you have been just as foolish as I. Try to be happy… let the glass globe be. I don‘t want it any more."

  "But the wind–"

  "My cold is not so bad as all that… the cool night air will do me good. I am a flower."

  "But the animals–"

  "Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful. And if not the butterflies– and the caterpillars– who will call upon me? You will be far away… as for the large animals– I am not at all afraid of any of them. I have my claws."

  And, na飗ely, she showed her four thorns. Then she added:

  "Don‘t linger like this. You have decided to go away. Now go!"

  For she did not want him to see her crying. She was such a proud flower…

   

   

  [ Chapter 10 ]

  - the little prince visits the king

  He found himself in the neighborhood of the asteroids 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, and 330. He began, therefore, by visiting them, in order to add to his knowledge.

  The first of them was inhabited by a king. Clad in royal purple and ermine, he was seated upon a throne which was at the same time both simple and majestic.

  "Ah! Here is a subject," exclaimed the king, when he saw the little prince coming.

  And the little prince asked himself:

  "How could he recognize me when he had never seen me before?"

  He did not know how the world is simplified for kings. To them, all men are subjects.

  "Approach, so that I may see you better," said the king, who felt consumingly proud of being at last a king over somebody.

  The little prince looked everywhere to find a place to sit down; but the entire planet was crammed and obstructed by the king‘s magnificent ermine robe. So he remained standing upright, and, since he was tired, he yawned.

  "It is contrary to etiquette to yawn in the presence of a king," the monarch said to him. "I forbid you to do so."

  "I can‘t help it. I can‘t stop myself," replied the little prince, thoroughly embarrassed. "I have come on a long journey, and I have had no sleep…"

  "Ah, then," the king said. "I order you to yawn. It is years since I have seen anyone yawning. Yawns, to me, are objects of curiosity. Come, now! Yawn again! It is an order."

  "That frightens me… I cannot, any more…" murmured the little prince, now completely abashed.

  "Hum! Hum!" replied the king. "Then I– I order you sometimes to yawn and sometimes to–"

  He sputtered a little, and seemed vexed.

  For what the king fundamentally insisted upon was that his authority should be respected. He tolerated no disobedience. He was an absolute monarch. But, because he was a very good man, he made his orders reasonable.

  "If I ordered a general," he would say, by way of example, "if I ordered a general to change himself into a sea bird, and if the general did not obey me, that would not be the fault of the general. It would be my fault."

  "May I sit down?" came now a timid inquiry from the little prince.

  "I order you to do so," the king answered him, and majestically gathered in a fold of his ermine mantle.

   

   

  But the little prince was wondering… The planet was tiny. Over what could this king really rule?

  "Sire," he said to him, "I beg that you will excuse my asking you a question–"

  "I order you to ask me a question," the king hastened to assure him.

  "Sire– over what do you rule?"

  "Over everything," said the king, with magnificent simplicity.

  "Over everything?"

  The king made a gesture, which took in his planet, the other planets, and all the stars.

  "Over all that?" asked the little prince.

  "Over all that," the king answered.

  For his rule was not only absolute: it was also universal.

  "And the stars obey you?"

  "Certainly they do," the king said. "They obey instantly. I do not permit insubordination."

  Such power was a thing for the little prince to marvel at. If he had been master of such complete authority, he would have been able to watch the sunset, not forty-four times in one day, but seventy-two, or even a hundred, or even two hundred times, with out ever having to move his chair. And because he felt a bit sad as he remembered his little planet which he had forsaken, he plucked up his courage to ask the king a favor:

  "I should like to see a sunset… do me that kindness… Order the sun to set…"

  "If I ordered a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a tragic drama, or to change himself into a sea bird, and if the general did not carry out the order that he had received, which one of us would be in the wrong?" the king demanded. "The general, or myself?"

  "You," said the little prince firmly.

  "Exactly. One much require from each one the duty which each one can perform," the king went on. "Accepted authority rests first of all on reason. If you ordered your people to go and throw themselves into the sea, they would rise up in revolution. I have the right to require obedience because my orders are reasonable."

  "Then my sunset?" the little prince reminded him: for he never forgot a question once he had asked it.

  "You shall have your sunset. I shall command it. But, according to my science of government, I shall wait until conditions are favorable."

  "When will that be?" inquired the little prince.

  "Hum! Hum!" replied the king; and before saying anything else he consulted a bulky almanac. "Hum! Hum! That will be about– about– that will be this evening about twenty minutes to eight. And you will see how well I am obeyed."

  The little prince yawned. He was regretting his lost sunset. And then, too, he was already beginning to be a little bored.

  "I have nothing more to do here," he said to the king. "So I shall set out on my way again."

  "Do not go," said the king, who was very proud of having a subject. "Do not go. I will make you a Minister!"

  "Minister of what?"

  "Minster of– of Justice!"

  "But there is nobody here to judge!"

  "We do not know that," the king said to him. "I have not yet made a complete tour of my kingdom. I am very old. There is no room here for a carriage. And it tires me to walk."

  "Oh, but I have looked already!" said the little prince, turning around to give one more glance to the other side of the planet. On that side, as on this, there was nobody at all…

  "Then you shall judge yourself," the king answered. "that is the most difficult thing of all. It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom."

  "Yes," said the little prince, "but I can judge myself anywhere. I do not need to live on this planet.

  "Hum! Hum!" said the king. "I have good reason to believe that somewhere on my planet there is an old rat. I hear him at night. You can judge this old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. Thus his life will depend on your justice. But you will pardon him on each occasion; for he must be treated thriftily. He is the only one we have."

  "I," replied the little prince, "do not like to condemn anyone to death. And now I think I will go on my way."

  "No," said the king.

  But the little prince, having now completed his preparations for departure, had no wish to grieve the old monarch.

  "If Your Majesty wishes to be promptly obeyed," he said, "he should be able to give me a reasonable order. He should be able, for example, to order me to be gone by the end of one minute. It seems to me that conditions are favorable…"

  As the king made no answer, the little prince hesitated a moment. Then, with a sigh, he took his leave.

  "I made you my Ambassador," the king called out, hastily.

  He had a magnificent air of authority.

  "The grown-ups are very strange," the little prince said to himself, as he continued on his journey.

   

   

  [ Chapter 11 ]

  - the little prince visits the conceited man

  The second planet was inhabited by a conceited man.

  "Ah! Ah! I am about to receive a visit from an admirer!" he exclaimed from afar, when he first saw the little prince coming.

  For, to conceited men, all other men are admirers.

   

   

  "Good morning," said the little prince. "That is a queer hat you are wearing."

  "It is a hat for salutes," the conceited man replied. "It is to raise in salute when people acclaim me. Unfortunately, nobody at all ever passes this way."

  "Yes?" said the little prince, who did not understand what the conceited man was talking about.

  "Clap your hands, one against the other," the conceited man now directed him.

  The little prince clapped his hands. The conceited man raised his hat in a modest salute.

  "This is more entertaining than the visit to the king," the little prince said to himself. And he began again to clap his hands, one against the other. The conceited man against raised his hat in salute.

  After five minutes of this exercise the little prince grew tired of the game‘s monotony.

  "And what should one do to make the hat come down?" he asked.

  But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.

  "Do you really admire me very much?" he demanded of the little prince.

  "What does that mean– ‘admire‘?"

  "To admire mean that you regard me as the handsomest, the best-dressed, the richest, and the most intelligent man on this planet."

  "But you are the only man on your planet!"

  "Do me this kindness. Admire me just the same."

  "I admire you," said the little prince, shrugging his shoulders slightly, "but what is there in that to interest you so much?"

  And the little prince went away.

  "The grown-ups are certainly very odd," he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.

   

   

  [ Chapter 12 ]

  - the little prince visits the tippler

  The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.

  "What are you doing there?" he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.

  "I am drinking," replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.

  "Why are you drinking?" demanded the little prince.

  "So that I may forget," replied the tippler.

  "Forget what?" inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.

   

   

  "Forget that I am ashamed," the tippler confessed, hanging his head.

  "Ashamed of what?" insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.

  "Ashamed of drinking!" The tippler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.

  And the little prince went away, puzzled.

  "The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd," he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 13 ]

  - the little prince visits the businessman

  The fourth planet belonged to a businessman. This man was so much occupied that he did not even raise his head at the little prince‘s arrival.

  "Good morning," the little prince said to him. "Your cigarette has gone out."

  "Three and two make five. Five and seven make twelve. Twelve and three make fifteen. Good morning. Fifteen and seven make twenty-two. Twenty-two and six make twenty-eight. I haven‘t time to light it again. Twenty-six and five make thirty-one. Phew! Then that makes five-hundred-and-one-million, six-hundred-twenty-two-thousand, seven-hundred-thirty-one."

  "Five hundred million what?" asked the little prince.

  "Eh? Are you still there? Five-hundred-and-one million– I can‘t stop… I have so much to do! I am concerned with matters of consequence. I don‘t amuse myself with balderdash. Two and five make seven…"

   

   

  "Five-hundred-and-one million what?" repeated the little prince, who never in his life had let go of a question once he had asked it.

  The businessman raised his head.

  "During the fifty-four years that I have inhabited this planet, I have been disturbed only three times. The first time was twenty-two years ago, when some giddy goose fell from goodness knows where. He made the most frightful noise that resounded all over the place, and I made four mistakes in my addition. The second time, eleven years ago, I was disturbed by an attack of rheumatism. I don‘t get enough exercise. I have no time for loafing. The third time– well, this is it! I was saying, then, five -hundred-and-one millions–"

  "Millions of what?"

  The businessman suddenly realized that there was no hope of being left in peace until he answered this question.

  "Millions of those little objects," he said, "which one sometimes sees in the sky."

  "Flies?"

  "Oh, no. Little glittering objects."

  "Bees?"

  "Oh, no. Little golden objects that set lazy men to idle dreaming. As for me, I am concerned with matters of consequence. There is no time for idle dreaming in my life."

  "Ah! You mean the stars?"

  "Yes, that‘s it. The stars."

  "And what do you do with five-hundred millions of stars?"

  "Five-hundred-and-one million, six-hundred-twenty-two thousand, seven-hundred-thirty-one. I am concerned with matters of consequence: I am accurate."

  "And what do you do with these stars?"

  "What do I do with them?"

  "Yes."

  "Nothing. I own them."

  "You own the stars?"

  "Yes."

  "But I have already seen a king who–"

  "Kings do not own, they reign over. It is a very different matter."

  "And what good does it do you to own the stars?"

  "It does me the good of making me rich."

  "And what good does it do you to be rich?"

  "It makes it possible for me to buy more stars, if any are ever discovered."

  "This man," the little prince said to himself, "reasons a little like my poor tippler…"

  Nevertheless, he still had some more questions.

  "How is it possible for one to own the stars?"

  "To whom do they belong?" the businessman retorted, peevishly.

  "I don‘t know. To nobody."

  "Then they belong to me, because I was the first person to think of it."

  "Is that all that is necessary?"

  "Certainly. When you find a diamond that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you discover an island that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you get an idea before any one else, you take out a patent on it: it is yours. So with me: I own the stars, because nobody else before me ever thought of owning them."

  "Yes, that is true," said the little prince. "And what do you do with them?"

  "I administer them," replied the businessman. "I count them and recount them. It is difficult. But I am a man who is naturally interested in matters of consequence."

  The little prince was still not satisfied.

  "If I owned a silk scarf," he said, "I could put it around my neck and take it away with me. If I owned a flower, I could pluck that flower and take it away with me. But you cannot pluck the stars from heaven…"

  "No. But I can put them in the bank."

  "Whatever does that mean?"

  "That means that I write the number of my stars on a little paper. And then I put this paper in a drawer and lock it with a key."

  "And that is all?"

  "That is enough," said the businessman.

  "It is entertaining," thought the little prince. "It is rather poetic. But it is of no great consequence."

  On matters of consequence, the little prince had ideas which were very different from those of the grown-ups.

  "I myself own a flower," he continued his conversation with the businessman, "which I water every day. I own three volcanoes, which I clean out every week (for I also clean out the one that is extinct; one never knows). It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them. But you are of no use to the stars…"

  The businessman opened his mouth, but he found nothing to say in answer. And the little prince went away.

  "The grown-ups are certainly altogether extraordinary," he said simply, talking to himself as he continued on his journey.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 14 ]

  - the little prince visits the lamplighter

  The fifth planet was very strange. It was the smallest of all. There was just enough room on it for a street lamp and a lamplighter. The little prince was not able to reach any explanation of the use of a street lamp and a lamplighter, somewhere in the heavens, on a planet which had no people, and not one house. But he said to himself, nevertheless:

  "It may well be that this man is absurd. But he is not so absurd as the king, the conceited man, the businessman, and the tippler. For at least his work has some meaning. When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful."

   

   

  When he arrived on the planet he respectfully saluted the lamplighter.

  "Good morning. Why have you just put out your lamp?"

  "Those are the orders," replied the lamplighter. "Good morning."

  "What are the orders?"

  "The orders are that I put out my lamp. Good evening."

  And he lighted his lamp again.

  "But why have you just lighted it again?"

  "Those are the orders," replied the lamplighter.

  "I do not understand," said the little prince.

  "There is nothing to understand," said the lamplighter. "Orders are orders. Good morning."

  And he put out his lamp.

  Then he mopped his forehead with a handkerchief decorated with red squares.

  "I follow a terrible profession. In the old days it was reasonable. I put the lamp out in the morning, and in the evening I lighted it again. I had the rest of the day for relaxation and the rest of the night for sleep."

  "And the orders have been changed since that time?"

  "The orders have not been changed," said the lamplighter. "That is the tragedy! From year to year the planet has turned more rapidly and the orders have not been changed!"

  "Then what?" asked the little prince.

  "Then– the planet now makes a complete turn every minute, and I no longer have a single second for repose. Once every minute I have to light my lamp and put it out!"

  "That is very funny! A day lasts only one minute, here where you live!"

  "It is not funny at all!" said the lamplighter. "While we have been talking together a month has gone by."

  "A month?"

  "Yes, a month. Thirty minutes. Thirty days. Good evening."

  And he lighted his lamp again.

  As the little prince watched him, he felt that he loved this lamplighter who was so faithful to his orders. He remembered the sunsets which he himself had gone to seek, in other days, merely by pulling up his chair; and he wanted to help his friend.

  "You know," he said, "I can tell you a way you can rest whenever you want to…"

  "I always want to rest," said the lamplighter.

  For it is possible for a man to be faithful and lazy at the same time.

  The little prince went on with his explanation:

  "Your planet is so small that three strides will take you all the way around it. To be always in the sunshine, you need only walk along rather slowly. When you want to rest, you will walk– and the day will last as long as you like."

  "That doesn‘t do me much good," said the lamplighter. "The one thing I love in life is to sleep."

  "Then you‘re unlucky," said the little prince.

  "I am unlucky," said the lamplighter. "Good morning."

  And he put out his lamp.

  "That man," said the little prince to himself, as he continued farther on his journey, "that man would be scorned by all the others: by the king, by the conceited man, by the tippler, by the businessman. Nevertheless he is the only one of them all who does not seem to me ridiculous. Perhaps that is because he is thinking of something else besides himself."

  He breathed a sigh of regret, and said to himself, again:

  "That man is the only one of them all whom I could have made my friend. But his planet is indeed too small. There is no room on it for two people…"

  What the little prince did not dare confess was that he was sorry most of all to leave this planet, because it was blest every day with 1440 sunsets!

   

   

  [ Chapter 15 ]

  - the little prince visits the geographer

  The sixth planet was ten times larger than the last one. It was inhabited by an old gentleman who wrote voluminous books.

  "Oh, look! Here is an explorer!" he exclaimed to himself when he saw the little prince coming.

  The little prince sat down on the table and panted a little. He had already traveled so much and so far!

  "Where do you come from?" the old gentleman said to him.

  "What is that big book?" said the little prince. "What are you doing?"

  "I am a geographer," the old gentleman said to him.

  "What is a geographer?" asked the little prince.

  "A geographer is a scholar who knows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts."

  "That is very interesting," said the little prince. "Here at last is a man who has a real profession!" And he cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer. It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen.

   

  "Your planet is very beautiful," he said. "Has it any oceans?"

  "I couldn‘t tell you," said the geographer.

  "Ah!" The little prince was disappointed. "Has it any mountains?"

  "I couldn‘t tell you," said the geographer.

  "And towns, and rivers, and deserts?"

  "I couldn‘t tell you that, either."

  "But you are a geographer!"

  "Exactly," the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer. I haven‘t a single explorer on my planet. It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts. The geographer is much too important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk. But he receives the explorers in his study. He asks them questions, and he notes down what they recall of their travels. And if the recollections of any one among them seem interesting to him, the geographer orders an inquiry into that explorer‘s moral character."

  "Why is that?"

  "Because an explorer who told lies would bring disaster on the books of the geographer. So would an explorer who drank too much."

  "Why is that?" asked the little prince.

  "Because intoxicated men see double. Then the geographer would note down two mountains in a place where there was only one."

  "I know some one," said the little prince, "who would make a bad explorer."

  "That is possible. Then, when the moral character of the explorer is shown to be good, an inquiry is ordered into his discovery."

  "One goes to see it?"

  "No. That would be too complicated. But one requires the explorer to furnish proofs. For example, if the discovery in question is that of a large mountain, one requires that large stones be brought back from it."

  The geographer was suddenly stirred to excitement.

  "But you– you come from far away! You are an explorer! You shall describe your planet to me!"

   

  And, having opened his big register, the geographer sharpened his pencil. The recitals of explorers are put down first in pencil. One waits until the explorer has furnished proofs, before putting them down in ink.

  "Well?" said the geographer expectantly.

  "Oh, where I live," said the little prince, "it is not very interesting. It is all so small. I have three volcanoes. Two volcanoes are active and the other is extinct. But one never knows."

  "One never knows," said the geographer.

  "I have also a flower."

  "We do not record flowers," said the geographer.

  "Why is that? The flower is the most beautiful thing on my planet!"

  "We do not record them," said the geographer, "because they are ephemeral."

  "What does that mean– ‘ephemeral‘?"

  "Geographies," said the geographer, "are the books which, of all books, are most concerned with matters of consequence. They never become old-fashioned. It is very rarely that a mountain changes its position. It is very rarely that an ocean empties itself of its waters. We write of eternal things."

  "But extinct volcanoes may come to life again," the little prince interrupted. "What does that mean– ‘ephemeral‘?"

  "Whether volcanoes are extinct or alive, it comes to the same thing for us," said the geographer. "The thing that matters to us is the mountain. It does not change."

  "But what does that mean– ‘ephemeral‘?" repeated the little prince, who never in his life had let go of a question, once he had asked it.

  "It means, ‘which is in danger of speedy disappearance.‘"

  "Is my flower in danger of speedy disappearance?"

  "Certainly it is."

  "My flower is ephemeral," the little prince said to himself, "and she has only four thorns to defend herself against the world. And I have left her on my planet, all alone!"

  That was his first moment of regret. But he took courage once more.

  "What place would you advise me to visit now?" he asked.

  "The planet Earth," replied the geographer. "It has a good reputation."

  And the little prince went away, thinking of his flower.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 16 ]

  - the narrator discusses the Earth‘s lamplighters

  So then the seventh planet was the Earth.

  The Earth is not just an ordinary planet! One can count, there 111 kings (not forgetting, to be sure, the Negro kings among them), 7000 geographers, 900,000 businessmen, 7,500,000 tipplers, 311,000,000 conceited men– that is to say, about 2,000,000,000 grown-ups.

  To give you an idea of the size of the Earth, I will tell you that before the invention of electricity it was necessary to maintain, over the whole of the six continents, a veritable army of 462,511 lamplighters for the street lamps.

  Seen from a slight distance, that would make a splendid spectacle. The movements of this army would be regulated like those of the ballet in the opera. First would come the turn of the lamplighters of New Zealand and Australia. Having set their lamps alight, these would go off to sleep. Next, the lamplighters of China and Siberia would enter for their steps in the dance, and then they too would be waved back into the wings. After that would come the turn of the lamplighters of Russia and the Indies; then those of Africa and Europe, then those of South America; then those of South America; then those of North America. And never would they make a mistake in the order of their entry upon the stage. It would be magnificent.

  Only the man who was in charge of the single lamp at the North Pole, and his colleague who was responsible for the single lamp at the South Pole– only these two would live free from toil and care: they would be busy twice a year.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 17 ]

  - the little prince makes the acquaintance of the snake

  When one wishes to play the wit, he sometimes wanders a little from the truth. I have not been altogether honest in what I have told you about the lamplighters. And I realize that I run the risk of giving a false idea of our planet to those who do not k now it. Men occupy a very small place upon the Earth. If the two billion inhabitants who people its surface were all to stand upright and somewhat crowded together, as they do for some big public assembly, they could easily be put into one public square twenty miles long and twenty miles wide. All humanity could be piled up on a small Pacific islet.

  The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They imagine that they fill a great deal of space. They fancy themselves as important as the baobabs. You should advise them, then, to make their own calculations. They adore fig ures, and that will please them. But do not waste your time on this extra task. It is unnecessary. You have, I know, confidence in me.

  When the little prince arrived on the Earth, he was very much surprised not to see any people. He was beginning to be afraid he had come to the wrong planet, when a coil of gold, the color of the moonlight, flashed across the sand.

  "Good evening," said the little prince courteously.

  "Good evening," said the snake.

  "What planet is this on which I have come down?" asked the little prince.

  "This is the Earth; this is Africa," the snake answered.

  "Ah! Then there are no people on the Earth?"

  "This is the desert. There are no people in the desert. The Earth is large," said the snake.

  The little prince sat down on a stone, and raised his eyes toward the sky.

  "I wonder," he said, "whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again… Look at my planet. It is right there above us. But how far away it is!"

  "It is beautiful," the snake said. "What has brought you here?"

  "I have been having some trouble with a flower," said the little prince.

  "Ah!" said the snake.

  And they were both silent.

  "Where are the men?" the little prince at last took up the conversation again. "It is a little lonely in the desert…"

  "It is also lonely among men," the snake said.

  The little prince gazed at him for a long time.

  "You are a funny animal," he said at last. "You are no thicker than a finger…"

  "But I am more powerful than the finger of a king," said the snake.

  The little prince smiled.

  "You are not very powerful. You haven‘t even any feet. You cannot even travel…"

  "I can carry you farther than any ship could take you," said the snake.

  He twined himself around the little prince‘s ankle, like a golden bracelet.

  "Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came," the snake spoke again. "But you are innocent and true, and you come from a star…"

  The little prince made no reply.

  "You move me to pity– you are so weak on this Earth made of granite," the snake said. "I can help you, some day, if you grow too homesick for your own planet. I can–"

  "Oh! I understand you very well," said the little prince. "But why do you always speak in riddles?"

  "I solve them all," said the snake.

  And they were both silent.

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 18 ]

  - the little prince goes looking for men and meets a flower

   

  The little prince crossed the desert and met with only one flower. It was a flower with three petals, a flower of no account at all.

  "Good morning," said the little prince.

  "Good morning," said the flower.

  "Where are the men?" the little prince asked, politely.

  The flower had once seen a caravan passing.

  "Men?" she echoed. "I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult."

  "Goodbye," said the little prince.

  "Goodbye," said the flower.

   

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 19 ]

  - the little prince climbs a mountain range

  After that, the little prince climbed a high mountain. The only mountains he had ever known were the three volcanoes, which came up to his knees. And he used the extinct volcano as a footstool. "From a mountain as high as this one," he said to himself, "I shall be able to see the whole planet at one glance, and all the people…"

  But he saw nothing, save peaks of rock that were sharpened like needles.

  "Good morning," he said courteously.

  "Good morning–Good morning–Good morning," answered the echo.

  "Who are you?" said the little prince.

  "Who are you–Who are you–Who are you?" answered the echo.

  "Be my friends. I am all alone," he said.

  "I am all alone–all alone–all alone," answered the echo.

  "What a queer planet!" he thought. "It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them… On my planet I had a flower; she always was the first to speak…"

   

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 20 ]

  - the little prince discovers a garden of roses

  But it happened that after walking for a long time through sand, and rocks, and snow, the little prince at last came upon a road. And all roads lead to the abodes of men.

  "Good morning," he said.

   

  He was standing before a garden, all a-bloom with roses.

  "Good morning," said the roses.

  The little prince gazed at them. They all looked like his flower.

  "Who are you?" he demanded, thunderstruck.

  "We are roses," the roses said.

  And he was overcome with sadness. His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. And here were five thousand of them, all alike, in one single garden!

  "She would be very much annoyed," he said to himself, "if she should see that… she would cough most dreadfully, and she would pretend that she was dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I should be obliged to pretend that I was nursing her back to life– for if I did not do that, to humble myself also, she would really allow herself to die…"

  Then he went on with his reflections: "I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees– and one of them perhaps extinct forever… that doesn‘t make me a very great prince…"

  And he lay down in the grass and cried.

   

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 21 ]

  - the little prince befriends 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," said the fox.

  "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 this 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 ea t 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 colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me bac k 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 yo u 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 any time, 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 vineyards. 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 embarrassed.

  "You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby 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 it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even 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 22 ]

  - the little prince encounters a railway switchman

  "Good morning," said the little prince.

  "Good morning," said the railway switchman.

  "What do you do here?" the little prince asked.

  "I sort out travelers, in bundles of a thousand," said the switchman. "I send off the trains that carry them; now to the right, now to the left."

  And a brilliantly lighted express train shook the switchman‘s cabin as it rushed by with a roar like thunder.

  "They are in a great hurry," said the little prince. "What are they looking for?"

  "Not even the locomotive engineer knows that," said the switchman.

  And a second brilliantly lighted express thundered by, in the opposite direction.

  "Are they coming back already?" demanded the little prince.

  "These are not the same ones," said the switchman. "It is an exchange."

  "Were they not satisfied where they were?" asked the little prince.

  "No one is ever satisfied where he is," said the switchman.

  And they heard the roaring thunder of a third brilliantly lighted express.

  "Are they pursuing the first travelers?" demanded the little prince.

  "They are pursuing nothing at all," said the switchman. "They are asleep in there, or if they are not asleep they are yawning. Only the children are flattening their noses against the windowpanes."

  "Only the children know what they are looking for," said the little prince. "They waste their time over a rag doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry…"

  "They are lucky," the switchman said.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 23 ]

  - the little prince encounters a merchant

  "Good morning," said the little prince.

  "Good morning," said the merchant.

  This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst. You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.

  "Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.

  "Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."

  "And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"

  "Anything you like…"

  "As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water."

   

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 24 ]

  - the narrator and the little prince, thirsty, hunt for a well in the desert

  It was now the eighth day since I had had my accident in the desert, and I had listened to the story of the merchant as I was drinking the last drop of my water supply.

  "Ah," I said to the little prince, "these memories of yours are very charming; but I have not yet succeeded in repairing my plane; I have nothing more to drink; and I, too, should be very happy if I could walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water!"

  "My friend the fox–" the little prince said to me.

  "My dear little man, this is no longer a matter that has anything to do with the fox!"

  "Why not?"

  "Because I am about to die of thirst…"

  He did not follow my reasoning, and he answered me:

  "It is a good thing to have had a friend, even if one is about to die. I, for instance, am very glad to have had a fox as a friend…"

  "He has no way of guessing the danger," I said to myself. "He has never been either hungry or thirsty. A little sunshine is all he needs…"

  But he looked at me steadily, and replied to my thought:

  "I am thirsty, too. Let us look for a well…"

  I made a gesture of weariness. It is absurd to look for a well, at random, in the immensity of the desert. But nevertheless we started walking.

  When we had trudged along for several hours, in silence, the darkness fell, and the stars began to come out. Thirst had made me a little feverish, and I looked at them as if I were in a dream. The little prince‘s last words came reeling back into my memory:

  "Then you are thirsty, too?" I demanded.

  But he did not reply to my question. He merely said to me:

  "Water may also be good for the heart…"

  I did not understand this answer, but I said nothing. I knew very well that it was impossible to cross-examine him.

  He was tired. He sat down. I sat down beside him. And, after a little silence, he spoke again:

  "The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen."

  I replied, "Yes, that is so." And, without saying anything more, I looked across the ridges of sand that were stretched out before us in the moonlight.

  "The desert is beautiful," the little prince added.

  And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…

  "What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well…"

  I was astonished by a sudden understanding of that mysterious radiation of the sands. When I was a little boy I lived in an old house, and legend told us that a treasure was buried there. To be sure, no one had ever known how to find it; perhaps no one had ever even looked for it. But it cast an enchantment over that house. My home was hiding a secret in the depths of its heart…

  "Yes," I said to the little prince. "The house, the stars, the desert– what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!"

  "I am glad," he said, "that you agree with my fox."

  As the little prince dropped off to sleep, I took him in my arms and set out walking once more. I felt deeply moved, and stirred. It seemed to me that I was carrying a very fragile treasure. It seemed to me, even, that there was nothing more fragile on all Earth. In the moonlight I looked at his pale forehead, his closed eyes, his locks of hair that trembled in the wind, and I said to myself: "What I see here is nothing but a shell. What is most important is invisible…"

  As his lips opened slightly with the suspicious of a half-smile, I said to myself, again: "What moves me so deeply, about this little prince who is sleeping here, is his loyalty to a flower– the image of a rose that shines through his whole being like the flame of a lamp, even when he is asleep…" And I felt him to be more fragile still. I felt the need of protecting him, as if he himself were a flame that might be extinguished by a little puff of wind…

  And, as I walked on so, I found the well, at daybreak.

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 25 ]

  - finding a well, the narrator and the little prince discuss his return to his planet

  "Men," said the little prince, "set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for. Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round…"

  And he added:

  "It is not worth the trouble…"

  The well that we had come to was not like the wells of the Sahara. The wells of the Sahara are mere holes dug in the sand. This one was like a well in a village. But there was no village here, and I thought I must be dreaming…

  "It is strange," I said to the little prince. "Everything is ready for use: the pulley, the bucket, the rope…"

   

  He laughed, touched the rope, and set the pulley to working. And the pulley moaned, like an old weathervane which the wind has long since forgotten.

  "Do you hear?" said the little prince. "We have wakened the well, and it is singing…"

  I did not want him to tire himself with the rope.

  "Leave it to me," I said. "It is too heavy for you."

  I hoisted the bucket slowly to the edge of the well and set it there– happy, tired as I was, over my achievement. The song of the pulley was still in my ears, and I could see the sunlight shimmer in the still trembling water.

  "I am thirsty for this water," said the little prince. "Give me some of it to drink…"

  And I understood what he had been looking for.

  I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. It was as sweet as some special festival treat. This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. Its sweetness was born of the walk under the stars, the song of the pulley, the effort of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present. When I was a little boy, the lights of the Christmas tree, the music of the Midnight Mass, the tenderness of smiling faces, used to make up, so, the radiance of the gifts I received.

  "The men where you live," said the little prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same garden– and they do not find in it what they are looking for."

  "They do not find it," I replied.

  "And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water."

  "Yes, that is true," I said.

  And the little prince added:

  "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart…"

  I had drunk the water. I breathed easily. At sunrise the sand is the color of honey. And that honey color was making me happy, too. What brought me, then, this sense of grief?

  "You must keep your promise," said the little prince, softly, as he sat down beside me once more.

  "What promise?"

  "You know– a muzzle for my sheep… I am responsible for this flower…"

  I took my rough drafts of drawings out of my pocket. The little prince looked them over, and laughed as he said:

  "Your baobabs– they look a little like cabbages."

  "Oh!"

  I had been so proud of my baobabs!

  "Your fox– his ears look a little like horns; and they are too long."

  And he laughed again.

  "You are not fair, little prince," I said. "I don‘t know how to draw anything except boa constrictors from the outside and boa constrictors from the inside."

  "Oh, that will be all right," he said, "children understand."

  So then I made a pencil sketch of a muzzle. And as I gave it to him my heart was torn.

  "You have plans that I do not know about," I said.

  But he did not answer me. He said to me, instead:

  "You know– my descent to the earth… Tomorrow will be its anniversary."

  Then, after a silence, he went on:

  "I came down very near here."

  And he flushed.

  And once again, without understanding why, I had a queer sense of sorrow. One question, however, occurred to me:

  "Then it was not by chance that on the morning when I first met you– a week ago– you were strolling along like that, all alone, a thousand miles from any inhabited region? You were on the your back to the place where you landed?"

  The little prince flushed again.

  And I added, with some hesitancy:

  "Perhaps it was because of the anniversary?"

  The little prince flushed once more. He never answered questions– but when one flushes does that not mean "Yes"?

  "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 26 ]

  - the little prince converses with the snake; the little prince consoles the narrator; the little prince returns to his planet

  Beside the well there was the ruin of an old stone wall. When I came back from my work, the next evening, I saw from some distance away my little price sitting on top of a wall, with his feet dangling. And I heard him say:

  "Then you don‘t remember. This is not the exact spot."

  Another voice must have answered him, for he replied to it:

  "Yes, yes! It is the right day, but this is not the place."

  I continued my walk toward the wall. At no time did I see or hear anyone. The little prince, however, replied once again:

  "–Exactly. You will see where my track begins, in the sand. You have nothing to do but wait for me there. I shall be there tonight."

  I was only twenty metres from the wall, and I still saw nothing.

  After a silence the little prince spoke again:

  "You have good poison? You are sure that it will not make me suffer too long?"

  I stopped in my tracks, my heart torn asunder; but still I did not understand.

  "Now go away," said the little prince. "I want to get down from the wall."

   

  I dropped my eyes, then, to the foot of the wall– and I leaped into the air. There before me, facing the little prince, was one of those yellow snakes that take just thirty seconds to bring your life to an end. Even as I was digging into my pocked to get out my revolver I made a running step back. But, at the noise I made, the snake let himself flow easily across the sand like the dying spray of a fountain, and, in no apparent hurry, disappeared, with a light metallic sound, among the stones.

  I reached the wall just in time to catch my little man in my arms; his face was white as snow.

  "What does this mean?" I demanded. "Why are you talking with snakes?"

  I had loosened the golden muffler that he always wore. I had moistened his temples, and had given him some water to drink. And now I did not dare ask him any more questions. He looked at me very gravely, and put his arms around my neck. I felt his heart beating like the heart of a dying bird, shot with someone‘s rifle…

  "I am glad that you have found what was the matter with your engine," he said. "Now you can go back home–"

  "How do you know about that?"

  I was just coming to tell him that my work had been successful, beyond anything that I had dared to hope. He made no answer to my question, but he added:

  "I, too, am going back home today…"

  Then, sadly–

  "It is much farther… it is much more difficult…"

  I realised 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 headlong 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 a spring 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 businessman 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 w ill 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," said the little prince.

  "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, becuase 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.

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

  [ Chapter 27 ]

  - the narrator‘s afterthoughts

  It was then that the fox appeared.

  And now six years have already gone by…

  I have never yet told this story. The companions who met me on my return were well content to see me alive. I was sad, but I told them: "I am tired."

  Now my sorrow is comforted a little. That is to say– not entirely. But I know that he did go back to his planet, because I did not find his body at daybreak. It was not such a heavy body… and at night I love to listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells…

  But there is one extraordinary thing… when I drew the muzzle for the little prince, I forgot to add the leather strap to it. He will never have been able to fasten it on his sheep. So now I keep wondering: what is happening on his planet? Perhaps the sheep has eaten the flower…

  At one time I say to myself: "Surely not! The little prince shuts his flower under her glass globe every night, and he watches over his sheep very carefully…" Then I am happy. And there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars.

  But at another time I say to myself: "At some moment or other one is absent-minded, and that is enough! On some one evening he forgot the glass globe, or the sheep got out, without making any noise, in the night…" And then the little bells are changed to tears…

  Here, then, is a great mystery. For you who also love the little prince, and for me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere, we do not know where, a sheep that we never saw has– yes or no?– eaten a rose…

  Look up at the sky. Ask yourselves: is it yes or no? Has the sheep eaten the flower? And you will see how everything changes…

  And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!

  This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it again to impress it on your memory. It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.

  Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognise it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.

   

  [ END ]

  前言

   

  致莱昂·韦特

问孩子们可以读这本书的孩子的放纵,以将其献给成年人。我有一个严肃的理由:他是我在世界上最好的朋友。我还有一个原因:这个大人什么都懂,甚至是关于儿童的书。我有第三个原因:他住在法国,他又饿又冷。他需要振作起来。如果这些理由还不够的话,我会把这本书献给这个长大的孩子。所有的成年人都曾经是孩子——尽管他们中很少有人记得。所以我更正了我的奉献精神:

  致莱昂·韦特

  当他还是个小男孩的时候

   

   

   

  【第一章】

  -我们被介绍给解说员,飞行员,以及他对成年人的看法

   

   

  六岁的时候,我在一本名为《大自然的真实故事》的书中看到了一幅关于原始森林的壮丽图画。这是一张蟒蛇吞食动物的照片。这是图纸的副本。

  书上说:“蟒蛇将猎物整个吞下,不咀嚼。在那之后,他们就无法移动了,他们在消化所需的六个月内一直在睡觉。”

  那么,我对丛林的冒险进行了深刻的思考。在用彩色铅笔做了一些工作后,我成功地画了我的第一幅画。我的第一张图。它看起来像这样:

   

   

  我把我的杰作给大人们看,问他们这幅画是不是吓到了他们。

  但他们回答:“害怕?为什么会有人被帽子吓到?”

  我画的不是帽子。这是一张蟒蛇在消化大象的照片。但由于大人看不懂,我又画了一张:我画了蟒蛇的内部,让大人看清楚。他们总是需要解释事情。我的第二张图是这样的:

   

   

  大人们‘这一次,我的回应是建议我放下画中的蟒蛇,无论是从内部还是外部,转而专注于地理、历史、算术和语法。这就是为什么在六岁的时候,我放弃了作为画家的伟大事业。我对我的第一张图纸和第二张图纸的失败感到沮丧。大人自己什么都不懂,孩子老是老老实实的给他们解释是很烦人的。

  于是我选择了其他职业,学会了驾驶飞机。我飞过世界各地。的确,地理对我非常有用。乍一看,我可以将中国与亚利桑那州区分开来。如果一个人在夜里迷路了,这样的知识很有价值。

  在这一生中,我遇到了许多关心重大问题的人。我在成年人中间生活过很多次。我亲眼见过他们,近在咫尺。这并没有太大改善我对他们的看法。

  每当我遇到一个在我看来完全有眼光的人,我就尝试向他展示我一直保留的我的第一张图纸。我会试着找出,所以,如果这是一个真正理解的人。但是,无论是谁,他或她总是会说:“那是一顶帽子。”

  那我绝对不会跟那个人说蟒蛇,原始森林,星星。我会把自己降到他的水平。我会和他谈论桥牌、高尔夫、政治和领带。遇到这样懂事的人,大人会很高兴的。

   

   

   

  【第二章】

  -叙述者坠入沙漠,结识了小王子

  所以我独自生活,没有任何可以真正交谈的人,直到六年前我的飞机在撒哈拉沙漠发生事故。我的引擎坏了。由于我既没有机械师也没有任何乘客,我决定独自尝试艰难的维修。这对我来说是生死攸关的问题:我几乎没有足够的饮用水维持一个星期。

  第一个晚上,我睡在离任何人类居住地一千英里的沙滩上。我比一个在大海中央的木筏上遇难的水手更加孤立。因此,您可以想象我的惊讶,在日出时,我被一个奇怪的小声音吵醒。它说:

  “请给我画一只羊!”

  《什么!》

uot;

  《给我画一只羊!》

  我跳了起来,完全被雷劈了。我使劲眨了眨眼睛。我仔细地环顾四周。我看到一个非常特别的小人,他站在那里非常严肃地检查我。在这里,您可能会看到后来我为他画的最好的肖像。但是我的画当然远没有它的模型那么迷人。

   

   

  不过,这不是我的错。六岁那年,大人们不鼓励我的画家生涯,我什么都没学过,除了蟒蛇的外表和内部。

  现在我惊讶地瞪大了眼睛盯着这个突然出现的幻影。请记住,我曾在距离任何有人居住的地区一千英里的沙漠中坠毁。然而,我的小家伙似乎既没有迷失在沙漠中,也没有因疲劳、饥饿、口渴或恐惧而昏倒。他的身上没有任何迹象表明他是在沙漠中迷失的孩子,那里距离任何人类居住地一千英里。当我终于可以说话时,我对他说:“但是——你在这里做什么?”

  作为回答,他非常缓慢地重复了一遍,仿佛在谈论一件意义重大的事情:“请你——给我画一只羊……”

  当一个谜太强大时,一个人不敢违抗。在我看来很荒谬,离任何人类居住地一千英里,处于死亡危险之中,我从口袋里掏出一张纸和我的钢笔。但后来我想起我的学习是如何集中在地理、历史、算术和语法上的,我告诉那个小家伙(也有点生气)我不会画画。他回答我:“那没关系。给我画一只羊……”

  可是我从来没有画过羊。所以我为他画了我经常画的两张照片中的一张。这是从外面看的蟒蛇。听到这个小家伙打招呼,我很惊讶,“不,不,不!我不想要蟒蛇里的大象。蟒蛇是一种非常危险的生物,而大象则非常笨重。我住的地方,一切都非常小。我需要的是一只羊。给我画一只羊。”

  于是我画了一张。

   

   

  他仔细看了看,然后说:“没有。这只羊已经病得很重了。让我成为另一个。”

  所以我又画了一张。

   

   

  我的朋友温柔而放纵的微笑。 “你看到了你自己,”他说:“这不是一只羊。这是一只公羊。它有角。”

  于是我又画了一遍。

   

   

  但它也被拒绝了,就像其他人一样。 “这个太旧了。我想要一只长寿的羊。”

  这个时候我的耐心已经耗尽,因为我急于开始拆解我的引擎。所以我把这幅画扔掉了。

   

   

  然后我扔了一个解释。

  “这只是他的盒子。你要的羊在里面。”

  看到我年轻的法官脸上的光芒让我很惊讶:

  “这正是我想要的方式!你认为这只羊必须有很多草吗?”

  《为什么?》

  “因为我住的地方一切都很小……”

  “草一定够他吃的”我说。 “我给你的是一只很小的羊。”

  他低头看画:

  “没那么小——看!他已经睡着了……”

  就这样认识了小王子。

   

   

  【第三章】

  - 解说员更了解小王子是从哪里来的

  我花了很长时间才知道他来自哪里。问了我这么多问题的小王子,似乎从来没有听到我问他的问题。正是从偶然的话语中,一点一点地向我揭示了一切。

  比如说,他第一次看到我的飞机时(我不会画我的飞机,那对我来说太复杂了),他问我:“那个物体是什么?”

  “那不是物体。它会飞。这是一架飞机。这是我的飞机。”我很自豪让他知道我会飞。

  他喊道:“什么!你是从天上掉下来的?”

  《是的》我谦虚地回答。

  “哦!这很有趣!”

  小王子突然发出可爱的笑声,让我非常恼火。我喜欢我的不幸被认真对待。

  接着又说:“原来你也是从天上来的!你的星球是哪个?”

在那一刻,我在他存在的难以理解的奥秘中捕捉到了一丝曙光。我突然问道:“你来自另一个星球吗?”

  但他没有回答。他轻轻地甩了甩头,眼睛没有离开我的飞机:“确实,在那上面,你不可能“从很远的地方来……”

  他陷入了长久的遐想。然后,他从口袋里掏出我的羊,埋头思考他的宝藏。

  你可以想象我的好奇心是如何被这种对“其他星球”的半信半疑引起的。因此,我付出了很大的努力来了解有关此主题的更多信息。

  “我的小家伙,你从哪里来?这是什么‘我住的地方,‘你说的是哪一个?你想把你的羊带到哪里去?”

                                                                   “你给我的那个盒子,最大的好处就是晚上可以当他的房子。”

  “原来如此。如果你好的话,我也给你一根绳子,这样你白天就可以把他绑起来,还有一个柱子可以把他绑在上面。”

  但小王子似乎被这个提议吓了一跳:“绑他!多么奇怪的想法!”

  “但如果你不把他绑起来,”我说,“他会在某个地方徘徊,然后迷路。”

  我的朋友又爆发出一阵笑声:“但是你认为他会去哪里?”

  “任何地方。就在他前面。”

  然后小王子一本正经地说:“没关系。我住的地方,一切都那么渺小!”

  然后,也许带着一丝悲伤,他补充道:“就在他的前面,没有人能走多远……”

   

   

  【第四章】

  -叙述者推测小王子来自哪个小行星

   

   

  因此我知道了第二个非常重要的事实:这就是小王子所在的星球几乎没有房子那么大!

  但这并没有让我很惊讶。我很清楚,除了我们命名的大行星——如地球、木星、火星、金星——之外,还有数百个其他的行星,其中一些小到难以是时候通过望远镜看到它们了。当天文学家发现其中一个时,他没有给它一个名字,而只是一个数字。例如,他可能会称它为“小行星 325”。

   

   

  我有充分的理由相信小王子来自的星球是被称为B-612的小行星。这颗小行星只通过望远镜看到过一次。那是 1909 年一位土耳其天文学家写的。

   

   

  天文学家一做出发现,就把它提交给了国际天文学大会,进行了一次盛大的演示。但他穿着土耳其服装,所以没有人会相信他说的话。

  大人就是这样的……

   

   

 然而幸运的是,为了小行星B-612的名声,一位土耳其独裁者制定了一项法律,要求他的臣民在死亡的痛苦中必须换上欧洲服装。所以在 1920 年,这位天文学家再次进行了他的示范,穿着令人印象深刻的风格和优雅。而这一次大家都接受了他的报告。

  如果我把这颗小行星的这些细节告诉你,并给你记下它的编号,那是出于大人的考虑。当你告诉他们你交了一个新朋友时,他们从不问你任何关于基本问题的问题。他们从不对你说:“他的声音听起来像什么?他最喜欢什么游戏?他会收集蝴蝶吗?”相反,他们要求:“他多大了?他有几个兄弟?他有多重?他父亲赚了多少钱?”只有从这些数字中,他们才认为他们对他有所了解。

  如果你对大人们说:“我看到了一座漂亮的红砖房,窗户上种着天竺葵,屋顶上种着鸽子,”他们根本无法了解那所房子。你必须对他们说:“我看到一栋价值 20,000 美元的房子。”然后他们会惊呼:“哦,多么漂亮的房子啊!”

  就这样,你可以对他们说:“小王子存在的证据就是他迷人,他爱笑,他在寻找一只羊。如果有人想要一只羊,那就是他存在的证明。”告诉他们这些有什么好处?他们会耸耸肩,像对待孩子一样对待你。但如果你对他们说:“他来自的行星是小行星 B-612,”然后他们就会被说服,让你从他们的问题中解脱出来。

  他们就是这样。一个人不能反对他们

.孩子们应该永远对成年人表现出极大的宽容。

  但可以肯定的是,对于了解生活的我们来说,数字是无关紧要的事情。我应该喜欢以童话的方式开始这个故事。我应该说:“从前有一个小王子,他住在一个比自己大不了多少的星球上,他需要一只羊……”

  对于那些了解生活的人来说,这会让我的故事更加真实。

  因为我不想让任何人漫不经心地看我的书。我在记录这些记忆时承受了太多的悲伤。自从我的朋友带着他的羊离开我已经六年了。如果我试图在这里描述他,是为了确保我不会忘记他。忘记一个朋友是可悲的。不是每个人都有朋友。如果我忘记了他,我可能会变得像成年人一样,不再对数字感兴趣……

  为了这个目的,我又买了一盒颜料和几支铅笔。在我这个年纪,很难再开始画画了,因为我从六岁起就从来没有画过任何照片,除了蟒蛇的外部和内部的蟒蛇。我当然会努力让我的肖像尽可能逼真。但我完全不确定成功。一幅画得很好,另一幅与它的主题毫无相似之处。我在小王子的身高上也犯了一些错误:一个地方太高,另一个地方太矮。我对他服装的颜色有些怀疑。所以我尽我所能摸索,现在好,现在坏,我希望总体上是公平到中等的。

  在某些更重要的细节上,我也会犯错误。但这不是我的错。我的朋友从来没有向我解释过任何事情。也许,他认为我和他自己一样。但是,唉,我不知道如何透过盒子的墙壁看到羊。或许我有点像大人。我不得不变老。

   

   

   

  【第五章】

  我们被警告猴面包树的危险

  随着每一天的过去,在我们的谈话中,我会了解到一些关于小王子的星球,他的离开,他的旅程。这些信息来得非常缓慢,因为它可能会从他的想法中掉下来。就是这样,在第三天,我听说了猴面包树的灾难。

  这一次,我又要感谢羊了。因为小王子突然问我——仿佛被一个严重的疑问抓住了——“这是真的,不是吗,羊吃小灌木?”

  “是的,没错。”

  “啊!我很高兴!”

  我不明白为什么羊吃小灌木这么重要。但小王子补充道:

  “那么他们也吃猴面包树?”

  我向小王子指出,猴面包树不是小灌木,而是像城堡一样大的树;而且即使他带走了一整群大象,这群大象也不会吃掉一个猴面包树。

   

   

  大象群的想法让小王子笑了。

  “我们必须把它们一个放在另一个上面,”他说。

  但他做了一个明智的评论:

  “猴面包树在长得这么大之前,都是从小开始的。”

  “完全正确,”我说。 “可是你为什么要羊吃小猴面包树呢?”

  他立刻回答我,“哦,来了,来了!”,仿佛在说什么不言而喻的事情。我不得不在没有任何帮助的情况下付出巨大的脑力来解决这个问题。

  确实,据我所知,在小王子居住的星球上——和所有星球上一样——有好植物也有坏植物。结果,好植物有好种子,坏植物有坏种子。但种子是看不见的。他们沉睡在大地黑暗的深处,直到他们中的某个人被唤醒的渴望所抓住。然后这颗小种子会伸展自己,开始——一开始胆怯地——将一株迷人的小枝无害地向上推向太阳。如果它只是一个萝卜芽或一朵玫瑰花,人们可以让它生长在任何它想生长的地方。但当它是一株坏植物时,必须尽快摧毁它,在人们认出它的第一刻。

  现在小王子家的星球上有一些可怕的种子;这些就是猴面包树的种子。那颗星球的土壤里到处都是它们。猴面包树是你永远无法摆脱的东西,如果你太晚了,就永远无法摆脱它。它遍布整个星球。它的根部穿透了它。如果这个星球

太小了,猴面包树太多了,都撕成碎片了……

   

   

  “这是纪律问题,”小王子后来对我说。 “当你早上完成了自己的厕所后,就该去你星球上的厕所了,就这样,小心翼翼。您必须确保定期拔出所有的猴面包树,以便在能够将它们与幼年时非常相似的玫瑰花丛区分开来的第一刻。这是非常乏味的工作,”小王子补充道,“但很容易。”

 有一天他对我说:“你应该画一幅漂亮的图画,让你住的孩子们可以清楚地看到这一切。如果他们有一天去旅行,那对他们来说将非常有用。有时,”他补充说:“将一项工作推迟到另一天并没有什么坏处。但是当涉及到猴面包树时,那总是意味着一场灾难。我知道一个星球上住着一个懒惰的人。他忽略了三棵小灌木……”

   

   

  所以,正如小王子向我描述的那样,我画了那颗星球的图画。我不太喜欢采取道德家的语气。但是猴面包树的危险却鲜为人知,任何可能在小行星上迷路的人都会冒如此大的风险,以至于我这一次突破了我的储备。 “孩子们”我直截了当地说,“小心猴面包树!”

  我的朋友们,和我一样,已经在不知不觉中躲过了这个危险很久了;所以为了他们,我为这幅画付出了如此多的努力。我通过这种方式传授的课程值得我付出所有的麻烦。

  也许你会问我,“为什么这本书中没有其他的图画能像这幅猴面包树的图画那样壮观和令人印象深刻?”

  回复很简单。我努力了。但与其他人一起,我没有成功。当我画猴面包树的时候,我被迫切需要的鼓舞人心的力量所震撼。

   

   

  【第六章】

  - 小王子和解说员谈日落

  哦,小王子!一点一点地,我明白了你悲伤的小生活的秘密……很长一段时间以来,你一直在静静地看着日落的快乐中找到你唯一的消遣。第四天早上我知道了这个新细节,当时你对我说:“我很喜欢日落。来吧,我们现在去看日落。”

  “但我们必须等待,”我说。

  《等等?为了什么?”

  《为了夕阳。我们必须等到时机成熟。”

  一开始你好像很吃惊。然后你对自己笑了。你对我说:

  “我总以为我在家!”

  原来如此。每个人都知道,在美国正午时,太阳正在法国上空落下。

   

   

  如果你能在一分钟内飞到法国,你就可以从中午直接进入日落。不幸的是,法国离这太远了。但是在你的小星球上,我的小王子,你需要做的就是把你的椅子移动几步。你可以随时看到一天的结束和暮色降临……

  《一日》你对我说,“我看了四十四次日落!”

  稍后你补充说:

  “你知道——一个人喜欢日落,当一个人如此悲伤时……”

  “那你有那么难过吗?”我问,“在四十四日落的那一天?”

  可是小王子没有回答。

   

   

  [第7话]

  -叙述者得知了小王子的生平秘密

  第五天——还是一如既往的感谢羊——小王子的生平秘密向我揭开了。突然,没有任何东西可以引出,好像这个问题是对他的问题进行了长时间而沉默的思考一样,他要求:

  “一只羊——如果它吃小灌木,它也吃花吗?”

  《一只羊》我回答说,“吃它能找到的任何东西。”

  “连花都有刺?”

  “是的,即使是有刺的花。”

  《那么荆棘——它们有什么用呢?》

  我不知道。在那一刻,我正忙着拧开卡在引擎上的螺栓。我非常担心,因为我越来越清楚我的飞机故障非常严重。而且我只剩下很少的饮用水了,我不得不担心最坏的情况。

  《荆棘——它们有什么用?》

  小王子一问就没有放过。作为

对我来说,我对那个螺栓感到不安。我回答的第一件事是:

  “荆棘一点用处都没有。花有刺只是为了怨恨!”

  “哦!”

  有片刻的寂静。然后小王子闪过我,带着一种怨恨:

  “我不相信你!花是弱小的生物。他们是名字。他们尽最大努力让自己放心。他们认为自己的荆棘是可怕的武器……”

  我没有回答。那一刻我对自己说:“如果这个螺栓仍然无法转动,我会用锤子敲掉它。”小王子又一次打乱了我的思绪。

  “而你居然相信花——”

  “哦,不!”我哭了。 「不不不!我什么都不相信。我用我脑海中浮现的第一件事回答了你。 “你没看到——我正忙于处理重要的事情!”

  他目瞪口呆的看着我。

  《后果自负!》

  他看着我,手里拿着我的锤子,手指上沾满了机油,弯下腰看着一个在他看来极其丑陋的东西……

  “你说话像大人一样!”

  这让我有些惭愧。但他继续说,无情地:

  “你把一切都混在一起了……你把一切都搞混了……”

  他真的很生气。他在微风中甩动着他的金色卷发。

  “我知道一个星球上有个红脸绅士。他从来没有闻过一朵花。他从来没有看过星星。他从来没有爱过任何人。他一生中从来没有做过任何事情,只是把数字加起来。而且他整天一遍又一遍地说,就像你一样:‘我正忙于重要的事情!‘这让他自豪地膨胀起来。但他不是人——他是蘑菇!”

  《一个什么?》

  《蘑菇!》

  小王子气得脸都白了。

  “千百年来,花都长荆棘。数百万年来,羊一直以同样的方式吃它们。试着去理解为什么花这么费力去长出对它们毫无用处的荆棘,这难道不是一个后果问题吗?羊与花的战争不重要吗?这难道不比一个胖红脸绅士的钱更重要吗?如果我知道——我,我自己——一朵世界上独一无二的花,它除了在我的星球上别无他处生长,但有一天早上一只小羊可以一口就毁掉它,甚至没有注意到他在做什么—— – 哦!你认为那不重要!”

 他的脸色由白转红,继续说:

  “如果有人喜欢一朵花,在万千星辰中只开出一朵花,只要看看星星就足以让他开心。他可以对自己说,“在某个地方,我的花就在那里……”但是如果羊吃掉了花,那么一瞬间他所有的星星都会变暗……而你认为这并不重要!”

  他不能再说什么了。他的话被啜泣哽咽了。

   

   

  夜已经降临。我让我的工具从我手中掉了下来。现在是我的锤子、我的螺栓、口渴还是死亡的时刻?在一颗星星,一颗星球,我的星球,地球上,有一个小王子需要安慰。我把他抱在怀里,摇晃着他。我对他说:

  “你爱的花没有危险。我会为你的羊画一个枪口。我会给你画一个栏杆来围着你的花。我会——”

  我不知道该跟他说什么。我感到尴尬和笨拙。我不知道如何才能到达他,在那里我可以超越他并再次与他携手并进。

  这是一个秘密的地方,泪之国。

   

   

   

  【第8话】

  - 玫瑰抵达小王子的星球

  我很快就学会了更好地了解这朵花。在小王子的星球上,鲜花一直都很朴素。它们只有一圈花瓣;他们根本不占地方;他们是任何人的麻烦。一天早上,它们会出现在草丛中,到了晚上,它们就会平静地消失。但有一天,一颗不知从哪里吹来的种子,长出了一朵新花;小王子非常仔细地注视着这颗与他星球上其他小芽不同的小芽。你看,它可能是一种新的猴面包树。

  灌木很快停止生长,开始准备开花。小王子第一次出现在一个巨大的花蕾中,立刻就觉得一定有某种神奇的幻影从中出现。但花不是

满意地在她的绿色房间的庇护下完成了她美丽的准备工作。她非常小心地选择了她的颜色。她一一调整花瓣。她不想像野罂粟一样狼狈地走进这个世界。她只希望出现在她美丽的光芒中。哦是的!她是个风骚的生物!她的神秘装饰持续了好几天。

   

   

 然后一天早上,正好在日出的时候,她突然出现了。

  而且,在如此艰苦的精确工作之后,她打了个哈欠说:

  “啊!我几乎没有醒来。我请求你原谅我。我的花瓣还是乱七八糟的……”

  可是小王子还是忍不住赞叹:

  “哦!你真漂亮!”

  “我不是吗?”花儿甜甜地回应。 “而我与太阳同时出生……”

  小王子很容易猜到她并没有太谦虚——但她是多么的动人——多么令人兴奋——!

  “我想该吃早餐了”片刻之后,她补充道。 “如果你愿意考虑我的需要——”

  小王子一脸懵逼,跑去找洒水罐。于是,他照料了这朵花。

   

   

  所以,她也很快开始用虚荣心来折磨他——如果说实话,这有点难以对付。例如,有一天,当她谈到她的四根刺时,她对小王子说:

  “让老虎用爪子来吧!”

  《我的星球上没有老虎》小王子反对。 “而且,无论如何,老虎不吃野草。”

   

   

  《我不是野草》花儿甜甜地回答。

  “对不起……”

  “我一点也不怕老虎”她接着说,“但我害怕草稿。我想你不会为我准备一个屏幕吧?”

  “草稿的恐怖——对于植物来说,那是倒霉,”小王子说,并补充说,“这朵花是一种非常复杂的生物……”

  “晚上我想让你把我放在一个玻璃球下面。你住的地方很冷。在我来自的地方——”

   

   

  但她在这时候打断了自己。她以种子的形式出现。她不可能知道任何其他世界的任何事情。害羞到让自己陷入这种不实的谎言边缘,她咳嗽了两三声,想把小王子误入歧途。

  《屏幕?》

  “我正要去找你说话的时候……”

  然后她又用力咳嗽了几下,让他也一样自责。

  所以小王子,尽管有着与他的爱分不开的善意,但很快就开始怀疑她了。他把不重要的话当真了,这让他很不高兴。

  “我不应该听她的,”有一天,他向我吐露了心声。 “一个人永远不应该听花。人们应该简单地看着它们并呼吸它们的香味。我的香水让我整个星球都充满了香气。但我不知道如何享受她所有的优雅。这个爪牙的故事,让我如此心烦意乱,应该只会让我的心充满温柔和怜悯。”

  他继续他的自信:

  “其实我什么都不懂!我应该以行为而不是言语来判断。她把她的芬芳和她的光辉洒在我身上。我不应该从她身边逃走……我应该猜到隐藏在她可怜的小策略背后的所有感情。花朵太不协调了!但我太小了,不知道如何爱她……”

   

   

   

   

  [第9话]

  小王子离开他的星球

  我相信他是利用一群野鸟迁徙的机会逃跑的。在他离开的那天早上,他把他的星球整理得井井有条。他仔细清理了他的活火山。他拥有两座活火山;他们早上加热他的早餐非常方便。他还有一座已经灭绝的火山。但是,正如他所说,“永远不知道!”所以他也清理了死火山。如果清理得当,火山会缓慢而稳定地燃烧,不会发生任何喷发。火山爆发就像烟囱里的火。

  在我们的地球上,我们显然太小了,无法清理我们的火山。这就是为什么他们给我们带来无穷无尽的麻烦。

   

   

  小王子也拉

带着某种沮丧的心情向上,猴面包树的最后一点小嫩芽。他相信他再也不想回来了。但在这最后一个早晨,所有这些熟悉的任务对他来说似乎都很珍贵。当他最后一次给花浇水,准备把她放在玻璃球的庇护下时,他意识到自己快要流泪了。

  《再见》他对花说。

  可是她没有回答。

  《再见》他又说了一遍。

  花儿咳嗽了。但这不是因为她感冒了。

  《我一直很傻》她终于对他说。 “我请求你的原谅。试着快乐起来……”

  他对没有受到责备感到惊讶。他茫然地站在那里,玻璃球被停在半空中。他不明白这种安静的甜蜜。

  《我当然爱你》花对他说。 “我的错,你一直不知道。这无关紧要。但是你——你和我一样愚蠢。试着快乐……让玻璃球成为。我不再想要它了。”

  《可是风——》

  “我的感冒并没有那么严重……凉爽的夜风对我有好处。我是一朵花。”

  《可是动物——》

  “好吧,如果我想认识蝴蝶,我必须忍受两三只毛毛虫的存在。看起来他们很漂亮。如果不是蝴蝶——还有毛毛虫——谁会召唤我?你会很远……至于那些大型动物——我一点也不怕它们。我有我的爪子。”

  而且,她赤裸裸地露出了她的四根刺。然后她补充说:

  “不要这样逗留。你已经决定离开。现在走吧!”

  因为她不想让他看到她哭。她真是一朵骄傲的花……

   

   

  【第十章】

  小王子拜访国王

  他发现自己在小行星 325、326、327、328、329 和 330 附近。因此,他开始访问它们,以增加他的知识。

  第一个住着一位国王。他一身紫装和貂皮,坐在一个既简单又威严的宝座上。

  “啊!这是一个主题,”国王看到小王子来了,惊呼道。

  小王子问自己:

  “他从来没有见过我,怎么会认出我来?”

  他不知道世界是如何被国王简化的。对他们来说,所有人都是臣民。

  《靠近,好让我看到你》国王说,他为自己终于成为了某个人的国王而感到无比自豪。

  小王子到处找地方坐下;但整个星球都被国王华丽的貂皮长袍挤得满满当当。于是他一直站着,累了,打了个哈欠。

  “在国王面前打哈欠是违反礼仪的,”国君对他说。 “我禁止你这样做。”

  “我无能为力。我无法阻止自己,”小王子尴尬的回答道。 “我长途跋涉而来,一夜未眠……”

  《啊,那么,》国王说。 “我命令你打哈欠。我已经好多年没有看到有人打哈欠了。对我来说,打哈欠是好奇的对象。现在来!又打哈欠!这是命令。”

  “这让我害怕……我不能,再也不能……”小王子嘀咕着,现在完全害臊了。

  《哼!哼!”国王回答。 “那我——我命令你时而打哈欠,时而——”

  他有点气喘吁吁,似乎很生气。

  因为国王从根本上坚持的是他的权威应该得到尊重。他不能容忍任何不服从。他是一个绝对的君主。但是,因为他是一个非常好的人,所以他的命令是合理的。

  “如果我命令一位将军,”他会举例说,“如果我命令一位将军将自己变成一只海鸟,而如果将军不服从我,那将不是将军的错。那是我的错。”

  “我可以坐下吗?”小王子胆怯地询问。

  “我命令你这样做,”国王回答了他,然后威风凛凛地收拢在他的貂皮斗篷中。

   

   

  可是小王子想知道……这个星球很小。这位国王究竟能统治什么?

  《陛下》他对他说,“我请求你原谅我问你一个问题——”

  “我命令你问我一个问题,”国王赶紧向他保证。

  《陛下——你统治什么?》

  《超越一切》国王说,非常简单。

  《无所不能?》

  国王做了一个手势,把他的星球、其他星球和所有的星星都收了进来。

  “总之?”小王子问。

  《总之,》国王回答。

  因为他的统治不仅是绝对的,也是普遍的。

  “星星听你的吗?”

  “当然有,”国王说。 “他们立即服从。我不允许不服从。”

  这样的力量让小王子惊叹不已。如果他掌握了如此完整的权威,他一天就能看日落,不是一天四十四次,而是七十二次,甚至一百次,甚至两百次。移动他的椅子。又因为想起自己遗弃的小星球,心里有些难过,于是鼓起勇气向国王求情:

  “我想看日落……请帮帮我……命令太阳落山……”

  “如果我命令一个将军像蝴蝶一样从一朵花飞到另一朵花,或者写一部悲剧,或者把自己变成一只海鸟,如果将军没有执行他的命令收到了,我们中的哪一个会错?”国王问道。 “将军,还是我自己?”

  《你》小王子坚定地说。

  “正是。一个人非常需要每个人都可以履行的职责,”国王继续说。 “公认的权威首先建立在理性之上。如果你命令你的人民去投海,他们就会革命起来。我有权要求服从,因为我的命令是合理的。”

  “那我的日落?”小王子提醒他:因为他从来没有忘记过一个问题。

  “你将拥有你的日落。我将指挥它。但是,根据我的政府科学,我会等到条件有利的时候。”

  “那是什么时候?”小王子问。

  《哼!哼!”国王回答说;在说什么之前,他查阅了一本笨重的历书。 “哼!哼!那将是大约- 大约- 那将是今天晚上大约 20 分钟到 8 点。你会看到我被服从的程度。”

  小王子打了个哈欠。他正在为自己失去的日落感到遗憾。然后,他也开始有点无聊了。

  “我这里没什么事了,”他对国王说。 “所以我又要上路了。”

  《别走》国王说,他为有一个臣民而自豪。 “别走。我会让你成为部长!”

  《什么大臣?》

  《——司法部长!》

  “但这里没有人可以评判!”

  “我们不知道,”国王对他说。 “我还没有完成我的王国之旅。我很老了。这里没有马车的地方。而且走路也累。”

  “哦,我已经看过了!”小王子说着,转身又看了看地球的另一边。那边,和这边一样,根本就没有人……

  “那你自己判断吧,”国王回答。 “这是最困难的事情。评判自己比评判别人困难得多。如果你能正确地判断自己,那么你确实是一个真正有智慧的人。”

  《是的》小王子说,“但我可以在任何地方判断自己。我不需要生活在这个星球上。

  《哼!哼!”国王说。 “我有充分的理由相信,在我的星球的某个地方,有一只老老鼠。我在晚上听到他的声音。你可以判断这只老老鼠。有时你会判处他死刑。因此,他的生命将取决于你的正义。但你每次都会原谅他;因为他必须受到节俭的对待。他是我们唯一的一个。”

  《我》小王子回答说:“不喜欢判处任何人死刑。现在我想我会继续前进。”

  《不,》国王说。

 但是小王子已经做好了出发的准备,不想让老君伤心。

  “如果陛下希望得到及时的服从,”他说,“他应该能够给我一个合理的命令。例如,他应该能够命令我在一分钟内离开。在我看来,条件是有利的……”

  国王没有回答,小王子犹豫了一下。然后,叹了口气,离开了。

  《我让你成为我的大使》国王急忙喊道。

  他的气质很美

f 权威。

  《大人很奇怪》小王子边走边对自己说。

   

   

  【第11话】

  小王子拜访自负的男人

  第二颗星球上住着一个自负的人。

  “啊!啊!我即将迎来一位仰慕者的来访!”当他第一次看到小王子来的时候,他远远地惊呼起来。

  对于自负的男人来说,其他男人都是仰慕者。

   

   

  《早安》小王子说。 “你戴着那顶奇怪的帽子。”

  “这是礼帽,”自负的人回答道。 “当人们称赞我时,它是向我致敬。不幸的是,根本没有人经过这条路。”

  《是吗?》小王子不明白这个自负的人在说什么。

  “拍拍你的手,一拍一拍,”那个自负的人现在指挥着他。

  小王子拍了拍手。自负的人举起帽子,谦虚地敬了个礼。

  “这比拜访国王还有趣,”小王子自言自语道。他又开始拍手,一只手对着另一只。那个自负的人反对举起帽子行礼。

 这个练习五分钟后,小王子厌倦了游戏的“单调”。

  “那要怎么做才能让帽子掉下来呢?”他问。

  可是那个自负的人没有听见。自负的人只会听到赞美。

  “你真的很佩服我吗?”他要求小王子。

  “什么意思——”佩服“?”

  “欣赏就是把我看成这个星球上最帅、最会穿、最有钱、最聪明的人。”

  “但你是地球上唯一的男人!”

  “请帮我这个忙。也同样佩服我。”

  《我佩服你》小王子说,微微耸了耸肩,“但是这有什么让你这么感兴趣的呢?”

  小王子走了。

  “大人当然很奇怪,”他一边说,一边继续他的旅程。

   

   

  【第12话】

  小王子拜访酒鬼

  下一个星球住着一个酒鬼。这是一次非常短暂的访问,却让小王子陷入了深深的沮丧。

  “你在那里做什么?”他对倒酒的人说,他发现他在一堆空瓶子和一堆满瓶面前一言不发地安顿下来。

  《我在喝酒》酒鬼回答说,神情阴郁。

  “你为什么要喝酒?”小王子问道。

  “让我忘记,”酒鬼回答。

  《忘了什么?》小王子问道,他已经为他感到难过了。

   

   

  《忘记我的耻辱》酒鬼承认,低着头。

  《羞于什么?》小王子坚持要帮他。

  《喝酒害臊!》酒鬼结束了他的演讲,并把自己关在了无懈可击的沉默中。

  小王子迷惑地走了。

  “大人肯定是非常非常奇怪的,”他一边说,一边继续他的旅程。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第13话】

  小王子拜访商人

  第四颗行星属于一个商人。小王子来了,这人忙得连头都没抬。

  《早安》小王子对他说。 “你的烟已经灭了。”

  “三加二等于五。五加七等于十二。十二加三等于十五。早上好。十五加七等于二十二。二十二加六等于二十八。我没时间再点燃它。二十六加五等于三十一。呸!那么这就是五亿一百万、六十二万二千、七百三十一。”

  《五亿是什么?》小王子问。

  “诶?你还在吗?五亿一百万——我停不下来……我还有很多事要做!我关心的是后果问题。我不喜欢胡言乱语。二加五等于七……”

   

   

  《五亿一百万什么?》小王子重复了一遍,他一生中从未问过一个问题。

  T

那位商人抬起头来。

  “我在这颗星球上居住的五十四年里,只被打扰过 3 次。第一次是二十二年前,天知道从哪里掉下来的一只头晕目眩的鹅。他发出了最可怕的声音,响彻四方,而我在加法中犯了四个错误。第二次,十一年前,我因风湿病发作而感到不安。我没有得到足够的锻炼。我没有时间闲逛。第三次——嗯,就是这样!那么,我说的是五亿一百万——”

  《几百万什么?》

  这位商人突然意识到,在他回答这个问题之前,没有希望安宁。

  《数以百万计的小物件》他说,“人们有时会在天空中看到。”

  《苍蝇?》

  “哦,不。闪闪发光的小物件。”

  《蜜蜂?》

  “哦,不。金色的小物件让懒惰的人无所事事。至于我,我关心的是后果问题。我的生活中没有时间做空梦。”

  “啊!你是说星星吗?”

  “对,就是这样。星星。”

  “那你拿五亿颗星星做什么?”

  “五亿一百万、六十二万二千、七百三十一。我关心有后果的事情:我是准确的。”

  “你拿这些星星做什么?”

  “我该怎么处理它们?”

  “是的。”

  “没什么。我拥有它们。”

  《星星是你的吗?》

  “是的。”

  “可是我已经见过一个国王——”

  “君王不拥有,君临天下。这是完全不同的事情。”

  “拥有星星对你有什么好处?”

  “让我变得富有对我有好处。”

  “那你有钱有什么好处?”

  “这让我有可能买更多的星星,如果有的话。”

  《这个男人》小王子对自己说,“理由有点像我可怜的酒鬼……”

  尽管如此,他还有一些问题。

  “一个人怎么可能拥有星星?”

  “他们属于谁?”商人生气地反驳道。

  “我不知道。对任何人。”

  “那它们是属于我的,因为我是第一个想到它的人。”

  “只需要这些吗?”

  “当然。当您发现一颗不属于任何人的钻石时,它就是您的了。当你发现一个不属于任何人的岛屿时,它就是你的了。当你在任何人之前得到一个想法时,你就获得了它的专利:它是你的。我也是这样:我拥有星星,因为在我之前没有其他人想过拥有它们。”

  “是的,确实如此,”小王子说。 “那你怎么处理它们?”

  “我管理他们”商人回答。 “我数了数又数了一遍。这很难。但我是一个天生对重要的事情感兴趣的人。”

  小王子还是不满足。

  “如果我有一条丝巾,”他说,“我可以把它挂在脖子上,带走。如果我拥有一朵花,我可以摘下那朵花带走。但你不能摘下天上的星星……”

  “没有。但我可以把它们放在银行里。”

  “这是什么意思?”

  “也就是说,我把星星的数量写在一张小纸上。然后我把这张纸放在抽屉里,用钥匙锁上。”

  “就这些?”

  《够了》商人说。

  “很有趣”小王子想。 “颇有诗意。但这没什么大不了的。”

  在大事上,小王子的想法和大人大相径庭。

  “我自己有一朵花”他继续与商人交谈,“我每天都在浇水。我拥有三座火山,我每周清理一次(因为我还清理了一个已经灭绝的火山;一个永远不知道)。它对我的火山有一些用处,对我的花也有一些用处,我拥有它们。但你对星星没用……”

  商人张了张嘴,却没有什么可说的。然后小王子就走了。

  “大人当然是不凡的,”他说的很简单,一边自言自语,一边继续他的旅程。

[第14章]

  小王子拜访点灯人

  第五颗行星很奇怪。它是最小的。上面只有足够的空间放一盏路灯和一个点灯器。小王子无法解释如何使用路灯和点灯,在天上的某个地方,在一个没有人,也没有房子的星球上。但他还是对自己说:

  “这个人很可能很荒谬。但他不像国王、自负的人、商人和酒鬼那样荒谬。因为至少他的工作有一些意义。当他点亮他的路灯时,就好像他给生命带来了一颗星星,或者一朵花。当他熄灭他的灯时,他让花朵或星星进入睡眠状态。这是一个美丽的职业。而且因为它很漂亮,所以它真的很有用。”

   

   

  当他到达这个星球时,他恭敬地向点灯人致敬。

  “早上好。为什么你刚刚熄灭了你的灯?”

  “这是命令,”点灯人回答。 “早上好。”

  《命令是什么?》

  “命令是我把灯灭了。晚上好。”

  他又点了灯。

  “可是你怎么又点了?”

  “这是命令,”点灯人回答。

  《我不明白》小王子说。

  《没有什么好理解的》点灯人说。 “命令就是命令。早上好。”

  他把灯灭了。

  然后他用装饰着红色方块的手帕擦了擦额头。

  “我从事的职业很糟糕。在过去,这是合理的。早上我把灯灭了,晚上又点了。白天剩下的时间用来放松,晚上剩下的时间用来睡觉。”

  “从那个时候开始,顺序变了?”

  “订单没有变,”点灯人说。 “这就是悲剧!年复一年,地球转得更快,秩序没有改变!”

  “然后呢?”小王子问。

  “那么——地球每分钟转一圈,我已经没有一秒钟的休息时间了。每分钟一次,我必须点亮我的灯并将其熄灭!”

  "太搞笑了!一天只有一分钟,你住的地方!”

  “一点都不好笑!”点灯人说。 “虽然我们一直在一起聊天,但一个月过去了。”

  《一个月?》

  “是的,一个月。三十分钟。三十天。晚上好。”

  他又点了灯。

  小王子看着他,觉得自己爱上了这个对自己的命令如此忠诚的点灯人。他想起了他自己去寻找的日落,在其他日子里,他只是拉起椅子。他想帮助他的朋友。

  《你知道》他说,“我可以告诉你一种方法,你可以随时休息……”

  “我总是想休息”点灯人说。

  因为一个人可以同时忠诚和懒惰。

  小王子继续解释:

  “你的星球很小,三步就能绕它一圈。要想一直在阳光下,你只需要慢慢地走。当你想休息时,你会走路——一天会持续多久,只要你愿意。”

  “这对我没有多大好处,”点灯人说。 “我一生中最喜欢的一件事就是睡觉。”

  “那你“不走运”小王子说。

  《我倒霉》点灯人说。 “早上好。”

  他把灯灭了。

  《那个男人》小王子一边继续前行,一边自言自语,“这个人会被所有人蔑视:被国王、被自负的人、被酒鬼、被商人蔑视。”然而,在我看来,他是他们中唯一一个并不荒谬的人。也许那是因为他在想着自己以外的其他事情。”

  他叹了口气,又对自己说:

  “那个男人是我能交到朋友的唯一一个。但他的星球确实太小了。上面没有两个人的空间……”

  小王子最不敢承认的是,离开这个星球,他最后悔的是,因为每天有1440个落日,真是太幸福了!

   

   

  【第15话】

  小王子拜访地理学家

  第六颗行星比l大十倍

一块石头。这里住着一位写了大量书籍的老绅士。

  “哦,看!这里是探险家!”看到小王子来了,他暗自惊呼。

  小王子坐在桌子上,有点喘气。他已经走了这么多远了!

  《你从哪里来?》老先生对他说。

  “那本大书是什么?”小王子说。 “你在做什么?”

  《我是地理学家》老先生对他说。

  《什么是地理学家?》小王子问。

  “地理学家是知道所有海洋、河流、城镇、山脉和沙漠位置的学者。”

  “这很有趣,”小王子说。 “终于有一个真正的职业的人出现了!”他环顾四周,看着地理学家的星球。这是他所见过的最宏伟、最庄严的星球。

   

  《你的星球很美》他说。 “有海洋吗?”

  “我不能告诉你,”地理学家说。

  《啊!》小王子很失望。 “有山吗?”

  “我不能告诉你,”地理学家说。

  “还有城镇、河流和沙漠?”

  “我也不能告诉你。”

  “但你是地理学家!”

  《正是,》地理学家说。 “但我不是探险家。我的星球上没有一个探险家。不是地理学家出去数城镇、河流、山脉、大海、海洋和沙漠。地理学家太重要了,不能闲逛。他没有离开他的办公桌。但他在书房里接待了探险者。他问他们问题,并记下他们对旅行的回忆。如果其中任何一个人的回忆对他来说很有趣,地理学家就会下令调查那个探险家的“道德品质”。”

  “为什么会这样?”

  “因为一个说谎的探险家会给地理学家的书带来灾难。喝多了的探险家也会这样。”

  “这是为什么?”小王子问。

  “因为醉汉见双。然后地理学家会在只有一座山的地方记下两座山。”

  “我认识一个人”小王子说,“谁会成为一个糟糕的探险家。”

  ”这是可能的。然后,当探险家的道德品质表现良好时,就会下令对他的发现进行调查。”

  “有人去看吗?”

  “没有。那太复杂了。但是需要探险家提供证据。例如,如果有问题的发现是一座大山,则需要从山上带回大石头。”

  地理学家突然兴奋起来。

  “可是你——你从很远的地方来!你是探险家!你应该向我描述你的星球!”

   

  然后,地理学家打开他的大登记簿,削尖了铅笔。探险家的独奏首先用铅笔写下来。等到探险家提供证据后,再用墨水记录下来。

  《嗯?》地理学家期待地说。

  《哦,我住的地方》小王子说,“不是很有趣。这一切都那么小。我有三座火山。两座火山活跃,另一座已灭绝。但人永远不知道。”

  《永远不知道》地理学家说。

  “我也有一朵花。”

  《我们不记录花》地理学家说。

  “这是为什么呢?花是我这个星球上最美丽的东西!”

  “我们不记录它们,”地理学家说,“因为它们是短暂的。”

  “那是什么意思——”短暂的“?”

  《地理》地理学家说,“是所有书籍中最关心重大问题的书籍。他们永远不会过时。一座山很少改变它的位置。海洋很少会排空自己的水域。我们写的是永恒的事物。”

  “但死火山可能会复活,”小王子打断了他。 “那是什么意思——‘短暂的’?”

  “火山是死的还是活的,对我们来说都是一样的,”地理学家说。 “对我们来说最重要的是山。它不会改变。”

  “但那是什么意思——”短暂的“?”小王子重复了一遍,他从来不在

一旦他问了一个问题,他的生活就放弃了。

  “它的意思是,“有迅速消失的危险。”“”

  “我的花有快速消失的危险吗?”

  “确实是这样。”

  《我的花是短暂的》小王子自言自语道:“她只有四根荆棘来抵御这个世界。我把她留在了我的星球上,一个人!”

  那是他第一次后悔。但他再次鼓起勇气。

  “你建议我现在去什么地方?”他问。

  《地球》地理学家回答。 “名声不错。”

  小王子走了,想着他的花。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第16话】

  - 叙述者讨论地球的“点灯人”

  那么第七颗行星就是地球了。

  地球不只是一颗普通的星球!可以数一数,有 111 位国王(当然不包括黑人国王)、7000 位地理学家、900,000 名商人、7,500,000 名酒鬼、311,000,000 名自负的人——也就是说,大约有 2,000,000,000 名成年人。

 为了让你了解地球的大小,我告诉你,在电力发明之前,需要在整个六大洲维持一支名副其实的462,511个路灯点灯大军。

  从远处看,那将是一个壮丽的景象。这支军队的行动将像歌剧中的芭蕾舞一样受到调节。首先将轮到新西兰和澳大利亚的点灯者。点亮灯后,这些人就会去睡觉。接下来,中国和西伯利亚的点灯者将进入舞步,然后他们也将被挥舞回翅膀。在那之后,轮到俄罗斯和印度的点灯者了。然后是非洲和欧洲,然后是南美洲;然后是南美;然后是北美的。他们永远不会在他们上台的顺序上犯错。这将是宏伟的。

  只有负责北极单灯的人,和负责南极单灯的同事——只有这两个人才能不劳而获:他们会忙碌一年两次。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第17话】

  小王子结识了蛇

  当一个人想耍花招时,他有时会偏离真相。我告诉你的关于点灯者的事情,我并不完全诚实。我意识到我冒着给那些现在不知道我们星球的人一个错误想法的风险。人类在地球上占据很小的位置。如果居住在其表面的 20 亿居民都直立并有点拥挤,就像他们为一些大型公共集会所做的那样,他们可以很容易地融入一个二十英里长和二十英里宽的公共广场。全人类可以堆积在一个太平洋小岛上。

  大人当然不会相信你这么说的。他们想象自己占据了很大的空间。他们认为自己和猴面包树一样重要。那么,您应该建议他们自己进行计算。他们喜欢数字,这会让他们高兴。但是不要在这个额外的任务上浪费你的时间。这是不必要的。我知道,你对我有信心。

  小王子来到地球的时候,没有看到任何人,他非常惊讶。他开始害怕自己来错了星球,这时一圈金色的月光颜色在沙地上闪过。

  《晚安》小王子彬彬有礼地说。

  《晚安》蛇说。

  “我降落在哪个星球上?”小王子问。

  《这就是地球;这是非洲,”蛇回答了。

  “啊!那么地球上就没有人了?”

  “这是沙漠。沙漠里没有人。地球很大,”蛇说。

 小王子坐在一块石头上,抬头望天。

  《我想知道》他说,“星星是否在天堂被点燃,以便有一天我们每个人都可以重新找到自己的……看看我的星球。它就在我们上方。但它有多远!”

  “很漂亮”蛇说。 “是什么把你带到这里来的?”

  “我在花上遇到了一些麻烦”;小王子说。

  《啊!》蛇说。

  他们都沉默了。

“男人们在哪里?”小王子终于又开始谈话了。 “沙漠里有点寂寞……”

  《人间亦寂寞》蛇说。

  小王子盯着他看了很久。

  《你是个有趣的动物》他最后说。 “你不比手指粗……”

  “但我比国王的手指更有力量,”蛇说。

  小王子笑了。

  “你不是很厉害。你连脚都没有。你甚至不能旅行……”

  “我能载你比任何船都载你更远,”蛇说。

  他像金镯子一样缠在小王子的脚踝上。

  “我摸到谁,就送他从哪里来,”蛇又说话了。 “但你天真无邪,你来自星星……”

  小王子没有回答。

  “你让我心生怜惜——在这花岗岩构成的地球上,你是如此的软弱,”蛇说。 "如果你对自己的星球太想家了,我可以帮助你,总有一天。我可以——”

  “哦!我非常了解你,”小王子说。 “可是你为什么总是用谜语说话呢?”

  “我都解决了”蛇说。

  他们都沉默了。

   

   

   

   

  【第18话】

  小王子去寻人,遇见一朵花

   

  小王子穿越沙漠,只遇见一朵花。那是一朵三瓣的花,根本就是一朵无名之花。

  《早安》小王子说。

  《早安》花说。

  《男人们在哪里?》小王子礼貌的问道。

  这朵花曾经见过一个商队经过。

  《男人?》她附和道。 “我认为它们有六七个存在。我见过他们,几年前。但人们永远不知道在哪里可以找到它们。风把他们吹走了。他们没有根,这让他们的生活非常艰难。”

  《再见》小王子说。

  《再见》花说。

   

   

   

   

   

   

  【第19话】

  小王子爬山

  在那之后,小王子爬上了一座高山。他所知道的唯一一座山就是那三座火山,它一直延伸到他的膝盖。他把死火山当作脚凳。 “从和这座一样高的山上,”他对自己说,“我将能够一眼看到整个星球,以及所有的人……”

  但他什么也没看到,除了尖尖的像针一样的岩石山峰。

  《早安》他彬彬有礼地说。

  《早安–早安–早安》回应了回声。

  《你是谁?》小王子说。

  《你是谁——你是谁——你是谁?》回应了回声。

  “做我的朋友吧。我一个人,”他说。

  “我一个人——一个人——一个人”回应了回声。

  “多么奇怪的星球!”他以为。 “它完全干燥,完全尖锐,完全刺耳和令人生畏。人们没有想象力。他们重复别人对他们说的话……在我的星球上,我有一朵花;她总是第一个说话……”

   

   

   

   

   

   

  【第20话】

  小王子发现了玫瑰园

  但恰巧小王子在沙地、岩石、雪地里走了很久,终于来到了一条路。条条大路通人之家。

  《早安》他说。

   

  他站在花园前,玫瑰盛开。

  《早安》玫瑰说。

  小王子看着他们。它们都像他的花。

  《你是谁?》他问道,惊呆了。

  《我们是玫瑰》玫瑰说。

  他被悲伤所征服。他的花告诉他,她是整个宇宙中唯一的同类。这里有五千只,全都在一个花园里!

  “她会很生气,”他对自己说,“如果她看到了……她会咳嗽得厉害,她会假装自己快死了,以免被人嘲笑。而且我不得不假装我正在照顾她,因为如果我不这样做,也为了谦卑自己,她真的会允许他

自己去死吧……”

  然后他继续思考:“我以为我很富有,有一朵世界上独一无二的花;我只有一朵普通的玫瑰。一朵普通的玫瑰,三座长到我膝盖的火山——其中一座可能永远灭绝了……这并不能让我成为一个非常伟大的王子……”

  他躺在草地上哭了。

   

   

   

   

   

   

  【第21话】

  小王子和狐狸交朋友

  就在那时狐狸出现了。

  《早安》狐狸说。

  《早安》小王子礼貌的回应,虽然转身什么也没看到。

  《我就在这里》那个声音说,“在苹果树下。”

  《你是谁?》小王子问,并补充说:“你长得真漂亮。”

  《我是狐狸》狐狸说。

  《来和我一起玩吧》提议小王子。 “我很不高兴。”

  《我不能陪你玩》狐狸说。 “我没有被驯服。”

  “啊!请原谅,”小王子说。

  但是想了想,又补充道:“这是什么意思——‘驯服’?”

  《你不住在这里》狐狸说。 “你在找什么?”

  《我在找男人》小王子说。 “这是什么意思——‘驯服’?”

  《男人们》狐狸说。 “他们有枪,他们打猎。这是非常令人不安的。他们还养鸡。这些是他们唯一的兴趣。你在找鸡吗?”

  《不,》小王子说。 “我正在寻找朋友。这是什么意思——“驯服”?”

  “这是一个经常被忽视的行为,”狐狸说。这意味着建立联系。”

  “‘建立联系‘?”

  “就是这样,”狐狸说。 “对我来说,你不过是一个和十万个小男孩一样的小男孩。而且我不需要你。而你,就你而言,不需要我。对你来说,我不过是十万只狐狸一样的狐狸。但如果你驯服了我,那么我们就会互相需要。对我来说,你将是世界上独一无二的。对你来说,我将是全世界独一无二的……”

  “我开始明白了”小王子说。 “有一朵花……我想她已经驯服了我……”

   

  《有可能》狐狸说。 “在地球上,人们可以看到各种各样的东西。”

  “哦,这不是地球上的!”小王子说。

 狐狸看起来很困惑,很好奇。

  《在另一个星球上?》

  “是的。”

  “这个星球上有猎人吗?”

  《没有。》

  “啊,这很有趣!有鸡吗?”

  《没有。》

  “没有什么是完美的”狐狸叹了口气。

  但他又回到了自己的想法。

  《我的生活很单调》狐狸说。 “我猎鸡;男人追我。所有的鸡都一样,所有的男人都一样。因此,我有点无聊。但如果你驯服了我,就好像阳光普照了我的生活。我将知道一个不同于其他所有步骤的声音。其他步骤让我赶紧回到地下。你会像音乐一样从我的洞穴中召唤我。然后看:你看到那边的粮田了吗?我不吃面包。小麦对我没有用。麦田对我无话可说。这是可悲的。但是你的头发是金色的。想一想,当你驯服了我,那该多好!金色的谷物会让我想起你。我会喜欢听麦子里的风声……”

 狐狸盯着小王子看了很久。

  “请——驯服我吧!”他说。

  “我很想,”小王子回答。 “但我没有多少时间。我有朋友要发现,还有很多东西要了解。”

  “只懂得驯服的东西,”狐狸说。 “男人没有更多的时间去理解任何事情。他们买的东西都是在商店里现成的。但是,任何地方都没有可以买到友谊的商店,所以男人也没有朋友了。如果你想要一个朋友,驯服我……”

  “我该怎么做才能驯服你?”小王子问。

  《你一定很有耐心》狐狸回答。 “首先你要坐在离我不远的地方——就像那样——在草地上。我要

我用余光看着你,你什么也不会说。言语是误解的根源。但是你每天都会坐得离我更近一点……”

   

  第二天小王子回来了。

  “最好在同一时间回来,”狐狸说。 “例如,如果你下午四点钟来,那么三点钟我就会开始开心起来。随着时间的推移,我会感到越来越快乐。四点钟的时候,我就已经在担心和跳来跳去。我会让你知道我有多开心!但如果你随时来,我永远不知道我的心在什么时候准备好迎接你……必须遵守适当的仪式……”

  《什么是仪式?》小王子问。

  “这些也是经常被忽视的行为,”狐狸说。 “它们使一天与其他日子不同,一小时与其他时间不同。例如,在我的猎人中间有一个仪式。每个星期四他们都和村里的姑娘们跳舞。所以星期四对我来说是美好的一天!我可以步行到葡萄园。但如果猎人在任何时候跳舞,每一天都会像隔天一样,我根本就不应该有任何假期。”

  于是小王子驯服了狐狸。而当他离开的时间临近时——

  《啊,》狐狸说,“我要哭了。”

  《都是你自己的错》小王子说。 “我从不希望你受到任何伤害;但你想让我驯服你……”

  “是的,就是这样,”狐狸说。

  “可是现在你要哭了!”小王子说。

  “是的,就是这样,”狐狸说。

  “那对你一点好处都没有!”

  “这对我很好,”狐狸说,“因为麦田的颜色。”然后他补充说:

  “去看看玫瑰吧。你现在会明白,你的在全世界都是独一无二的。那你回来跟我说再见吧,我给你送个秘密礼物。”

 小王子走了,又去看玫瑰了。

  《你一点都不像我的玫瑰》他说。 “到目前为止,你什么都不是。没有人驯服过你,你也没有驯服过任何人。当我第一次认识他时,你就像我的狐狸。他和其他十万只狐狸一样,只是一只狐狸。但我已经把他当成了我的朋友,现在他在全世界都是独一无二的。”

  玫瑰也很尴尬。

  《你很美,但你很空虚》;他接着说。 “一个人不能为你而死。可以肯定的是,一个普通的路人会认为我的玫瑰和你很像——属于我的玫瑰。但就她自己而言,她比你们所有的其他数百朵玫瑰更重要:因为我浇灌的是她;因为我把她放在玻璃球下面;因为我在屏风后面庇护的就是她;因为是为了她,我杀了毛毛虫(除了我们救下来变成蝴蝶的那两三只);因为我听的是她,当她抱怨或吹嘘时,甚至有时当她什么也没说时。因为她是我的玫瑰。

  他回去见狐狸了。

  《再见》他说。

  《再见》狐狸说。 "现在这是我的秘密,一个非常简单的秘密:只有用心才能正确地看到;重要的东西是肉眼看不见的。”

  “本质是肉眼看不见的”;小王子重复了一遍,这样他一定会记住的。

  “正是你为你的玫瑰而浪费的时间,才让你的玫瑰如此重要。”

  “这是我为我的玫瑰浪费的时间——”小王子说,这样他一定会记住的。

  “男人都忘记了这个道理”狐狸说。 “但你不能忘记它。你会永远为你所驯服的东西负责。你要为你的玫瑰负责……”

  《我对我的玫瑰负责》小王子重复了一遍,这样他一定会记住的。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第22话】

  小王子遇到铁路道岔

  《早安》小王子说。

  《早安》铁路道岔说。

  “你在这里做什么?”小王子问。

  “我把旅客分门别类,一千一包,”接线员说。 “我送走载他们的火车;现在向右,现在向左。”

  一列灯火通明的特快列车惊动了转辙工的车厢,轰鸣如雷。

  “他们在一个

非常快,”小王子说。 “他们在寻找什么?”

  “连机车工程师都不知道,”开关工说。

  第二辆灯火通明的快车从相反的方向呼啸而过。

  “他们回来了吗?”小王子问道。

  “这些不是同一个,”接线员说。 “这是一种交换。”

  “他们在哪里不满意吗?”小王子问。

  “没有人会满足于他所处的位置,”开关工说。

 他们听到了第三辆灯火通明的快车的轰鸣声。

  “他们在追赶第一批旅行者吗?”小王子问道。

  “他们什么都不追求,”接线员说。 “他们在里面睡着了,或者如果他们没有睡着,他们就会打哈欠。只有孩子们把鼻子贴在窗玻璃上。”

  “只有孩子们知道他们在寻找什么,”小王子说。 “他们把时间浪费在布娃娃上,这对他们来说变得非常重要;如果有人把它从他们身上拿走,他们就会哭……”

  “他们很幸运,”开关人说。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第23话】

  小王子遇到商人

  《早安》小王子说。

  《早安》商人说。

  这是一个贩卖被发明的解渴丹药的商人。每周只需吞下一颗药丸,就不会觉得需要喝什么了。

  “你为什么要卖那些?”小王子问。

  “因为他们节省了大量的时间,”商人说。 “专家已经进行了计算。使用这些药丸,您每周可以节省 53 分钟。”

  “那五十三分钟我该怎么办?”

  《你喜欢什么都行……》

  《至于我》小王子自言自语道:“如果我有五十三分钟的时间可以随心所欲地度过,我应该悠闲地走向淡水泉水。”

   

   

   

   

   

   

  【第24话】

  - 叙述者和小王子,口渴,在沙漠中寻找一口井

  现在已经是我在沙漠中出事的第八天了,我一边喝着最后一滴水,一边听着商人的故事。

  《啊,》我对小王子说:“你的这些回忆很迷人;但是我还没有修好我的飞机;我没有什么可喝的了;如果我能悠闲地走向淡水泉水,我也应该很高兴!”

  《我的朋友狐狸——》小王子对我说。

  “我亲爱的小家伙,这已经不是狐狸的事情了!”

  “为什么不呢?”

  “因为我快渴死了……”

  他没有按照我的推理回答我:

  “有一个朋友是件好事,即使一个人快要死了。例如,我很高兴有一只狐狸作为朋友……”

  “他无法猜测危险,”我对自己说。 “他从来没有饿过或渴过。他只需要一点阳光……”

  但他定定地看着我,回答我的想法:

  “我也渴了。让我们找一口井……”

  我做了个疲倦的手势。在广阔的沙漠中随意寻找一口井是荒谬的。不过我们还是开始走路了。

  我们跋涉了几个小时,在寂静中,黑暗降临,星星开始出现。口渴让我有点发烧,我看着他们,好像我在做梦一样。小王子的遗言又回到了我的记忆中:

  “那你也渴了?”我要求。

  但是他没有回答我的问题。他只是对我说:

  《水也可能对心脏有益……》

  这个答案我没看懂,但我什么也没说。我很清楚,不可能盘问他。

  他累了。他坐了下来。我在他身边坐下。然后,沉默了一会儿,他又开口了:

  “星星之所以美丽,是因为一朵看不见的花。”

  我回答说:“是的,就是这样。”而且,我没有再说什么,在月光下越过我们面前伸展的沙脊。

  《沙漠很美》小王子补充道。

  原来如此。我一直很喜欢沙漠。一个人坐在沙漠沙丘上,什么也看不见,什么也听不见。然而,在寂静中,有什么东西在跳动,闪烁着……

  《是什么让沙漠如此美丽》小王子说,“难道它藏着一口井……”

  突然对那神秘的沙地辐射有了了解,让我大吃一惊。当我还是个小男孩的时候,我住在一栋老房子里,传说那里埋着宝藏。可以肯定的是,没有人知道如何找到它。也许没有人曾经寻找过它。但它对那所房子施了魔法。我的家在它的内心深处隐藏着一个秘密……

  《是的》我对小王子说。 “房子、星星、沙漠——赋予它们美丽的是看不见的东西!”

  《我很高兴》他说,“你同意我的狐狸。”

  小王子睡着了,我把他抱在怀里,又开始走路了。我深感触动,心潮澎湃。在我看来,我带着一个非常脆弱的宝藏。甚至在我看来,地球上没有比这更脆弱的了。月光下,我看着他苍白的额头,闭着的眼睛,随风颤抖的一绺头发,我对自己说:“我在这里看到的只是一个贝壳。最重要的是看不见的……”

  他嘴角微微张开,带着一丝似有似无的笑意,我又对自己说:“让我深深感动的是,这个睡在这里的小王子,是他对一朵花的忠诚——一朵玫瑰的形象,即使在他睡着的时候,也像一盏灯的火焰一样闪耀在他的全身……”我觉得他更脆弱了。我觉得有必要保护他,仿佛他自己就是一团火焰,一点点风就能熄灭……

  然后,我继续往前走,在黎明时分找到了那口井。

   

   

   

   

   

  【第25话】

  - 找到一口井,叙述者和小王子讨论他回到他的星球

  《男人们》小王子说,“他们坐快车出发了,但他们不知道自己在找什么。然后他们四处奔波,兴奋不已,转来转去……”

  他又补充道:

  “不值得这么麻烦……”

  我们来到的井不像撒哈拉的井。撒哈拉的水井只不过是在沙子上挖的洞。这就像村里的一口井。但是这里没有村庄,我想我一定是在做梦……

  《很奇怪》我对小王子说。 “一切都准备就绪:滑轮、水桶、绳索……”

   

  他笑了,摸了摸绳子,让滑轮运转起来。滑轮发出呻吟,就像风早已遗忘的旧风向标。

  “你听到了吗?”小王子说。 “我们唤醒了井,它在唱歌……”

  我不想让他用绳子累死自己。

  《交给我吧》我说。 “对你来说太重了。”

  我把水桶慢慢地举到井边,放在那里——高兴,累了,因为我的成就。滑轮的歌声还在我耳边,我可以看到阳光在仍然颤抖的水中闪烁。

  《我渴了这水》小王子说。 “给我来点喝……”

  我明白他一直在寻找什么。

  我把水桶举到他的唇边。他喝了口酒,闭上了眼睛。这就像一些特殊的节日款待一样甜蜜。这水,确实和一般的营养不同。它的甜蜜源于星空下的漫步,滑轮的歌声,我手臂的努力。这对心脏有好处,就像礼物一样。当我还是个小男孩的时候,圣诞树的灯光,午夜弥撒的音乐,微笑的脸庞的温柔,都用来弥补,所以,我收到的礼物的光彩。

  《你住的男人》小王子说,“在同一个花园里养五千朵玫瑰——他们在花园里找不到他们要找的东西。”

  “他们没有找到,”我回复了。

  “然而他们所寻找的东西却可以在一朵玫瑰花中找到,或者在一点点水中。”

  “是的,确实如此,”我说。

  小王子又补充道:

  “可是眼睛是瞎的。必须用心去看……”

  我喝了水。我轻松地呼吸。日出时,沙子是蜂蜜的颜色。那种蜂蜜色也让我很开心。那么,是什么给我带来了这种悲伤的感觉呢?

  《你一定要信守诺言》小家伙说
王子,轻轻地,他再次坐在我身边。

  《什么承诺?》

  “你知道——我的羊的嘴……我负责这朵花……”

  我从口袋里掏出草稿。小王子看了他们一眼,笑道:

  “你的猴面包树——看起来有点像卷心菜。”

  “哦!”

  我为我的猴面包树感到骄傲!

  “你的狐狸——耳朵有点像角;而且它们太长了。”

  他又笑了。

  《小王子你不公平》我说。 “除了从外面画蟒蛇和从里面画蟒蛇,我不会画任何东西。”

  “哦,没关系的”他说,“孩子们懂的。”

  于是我画了一个枪口的铅笔素描。当我把它给他时,我的心被撕裂了。

  “你有我不知道的计划”我说。

  可是他没有回答我。相反,他对我说:

  “你知道–我的降临地球……明天是它的周年纪念日。”

  然后,沉默了一会,他接着说:

  “我下来很近。”

  他脸红了。

  再一次,不知道为什么,我有一种奇怪的悲伤感。然而,我想到了一个问题:

  “那我第一次见到你的那天早上——一周前——你就这样一个人在离任何有人居住的地区一千里的地方散步,这不是偶然的吗?你是背对着着陆的地方吗?”

  小王子又脸红了。

  我有些犹豫地补充了一句:

  “也许是因为周年庆?”

  小王子又脸红了。他从不回答问题——但是当一个人脸红时,这不代表“是”吗?

  《啊,》我对他说,“我有点害怕——”

  可是他打断了我。

  “现在你必须工作了。你必须回到你的引擎。我会在这里等你。明天晚上回来……”

  可是我并不放心。我想起了狐狸。如果一个人让自己被驯服,就会冒着哭泣的危险……

   

  【第26话】

  小王子与蛇对话;小王子安慰叙述者;小王子回到他的星球

  井旁是一堵旧石墙的废墟。第二天晚上,当我下班回来时,我从远处看到我的小价格坐在墙顶上,他的脚悬着。我听到他说:

  “那你不记得了。这不是确切的地点。”

  一定是另一个声音回答了他,因为他回答了:

  “对对对!这是正确的一天,但这不是地方。”

  我继续朝墙走去。我从来没有看到或听到任何人。小王子却再次回答:

  ”–没错。你会看到我的足迹从哪里开始,在沙滩上。你别无他法,只好在那儿等我。今晚我会在那里。”

  我离墙只有二十米,还是什么都看不见。

  沉默后小王子又开口了:

  《你有好毒吗?你确定不会让我受苦太久?”

  我停下脚步,心碎了;但还是没听懂。

  《现在走开》小王子说。 “我想从墙上下来。”

   

  然后,我的视线落到了墙脚——我跳到了空中。在我面前,面对着小王子,是一条只需要三十秒就能结束你生命的黄蛇。就在我挖出我的痘痘来取出左轮手枪时,我还是往后退了一步。但是,听到我发出的声音,那条蛇就像喷泉即将喷出的喷水一样轻松地流过沙滩,并没有明显的匆忙,伴随着轻微的金属声,消失在石头之间。

  我及时到了墙边,把我的小家伙抱在怀里;他的脸白如雪。

  “这是什么意思?”我要求。 “你为什么要和蛇说话?”

  我解开了他一直戴着的金色围巾。我润湿了他的太阳穴,给了他一些水喝。现在我不敢再问他任何问题了。他非常严肃地看着我,双手搂住我的脖子。我感觉到他的心跳就像一只垂死的鸟的心脏,被某人的步枪击中……

  “我很高兴你发现你的引擎出了什么问题,”他说。 “现在你可以回家了——”

  “你怎么知道的?”

  我只是来告诉他我的工作

k 成功了,超出了我敢于希望的任何事情。他没有回答我的问题,但他补充说:

  “我今天也要回家……”

  那么,很遗憾–

  “更远……更难……”

  我清楚地意识到发生了一些不寻常的事情。我把他紧紧地抱在怀里,好像他还是个小孩子。然而在我看来,他正朝着一个深渊冲去,我无法阻止他……

  他的神情很严肃,就像一个人在很远的地方迷路了。

  “我有你的羊。我有羊的盒子。而且我有枪口……”他给了我一个悲伤的微笑。

  等了很久。我看得出他在一点一点的复活。

  《亲爱的小人》我对他说,“你害怕……”

  他害怕,这是毫无疑问的。但他轻笑了一声。

  “今晚我会更害怕……”

  我再一次被无法挽回的感觉冻结了。而且我知道我无法忍受再也听不到那种笑声的想法。对我来说,这就像沙漠中的泉水。

  《小男人》我说,“我想听你再笑一次。”

  可是他对我说:

  “今晚将是一年……那么,我的星星就在一年前我来到地球的地方的正上方……”

  《小男人》我说,“告诉我,这只是一场噩梦——关于蛇、会议地点和星星的事情……”

  可是他没有回答我的请求。相反,他对我说:“重要的是看不见的东西……”

  “是的,我知道……”

  “就像花一样。如果你爱一朵住在星星上的花,那么在晚上看天空是很甜蜜的。所有的星星都开满鲜花……”

  “是的,我知道……”

  “就像水一样。因为滑轮和绳子,你给我喝的就像音乐一样。你记得——它有多好。”

  “是的,我知道……”

  "晚上你会抬头看星星。我住的地方一切都那么小,我无法告诉你我的星星在哪里。更好,像这样。对你来说,我的星星只是星星中的一颗。所以你会喜欢看天上所有的星星……他们都会成为你的朋友。还有,我要送你一份礼物……”

  他又笑了。

  “啊,小王子,亲爱的小王子!我喜欢听到那种笑声!”

  “这是我的礼物。只是。就像我们喝水的时候一样……”

  “你想说什么?”

  《人有星辰》他回答说,“但对于不同的人来说,它们并不是一回事。对于一些旅行者来说,星星是向导。对于其他人来说,它们只不过是天空中的小灯。对于其他学者,他们是问题。对于我的商人来说,它们就是财富。但所有这些星星都沉默了。你——只有你一个人——将拥有星星,因为没有其他人拥有它们——”

  “你想说什么?”

  “我将生活在其中的一颗星星上。在其中一个我会笑。所以就好像所有的星星都在笑,当你在夜晚仰望天空时……你——只有你——会有会笑的星星!”

  他又笑了。

  “当你的悲伤得到抚慰(时间抚平所有的悲伤)你会满足于你认识了我。你永远是我的朋友。你会想和我一起笑。你有时会打开你的窗户,所以,为了那种快乐……当你仰望天空时,你的朋友会惊讶地看到你在笑!然后你会对他们说,“是的,星星总是让我发笑!”他们会认为你疯了。这将是一个非常破旧的把戏,我会在你身上玩的……”

  他又笑了。

  “就好像我给了你很多会笑的小铃铛代替星星一样……”

  他又笑了。然后他很快变得严肃起来:

  《今晚——你知道……别来》小王子说。

  《我不会离开你》我说。

  “我会看起来好像我在受苦。我会看起来有点像快死了。就是这样。不要来看那个。不值得这么麻烦……”

  “我不会离开你的。”

  但他很担心。

  “我告诉你——也是因为蛇。他不能咬你。蛇——它们是恶毒的生物。这个可能只是为了好玩而咬你……”

  《我不会离开你》
你。”

  一个念头让他安心:

  “的确,他们已经没有第二口的毒了。”

  那天晚上我没有看到他在路上。他一声不吭地离开了我。当我成功追上他时,他正迈着快速而坚定的步伐走着。他只是对我说:

  “啊!你在那儿……”

  他拉着我的手。但他还是很担心。

  “你来错了。你会受苦。我看起来好像死了;这不会是真的……”

  我什么都没说。

  “你懂的……太远了。我不能随身携带这具尸体。太重了。”

  我什么都没说。

  “但它会像一个废弃的旧贝壳。旧贝壳没什么可悲的……”

  我什么都没说。

  他有点气馁。但他又做了一个努力:

  “你知道,会很不错的。我也要看看星星。所有的星星都将是带有生锈滑轮的井。所有的星星都会倒出淡水给我喝……”

  我什么都没说。

  “那会很有趣!你有五亿小铃铛,我有五亿泉水……”

  他也没有再说什么,因为他在哭……

  “来了。让我自己去吧。”

  他坐下,因为他害怕。然后他又说:

  “你知道——我的花……我对她负责。而且她太弱了!她太天真了!她有四根完全没用的刺,用来保护自己免受世界的伤害……”

  我也坐下,因为我已经站不起来了。

  《现在——就这样……》

  他还是有点犹豫;然后他起身。他迈出了一步。我不能动。

  他的脚踝处只有一抹黄色。他一动不动。他没有哭出来。他像一棵树倒下一样轻轻地倒下。由于沙子,甚至没有任何声音。

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

  【第27话】

  - 叙述者的事后感想

  就在那时狐狸出现了。

  现在已经过去六年了……

  我还没有讲过这个故事。在我回来时遇到我的同伴很高兴看到我还活着。我很难过,但我告诉他们:“我累了。”

  现在我的悲伤得到了一点安慰。也就是说——不完全是。但我知道他确实回到了他的星球,因为我没有在黎明时找到他的尸体。它不是那么重的身体……晚上我喜欢听星星。就像五亿个小铃铛……

  但是有一点很特别……我在给小王子画枪口的时候,忘记给它加上皮带了。他永远无法将它固定在他的羊身上。所以现在我一直在想:他的星球上发生了什么?也许羊已经吃掉了花……

  有一次我对自己说:“当然不是!小王子每晚都把他的花关在她的玻璃球下面,他非常小心地看管着他的羊……”然后我很高兴。而所有星星的笑声中都带着甜蜜。

  但在另一个时候,我对自己说:“在某个时候或另一个人心不在焉,这就够了!某天晚上,他忘记了玻璃球,或者羊在夜里没有发出任何声音就出来了……”然后小铃铛变成了眼泪……

  那么,这里是一个很大的谜。对于同样爱小王子的你,对于我来说,如果在某个地方,我们不知道在哪里,一只我们从未见过的羊——是或不是?——吃了一朵玫瑰,宇宙中的一切都不会相同。 .

  抬头看看天空。问问自己:是还是不是?羊吃过花吗?你会看到一切都发生了怎样的变化……

  没有一个大人会明白这是一件如此重要的事情!

  对我来说,这是世界上最可爱、最悲伤的风景。和上一页一样,但我又画了一遍,让你记忆深刻。正是在这里,小王子出现在地球上,又消失了。

  仔细看,万一有一天你去非洲沙漠旅行,你一定能认出来。而且,如果你来到这个地方,请不要着急。等一会,正好在星空下。然后,如果出现一个笑着,头发金黄,拒绝回答问题的小人,你就会知道他是谁。如果发生这种情况,请安慰我。告诉我他回来了。

  [完结]

原创文章,作者:李老师,如若转载,请注明出处:http://www.ienglishcn.com/118967.html

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