The Little Prince and the The Fox
From the book "The Little Prince" - "Le Petit Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It was then that the fox appeared.
"Good morning" said the fox.
But after some thought, he added: "what
does that mean---'tame'?"
"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.
But he came back to his idea.
"My life is very monotonous," he said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And in consequence, I am a little bored.
But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others.
Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music out of my burrow.
And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad.
But you have hair that is the color of gold.
Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is
also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen
to the wind in the wheat. . ."
" 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. . ."
First you will sit down at a little distance from me -like that - in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing.
Words are the source of misunderstandings.
But you will sit a little closer to me, every
"If for example, you came 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 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 ready to greet you..
One must observe the proper rites. . ."
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
"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."
"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 a 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 for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three 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:
"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 he would be sure to remember.
You become responsible, forever, for what you
have tamed. You are responsible for your rose."
From "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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