My niece is reading The Little Prince, by Antione de Saint-Exupery, with my son. I read it again, yesterday afternoon, with a pen and paper. Here’s what I wrote:
“In those days, I didn’t understand anything. I should have judged her according to her actions, not her words. She perfumed my planet and lit up my life. I should never have run away! I ought to have realized the tenderness underlying her silly pretensions. Flowers are so contradictory! But I was too young to know how to love her.”
“If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. he tells himself, ‘my flower’s up there somewhere…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out.”
“‘What have you come to Earth for?’
‘I’m having difficulties with a flower,’ the little prince said.
‘Ah!’ said the snake
And they were both silent”
“It’s all dry and sharp and hard. And people here have no imagination. They repeat whatever you say to them. Where I live I had a flower: She always spoke first…”
He felt very unhappy. His flower had told him she was the only one of her kind in the whole universe. And here were five thousand of them, all just alike, in one garden!”
“‘For me you’re only a little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me. I’ll be the only fox in the world for you…’
‘I’m beginning to understand,’ the little prince said. ‘There’s a flower…I think she’s tamed me…'”
“If you come at four in the afternoon, I’ll begin to be happy by three. The closer it gets to four, the happier I’ll feel. By four I’ll be all excited and worried; I’ll discover what it costs to be happy!”
“When the time to leave was near:
‘Ah!’ the fox said. ‘I shall weep.’
‘It’s your own fault,’ the little prince said. ‘ I never wanted to do you any harm, but you insisted that I tame you…’
‘Yes, of course,’ the fox said.
‘But you’re going to weep!’ said the prince.
‘Yes, of course,’ the fox said.
‘Then you get nothing out of it?’
‘I get something,’ the fox said, ‘because the color of the wheat (The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I’ll love the sound of wind in the wheat…).’ Then he added, ‘Go look at the roses again. You’ll understand that yours is the only rose in all the world.”
“‘You’re lovely, but you’re empty,’ he went on. ‘One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass. Since she’s the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three for butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.'”
“What I’m looking at is only a shell. What’s most important is invisible…What moves me so deeply about this sleeping little prince is his loyalty to a flower – the image of a rose shining within him like the flame within a lamp, even when he’s asleep…And I realized he was even more fragile than I had thought. Lamps must be protected: a gust of wind can blow them out…”
“I raised the bucket to his lips. he drank, eyes closed. It was as sweet as a feast that water was more than merely a drink. It was born of our walk beneath the stars, of the song of the pulley, of the effort of my arms. It did the heart good, like a present.”
“You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.”
“If you love a flower that lives on a star, then it’s good, at night, to look up at the sky. All the stars are blossoming.”
“When you look up at the sky at night, since I’ll be living on one of them, since I’ll be laughing on one of them, for you it’ll be as if all the stars are laughing. You’ll have stars that can laugh.”
“As for me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere, no one knows where, a sheep we never saw has or has not eaten a rose…”