The Little Prince
Courtesty a reader submission (thanks, Shoku Shitsu!)
Le Petite Prince, there was a very important story that the little prince told the aviator. The Little Prince was a child from another very small planet, and when he was bored, sad, or tired of his red rose bossing him around...he would hop on comets and visit other planets. Each planet had a differnt person on it that confused him: greedy, selfish, angry, skinflints or non-imaginative grown ups. The main thread that runs in the entire story and why the Little Prince continues to love and explore is taught to him by NOT a human or a plant, but a red fox. The Little Prince was in a French countryside, and wandered through a feild. He hadn't seen anyone for miles, and the last person he talked to was a grown up that told him to go away, since he was so busy. So the Little Prince is all alone in this meadow, in the middle of noplace, lonely, bored, and sad. All of a sudden, a small tuft of gold and red fur peaks up behind the grass mounds, and the Little Prince asks the air...."Who's there?"
A very reluctant fox peaks his head up better for the Prince to see him. Of course, the The Little Prince never saw a fox, and was curious. "What are you? You're Pretty to look at." The Fox is puzzled, and asks the boy: "You don't know what I am? You're not sent by the farmer to trick me?" The Little Prince looks confused now, and shakes his head. The fox continues: "I'm a Fox. Who are you?" The Fox maintains his distance....not going close to the Little Prince at all. The Prince tells the fox who he is, and where he is from; a small planet very very far away. The fox looks at him as if he just told him an ordinary fact. The Fox asks: "are there any farmers where you live?" the Prince says no. The Fox asks: "are there any guns?" The Prince says no,"Just me, my little plants, my small volcanoes, and my Red Rose under glass." The fox smiles, and says: "That sounds perfect. Are there any chickens?" The Prince says no. The fox says: "Well, no place is perfect then." The Little Prince get restless, and asks if he can pet the fox. The fox tells him no. "I can't be petted or played with, and you can never be more than an aquaintance."
Sad, but not discouraged, the Little Prince asks the fox why, because he's lonely, and hasn't had anyone to talk with or play with him in ages. The Fox shakes his head, and says: "I'm not tame. I can't trust anyone, and all I care about right now is hunting chickens, so I don't have time to be tamed." The Little Prince asks what "tame" means. The Fox smiles, and explains:" It takes a very long time. It can't be done in minutes. You'd have to invest a lot of your free time, and sacrifice your own wishes to succed. You need to show you're trustworthy and special. " The Little Prince doesn't understand. He asks, " What do you mean special? What do you mean time, and trustworthy?" The Fox continues:
" It means, you have to make a promise. And keep it everyday. It's a sacrifice, but I suppose hunting chickens will bore me soon, and you have free time to spare, so...I'll let you tame me. You must come here, to this meadow everyday at the same time. Sit at the edge of that feild at that same time, in the same spot. I will stay here, in my spot everyday, at the same time. Soon, I will come closer. But you will stay in your spot, and will not move. One day, I'll be right in front of you. Then, perhaps the next day after that, I will talk with you. And everyday after that we will talk. Then, I will let you pet me. Then...one day...I will play with you."
The Little Prince shakes his head. "Why would it take so long? I'm lonely now."
The Fox answers, "You won't understand now. But if you keep your promise, and show up here everyday, and sit there at the same time everday, I will one day have something to look foward to, as will you."
The Little Prince reluctantly agrees, having nothing else to do, and being curious just the same.
The next day, he comes to the feild and sits in a spot. The Fox shows up a little later, sitting far at the other end of the meadow, by he trees
hidden from the The Little Prince's gaze. This continues for a week, then 2, finally after about a month or so, the Little Prince and the Fox are playing, and good freinds. They talk about everything and nothing...they run around and play tag and other games...The Little Prince tells the Fox about his Red Rose on his tiny planet; he reveals how she is cruel to him, snobby, and selfish. She only opens her petals for him, and depsite how rude she is sometimes, he still has to take care of her, and he still is overjoyed when he is by her.He then tells of his anger when he realzied she lied to him. She told him she was the only rose of her kind, that no other flower was as beautiful as her. But he saw a whole garden filled with red roses JUSt like her! He was hurt, and knows how sad she'll be to know she's not special at all. The Fox listens to all of this, and everyday, when their visit is over, he leaves to his den. weeks pass...
The next time they meet, The Fox tells the Little Prince he can no longer come to the field and see him anymore.
The Little Prince is frantic, afraid he said something to hurt the fox's feelings.
The Fox shakes his head. "There is no use to cry...or beg me to stay. You've tamed me, and now I have to return to the wild again. I won't ever be the same again, because out of all the humans, you have treated me the kindest. I promised you I would tell you why we had to take so long to tame me...Men have forgotten that 'what is essential to life, cannot be observed by the eye. ' Only what we feel in our hearts is what lasts, what's real. By taming me, you made this time special to me, on what would ordinarliy be just another day, or you--just another human. You are now special to me, the way your Rose is special to you. No one can understand this, because over all the humans in the world, you are the only one I befreinded, the only one I will remember. Now, everyday at the same time I will think of you. And everyday at the same time, you will think about me. Never let anyone tell you your rose is ordinary, for only she has tamed you, and only you are special to her, thus, she is unique to your heart."
The Little Prince cried and cried, not wanting to part with his new freind. He asked, "What is the meaning of making friends that you tame if you lose them?"
The Fox replied one last time, "It will always matter to me. Remember, 'what is essential in life cannot by observed by the eye.' " And then, the fox smiled, then ran off into the forest again, this time, not to return....
And the Little Prince left the feild sadly...and for a few days, he returned, looking to see if teh Fox would be there again by chance. Finally, he moves on to the next place...and comes to the same garden of roses he found that day... He stands defiantley at them all:
"All of you are useless, ugly, and ordinary! My rose is the most beautiful and unique flower in the universe, and she is specail to me, and I to her...!
External Resource: Reynard the Fox - a Medieval Tale Retold by David Dickenson
A collection and retelling of several Reynard the Fox stories. Some text available on-line,. the rest is available for order on CD-ROM via the website.