What I learnt from The Little Prince

Where the Little Prince comes from, everything is very small.

He has 3 volcanoes, of which 2 are active and one is extinct, along with a rose. The active volcanoes are useful for heating up breakfasts in mornings, and he helps sweep them clean, along with the extinct one, because u never know. He also cleans and uproots baobabs, which are like weeds that grow on his tiny planet. He takes care of his rose, which tells him that she is one of a kind in the universe.

The flower was a haughty one, with a somewhat touchy vanity.

‘Surely it must be time for breakfast,’ she announced. ‘Would you be so kind as to attend to me?’ And the little prince, all flustered, fetched a watering can of cool water and proceeded to wait upon the flower. She would say ‘Let them come, the tigers, with their claws’. She’s proud of her 4 seemingly innocent thorns. The prince said ‘Tigers do not eat weeds.’ The flower murmured sweetly ‘I am not a weed.’ She would say ‘In the evenings, you may place a glass dome over me. It is very cold on your planet. It lacks conveniences’. She would cough to make the Little Prince feel at fault and say ‘About that screen…’ And the Little Prince would say ‘I was about to fetch it, but you were talking to me.’ At which she pretended to cough more, so that he might suffer some remorse just the same.

When the Little Prince left to explore the other planets, he worried that sheep would eat up his flower. After all, there was only one such flower in the universe.

And then, he reached Earth, or so they call it. He came across a garden, which had a hundred over roses which looked exactly like the one he had back home. He felt cheated, because he was told she was exclusive. He met a fox, who told him about ‘Taming’. The Little Prince asked what it meant to be ‘Tamed’. The fox answered: ‘To create ties’. The fox said ‘To me, you are only a small boy, just like a hundred thousand other small boys. And I have no need of you. And you in turn have no need of me. To you, I’m just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we shall need each other. To me, you shall be unique in this world. To you, I shall be unique in this world. Come at the same time everyday to visit me. For instance, if you come at four in the afternoon, when 3 o’clock strikes, I’ll begin to feel happy.’

The Little Prince tamed the fox. When it was time for the Little Prince to leave, the fox told him that he was going to cry. The fox told him that he gained something, not nothing. He told the Little Prince to go look at the roses again, and come back where he will them him a secret.

He went to find the roses and told them this ‘You are nothing like my rose. Nobody has tamed you. You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But in herself, she matters more than all of you together, since it is she I watered; since it is she that I placed under the glass dome; since it is she that I sheltered with the screen; since it is she whose caterpillars I killed (except the two or three we saved up to become butterflies), since it is she I listened to, when she complained, or boasted, or when she was simply being silent, since it is she who is my rose.’

It was then he understood why his rose back home cried when he was leaving. A person could have a hundred roses in his backyard garden, and not know what he or she was looking for. Adults on trains going to and fro, they are chasing nothing at all. They are asleep inside there, or else yawning. Only the children are flattening their noses against the window panes. Only the children know what they are looking for. They waste their time over a rag doll, and it becomes very important to them; and if it is taken away from them, they cry. They are the lucky ones.

The fox told the Little Prince his secret: ‘You can only see things clearly with your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.’

It is the time you have wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important. People have forgotten this truth. But you must not forget. You become responsible, for ever, for whatever you have tamed. If someone loves a flower, of which there is only one example among all the millions and millions of stars, that is enough to make him happy when he looks up at the night sky. No grown up will ever understand the significance of this.

And it was finally time for the Little Prince to leave, at the place where the star was directly above the spot where he fell to Earth a year ago. He took one step forward, and ME, yes ME, my heart cringed. There was nothing, except a flash of yellow light near his ankle. He stood stock still 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.

It was as if it was me who stepped forward.

The loveliest & saddest landscape in the world

 

The Little Prince, has over the course of reading this book, tamed me.

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About jnatomy

An anatomy of the soul, through the lenses of a camera.
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