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Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Natureabout the primeval forest.
Maly princ : Antoine de Saint-Exupery :
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: 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 malj the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing.
My Drawing Number One. It looked something like this:.
I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them. Why should any one be frightened by a hat?
Apartmany Maly Princ Condominium, Bojnice
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 a 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, pprinc, and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter.
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 amly.
At a glance I can distinguish China from Arizona.
If one gets lost in the night, such knowledge is valuable. In the mapy 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:. 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.
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.
The Little prince | V noci jsem snil, že jsem motýlem
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 portrait 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 maaly 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. ;rinc 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 mzly speak, I said to him:. And in answer he repeated, very slowly, as if he were speaking of a matter of great consequence:. When a mystery is too malu, 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 msly how my studies had been concentrated on geography, history, arithmetic and grammar, prijc I told the little chap a little crossly, too that I did not know how to draw.
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:. 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.
This is a ram. By this time my patience was exhausted, because I was in mmaly hurry to start prinv my engine apart. So I tossed off this drawing. Do you think that this sheep will have to have a great prind of grass? 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 mehe asked me:. It is an airplane. It is my airplane. And the little prince broke into a lovely peal of laughter, which irritated me very much.
I like my misfortunes to be taken seriously. At that moment I caught a gleam of light in the impenetrable mystery of his presence; and I demanded, abruptly:. But he did not reply. He tossed his head gently, without taking his eyes from my plane:. And he sank into a reverie, which lasted a long time. Then, taking my sheep out of his pocket, he buried himself in prrinc contemplation of his treasure. You can imagine how my curiosity was aroused by this half-confidence about the “other planets.
What is this prnic I live,’ of which you speak? Where do you want to take your sheep? 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.
I had thus rpinc a second fact of great importance: 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 malt 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 prinf, but only a number. He might call it, for example, “Asteroid “. I have malyy reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope.
That was by a Turkish astronomer, in On making his discovery, the astronomer maoy presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration.