The Little Prince

The Little Prince

The Little Prince

The story begins with the narrator discussing grown-ups and their lack of ability in perceiving “important things.” As a test, he shows all of them a picture he has drawn, depicting a snake that has swallowed an elephant. He receives the reply that the picture is of a hat, and thus understands he can only talk to them about “reasonable” things and not fanciful ones. He becomes an aircraft pilot and his plane crashes in the Sahara, with no civilization. He only has an eight-days worth of water supply and needs to fix his airplane. Unexpectedly, he is greeted by a young boy, “the little prince.” He has the habit of repeating questions until they get answered.

He asks the narrator to draw a sheep. The narrator decides to first show him the picture of the snake, and to his surprise, the little prince guesses it correctly. After three failed attempts, he draws a crate, claims the sheep is inside, and the little prince exclaims that was exactly what he wanted. Over the next eight days, the little prince recounts to him his life story. He first describes his home planet, an asteroid the size of a house named “B 612” on the earth. The planet’s only notable features are three minuscule volcanoes and various plants.

The little prince states his earlier days were spent cleaning the volcanoes and weeding unwanted seeds and small plants infesting the planet’s soil. Particularly the baobab trees, constantly on the verge of overrunning the planet’s surface. Thus, the little prince wishes for a sheep to eat the undesired plants, although he is worried about it eating plants with thorns. He then tells his love for a silly, vain rose, growing on the asteroid surface a while ago. The rose is pretentious, makes vain attempts to gain attention and make the prince care for her. The prince nourished it and cared for her, making a screen, a glass globe to protect her from cold and wind, watering her, keeping off the caterpillars. Although he accepted he fell in love, he felt she was taking advantage of him and he decided to leave the planet and explore the universe. Come time for their goodbye, she apologizes for failing to show her love for him and wishes him well. The little prince laments not understanding her kind efforts and only paying attention to her vain words.

The little prince visits six other planets, each inhabited by a single and narrow-minded adult. These include a king with no subjects, a narcissistic man, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter on a tiny planet, and an elderly geographer. The geographer tells him that his rose is an ephemeral being and recommends he visit earth. His experience on earth comprises a pessimistic view of humanity, as the six absurd adults he met are what comprise the whole adult world.

Having landed in a desert, he thought that earth was uninhabited. He comes across a yellow snake that claims it can return him to his home if he wishes. Next, he comes across a desert flower revealing she had only met a handful of adults and claims they had no roots, allowing the wind to blow them around. After climbing the highest mountain, he had hoped to see the entire earth but only succeeded in seeing the desolate landscape.

He then encounters rosebushes and becomes downcast at having thought her own rose was unique and thinks she had lied about being unique. He started believing he wasn’t a great prince after all, since his planet only had three volcanoes and a common flower. Laying down on the grass, he weeps until a fox comes along, asking to be tamed. By being tamed, it went from ordinary to special and the little prince realizes his rose was indeed special, as it was the object of his love and time. The fox departs by teaching him that important things are only seen with the heart.

The little prince then comes across two people on earth; a railway switchman and a merchant. Back in the present, it is now the eighth day and they are both dying of thirst. The little prince finds a well and saves them, yet is visibly morose, longing to return home to his flower. He is later found by the little prince discussing his return with the snake. Bidding him an emotional farewell, he warns the narrator not to look at him leaving as it will upset him. Realising what will happen, he refuses to leave the little prince’s side but is consoled by him stating he should just look at the stars and think of his loveable laughter. He then walks away and allows the snake to bite him.

The narrator is unable to find his body the next morning and finally manages to repair his aeroplane and leave. It is now up to us to determine whether he actually left or died.

Above story is the adaptation of the story The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Story Adaptation by Mansidak Kaur.

Monika Gupta
montavayaconsultants@gmail.com