I first read The Little Prince in French class when I was in high school, or I tried to. Some of the philosophical gems were lost on me due to a still poor understanding of the French Language. So this Sunday I got out my English version and gave it another go.
The story opens up with a stranded pilot, (the narrator) meeting The Little Prince who asks him to draw him a sheep.
From here we are sucked into a world of whimisical charm. The Little Prince cleans out the volcanoes on his planet like chimneys, is concerned with unruly baobabs and falls in love with a fussy flower (don't we all?) Traveling the solar system he meets many incarnations of our human craziness, our shallow love of money, of power, of security, our resistance to change - even if it's the best option, and our amazing ability to remain stuck and cling to fuzzy thinking. The Prince just sighs, many times stupefied, and other times angry. But although others have things to learn from the Little Prince, he ALSO has things to learn. He's not just a little Buddha wandering around tossing out pearls, for a darling little fox tells him one day:
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
And as with most great classics, love becomes the story; brightly, not sappily, hitting the right pitch of bittersweet.
The Little Prince thinks again of his rose that he loves:
"...But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen, because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose..."
And the fox reminds him "...you are responsible for your rose."
Don't worry, I haven't given it all away, there are many gems (with many facets) to mine in this story, and its messages will never leave you!
Some little sheep we have here at The Paris Market:
And the Little Prince, at times lonely and melancholic throughout his journey,
made me think of this card we have - a nice smattering of pearls
for a good-feeling community of friends
I'm not the only one in love with the Little Prince, check out Reba's musings on it here