On the second planet lived a show-off.
‘Aha! I see an admirer!’ he declared from afar, as soon as he spotted the little prince.
For a show-off, everyone is an admirer.
‘Hello,’ said the little prince. ‘What an odd hat!’
‘It is a hat I raise as I bow,’ the show-off replied. ‘I raise it when I am praised. Unfortunately, nobody ever goes through here.’
‘Oh?’ said the confused little prince.
‘Clap your hands,’ the show-off said to him. When the little prince did so, the show-off raised his hat in a modest salute.
‘This is much more amusing than the visit to the king,’ the little prince said to himself. And he began to clap his hands again. The show-off raised his hat in acknowledgement.
After five minutes of this exercise, the little prince grew weary.
‘And what should I do to drop your hat to the floor?’ he asked.
But the show-off did not hear him. Show-offs are deaf to everything but praise.
‘Do you really find me very admirable?’ he asked the little prince.
‘What do you mean by “admirable”?’
‘It means you regard me as the handsomest, smartest, richest, and wisest man on this planet.’
‘But you are the only one on this planet!’
‘Nevertheless, admire me so I may feel happy.’
‘I admire you,’ said the little prince, shrugging his shoulders slightly, ‘but why does this matter to you so much?’
Saying this, the little prince went away.
‘Grown-ups really are peculiar,’ he said to himself, as he continued on his way.