The Little Prince: Chapter 16

So the seventh planet was Earth.

The Earth is no ordinary planet! There are one hundred and eleven kings (counting the African kings too), seven thousand geographers, nine hundred thousand businessmen, seven and a half million drunkards as well as three hundred and eleven million show-offs. That comes to around two billion grown-ups.

To give you an idea of the size of the Earth, I must tell you that before the invention of electricity, there were four hundred and sixty-two thousand, five hundred and eleven lamplighters across six continents.

Seen from afar, it was a splendid sight. The movement of this army was regulated like those of the ballet. First in line were the lamplighters of New Zealand and Australia. Having set their lamps alight, they would go off to sleep. The lamplighters of China and Siberia were next, until they moved back into the wings. Then came the lamplighters of Russia and India, followed by those from Africa and Europe. Then came South America, and finally North America. They never made a mistake in the order of their appearance. It was incredible.

Only the lamplighters of the North Pole and the South Pole led carefree lives; they worked only twice a year.