The Little Prince: Chapter 27

Six years have gone by. I have never told this story to anyone. My friends were thrilled to see me alive. I was sad, but I told them it was from fatigue.

Although I’m still sad, I feel a little soothed. I know the little prince is back on his planet, because the next morning I found his body gone. His was a light body … I love listening to the stars at night. It’s like listening to five hundred million little bells.

But the strange thing is that I forgot to draw the leather strap on the sheep’s muzzle for the little prince. He will never have been able to fasten it on his sheep. I wonder what happened on his planet. Did the sheep eat the flower?

But sometimes I say to myself: certainly not! The little prince covers the flower with the glass dome every night, and he watches over the sheep closely. Then I feel happy and the stars seem to giggle softly.

But at other times I imagine: during a moment of absentmindedness, he may have forgotten the glass dome, or the sheep escaped without his knowledge. That’s when the little bells turn into tears!

*

Here, then, is the great mystery. For all those who love the little prince, like me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere a sheep has eaten or not eaten a rose.

Look up at the sky. Ask yourselves: has the sheep eaten the flower? And you will see how everything changes.

And no grown-up will ever understand how important that is!

This, to me, is the most pleasing and the most woeful landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it again for you. It was here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and it was here that he disappeared.

Look at it carefully so that you will recognize it in case you travel someday to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this very spot, please do not hurry away. Wait a little under the star. Then, if you see a little boy with golden hair, who laughs and refuses to answer your questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has returned.