After being moved to tears by a marvelous show called Between Sand and Stars, a puppet and trapeze collaboration between Sandglass Theater and Nimble Arts, I've began going through Saint-Exupery's other books, and came to The Little Prince. I recall reading it with my mom alot, who presented it to me as something important, though she doesn't share that memory, she remembers it only as being a weird book. And rereading it for the first time in years I have to agree. It is pretty weird, and sentimental, and didactic, but wonderful in its simple wisdom.
The fox fell silent and stared at the little prince for a long while. "Please...tame me!" he said.
"I'd like to," the little prince replied, "but I haven't much time. I have friends to find and so many things to learn."
"The only things you learn are the things you tame," said the fox. "People haven't time to learn anything. They buy things ready-made in stores. But since there are no stores where you can buy friends, people no longer have friends. If you want a friend, tame me!"
"What do I have to do?" asked the little prince.
"You have to be very patient," the fox answered. "First you'll sit down a little ways away from me, over there, in the grass. I'll watch you out of the corner of my eye, and you won't say anything. Language is the source of misunderstandings. But day by day, you'll be able to sit a little closer..."
The next day the little prince returned.
"It would have been better to return at the same time," the fox said. "For instance, if you come at four in the afternoon, I'll begin to be happy by three. The closer it gets to four, the happier I'll feel. By four I'll be all excited and worried; I'll discover what it costs to be happy! But if you come at any old time, I'll never know when I should prepare my heart... There must be rites."
"What's a rite?" asked the little prince.
"That's another thing that's been too often neglected," said the fox. "It's the fact that one day is different from other days, one hour from the other hours. My hunters, for example, have a rite. They dance with the village girls on Thursdays. So Thursday's a wonderful day: I can take a stroll all the way to the vineyards. If the hunters danced whenever they chose, the days would all be just alike, and I'd have no holiday at all."I blog this to remember it as I throw myself into yet another round of new adventures this week at breakneck speed, as if I don't already have enough to keep me occupied. I wonder if I'll ever know why I have to do these things. More fox wisdom:
"Here is my secret. It's quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."