I’ve long wanted to write about the The Little Prince (written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). I was just hesitant because I wouldn’t want to misrepresent or write poorly about it. The book tells the story of the Little Prince, a traveller who came to earth in search of a sheep. He came from the stars and met a lot of people along the way before finally meeting the narrator in the story.
What prompted me was my youngest kid who loves to leaf on the pages of my books. Once, he picked up my copy of Der kleine Prinz and saw this drawing. He showed it to me and I asked him what he thinks it is.
“It’s a hat!” Seem to be the proper answer. To most adults whose imagination has gone dry, the photo will remain a hat. I was surprised at my son’s answer, “Eine Schlange hat etwas gegessen.” (A snake has eaten something.)
I was surprised. I’m not sure if he perhaps saw the illustration before it; a creature wrapped by a snake with mouth gaped open or was he just imagining things. True enough, the next photo reveals a snake that has eaten an elephant.
Jesus once advised his disciples to become like little children. I sense the same advice in this book. Kids think simple, their imagination are endless. They forgive just as easily as they get angry. Basically, to be pure in heart.
The Little Prince imparts a lot of valuable lessons we overlook in everyday life. Reflections on a personality like I am unique, what we perceive as reality may not be real, be sympathetic; you’re not the only person in the world and each of us hides something beautiful within.
I once read a story that goes like this:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. “
“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
True enough, the Little Prince also teaches us that we should and we are responsible for which of the two wolves we tame.
Ironically, it is a relative of the wolf, a fox, who said the most memorable quote in the book; “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”