now six years have already gone by . . . I have never yet told this
story. The companions who met me on my return were well content to see
me alive. I was sad, but I told them: "I am tired."
my sorrow is comforted a little. That is to say--not entirely. But I
know that he did go back to his planet, because I did not find his body
at daybreak. It was not such a heavy body . . . and at night I love to
listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells . . .
there is one extraordinary thing . . . when I drew the muzzle for the
little prince, I forgot to add the leather strap to it. He will never
have been able to fasten it on his sheep. So now I keep wondering: what
is happening on his planet? Perhaps the sheep has eaten the flower . . .
one time I say to myself: "Surely not! The little prince shuts his
flower under her glass globe every night, and he watches over his sheep
very carefully . . ." Then I am happy. And there is sweetness in the
laughter of all the stars.
at another time I say to myself: "At some moment or other one is
absent-minded, and that is enough! On some one evening he forgot the
glass globe, or the sheep got out, without making any noise, in the
night . . ." And then the little bells are changed to tears . . .
then, is a great mystery. For you who also love the little prince, and
for me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere, we do not
know where, a sheep that we never saw has--yes or no?--eaten a rose . .
up at the sky. Ask yourselves: is it yes or no? Has the sheep eaten the
flower? And you will see how everything changes . . .
And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!