فصل 25

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فصل 25

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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Chapter twenty five

The little prince said, “People start out in express trains, but they no longer know what they’re looking for. Then they get all excited and rush around in circles…” And he added, “It’s not worth the trouble…”

The well we had come to was not at all like the wells of the Sahara. The wells of the Sahara are no more than holes dug in the sand. This one looked more like a village well. But there was no village here, and I thought I was dreaming.

“It’s strange,” I said to the little prince, “everything is ready: the pulley, the bucket, and the rope…”

He laughed, grasped the rope, and set the pulley working. And the pulley groaned the way an old weather vane groans when the wind has been asleep a long time.

“Hear that?” said the little prince. “We’ve awakened this well and it’s singing.”

I didn’t want him to tire himself out. “Let me do that,” I said to him. “It’s too heavy for you.”

Slowly I hoisted the bucket to the edge of the well. I set it down with great care. The song of the pulley continued in my ears, and I saw the sun glisten on the still-trembling water.

“I’m thirsty for that water,” said the little prince. “Let me drink some…”

And I understood what he’d been looking for!

I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, eyes closed. It was as sweet as a feast. That water was more than merely a drink.

It was born of our walk beneath the stars, of the song of the pulley, of the effort of my arms. It did the heart good, like a present. When I was a little boy, the Christmas-tree lights, the music of midnight mass, the tenderness of people’s smiles made up, in the same way, the whole radiance of the Christmas present I received.

“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden…” yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…”

“They don’t find it,” I answered.

“And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”

“Of course.” I answered.

And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

I had drunk the water. I could breathe easy now. The sand, at daybreak, is honey-colored. And that color was making me happy, too. Why then did I also feel so sad?

“You must keep your promise,” said the little prince, sitting up again beside me.

“What promise?”

“You know…a muzzle for my sheep… I’m responsible for this flower!”

I took my drawings out of my pocket. The little prince glanced at them and laughed as he said, “Your baobabs look more like cabbages.”

“Oh!” I had been so proud of the baobabs!

“Your fox… his ears… look more like horns… and they’re too long!” And he laughed again.

“You’re being unfair, my little prince,” I said. “I never knew how to draw anything but boas from the inside and boas from the outside.”

“Oh, that’ll be all right,” he said. “Children understand.”

So then I drew a muzzle. And with a heavy heart I handed it to him. “You’ve made plans I don’t know about…”

But he didn’t answer. He said, “You know, my fall to Earth…” Tomorrow will be the first anniversary…” Then, after a silence, he continued. “I landed very near here…” And he blushed.

And once again, without understanding why, I felt a strange grief. However, a question occurred to me: “Then it wasn’t by accident that on the morning I met you, eight days ago, you were walking that way, all alone, a thousand miles from any inhabited region? Were you returning to the place where you fell to Earth?”

The little prince blushed again.

And I added, hesitantly, “Perhaps on account…” of the anniversary?”

The little prince blushed once more. He never answered questions, but when someone blushes, doesn’t that mean “yes”?

“Ah,” I said to the little prince, “I’m afraid…”

But he answered, “You must get to work now. You must get back to your engine. I’ll wait here. Come back tomorrow night.”

But I wasn’t reassured. I remembered the fox. You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.

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