CHAPTER 12 – MOUSE
The king’s power is very interesting for the little prince. With such power, the little prince can watch many sunsets every day, not only forty-four, but seventy-two, or a hundred, or two hundred on the same day. And he can still sit in one place.
At that moment he remembers his little planet, and he feels a little sad. He asks the king for something, “I want to see a sunset. Please, can you order the sun to go down?”
“If I order a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a book, or to change into a sea bird, and if the general doesn’t do it, is it his mistake?” asks the king.
“Your mistake,” says the little prince.
“Exactly. We must ask what others can do,” the king continues. “The control has to be reasonable. If you order your people to jump into the sea, they can start a revolution. I can control because my control is reasonable.”
“And my sunset?” says the little prince, who never forgets a question when he asks it.
“You can have your sunset. I can order it. But I have my rules. We must wait. You can have your sunset when the conditions are right.”
The little prince doesn’t want to wait. “When are the conditions right for my sunset?” the little prince asks.
“Wait!” says the king, then he takes a big calendar. “This evening at seven forty. And you can see that everything is as I order.
The little prince yawns. He is sad that the conditions are not right for his sunset. Then this planet starts to be boring for him.
“I have nothing to do here,” he says to the king. “I want to continue on my journey.”
“Don’t go,” says the king. He is happy because finally he is a king for somebody. “Don’t go. You can be my minister!”
“Minister of what?”
“Minister of justice.”
“But there is nobody here who I can judge.”
“You never know,” says the king. “Maybe there is somebody here who we don’t see.”
“But I can see all your planet,” says the little prince. He looks at the planet again. “There is nobody else on the planet.”
“You can judge you,” says the king, “It is very difficult. It is more difficult than to judge other people. If you can do it, it is because you are really a clever man.”
“But if I want to judge me, I don’t have to be here,” says the little prince. “I can do it in other places too.”
“I believe,” says the king, “that somewhere on my planet there is a mouse. I hear the mouse at night. You can judge the mouse. You can send the mouse to prison.”
“I don’t want to send the mouse to prison. Now I think that I can leave.”
“No,” says the king.
The little prince is ready for his departure. But he doesn’t want to make the old king sad. So he says, “If you want to control me, you can give me a reasonable order. For example, you can tell me to leave now. I think that the conditions are right.”
The king says nothing. The little prince waits for a moment. Then he doesn’t want to wait longer. And he starts to leave.
“You are my ambassador,” the king shouts.
“Adults are very strange,” the little prince thinks when he continues on his journey.