CHAPTER 27 – BELLS

“I am not sure if I understand,” I say. “Your laugh is a present?”

“People look at stars, but the stars are not the same for everybody. For people who travel, the stars are guides. For other people the stars are nothing, only small lights in the sky. For scientists, they are problems. For my businessman, the stars are important because they make him rich. But all these stars are quiet stars. For you, it is different.

You have stars like nobody else. When you look at the sky at night, there is one star where I live. And because I laugh on one of these stars, you can feel that all stars are laughing. You have stars which laugh.” And he laughs again.

“When I leave,” the little prince continues, “you can be sad. But believe me, time can help you be less sad. Then you can be happy that you know me. You can always be my friend. You can always laugh with me.

And sometimes you can open your window only for fun. And your friends can see you how you laugh at the sky. You can tell them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And your friends can think that you are crazy. But it is OK.”

And he laughs again.

“And for you the stars can be like little bells which laugh.” And he laughs again.

Then he is serious again, “Tonight, don’t stay with me.”

“I don’t want to leave you,” I say.

“Tonight, it can look as if I feel pain. It can look as if I am dying. Don’t come to see it. It is not necessary.”

“I don’t want to leave you.”

But he says, “I also ask you not to come because the snake can bite you. Snakes are bad sometimes. Snakes can bite you only for fun.”

Then he says, “It is also true that snakes have no poison for the second bite.”

Then the comes. I don’t see the little prince leave. I don’t hear him when he goes away from me. When I catch him, he is walking fast.

He only says to me, “Ah! You are here.” And he takes my hand. But he is not happy.

“It is wrong that you are here. It is not good for you. It can look as if I am dead. But I am not dead.”

I am quiet.

“You must understand. My star is too far. I can’t take this body with me. It is too heavy.”

I am quiet.

“When you see only an empty shell, don’t be sad. There is nothing sad about empty shells.”

I am quiet.

He tries to explain it again. He says, “This night can be very nice for me. All the stars can be wells with a rope and a bucket. All the stars can have water for me.”

I am quiet.

“It is great fun! You can have five hundred million little bells. And I can have five hundred million fountains.”

And he is quiet too because he is crying.


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