CHAPTER 12 – MOUSE

It was very interesting for the little prince. With such power, he could watch the sunset, not forty-four times, but seventy-two, or even a hundred, or even two hundred times on the same day. And he could still sit in one place.

At that moment he remembered his little planet which he left, and he felt a little sad. That’s why he asked the king for something, “I would like to see a sunset. Please, can you order the sun to go down?”

“If I ordered 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 didn’t do it, whose mistake was it?” asked the king, “the general’s or my mistake?”

“Your mistake,” said the little prince.

“Exactly. We must ask from others what others can do,” the king continued. “The control has to be reasonable. If you order your people to jump into the sea, they will start a revolution. I have the right to control because my orders are reasonable.”

“And my sunset?” said the little prince, who never forgot a question when he asked it.

“You will have your sunset. I will order it. But I have my rules. I will wait until the conditions are right.”

“When will it be?” asked the little prince.

“Well!” said the king, then he took a large calendar. “It will be this evening at about twenty minutes to eight. And you will see that everything happens as I order.

The little prince yawned. He was sad that the conditions weren’t right for his sunset. Then he started to be a little bored.

“I have nothing to do here,” he said to the king. “I will continue on my journey.”

“Don’t go,” said the king because he was happy that he was a king for somebody now. “Don’t leave, I will make you my minister!”

“Minister of what?”

“Minister of justice.”

“But there is nobody here who I can judge.”

“You never know,” said the king. “Maybe there is somebody in my kingdom who we didn’t see.”

“Oh, but I saw your kingdom,” said the little prince. He looked once more around the whole planet. “There is nobody else on the planet.”

“Then you will judge yourself,” said the king, “It’s very difficult. It’s much more difficult to judge yourself than to judge other people. If you can judge yourself well, it’s because you are really a clever man.

“But I can judge myself anywhere,” said the little prince. “I don’t need to live here.”

“Well! Well!” said the king. “I believe that somewhere on my planet there is an old mouse. I hear the mouse at night. You can judge that old mouse. You can send him to prison. And his life will depend on your justice.”

“I don’t want to send anybody to prison. And now I think that I will leave.”

“No,” said the king.

The little prince was ready for his departure, but he didn’t want to make the old king sad. So he said, “If you want to control me, you can give me a reasonable order. For example, you can tell me to leave in one minute. I think that the conditions are right.”

The king didn’t say anything and the little prince waited for a while. Then he didn’t want to wait longer and he started to leave.

“I make you my ambassador,” the king quickly shouted after the little prince.

“Adults are very strange,” the little prince said to himself when he continued on his journey.