CHAPTER 19 – FOX
Then the fox came.
“Good morning,” said the fox.
“Good morning,” the little prince said politely. “Who are you? You’re very pretty.”
“I’m a fox,” said the fox.
“Play with me,” the little prince said, “I’m very sad.”
“I can’t play with you. I’m wild,” the fox said.
“Ah! I’m sorry,” said the little prince. But after some thought, he added, “What does wild mean?”
“You’re not from here,” said the fox. “What are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for people,” said the little prince. “What does wild mean?”
“People,” said the fox, “have guns and they hunt. It’s a problem for me. They also have chickens. That’s the only interesting thing about them. Are you looking for chickens?”
“No,” said the little prince. “I’m looking for friends. What does wild mean?”
“It means that I’m not connected to you and you’re not connected to me.”
“You’re not connected to me?”
“That’s correct,” the fox said. “For me you’re only a little boy, like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I don’t need you. And you don’t need me. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if I’m not wild for you, we will need each other. You will be the only boy in the world for me. I will be the only fox in the world for you.”
“I’m beginning to understand,” the little prince said. “There’s a flower. I think that she isn’t wild for me.”
“It’s possible,” said the fox. “On Earth we can see many different things.”
“Oh, my flower is not on Earth,” the little prince said.
The fox was very interested. “On another planet?”
“Are there hunters on that planet?”
“That’s interesting. And chickens?”
“Nothing is perfect,” said the fox. But he came back to his idea. “My life is always the same. I hunt chickens. Men hunt me. All the chickens are similar, and all the men are similar. So, I’m a little bored.
But if I’m not wild for you, my life will be happier. I will know the sound of your steps which will be different from all the other steps. The other steps will send me back underground. Your steps will be like music to me. And then, look! Do you see the corn fields over there? I don’t eat bread. For me corn is not useful. The corn fields say nothing to me. And that’s sad.
But you have golden hair. I think that it’s wonderful. The corn which is also golden will help me not to forget you. And I will love the sound of the wind in the corn.”
The fox became silent and looked at the little prince for a long time. “Please, stay with me for some days!” he said.
“I would like to stay with you,” said the little prince. “But I don’t have much time. I want to find friends and learn new things.”
“We only learn about things which we are connected to,” said the fox. “People don’t have time to learn anything. They buy things from shops. But because there are no shops where you can buy friends, people don’t have friends. If you want a friend, be connected to me!”
“What do I have to do to be connected to you?” asked the little prince.
“You have to be very patient,” said the fox. “First, you have to help me not to be wild to you. You will sit down at a little distance from me, over there in the grass. I will watch you with one eye and you won’t say anything. Words can be a problem sometimes. But every day you will be able to sit a little closer.”