CHAPTER 24 – WATER

When the bucket was full of water, I said, “Leave it to me. It’s too heavy for you.”

Slowly I pulled the bucket up. I left it on top of the well. I was tired but happy. The song of the well was still in my ears. When I looked at the bucket, I could see the sunshine in the water.

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

And I understood what he was looking for. I helped him hold the bucket. He drank with his eyes closed. It was as nice as some special celebration. That water wasn’t only a drink. It was born from our walk under the stars, from the song of the well, from the work of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present.

When I was a little boy, the light of the Christmas tree, the Christmas music, the smiles of the people, all these things made the Christmas presents special.

“Where you live,” said the little prince, “the people have five thousand roses in one garden, but they don’t find what they are looking for.”

“They don’t find it,” I said.

“But what they are looking for can be found in one rose or in a little water.”

“Yes, that’s true,” I said.

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

I finished drinking water. I could breathe well now. The sand at sunrise is the colour of honey. And that colour was making me happy, too. So I didn’t understand why I felt so sad.

“Don’t forget about your promise,” said the little prince when he sat down next to me.

“What promise?”

“You know, a fence which can protect my flower from my sheep. I am responsible for this flower.”

I took my pictures out of my pocket. The little prince looked at them, and he laughed when he saw the baobabs.

“Your baobabs look like cabbages.”

“Oh!”

I was so proud of my baobabs.

“Your fox, his ears, they look like horns, and they are too long!”

And he laughed again.

“You aren’t fair, little prince,” I said, “I didn’t know how to draw anything, only snakes from the outside and snakes from the inside.”

“Oh, it’s alright,” he said, “children will understand.”

So then I drew a fence. And I gave it to him with a heavy heart.

“You have plans which I don’t know. Maybe something is ending here.”

But he didn’t answer me. He said to me, instead, “You must work now. You must go back to your plane. I will wait here. Come back tomorrow night.”

But I wasn’t sure about it. Again, I felt sad in my heart.

I remembered the fox. When we are friends with somebody, we risk tears when we say goodbye.


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