CHAPTER 3 – PLANET
It took me a long time to understand where he came from. The little prince asked me many questions. I also asked him questions, but he usually didn’t answer them. But from his speaking, I slowly started to understand many things.
For example, when he first saw my plane, he asked, “What is this thing?”
I will not draw my plane here. It is too complicated for me.
I answered, “This isn’t a thing. It flies. It’s a plane. It’s my plane.”
And I was proud when I told him that I could fly. Then he said, “What! You fell from the sky?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Oh! It’s funny!”
And the little prince started to laugh very loudly. I was angry. My situation was serious. How could somebody think that it was funny?
Then he added, “So you also fell from the sky like me. What planet are you from?”
At that moment I started to understand more about him. And I asked him quickly, “Do you come from another planet?”
But he didn’t answer me. He only moved his head gently. He was still looking at my plane.
“Of course, on that thing you couldn’t come from very far.”
And he started to think deeply. He was thinking for a long time. Then he took his sheep out of his pocket. And he started to look at the sheep carefully.
You can imagine that I wanted to know more when the little prince spoke about falling from the sky. I asked him, “Where do you come from? Where is your home? Where do you want to take your sheep?”
He was quiet for a long time. Then he answered, “The good thing about the box is that at night I can use it as a house for the sheep.”
“Of course. And if you are good, I’ll also give you a rope. Then you can tie the sheep during the day.”
But the little prince was shocked by this offer, “Tie the sheep. It is a funny idea!”
“But if you don’t tie the sheep, it will run away. It will be lost.”
My friend started to laugh loudly again.
“But where do you think the sheep can go?”
“Anywhere. Straight, left, right.”
Then the little prince said seriously, “The sheep can go away. It is OK. Where I live, everything is so small.” He was a little sad. Then he added, “Where I live, nobody can go very far.”
So, this way, I learnt a second very important thing. The planet of the little prince was very small. It was only a little bigger than a house.
But it’s true that it wasn’t a big surprise. I knew very well that we don’t only have planets like Earth, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus, which have names. There are also hundreds of other planets which are sometimes so small that it’s difficult to see them through the telescope. When an astronomer discovers one of them, he doesn’t give the planet a name, but only a number. He calls it, for example, Asteroid 3251.