CHAPTER 18 – GARDEN

“Where are the people?” the little prince finally continued in the conversation. “It’s a little lonely in the desert.”

“It’s also lonely with people,” said the snake.

The little prince looked at him for a long time. “You are a funny creature,” he said at last, “You’re no thicker than a finger.

“But I’m more powerful than the finger of a king,” said the snake.

The little prince smiled, “You’re not very powerful. You don’t even have feet. You can’t travel very far.”

“I can take you further than a ship,” the snake said.

He turned around the little prince’s ankle, like a golden bracelet. “Anyone I touch, I send back to the land from which he came,” the snake went on. “But you’re innocent, and you come from a star.”

The little prince made no reply. “I feel sorry for you. You’re so weak on this planet,” said the snake. “I can help you some day if you become too homesick for your planet.”

“Oh! I understand you,” said the little prince. “But why do you always speak in mysteries?”

“I solve them all,” said the snake. And they were both silent.

The little prince crossed the desert and met with only one flower.

“Good morning,” said the little prince.

“Good morning,” said the flower.

“Where are the people?” the little prince asked politely.

The flower saw a caravan passing one day.

“People?” I believe there are six or seven of them. I saw them years ago. But you never know where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.

“Goodbye,” said the little prince.

“Goodbye,” said the flower.

The little prince climbed a high mountain. The only mountains he knew were the three volcanoes which came up to his knees.

He said to himself, “From a mountain as high as this one, I will be able to see the whole planet and all the people.”

But he only saw other mountains around.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello, hello, hello,” the echo answered.

“Who are you?” asked the little prince.

“Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?” the echo answered.

“Let’s be friends, I am lonely,” he said.

“I am lonely, I am lonely, I am lonely,” the echo answered.

“What a strange planet!” he thought. “It’s all dry and sharp and hard. And people here have no imagination. They repeat whatever you say to them. On my planet I had a flower. She always spoke first.”

The little prince was walking for a long time through sand and rocks, and then he finally discovered a road. And all roads lead to people.

“Good morning,” he said. He was standing before a garden full of roses.

“Good morning,” said the roses.

The little prince was examining them carefully. They all looked like his flower.

“Who are you?” he asked, surprised.

“We are roses,” the roses said.

“Ah!” said the little prince. And he felt very unhappy. His flower told him that she was the only one of her kind in the whole universe. And here were five thousand of them, all very similar, in just one garden!

“She would be very annoyed,” he said to himself. “If she saw this, she would cough terribly and pretend to be dying to avoid humiliation.”

And I would have to pretend to look after her, because otherwise she would really let herself die to humiliate me.

Then he said to himself, “I thought I was rich because I had this one unique flower, and all I had was an ordinary rose.

So I have an ordinary rose and three volcanoes that come up to my knees, one of which may be extinct forever. That doesn’t make me a very great prince.”

And, he lay down in the grass and he was very sad.


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