CHAPTER 22 – DESERT

It was now the eighth day since I had my accident in the desert. I listened to the story about the businessman as I was drinking the last drop of my water supply.

“Ah, your memories are very pleasant,” I said to the little prince, “but I haven’t yet repaired my plane. I have nothing left to drink, and I would also be happy if I could walk very slowly toward a fountain.”

“My friend, the fox, told me…”

“My dear little man, this has nothing to with the fox.”

“Why not?”

“Because we’re gonna die of thirst.”

The little prince didn’t follow my words. He replied, “It’s good to have a friend, even if you are gonna die. I am very glad to have a fox as a friend.”

“He doesn’t realize the danger,” I said to myself. “He’s never hungry or thirsty. A little sunshine is all he needs.”

But he looked at me and answered my thought, “I’m thirsty too. Let’s look for a well.”

It seemed absurd to me to look for a well, at random, in this vast desert. Nevertheless, we started walking.

After we walked for several hours, in silence, night fell, and the stars began to come out. I saw them as in a dream. I had a little fever because of my thirst. The last words of the little prince danced in my memory.

“So, you are thirsty, too?” I asked him.

But he didn’t answer my question. He only said to me, “Water can also be good for the heart.”

I didn’t understand his answer, but I said nothing. I knew by this time that it was no use questioning him. He was tired. He sat down. I sat down next to him. And after a silence, he spoke again, “The stars are beautiful because of a flower that can’t be seen.”

“Sure,” I replied. And without saying anything else, I looked at the hills of sand that were stretching out before us in the moonlight.

“The desert is beautiful,” he added.

And it was true. I’ve always loved the desert. You sit down on a sand dune. You see nothing. You hear nothing. And yet something beats and shines in that silence.