CHAPTER 26 – PRESENT
I realized that something strange was happening. I was holding him in my arms like a little child, and yet it seemed to me that he was falling down into a big hole and I couldn’t do anything to help him.
His face was very serious now. He looked like someone whose mind was very far away.
“I have got your sheep. And I’ve got the box for the sheep. And I’ve got the fence.” And he gave me a sad smile.
I waited for a long time. I could see that he was feeling a little better. Then I said, “Dear little man, you are afraid.”
Yes, he was afraid, but he laughed lightly, “I’ll be much more afraid tonight.”
I felt frozen because I knew it wasn’t possible to prevent what was going to happen in the evening. And I knew I couldn’t stand the thought of never hearing his laugh again. For me, it was like a fountain in the desert.
“Little man,” I said, “I want to hear you laugh again.
But he said to me, “Tonight it’ll be a year. My star will be just above the place where I fell last year.
“My little friend, is this only a bad dream, the meeting with the snake, the star, the plan for tonight?”
But he didn’t answer my question. He said to me, “What’s important is not visible.”
“Yes, I know.”
“It’s the same with the flower. If you love a flower that lives on a star, it’s good to look at the sky at night. Then all the stars have flowers.”
“Yes, I know.”
“It’s the same with the water. The water you gave me to drink was like music, because of the bucket and the rope and the pulling. Do you remember how good it was?”
“Of course, I remember.”
“And at night, you’ll watch the stars. It’s too small where I live and I can’t show you where my star is. It’s better like that. My star will be one of the stars for you. So, you’ll like looking at all of them. They’ll all be your friends.”
After some time, the little prince said, “I’ve got a present for you,” and he laughed again.
“Ah, little prince, dear little prince! I love to hear you laugh,” I said.
“That’s my present. My laugh,” said the little prince.