CHAPTER 3 – PLANET
It took me a long time to understand where he came from. The little prince, who asked me many questions, never seemed to hear mine. But as he was speaking, step by step everything was shown to me.
For example, when he first saw my plane, he asked, “What’s that thing?”
“That isn’t a thing. It flies. It’s a plane. It‘s my plane.”
And I was proud to tell him that I could fly.
Then he shouted, “What! You fell from the sky?”
“Yes,” I said not very loudly.
“Oh! That’s funny!”
And the little prince started to laugh very loudly, which made me very angry. People should take my bad situation seriously.
Then he added, “So you also fell from the sky like me. What planet are you from?”
At that moment I started to understand a little bit more about him, and I questioned him quickly, “Do you come from another planet?”
But he didn’t answer me. He only moved his head gently. He kept looking at my plane.
“Of course, on that thing you couldn’t come from very far.”
And he started to think deeply. It lasted a long time. Then he took his sheep out of his pocket, and he got lost in observing it.
You can imagine how my curiosity increased when I learnt about the other planets. I decided to learn more.
“Where do you come from? Where is your home? Where do you want to take your sheep?”
After a long silence he answered, “The good thing about the box is that at night it will serve as a house for the sheep.”
“Of course. And if you are good, I’ll also give you a rope, so that you can tie the sheep during the day.”
But the little prince seemed shocked by this offer, “Tie the sheep. What a funny idea!”
“But if you don’t tie the sheep, it will run away. It will get lost.”
My friend started to laugh loudly again.
“But where do you think the sheep would go?”
“Anywhere. Straight ahead.”
Then the little prince said seriously, “Even if the sheep went away, it doesn’t matter. Where I live, everything is so small.” And, with a little sadness, he added, “Straight ahead, nobody can go very far.”
So, this way, I learnt a second very important thing. The planet that the little prince came from was hardly bigger than a house.
But that didn’t really surprise me much. 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 others that 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 it a name, but only a number. He calls it, for example, Asteroid 3251.