Gradually, I came to understand the secrets of the little prince’s life. For a long time his only entertainment was looking at beautiful sunsets.

I learnt this new detail on the fourth day in the morning, when he said to me, “I really like sunsets. Let’s go look at a sunset now.”

“But we have to wait,” I said.

“Wait? Wait for what?”

“Wait until the sun goes down.”

At first, he seemed very surprised. Then he laughed. And he said to me, “I’m always thinking that I’m at home.”

Everybody knows this. When it’s noon in the United States, the sun is going down in France. If you could fly to France in one minute, you could watch the sunset.

But on his little planet, you only needed to pull your chair a few steps. And you could watch the sun going down whenever you wished.

“One day I saw the sunset forty-three times,” said the little prince and he added, “When you are very sad, sunsets are wonderful.”

“On the day of the forty-three sunsets, were you feeling very sad?” I asked. But the little prince didn’t answer.

On the fifth day, again thanks to the sheep, another secret of the little prince’s life was revealed to me. He asked me suddenly, “If a sheep eats little bushes, does it eat flowers, too?”

“A sheep eats whatever it finds,” I answered.

“Even flowers that have thorns?”

“Yes. Even flowers that have thorns.”

“Then what are the thorns good for?”

I didn’t know. At that moment I was very busy trying to repair my engine. I was quite worried because my situation began to appear to me very serious. I had so little drinking water left that I had to fear the worst.

“What are the thorns good for?”

The little prince never let go a question once he asked it. But at that moment I was upset because I couldn’t repair my engine. I answered without thinking, “Thorns are good for nothing. Flowers have thorns just to make others upset.”


The little prince was thinking for a while and then he said a little angrily, “I don’t believe you! Flowers are weak. They are naive. The thorns give them power. Flowers believe their thorns are terrible weapons.”

I made no reply. I was very busy repairing my engine.