This is a small temporary post meant to inspire and amuse us as we are waiting for Carl to return from his journey. It is about the three smallest volcanoes ever discovered and the asteroid (small planet) where they are situated, as well as the young boy who owns it – and about friendship.
“The Little Prince” was written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and first published in 1943.
The boys little planet is as big as a house and has the name B-612. He spends the day caring for his planet, like cleaning his volcanos. He falls in love with a rose with four thorns but gets disappointed because she does not answer his love.
Still loving her he eventually decides to leave his home to find out what the rest of the
universe is like. After visiting six other asteroids he goes to Earth where he meets the
Narrator who wrote it all down.
“On the morning of his departure he put his planet in perfect order. He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. He possessed two active volcanoes; and they were very convenient for heating his breakfast in the morning. He also had one volcano that was extinct. But, as he said, “One never knows!” So he cleaned out the extinct volcano, too. If they are well cleaned out, volcanoes burn slowly and steadily, without any eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are like ﬁres in a chimney.
On our earth we are obviously much too small to clean out our volcanoes.
That is why they bring no end of trouble upon us.”
To the Narrators surprise, the first thing the boy asks him is to draw a sheep. The
Narrator fails, and at last draws a box. But to his surprise, the boy is delighted with the
“This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside.”
I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my
“That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this
sheep will have to have a great deal of grass?”
“Because where I live everything is very small. . . ”
“There will surely be enough grass for him,” I said. “It is a very small sheep that I have given you.”
He bent his head over the drawing: “Not so small that– Look! He has gone to sleep. . .
On Earth the boy meets the Fox, which asks the boy to tame it in order to be his friend:
“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me. . ”
The fox shares his wisdom with the Prince before the two separate.
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” “Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose. . . ”
The inevitable moment comes that the Prince goes back to his asteroid, leaving the
Narrator behind in deep grief. To read the whole story, get the book.
A pdf version (source of the italic quotes) can be found at:
At the first glance this book seems to be written for children, but I think it was even
more meant for adults. The message to all who live in the vicinity of a volcano and
especially to their authorities:
Be cautious, because: “One never knows!”
The Behemoth Dragon