the Little Prince小王子(贰)

–the narrator crashes in the desert and makes the acquaintance of the
little prince


So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to,
until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six
years ago. Something was broken in my engine. And as I had with me
neither a mechanic nor any passengers, I set myself to attempt the
difficult repairs all alone. It was a question of life or death for
me: I had scarcely enough drinking water to last a week.


The first night, then, I went to sleep on the sand, a thousand miles
from any human habitation. I was more isolated than a shipwrecked
sailor on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Thus you can imagine my
amazement, at sunrise, when I was awakened by an odd little voice. It


“If you please– draw me a sheep!”




“Draw me a sheep!”


I jumped to my feet, completely thunderstruck. I blinked my eyes hard.
I looked carefully all around me. And I saw a most extraordinary small
person, who stood there examining me with great seriousness. Here you
may see the best potrait that, later, I was able to make of him. But
my drawing is certainly very much less charming than its model.


That, however, is not my fault. The grown-ups discouraged me in my
painter’s career when I was six years old, and I never learned to draw
anything, except boas from the outside and boas from the inside.


Now I stared at this sudden apparition with my eyes fairly starting
out of my head in astonishment. Remember, I had crashed in the desert
a thousand miles from any inhabited region. And yet my little man
seemed neither to be straying uncertainly among the sands, nor to be
fainting from fatigue or hunger or thirst or fear. Nothing about him
gave any suggestion of a child lost in the middle of the desert, a
thousand miles from any human habitation. When at last I was able to
speak, I said to him:


“But– what are you doing here?”


And in answer he repeated, very slowly, as if he were speaking of a
matter of great consequence: “If you please– draw me a sheep…”


When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. Absurd as it
might seem to me, a thousand miles from any human habitation and in
danger of death, I took out of my pocket a sheet of paper and my
fountain-pen. But then I remembered how my studies had been
concentrated on geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar, and I
told the little chap (tle crossly, too) that I did not know how to
draw. He answered me:


“That doesn’t matter. Draw me a sheep…”


But I had never drawn a sheep. So I drew for him one of the two
pictures I had drawn so often. It was that of the boa constrictor from
the outside. And I was astounded to hear the little fellow greet it


“No, no, no! I do not want an elephant inside a boa constrictor. A boa
constrictor is a very dangerous creature, and an elephant is very
cumbersome. Where I live, everything is very small. What I need is a
sheep. Draw me a sheep.”


So then I made a drawing.


He looked at it carefully, then he said:


“No. This sheep is already very sickly. Make me another.”


So I made another drawing.


My friend smiled gently and indulgenty.


“You see yourself,” he said, “that this is not a sheep. This is a ram.
It has horns.”


So then I did my drawing over once more.


But it was rejected too, just like the others


“This one is too old. I want a sheep that will live a long time.”


By this time my patience was exhausted, because I was in a hurry to
start taking my engine apart. So I tossed off this drawing.


And I threw out an explanation with it.


“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 young


“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…”


And that is how I made the acquaintance of the little prince.