The Little Prince (english) chapters 1-9

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Chapters I�III


Chapter I

But [a grown-up] would always answer, Thats a hat. Then I wouldnt talk about boa constrictors or jungles or stars. I would put myself on his level and talk about bridge and golf and politics and neckties. The novels narrator says that when he was six years old, before he became a pilot, he saw in a book a picture of a boa constrictor devouring a wild animal. In the same book, the narrator read that boa constrictors must hibernate for six months after swallowing their prey in order to digest it. Fascinated by this information, the narrator drew his first drawing, which he calls Drawing Number One. The drawing, a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant, looked like a lumpy blob with two flat lines tapering off to the left and right. But grown-ups were not frightened by the picture, because they thought it was supposed to be a hat.

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To explain his drawing to adults, the narrator drew Drawing Number Two, an x-ray view of Drawing Number One that showed the elephant inside the snake. Disturbed by this image, grown-ups advised the narrator to give up drawing and pursue geography, arithmetic, and grammar instead. Realizing that grown-ups would always require things to be explained to them, the narrator decided not to be an artist and became a pilot instead. He admits that the geography he learned did prove to be useful for flying.

The narrators opinion of adults never improved. Every time he met a grown-up, he would test him by showing him Drawing Number One. The grown-ups would always think it was a picture of a hat. Consequently, the narrator knew he could talk with the grown-ups only about boring, pragmatic topics like politics and neckties.

Chapter II

The narrator feels lonely his whole life until one day, six years before he tells his story, he crashes his plane in the middle of the Sahara desert. As the situation is beginning to look dire, the pilot is shocked to hear an odd little voice asking him to draw a sheep. He turns to see the little prince. The prince looks like a small, blond child, but he stares intently at the pilot without the fear that a child lost in the desert would have. The pilot does not know how to draw a sheep, so instead he sketches Drawing Number One, and he is astounded when the little prince recognizes it as a picture of an elephant inside a boa constrictor. The little prince rejects Drawing Number One, insisting that he needs a drawing of a sheep. After drawing three different sheep that the prince rejects, the pilot finally draws a box and gives it to the little prince. He says that the box contains exactly the type of sheep for which he is looking. This drawing makes the little prince very happy. The prince wonders if the sheep will have enough grass to eat, explaining that the place where he lives is quite small.

Chapter III

The pilot tries to find out where his mysterious new friend comes from, but the little prince prefers asking questions rather than answering them. He questions the pilot about his plane and what it does, and the pilot tells the little prince that it allows him to fly through the air. The little prince takes comfort in the fact that the pilot also came from the sky, asking him what planet he comes from. The pilot is surprised by this question and tries to find out what planet the little prince comes from. But the little prince ignores the pilots queries and admires the sheep the pilot has drawn for him. The pilot offers to draw a post and a string to tie the sheep to so that it wont get lost, but the little prince laughs. The sheep will not get lost, he says, because he comes from a very small planet.

Chapter IV

From his conversation with the little prince, the narrator realizes that the planet the little prince comes from is only the size of a house. The narrator explains that when astronomers discover new planets, they give them numbers instead of names. The narrator is pretty sure that the little prince lives on Asteroid B-61, which was first sighted by a Turkish astronomer in 10. The astronomers presentation of his discovery was ridiculed at that years International Astronomical Congress because he wore traditional Turkish clothes. After a Turkish dictator ordered all his subjects to begin wearing European clothing, the astronomer presented his report again in 10 and was well received.

The narrator insists that he is telling us these details about the princes planet only to satisfy his grown-up readers. He says that grown-ups can understand only facts and figures; they never wonder about essential qualities like beauty and love. Grown-ups decide what is beautiful by measuring how old a person is or how much a house costs. To believe in the existence of the little prince, grown-ups need more proof than simply being told that the prince asked the narrator to draw him a sheep. They demand further, quantifiable proof of the little princes existence.

The narrator also mentions that he wants his book to be read carefully, as it has been very painful for him to recollect these memories of his little departed friend. The narrator worries that he is growing old, and he writes and illustrates his story so he will not forget the little prince. Drawing the pictures in particular reminds the narrator of what its like to be a child. He acknowledges, however, that he cannot see sheep through the walls of boxes, because like all humans, he has had to grow old.

Chapter V

Each day, the pilot learns a bit more about the little princes home. On the third day of the little princes visit, he finds out that the prince wants the sheep to eat the baobab seedlings that grow on his planet. Baobabs are gigantic trees whose roots could split the princes tiny planet into pieces. The little prince notes that one must be very careful to take care of ones planet. Since all planets have good plants and bad plants, one must remain vigilant and disciplined, uprooting the bad plants as soon as they start to grow. The prince remembers a lazy man who always procrastinated and ignored three small baobab bushes that eventually grew to overtake the mans planet. At the princes instruction, the narrator illustrates the overgrown planet as a warning to children. He adds that the baobabs pose an everyday threat that most people deal with without even being aware of it. The narrator states that the lesson to be learned from the story of the baobabs is so important that he has drawn them more carefully than any other drawing in the book.

Chapter VI

On his fourth day with the little prince, the narrator becomes aware of just how small the little princes planet really is. The little prince is surprised that on Earth, he has to wait for the sun to go down to see a sunset. On his planet, a person can see the end of the day whenever he likes by simply moving a few steps. The prince mentions that one day he saw forty-four sunsets and that sunsets can cheer a person up when he or she is sad. He refuses to tell the narrator, however, whether or not he was sad on the day he saw forty-four sunsets.

Chapter VII

If some one loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, thats enough to make him happy … But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him its as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. On his fifth day in the desert, the little prince wonders if his new sheep will eat both bushes and flowers. The pilot, who is trying to repair his plane, replies that sheep will eat anything, and the little prince asks him what use a flowers thorns are if they dont protect the flower. The pilot, frustrated with his engine and worried by his lack of food and water, yells that he is too busy with serious matters to answer the princes questions. Furious, the little prince accuses the pilot of acting like a grown-up instead of seeing whats really important. The little prince argues that if a truly unique flower exists on a persons planet, nothing is more important than wondering if a sheep will eat that flower. He then bursts into tears. Suddenly realizing that his new friends happiness is the most serious matter of all, the narrator cradles the little prince in his arms and comforts him by assuring the little prince that his flower will be fine. He offers to draw a muzzle for the sheep.

Chapter VIII

The prince tells the narrator all about his flower. One day, the prince notices a mysterious new plant sprouting on his planet. Worried that it might be a new type of baobab, he watches it cautiously at first. The sprout soon grows into a rose, a beautiful but vain creature who constantly demands that the little prince take care of her. The little prince loves the rose very much and is happy to satisfy her requests. He waters her, covers her with a glass globe at night, and puts up a screen to protect her from the wind. One day, however, the little prince catches the rose on the verge of making a minor lie. The rose says to the prince, Where I come from, even though she grew from a seed on the little princes planet and therefore does not come from anywhere. The roses lie makes the prince doubt the sincerity of her love. He grows so unhappy and lonely that he decides to leave his planet. The prince tells the pilot that he would not have left if he had looked at the roses deeds instead of her words. He realizes that the rose actually loves him, but he knows he is too young and inexperienced to know how to love her.

Chapter IX

On the day of the little princes departure from his planet, he cleans out all three of his volcanoes, even the dormant one, and he uproots all the baobab shoots he can find. He waters his rose a final time. As he is about to place the glass globe over the roses head, he feels like crying. He says good-bye to the rose. At first, she refuses to reply, but then she apologizes, assures the little prince that she loves him, and says she no longer needs him to set the globe over her. She says she will be fine without him to take care of her. Urging the little prince to leave, the rose turns away so he will not see her cry.

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