photo by J.A.S.
"I am a fox," said the fox. "Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy." "I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed." "Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince. But, after some thought, he added: "What does that mean, 'tame'?"
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties." "'To establish ties'?" "Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..." "I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me..."
"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox. But he came back to his idea. "My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life . I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. "Please, tame me!" he said. "I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand." "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..."
So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near... "Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry." "It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..." "Yes, that is so," said the fox. "But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince. "Yes, that is so," said the fox. "Then it has done you no good at all!" "It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added: "Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret." ...
"Goodbye," said the fox. "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." "What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. "It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important." "It is the time I have wasted for my rose..." said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember. "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..." "I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry