The Little Prince – By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The little prince is a bible if you have a toddler at home. It is a bible if you have the child in you that is still alive. It is a bible, under any other conditions, whatsoever, too. Only if you let it. And I will tell you why.

Take the first chapter, for example. A snippet straight from the author’s six years of age. He had drawn a Boa constrictor variety of snake which had just swallowed an elephant for supper, you see. But adults, you have it. They not only did mistake it for a hat, but they kept on insisting that it is that even when he tried to explain. In a futile attempt, the author had then tried to illustrate his drawing by drawing it the inside out way so that the elephant can now be seen. But adults, you have it. They now called it an elephant and ignored the Boa constrictor altogether. They refused t see it his way, and they refused to give up what they thought.

Exasperated, the author gave up drawing altogether.

Just as it happens. All the time, with all of us! Doesn’t it?

The next chapter opens into a flash forward. By the turn of certain rather unfortunate events, the author now finds himself in the middle of a no man’s land. Deserted in a desert with a crashed airplane with a broken propeller and with water and food that can serve him for a maximum of a week’s time, the author now comes to write what happens thereafter. And it all begins with a chance encounter, with… The Little Prince!

Who’s the little prince? Where has he come from? What is he up to?

Well, if you are an adult like one in the first paragraph of this review, you’d most likely not believe a word of it when I say that the little prince is a tiny boy who has come all the way from a tiny planet from across the space, one that our commonplace human eyes cannot perhaps see even with the telescopes as powerful as we have come to invent. And he is up to questions. Questions, about how it all works here. On Earth. Simple, simple questions!

And thus, each of those questions brings you to stop and think. Ponder. Wonder. Reflect. And learn.

But then, not quite so if you’re already an adult and you don’t know to stop to ask and answer questions. Like these…

Why do you love what you love, and why do you take care of something than the other? Your pet, or your plant of rose? Why do you say the sun just rises once a day, if you also know that the sun rises really all the time at some point on your planet? What is reality then, if not just a perspective of time and space? Why do some people spend their whole lives counting stars, or summing up numbers on their balance sheets? Why do some people like the king’s way of life, asking everyone to obey and punishing everyone who doesn’t fall in line? What happens if a seed of a dangerous plant is let to grow so that one day before you know it can eat up the whole planet with you in it? Why do we let the seeds grow thus, inside us?

Each of the chapter opens up to you a way of thinking. You identify with the child that asks the question, and you also see your own reflection in the characters that he sees so that he comes to ask those very questions. You stand in front of your own mirror, as you flip through the pages of The Little Prince.

The Little Prince is not your everyday moral science textbook that they have in a Bishop’s story or any other children fantasy series. It is not a self help too, even though it takes you very close up there.

The Little Prince is one of quiet self-reflection and reform, and of finding answers that the child in you has always been looking for. The Little Prince is your journey back to innocence, and how!


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