The next day, the narrator is returning to the well and spots the prince.
Weirdly, the prince is having a conversation with someone – but the narrator can’t see anybody else there.
So the narrator eavesdrops (Shmoop probably would, too) and overhears the prince making an appointment to meet later that night.
Then, the prince asks if the poison is strong enough and whether he’d suffer for long. (Yikes. This is an appointment we’d skip for sure.)
Just then, the narrator sees that the prince has been talking to a snake. He tries to shoot the snake, but it’s too fast for him and escapes.
The narrator asks the little prince what he means by making an appointment with the snake, but the prince doesn’t reply. Instead, he tells the narrator that he is glad that his engine is fixed. The narrator is astounded that the little prince already knows this—which is exactly what he was coming to tell him.
Then the prince announces that he too will be going home tonight. Since it has been exactly a year since his arrival on Earth, his planet will once again be exactly over the spot on the Earth where he first landed.
Then, the narrator realizes the prince is scared (but brave), and this makes the narrator incredibly sad. He tries to change the prince’s mind, but doesn’t succeed.
The prince laughs into the stars and tells the narrator that after he is gone and the narrator misses him, he should look into the night sky and the stars will laugh back at him. Faraway, on his planet, the little prince will be laughing and this will make the stars special to the narrator. The prince tells the narrator that this is his gift to him – the narrator will be the only one person in the world who will hear laughter in the stars.
After this, the prince tells the narrator not to stick around when the snake comes. The prince doesn’t want the narrator to watch his passage back to his own world.
Like a good friend, the narrator absolutely refuses. (This is all getting pretty gnarly.)
Of course, when the time comes, the prince sneaks off by himself. However, the narrator gets to him before the snake does.
The little prince tells the narrator that his body is too heavy to carry with him. And he also says that he is responsible for his flower, who is vulnerable and naïve.
The prince still doesn’t want the narrator to see what’s going to happen. He tells the narrator that it will look like he’s dying, but that won’t be true. (We’re in full-on tearjerker mode now.)
They are both sad, and the prince starts crying. He says he wants to be alone.
Then, the prince stands. The narrator sees the snake, but it moves so fast… he can’t get there in time.
The snake gets the prince, and the prince collapses in the sand.