The Little Prince
How we cite our quotes:
“If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself: ‘Somewhere, my flower is there…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened… And you think that is not important!” (7.30)
The prince’s life may have been limited, in what he could see or do or enjoy, but that didn’t keep him from becoming wise. In fact, even without much experience or education, the prince knows what can take a person from happiness to total dejection in the blink of an eye.
He believed that he would never want to return. But on this last morning all these familiar tasks seemed very precious to him. And when he watered the flower for the last time, and prepared to place her under the shelter of her glass globe, he realized that he was very close to tears. (9.3)
It’s one thing to think about leaving and another thing to actually leave, isn’t it? The prince first thought, as he was getting ready to go, that this would be it for him: “that he would never want to return” to his planet. He doesn’t realize that there’s no place like home. Yet, the closer he gets to actually leaving, the harder it becomes.
“Who are you?” he demanded, thunderstruck.
“We are roses,” the roses said.
And he was overcome with sadness. His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. And here were five thousand of them, all alike, in one single garden! (20.6-8)
This is a pretty good reason for getting sad: Something that the prince had firmly believed to be true (that his own flower on his planet was totally unique) seems, in this moment, to be absolutely untrue. Boo.