The Little Prince
How we cite our quotes:
It took me a long time to learn where he came from. The little prince, who asked me so many questions, never seemed to hear the ones I asked him. It was from words dropped by chance that, little by little, everything was revealed to me. (3.1)
Of course, “a long time” is relative – they’re not in the desert for that long.Still, the prince is unique because he doesn’t shove his life story down the narrator’s throat. Instead, he withholds it, which makes the narrator more interested. The prince shares such few details and clues that the narrator just becomes more and more determined to learn the truth about him. Like Encyclopedia Brown or Sherlock Holmes.
I had thus learned a second fact of great importance: this was that the planet the little prince came from was scarcely any larger than a house! (4.1)
Throughout the book, the narrator tells us what matters and what doesn’t. Each idea or fact has value, some much more than others. This “second fact” has “great” value. The prince is an alien. He isn’t from our (or the narrator’s world). He’s from another planet, and a tiny one at that. The narrator even emphasizes the “great importance” of this fact by putting in an exclamation mark!
On the fifth day—again, as always, it was thanks to the sheep—the secret of the little prince’s life was revealed to me. Abruptly, without anything to lead up to it, and as if the question had been born of long and silent meditation on his problem, he demanded:
“A sheep, if it eats little bushes, does it eat flowers, too?” (7.1-2)
It takes five days for the narrator to get to know the prince and learn something “essential” about him—his concern for his flower.