I can’t read parts of The Little Prince without weeping.
I’m hardly the weeping type, and yet…
the aching truth on vulnerability and intimacy contained in The Little Prince cuts all the way down to my what turns out to be a gooey marshmallow core; it gets in deep.
In reading The Little Prince,
I learn afresh that only love can tame you. Everything else that tames is just subjugation.
If you’re not familiar with this classic, or even if you are, enjoy this excerpt:
–The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
…it was then that the fox appeared.
“good morning” said the fox.
the little prince responded politely
although when he turned around he saw nothing.
“I am right here” the voice said, “under the apple
“Who are you?” asked the little prince, and added, ”You are very pretty to look at.”
“I am a fox”, the fox said.
“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’?”
“You do not live here,” said the fox,
“what is it you are looking for?”
“I am looking for men,” said the little prince.
“What does that mean—tame?”
“Men,”said the fox,
“they have guns, and they hunt.
It is very disturbing.
They also raise chickens.
These are their only interests.
Are you looking for chickens?”
“No,” said the little prince.
“I am looking for friends.
What does that mean—tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,”
said the fox.
“It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“It’s 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 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 . . .”
“What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.
“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .”
“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
Have you been tamed?
If you haven’t been, and you want to be, just ask. I am a fox tamed by love and friendship, and I will trot beside you as it happens and we will become friends.