The Fox and the Little Prince

This particular chapter in the story of the Little Prince has been stuck in my head from the first time I read the book. Back then, I even thought the whole story of the Little Prince was real.

The Fox appears to the Little Prince, and starts talking of acts often neglected, and the importance of observing the proper rites. One concept that the Fox mentions here is the act of taming someone. An act that means, “to establish ties“. Back then as a young boy, I thought, “That’s a good concept“. From then on, it became an integral part of how I lived, and how I related with other people.

Some would ask me why I was this good to them, or why I seemed to care so much. I never bother trying to explain; it almost always seems to me that the more I try to explain, the more likelihood that my intentions will be misunderstood. “Words are the source of misunderstanding,” says the Fox to the Little Prince.

To me, the answer was simple: just as the Little Prince did it to the Fox, or how that one single rose managed to do it to the Little Prince, you have tamed me. You are no longer just like any of the other people that I happen to meet as I walk along the street. You are no longer just a classmate, or an officemate, or someone I met through another friend. No, you are now more than that. For you have tamed me, and you have become unique in all the world.

The thought may seem childish to some, or particularly out of fashion to another. But it has always been that way for me. I’m not one to usually bother with creating social ties, but once the ties have been established, they are not easily broken. And each day that follows shall never be the same.

And in consequence, I am a little bored.
But if you tame me,
it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life.
I shall know the sound of a step that will be
different from all the others.
Other steps send me hurrying back
underneath the ground.
Yours will call me, like music out of my burrow.

-Ed. E.

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