I feel like my feelings in my current situation can best be expressed by the words of Antoine de Saint Exupery, in “The Little Prince” which is a story of a prince who lived on his own tiny planet, and one day he discovered a very unusual flower growing which he had never before seen. Upon first seeing her he exclaimed…
“Oh! How beautiful you are!”
“Am I not?”the flower responded, sweetly. “and I was born at the same moment as the sun…”
The little prince could guess easily enough that she was not any too modest – but how moving – and exciting – she was!
“I think it is time for breakfast,” she added an instant later. “If you would have the kindness to think of my needs-“
And the little prince, completely abashed, went to look for a sprinkling-can of fresh water. So, he tended the flower.
One day…when she was speaking of her four thorns she said to the little prince:
“Let the tigers come with their claws!”
“There are no tigers on my planet,” the little prince objected. “And anyways, tigers do not eat weeds.”
“I am not a weed,” the flower replied sweetly.
“Please excuse me…”
“I am not at all afraid of tigers ,” she went on, “but I have a horror of drafts. I suppose you wouldn’t have a screen for me?”
“A horror of drafts -that is bad luck, for a plant, ” remarked the little prince, and added to himself, “This flower is a very complex creature…”
“At night I want you to put me under a glass globe. It is very cold where you live. In the place I came from – “
But she interupted herself at this point. She had come in the form of a seed. She could not have known anything of any other worlds. Embarrassed over having let herslef be caught on the verge of a such a naive untruth, she coughed two or three times, in order to put the little prince in the wrong.
So the little prince , in spite of all the good will that was inseparable from his love, had soon come to doubt her. He had taken seriously words which were without importance, and it made him very unhappy.
“I ought not to have listened to her, one never ought to listen to the flowers. One should simply look at them and breathe their frangrence. My little flower perfumed all the planet. But I did not know how to take pleasure in all her grace. This tale of claws, which distturbed me so much, should only have filled my heart with tenderness and pity.”
And he continued his confidences:
“The fact is that I did not know how to understand anything! I ought to have judged by deeds and not by words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flower are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her….”
So he decided to leave his planet, and when he watered the flower for the last time, and perpared to place her under the shelter of her glass globe, he realized that he was very close to tears.
“Goodbye,” he said to the flower.
But she made no answer.
“Goodbye,” he said again.
The flower coughed. But it was not because she had a cold.
“I have been silly,” she said to him, at last. “I ask your forgiveness. Try to be happy…”
He was surprised by this absence of reproaches. He stood there all bewildered, the glass globe held arrested in mid-air. He did not understand this quiet sweetness.
“Of course I love you,” the flower said to him.
“It is my fault that you have not known it all the while. This is of no importance. But you-you have been just as foolish as I. Try to be happy… let the glass globe be. I don’t want it anymore.”
“But the wind-“
“My cold is not so bad as all that… The cool night air will do me good. I am a flower.”
“But the animals-“
“Well, I must endure the presnce of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquinted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful. And if not the butterflies- and the caterpillars- who will call upon me? You will be far away… As for the large animals-I am not at all afraid of any of them. I have my claws.”
And naively, she showed her four thorns.
Then she added: “Don’t linger like this. You have decided to go away. Now GO!”
For she did not want him to see her crying. She was such a proud flower…