The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)

Following is an incomplete translation of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry's Le Petit Prince which I started because I was bored and never really finished, maybe I will sometime if I get bored again. I decided to do it as a very literal translation so it might seem as though the grammar or word choice is off. I may choose to go back and check all the grammar and such after I finish, if I ever do. Additionally the pictures have not been included as I have not bothered to scan them and put them in; this may or may not change. On top of all that, it's not very well typeset, and I doubt that I will fix that unless someone wants to pay me for my translation rights.

I

One time, when I was six years old, I saw a magnificent image in a book on the unknown forests that was called True Histories. It showed a boa constrictor that was swallowing a large cat. Here is a copy of the picture.

In the book it said, "The boa constrictor swallows its prey whole, without chewing. Then it cannot move much and it sleeps during the six months of digesting."

After that I reflected a lot on the adventures of the jungle, and I successfully drew, with a colored pencil, my first drawing. My drawing number 1. It was like this:

I showed my masterpiece to the adults and I asked them if it made them scared.

They gave me the response, "Why should a hat be scary?"

My drawing did not represent a hat. It represented a boa constrictor who was digesting an elephant. Then I drew the insides of the boa constrictor so that the adults could understand. They always want explanations. My drawing number 2 was like this:

The adults suggested that I leave the drawings of boa constrictors, open or closed, and instead, interest myself in geography, history, calculus and grammar. Because of that I abandoned, at the age of six, a magnificent career in art. I had been discouraged by the failure of my drawing number 1 and of my drawing number 2. Adults never understand everything by itself, and it is tiring, for children, to day after day be giving explanations...

I chose another career and learned how to fly airplanes. I flew a little throughout the world. And the geography, it is true, served me very well. I know how to recognize, with the first catch of the eye, China or Arizona. It's very useful if one is lost during the night.

I have in this way, over the course of my life, had heaps of contact with heaps of serious people. I have a lot of life with the big people. I have seen them very close. That has not improved my opinion too much.

When I meet one who seems a little conscious, I have made her the experience of my drawing number 1, which I always keep. I would like to know if she is truly understanding. But every time, she tells me, "It's a hat." Then, I don't speak at all of boa serpents, not of unknown forest, not of stars. I put myself at her range. I then talk of bridge, of golf, of politics and of ties. And the big people are good content to know another reasonable man...

II