Chapter 7

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 sans préambule
sin preámbulo
, 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?"

"A sheep," I answered, "eats anything it finds in its reach."

"Even flowers that have thorns?"

"Yes, even flowers that have thorns."

"Then the thorns--what use are they?"

I did not know. At that moment I was very busy trying to
unscrew a bolt dévisser un boulon
destornillar un perno
that had got stuck in my engine. I was very much worried, for it was becoming clear to me that the
breakdown panne
of my plane was extremely serious. And I had so little drinking-water left that I had to fear for the worst.

"The thorns--what use are they?"

The little prince
never let go of ne renonçait jamais à
nunca renunciaba / abandonaba
a question, once he had asked it.
As for me quant à moi, pour ma part
en cuanto a mi, por mi parte
, I was upset over that bolt. And I answered with the first thing that came into my head:

"The thorns are of no use at all. Flowers have thorns just for
spite méchanceté


There was a moment of complete silence. Then the little prince
flashed back interpeller, s’adresser
dirigirse, interpelar
at me, with a kind of
resentfulness rancune
rencor, amargura

"I don't believe you! Flowers are weak creatures. They are
naive naïves
. They
reassure se rassurer
reconfortarse, tranquilizarse
themselves as best they can. They believe that their thorns are terrible
weapons arme

I did not answer. At that instant I was saying to myself: "If this bolt still won't turn, I am going to knock it out with the hammer." Again the little prince disturbed my thoughts:

"And you
actually vraiment, en réalité
de verdad
believe that the flowers--"

"Oh, no!" I cried. "No, no, no! I don't believe anything. I answered you with the first thing that came into my head. Don't you see--I am very busy with matters of
consequence importance

He stared at me, thunderstruck il me regarda stupéfiait
me miró estupefacto

"Matters of consequence!"

He looked at me there, with my hammer in my hand, my fingers black with engine-grease,
bending down over penché sur
inclinado sobre
an object which seemed to him extremely ugly…

"You talk just like the grown-ups!"

That made me a little ashamed. But he went on, relentlessly:

"You mix everything up together… You confuse everything…"

He was really very angry.
He tossed his golden curls in the breeze il secouait au vent ses cheveux tout dorés
agitaba al viento sus cabellos dorados

"I know a planet where there is a certain
red-faced rouge foncé, cramoisi
gentleman. He has never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved any one. He has never done anything in his life but
add-up figures additionner des chiffres
sumar cifras, dígitos
. And all day he says over and over, just like you: 'I am busy with matters of consequence!' And that makes him
swell up gonfler
with pride. But he is not a man--he is a
mushroom champignon

"A what?"

"A mushroom!"

The little prince was now white with rage.

"The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years. For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same. And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them? Is the
warfare guerre, lutte
conflicto, guerra, lucha
between the sheep and the flowers not important? Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman's
sums additions
? And if I know--I, myself--one flower which is unique in the world, which grows nowhere but on my planet, but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning, without even noticing what he is doing--Oh! You think that is not important!"

His face turned from white to red as he continued:

"If some one loves a flower, of which just one single
blossom fleur
grows in all the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there . . .' But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened... And you think that is not important!"

He could not say anything more. His words were choked by
sobbing sanglots

The night had fallen. I had let my tools drop from my hands. Of what moment now was my hammer, my bolt, or thirst, or death? On one star, one planet, my planet, the Earth, there was a little prince to be comforted. I took him in my arms, and
rocked bercer
him. I said to him:

"The flower that you love is not in danger. I will draw you a
muzzle muselière
for your sheep. I will draw you a
railing balustrade
to put around your flower. I will--"

I did not know what to say to him. I felt
awkward inconfortable, gêné
incomodo, contrariado
blundering maladroit
. I did not know how I could reach him, where I could overtake him and go on hand in hand with him once more.

It is such a secret place, the land of tears c'est tellement mystérieux, le pays des larmes
es tan misterioso el país de las lágrimas

chapter 6            en anglais           chapter 8