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Chapter 9
- the little prince leaves his planet   
I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds. On the morning of his departure he put his planet in perfect order. He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. He possessed two active volcanoes; and they were very convenient for heating his breakfast in the morning. He also had one volcano that was extinct. But, as he said, "One never knows!" So he cleaned out the extinct volcano, too. If they are well cleaned out, volcanoes burn slowly and steadily, without any eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are like fires in a chimney.
On our earth we are obviously much too small to clean out our volcanoes. That is why they bring no end of trouble upon us.
The little prince also pulled up, with a certain sense of dejection, the last little shoots of the baobabs. He believed that he would never want to return. But on this last morning all these familiar tasks seemed very precious to him. And when he watered the flower for the last time, and prepared to place her under the shelter of her glass globe, he realised 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. That 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 any more."
"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 presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted 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, na飗ely, 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...

    我想小王子大概是利用一群候鸟迁徙的机会跑出来的。在他出发的那天早上,他把他的星球收拾得整整齐齐,把它上头的活火山打扫得干干净净。——他有两个活火山,早上热早点很方便。他还有一座死火山,他也把它打扫干净。他想,说不定它还会活动呢!打扫干净了,它们就可以慢慢地有规律地燃烧,而不会突然爆发。火山爆发就象烟囱里的火焰一样。当然,在我们地球上我们人太小,不能打扫火山,所以火山给我们带来很多很多麻烦。
    小王子还把剩下的最后几颗猴面包树苗全拔了。他有点忧伤。他以为他再也不会回来了。这天,这些家常活使他感到特别亲切。当他最后一次浇花时,准备把她好好珍藏起来。他发觉自己要哭出来。
    “再见了。”他对花儿说道。   
    可是花儿没有回答他。
    “再见了。”他又说了一遍。
    花儿咳嗽了一阵。但并不是由于感冒。
    她终于对他说道:“我方才真蠢。请你原谅我。希望你能幸福。”
    花儿对他毫不抱怨,他感到很惊讶。他举着罩子,不知所措地伫立在那里。他不明白她为什么会这样温柔恬静。
    “的确,我爱你。”花儿对他说道:“但由于我的过错,你一点也没有理会。这丝毫不重要。不过,你也和我一样的蠢。希望你今后能幸福。把罩子放在一边吧,我用不着它了。”
    “要是风来了怎么办?”
    “我的感冒并不那么重…夜晚的凉风对我倒有好处。我是一朵花。”
    “要是有虫子野兽呢?…”
    “我要是想认识蝴蝶,经不起两三只尺蠖是不行的。据说这是很美的。不然还有谁来看我呢?你就要到远处去了。至于说大动物,我并不怕,我有爪子。”
    于是,她天真地显露出她那四根刺,随后又说道:
    “别这么磨蹭了。真烦人!你既然决定离开这儿,那么,快走吧!”
    她是怕小王子看见她在哭。她是一朵非常骄傲的花…


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