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Chapter 25
- finding a well, the narrator and the little prince discuss his return to his planet       
"Men," said the little prince, "set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for. Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round..."
And he added:
"It is not worth the trouble..."
The well that we had come to was not like the wells of the Sahara. The wells of the Sahara are mere holes dug in the sand. This one was like a well in a village. But there was no village here, and I thought I must be dreaming...
"It is strange," I said to the little prince. "Everything is ready for use: the pulley, the bucket, the rope..."
He laughed, touched the rope, and set the pulley to working. And the pulley moaned, like an old weathervane which the wind has long since forgotten.
"Do you hear?" said the little prince. "We have wakened the well, and it is singing..."
I did not want him to tire himself with the rope.
"Leave it to me," I said. "It is too heavy for you."
I hoisted the bucket slowly to the edge of the well and set it there-- happy, tired as I was, over my achievement. The song of the pulley was still in my ears, and I could see the sunlight shimmer in the still trembling water.
"I am thirsty for this water," said the little prince. "Give me some of it to drink..."
And I understood what he had been looking for.
I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. It was as sweet as some special festival treat. This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. Its sweetness was born of the walk under the stars, the song of the pulley, the effort of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present. When I was a little boy, the lights of the Christmas tree, the music of the Midnight Mass, the tenderness of smiling faces, used to make up, so, the radiance of the gifts I received.
"The men where you live," said the little prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same garden-- and they do not find in it what they are looking for."
"They do not find it," I replied.
"And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water."
"Yes, that is true," I said.
And the little prince added:
"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."
I had drunk the water. I breathed easily. At sunrise the sand is the color of honey. And that honey color was making me happy, too. What brought me, then, this sense of grief?
"You must keep your promise," said the little prince, softly, as he sat down beside me once more.
"What promise?"
"You know-- a muzzle for my sheep... I am responsible for this flower..."
I took my rough drafts of drawings out of my pocket. The little prince looked them over, and laughed as he said:
"Your baobabs-- they look a little like cabbages."
"Oh!"
I had been so proud of my baobabs!
"Your fox-- his ears look a little like horns; and they are too long."
And he laughed again.
"You are not fair, little prince," I said. "I don't know how to draw anything except boa constrictors from the outside and boa constrictors from the inside."
"Oh, that will be all right," he said, "children understand."
So then I made a pencil sketch of a muzzle. And as I gave it to him my heart was torn.
"You have plans that I do not know about," I said.
But he did not answer me. He said to me, instead:
"You know-- my descent to the earth... Tomorrow will be its anniversary."
Then, after a silence, he went on:
"I came down very near here."
And he flushed.
And once again, without understanding why, I had a queer sense of sorrow. One question, however, occurred to me:
"Then it was not by chance that on the morning when I first met you-- a week ago-- you were strolling along like that, all alone, a thousand miles from any inhabited region? You were on the your back to the place where you landed?"
The little prince flushed again.
And I added, with some hesitancy:
"Perhaps it was because of the anniversary?"
The little prince flushed once more. He never answered questions-- but when one flushes does that not mean "Yes"?
"Ah," I said to him, "I am a little frightened--"
But he interrupted me.
"Now you must work. You must return to your engine. I will be waiting for you here. Come back tomorrow evening..."
But I was not reassured. I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed...

    “那些人们,他们往快车里拥挤,但是他们却不知道要寻找什么。于是,他们就忙忙碌碌,来回转圈子…”小王子说道。   
    他接着又说:   
    “这没有必要…”   
    我们终于找到的这口井,不同于撒哈拉的那些井。撒哈拉的井只是沙漠中挖的洞。这口井则很象村子中的井。可是,那里又没有任何村庄,我还以为是在做梦呢。   
    “真怪,”我对小王子说:“一切都是现成的:辘轳、水桶、绳子…”   
    他笑了,拿着绳子,转动着辘轳。辘轳就象是一个长期没有风来吹动的旧风标一样,吱吱作响。   
    “你听,”小王子说:“我们唤醒了这口井,它现在唱起歌来了…”我不愿让他费劲。我对他说:   
    “让我来干吧。这活对你太重了。”   
    我慢慢地把水桶提到井栏上。我把它稳稳地放在那里。我的耳朵里还响着辘轳的歌声。依然还在晃荡的水面上,我看见太阳的影子在跳动。   
    “我正需要喝这种水。”小王子说:“给我喝点…”   
    这时我才明白了他所要寻找的是什么!   
    我把水桶提到他的嘴边。他闭着眼睛喝水。就象节日一般舒适愉快。这水远不只是一种饮料,它是披星戴月走了许多路才找到的,是在辘轳的歌声中,经过我双臂的努力得来的。它象是一件礼品慰藉着心田。在我小的时候,圣诞树的灯光,午夜的弥撒的音乐,甜蜜的微笑,这一切都使圣诞节时我收到的礼品辉映着幸福的光彩。   
    “你这里的人在同一个花园中种植着五千朵玫瑰。”小王子说:“可是,他们却不能从中找到自己所要寻找的东西…”   
    “他们是找不到的。”我回答道。   
    “然而,他们所寻找的东西却是可以从一朵玫瑰花或一点儿水中找到的…”   
    “一点不错。”我回答道。   
    小王子又加了一句:   
    “眼睛是什么也看不见的。应该用心去寻找。”   
    我喝了水。我痛快地呼吸着空气。沙漠在晨曦中泛出蜂蜜的光泽。这蜂蜜般的光泽也使我感到幸福。为什么我要难过…   
    小王子又重新在我的身边坐下。他温柔地对我说:“你应该实践你的诺言。”
    “什么诺言?”   
    “你知道…给我的小羊一个嘴套子…我要对我的花负责的呀!”   
    我从口袋中拿出我的画稿。小王子瞅见了,笑着说:   
    “你画的猴面包树,有点象白菜…”   
    “啊!”   
    我还为我画的猴面包树感到骄傲呢!   
    “你画的狐狸…它那双耳朵…有点象犄角…而且又太长了!”   
    这时,他又笑了。   
    “小家伙,你太不公正了。我过去只会画开着肚皮和闭着肚皮的巨蟒。”   
    “啊!这就行了。”他说:“孩子们认得出来。”   
    我就用铅笔勾画了一个嘴套。当我把它递给小王子时,我心里很难受:   
    “你的打算,我一点也不知道…”   
    但是,他不回答我,他对我说:   
    “你知道,我落在地球上…到明天就一周年了…”   
    接着,沉默了一会儿,他又说道:   
    “我就落在这附近…”   
    此时,他的面颊绯红。   
    我不知为什么,又感到一阵莫名其妙的心酸。这时,我产生了一个问题:   
    “一星期以前,我认识你的那天早上,你单独一个人在这旷无人烟的地方走着;这么说,这并不是偶然的了?你是要回到你降落的地方去是吗!”   
    小王子的脸又红了。
    我犹豫不定地又说了一句:   
    “可能是因为周年纪念吧?…”   
    小王子脸又红了。他从来也不回答这些问题,但是,脸红,就等于说“是的”,是吧?   
    “啊!”我对他说:“我有点怕…”   
    但他却回答我说:   
    “你现在该工作了。你应该回到你的机器那里去。我在这里等你。你明天晚上再来…”   
    但是,我放心不下。我想起了狐狸的话。如果被人驯服了,就可能会要哭的…


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