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Chapter 27
- the narrator's afterthoughts   
And now six years have already gone by...
I have never yet told this story. The companions who met me on my return were well content to see me alive. I was sad, but I told them: "I am tired."
Now my sorrow is comforted a little. That is to say-- not entirely. But I know that he did go back to his planet, because I did not find his body at daybreak. It was not such a heavy body... and at night I love to listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells...
But there is one extraordinary thing... when I drew the muzzle for the little prince, I forgot to add the leather strap to it. He will never have been able to fasten it on his sheep. So now I keep wondering: what is happening on his planet? Perhaps the sheep has eaten the flower...
At one time I say to myself: "Surely not! The little prince shuts his flower under her glass globe every night, and he watches over his sheep very carefully..." Then I am happy. And there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars.
But at another time I say to myself: "At some moment or other one is absent-minded, and that is enough! On some one evening he forgot the glass globe, or the sheep got out, without making any noise, in the night..." And then the little bells are changed to tears...
Here, then, is a great mystery. For you who also love the little prince, and for me, nothing in the universe can be the same if somewhere, we do not know where, a sheep that we never saw has-- yes or no?-- eaten a rose...
Look up at the sky. Ask yourselves: is it yes or no? Has the sheep eaten the flower? And you will see how everything changes...
And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!
This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it again to impress it on your memory. It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.
Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognise it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.

    到现在,一点不错,已经有六年了…我还从未讲过这个故事。同伴们重新见到了我,都为能看见我活着回来而高兴。我却很悲伤。我告诉他们:“这是因为疲劳的缘故…”   
    现在,我稍微得到了些安慰。就是说…还没有完全平静下来。可我知道他已经回到了他的星球上。因为那天黎明,我没有再见到他的身躯。他的身躯并不那么重…从此,我就喜欢在夜间倾听着星星,好象是倾听着五亿个铃铛…   
    可是,现在却又发生了不寻常的事。我给小王子画的羊嘴套上,忘了画皮带!他再也不可能把它套在羊嘴上。于是,我思忖着:“他的星球上发生了什么事呢?大概小羊把花吃掉了吧…”
    有时我又对自己说,“绝对不会的!小王子每天夜里都用玻璃罩子罩住他的花,而且他会把羊看管好的…”想到这里,我就非常高兴。这时,所有的星星都在柔情地轻声笑着。   
    忽而我又对自己说:“人们有时总免不了会疏忽的,那就够戗!某一天晚上他忘了玻璃罩子,或者小羊夜里不声不响地跑出来…”想到这里,小铃铛都变成泪珠了!   
    这真是一个很大的奥秘。对你们这些喜欢小王子的人来说,就象对于我来说一样,无论什么地方,凡是某处,如果一只羊(尽管我们并不认识它),吃了一朵玫瑰花,或是没有吃掉一朵玫瑰花,那么宇宙的面貌就全然不同。   
    你们望着天空。你们想一想:羊究竟是吃了还是没有吃掉花?那么你们就会看到一切都变了样…   
    任何一个大人将永远不会明白这个问题竟如此重要!


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