May 10, 2008

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    “What has brought you here?”

    “I have been having some trouble with a flower,” said the little prince.

    “Ah!” said the snake.

    And they were both silent.

    “Where are the men?” the little prince at last took up the conversation again. “It is a little lonely in the desert . . .”

    “It is also lonely among men,” the snake said.

    The little prince gazed at him for a long time.

    “You are a funny animal,” he said at last. “You are no thicker than a finger . . .”

    “But I am more powerful than the finger of a king,” said the snake.

    The little prince smiled.

    “You are not very powerful. You haven’t even any feet. You cannot even travel . . .”

    “I can carry you farther than any ship could take you,” said the snake.

    He twined himself around the little prince’s ankle, like a golden bracelet.

    “Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came,” the snake spoke again. “But you are innocent and true, and you come from a star . . .”

    The little prince made no reply.

    “You move me to pity–you are so weak on this Earth made of granite,” the snake said. “I can help you, some day, if you grow too homesick for your own planet. I can–”

    “Oh! I understand you very well,” said the little prince. “But why do you always speak in riddles?”

    “I solve them all,” said the snake.

    And they were both silent.

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