In high school, I had to read Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery as part of my French curriculum. At the time, it seemed like nothing more than somewhat boring science fiction – a prince from another planet who meets a pilot stranded in the desert and they do nothing but talk nonsense…in French! Understandably, there was a record dropout rate for that particular class.
Then recently, a book club that I attend selected this story as a discussion topic. After much groaning and procrastinating, I finally gave in and read it again.
And it was beautiful.
The Little Prince for what it is – a deeply philosophical fable, filled with humour and wisdom and such sweetness that it leaves you surprised and moved. The book established de Saint Exupery as one of France’s foremost authors and more than a half century later is still considered a brilliant allegory of faith and love and innocence lost and found.
Yet this is a children’s story. Maybe the author was making a point. Some things in life are so complex and so profound that only children and animals can understand them.