Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince


The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.

-What are you doing there? he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.

-I am drinking, replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.

-Why are you drinking? demanded the little prince.

-So that I may forget, replied the tippler.

-Forget what? inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.

-Forget that I am ashamed, the tippler confessed, hanging his head.

-Ashamed of what? insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.

-Ashamed of drinking! The tipler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.

And the little prince went away, puzzled.

-The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd, he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.