A. DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, The Little Prince
Little Prince: If a lamb eats shrubs, does it also eat flowers?
Saint-Exupéry: A lamb eats everything it comes across.

Little Prince: Even plants with thorns?
Saint-Exupéry: Yes. Even plants with thorns.


Little Prince: So what use are thorns?

Little Prince: So what use are thorns?
Saint-Exupéry: Thorns have no use, it’s just the plants being mean!

Little Prince: I don’t believe you! Flowers are fragile. They’re innocent. They make up for it as best they can by telling themselves that their thorns are scary.
Saint-Exupéry: (If I can’t undo this bolt, I’ll have to take a hammer to it.)

Little Prince: And do you think that flowers…?
Saint-Exupéry: No! No! I don’t think anything! I have more serious matters to attend to!
Little Prince: Serious matters! You sound just like the grown-ups! You’ve got it all wrong, you get everything all muddled up!

Little Prince: I know a planet where there’s a red-faced man. He’s never smelled a flower. He’s never gazed at a star.

Little Prince: He’s never loved anyone. He’s never done anything other than sums. And all day long, he repeats just like you: “I have serious matters to attend to! Worthwhile matters!” and that makes him puff up with pride. But he’s not a man, he’s a puffball!

Saint-Exupéry: A what?
Little Prince: A puffball!

Little Prince: Flowers have been making thorns for millions of years. For millions of years, sheep have been eating flowers despite their thorns. And isn’t trying to understand why flowers go to so much trouble to make thorns that are no use a worthwhile thing to do? Isn’t the war between sheep and flowers a serious matter?

Little Prince: Isn’t that serious and more important than a big, fat, red-faced man and his sums? And supposing I know of a flower that is absolutely unique, that is nowhere to be found except on my planet, and any minute that flower could accidentally be eaten up by a little lamb, isn’t that important?

Saint-Exupéry: The flower you love isn’t in any danger… I’ll draw a muzzle for your lamb. I’ll draw some protective netting for your flower. I… I was at a loss for words. I felt very clumsy. I did not know how to reach out to him. The world of tears is so unfathomable.