As the little prince dropped off to sleep, I took him in my arms and set out walking once more. I felt deeply moved, and stirred. It seemed to me that I was carrying a very fragile treasure. It seemed to me, even, that there was nothing more fragile on all Earth. In the moonlight I looked at his pale forehead, his closed eyes, his locks of hair that trembled in the wind, and I said to myself: “What I see here is nothing but a shell. What is most important is invisible . . .”

As his lips opened slightly with the suspicion of a half-smile, I said to myself, again: “What moves me so deeply, about this little prince who is sleeping here, is his loyalty to a flower–the image of a rose that shines through his whole being like the flame of a lamp, even when he is asleep . . .” And I felt him to be more fragile still. I felt the need of protecting him, as if he himself were a flame that might be extinguished by a little puff of wind . . .

The Little Prince. Antoine de Saint Exupéry


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