あのときの王子くん / The Little Prince — w językach japońskim i angielskim. Strona 8

Japońsko-angielska dwujęzyczna książka



Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince


But he did not reply to my question. He merely said to me:


“Water may also be good for the heart…”


I did not understand this answer, but I said nothing. I knew very well that it was impossible to cross-examine him.


He was tired. He sat down. I sat down beside him. And, after a little silence, he spoke again:


“The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen.”


I replied, “Yes, that is so.” And, without saying anything more, I looked across the ridges of sand that were stretched out before us in the moonlight.


“The desert is beautiful,” the little prince added.


And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…


“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”


I was astonished by a sudden understanding of that mysterious radiation of the sands. When I was a little boy I lived in an old house, and legend told us that a treasure was buried there. To be sure, no one had ever known how to find it; perhaps no one had ever even looked for it. But it cast an enchantment over that house. My home was hiding a secret in the depths of its heart…


“Yes,” I said to the little prince. “The house, the stars, the desert — what gives them their beauty is something that is invisible!”


“I am glad,” he said, “that you agree with my fox.”


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…


And, as I walked on so, I found the well, at daybreak.




“Men,” said the little prince, “set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for. Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round…”


And he added:


“It is not worth the trouble…”


The well that we had come to was not like the wells of the Sahara. The wells of the Sahara are mere holes dug in the sand. This one was like a well in a village. But there was no village here, and I thought I must be dreaming…


“It is strange,” I said to the little prince. “Everything is ready for use: the pulley, the bucket, the rope…”


He laughed, touched the rope, and set the pulley to working. And the pulley moaned, like an old weathervane which the wind has long since forgotten.


“Do you hear?” said the little prince. “We have wakened the well, and it is singing…”


I did not want him to tire himself with the rope.


“Leave it to me,” I said. “It is too heavy for you.”


I hoisted the bucket slowly to the edge of the well and set it there — happy, tired as I was, over my achievement. The song of the pulley was still in my ears, and I could see the sunlight shimmer in the still trembling water.


“I am thirsty for this water,” said the little prince. “Give me some of it to drink…”


And I understood what he had been looking for.


I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. It was as sweet as some special festival treat. This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. Its sweetness was born of the walk under the stars, the song of the pulley, the effort of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present.


When I was a little boy, the lights of the Christmas tree, the music of the Midnight Mass, the tenderness of smiling faces, used to make up, so, the radiance of the gifts I received.


“The men where you live,” said the little prince, “raise five thousand roses in the same garden — and they do not find in it what they are looking for.”


“They do not find it,” I replied.


“And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water.”


“Yes, that is true,” I said.


And the little prince added:


“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart…”


I had drunk the water. I breathed easily. At sunrise the sand is the color of honey. And that honey color was making me happy, too. What brought me, then, this sense of grief?


“You must keep your promise,” said the little prince, softly, as he sat down beside me once more.


“What promise?”


“You know — a muzzle for my sheep… I am responsible for this flower…”


I took my rough drafts of drawings out of my pocket. The little prince looked them over, and laughed as he said:


“Your baobabs — they look a little like cabbages.”


I had been so proud of my baobabs!


“Your fox — his ears look a little like horns; and they are too long.”


And he laughed again.


“You are not fair, little prince,” I said. “I don’t know how to draw anything except boa constrictors from the outside and boa constrictors from the inside.”


“Oh, that will be all right,” he said, “children understand.”


So then I made a pencil sketch of a muzzle. And as I gave it to him my heart was torn.


“You have plans that I do not know about,” I said.


But he did not answer me.


He said to me, instead:
“You know — my descent to the earth… Tomorrow will be its anniversary.”


Then, after a silence, he went on:


“I came down very near here.”


And he flushed.


And once again, without understanding why, I had a queer sense of sorrow.

「じゃあ、1しゅうかんまえ、ぼくときみがであったあのあさ、きみがあんなふうに、ひとのすむところのはるかかなた、ひとりっきりであるいていたのは、たまたまじゃないってこと※(感嘆符疑問符、1-8-78) きみは、おっこちたところに、もどってるんだね?」

One question, however, occurred to me:
“Then it was not by chance that on the morning when I first met you — a week ago — you were strolling along like that, all alone, a thousand miles from any inhabited region? You were on the your back to the place where you landed?”


The little prince flushed again.


And I added, with some hesitancy:


“Perhaps it was because of the anniversary?”


The little prince flushed once more. He never answered questions — but when one flushes does that not mean “Yes”?


“Ah,” I said to him, “I am a little frightened — ”


But he interrupted me.


“Now you must work. You must return to your engine. I will be waiting for you here. Come back tomorrow evening…”


But I was not reassured. I remembered the fox. One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed…




Beside the well there was the ruin of an old stone wall. When I came back from my work, the next evening, I saw from some distance away my little price sitting on top of a wall, with his feet dangling. And I heard him say:


“Then you don’t remember. This is not the exact spot.”


Another voice must have answered him, for he replied to it:

「そうだけど! そう、きょうなんだけど、ちがうんだって、ここじゃないんだ……」

“Yes, yes! It is the right day, but this is not the place.”


I continued my walk toward the wall. At no time did I see or hear anyone. The little prince, however, replied once again:


“ — Exactly. You will see where my track begins, in the sand. You have nothing to do but wait for me there. I shall be there tonight.”


I was only twenty meters from the wall, and I still saw nothing.


After a silence the little prince spoke again:

「きみのどくは、だいじょうぶなの? ほんとに、じわじわくるしまなくてもいいんだよね?」

“You have good poison? You are sure that it will not make me suffer too long?”


I stopped in my tracks, my heart torn asunder; but still I did not understand.


“Now go away,” said the little prince. “I want to get down from the wall.”


I dropped my eyes, then, to the foot of the wall — and I leaped into the air. There before me, facing the little prince, was one of those yellow snakes that take just thirty seconds to bring your life to an end.


Even as I was digging into my pocked to get out my revolver I made a running step back. But, at the noise I made, the snake let himself flow easily across the sand like the dying spray of a fountain, and, in no apparent hurry, disappeared, with a light metallic sound, among the stones.


I reached the wall just in time to catch my little man in my arms; his face was white as snow.

「いったいどういうこと! さっき、きみ、ヘビとしゃべってたよね!」

“What does this mean?” I demanded. “Why are you talking with snakes?”


I had loosened the golden muffler that he always wore. I had moistened his temples, and had given him some water to drink. And now I did not dare ask him any more questions. He looked at me very gravely, and put his arms around my neck. I felt his heart beating like the heart of a dying bird, shot with someone’s rifle…


“I am glad that you have found what was the matter with your engine,” he said. “Now you can go back home — ”


“How do you know about that?”


I was just coming to tell him that my work had been successful, beyond anything that I had dared to hope.


He made no answer to my question, but he added:


“I, too, am going back home today…”


Then, sadly —


“It is much farther… It is much more difficult…”


I realized clearly that something extraordinary was happening. I was holding him close in my arms as if he were a little child; and yet it seemed to me that he was rushing headlong toward an abyss from which I could do nothing to restrain him…


His look was very serious, like some one lost far away.


“I have your sheep. And I have the sheep’s box. And I have the muzzle…”


And he gave me a sad smile.


I waited a long time. I could see that he was reviving little by little.


“Dear little man,” I said to him, “you are afraid…”

こわいのは、あたりまえなのに! でも、その子は、そっとわらって、

He was afraid, there was no doubt about that. But he laughed lightly.


“I shall be much more afraid this evening…”


Once again I felt myself frozen by the sense of something irreparable. And I knew that I could not bear the thought of never hearing that laughter any more. For me, it was like a spring of fresh water in the desert.