On a rose and a fox

"I am a fox" the fox said.
"Come and play with me" proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy"
"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"What does that mean-'tame'?"
"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."
"if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."
"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower... I think that she has tamed me..."

"My life is monotonous. I hunt chickens; people hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I'll know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other footsteps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I don't eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat"

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.You are responsible for your rose.”
"I am responsible for my rose"
"You're lovely, but you're empty," he [the prince] went on [to a rose he sees]. "One couldn't die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass. Since she's the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since she's the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose."

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed."


We have forgotten. Taming a rose gives us everything. Being tamed gives us the sun. Gives us joy in the hour before our rose's arrival.

We are afraid to be tamed, afraid to tame. Afraid of the responsibility, startled by the aspect of sun and tears. We will not take the time to tame a wild thing. To make it unique in all the world. The fear and the indifference make us dull and grey. Sad and crying under the apple tree. Not understanding all that comes from being tamed.

To tame something and have it not tame you back. So sorrowful and lost. But still you feel responsible because it is yours, unique in all the world. Make the sun rise in you eyes, makes your heart jump when it is expected to come.

We need to be brave and tame, be strong and be tamed. We need it. We wither and wilt if we do not.

This is community. You want to know what it is... this is it. fear and joy and sun and tears. The responsibility to the thing you tame and the peace of being the object of responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite book in the whole wide world. I think about it anytime I get caught up in numerical facts about something. And then I think about what is really important. I'm going to buy this book in German THIS week. (I would say today, but today is a German Holiday and everything is closed.)



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