Friday, March 18, 2011

Fiction Friday: Laughing Stars

It has been an emotional week. A dear mom friend of mine has been strugging with a serious heart condition and a difficult pregnancy. On Monday morning, she learned that her unborn son (30 weeks) no longer had a heartbeat. They expected to meet him soon, likely inducing labor as soon as she reached 34 weeks. Instead, her little angel was delivered last night. Today, they are grieving and planning a funeral.

For today's Fiction Friday, I am turning to a book that is dear to my heart. I've read it both in the English language and in French during my school years. It is a sweet and thoughtful little story, and this excerpt makes me think of my friend. She will ache because she can't hold him in her arms, but she will see him in the stars.

Now she has her very own star that laughs.

The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

(Excerpt from chapter 26)
"Dear little man," I said to him, "you are afraid..."

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.

"Little man," I said, "I want to hear you laugh again."

But he said to me:
"Tonight, it will be a year... my star, then, can be found right above the place where I came to the Earth, a year ago..."

"Little man," I said, "tell me that it is only a bad dream-- this affair of the snake, and the meeting-place, and the star..."

But he did not answer my plea. He said to me, instead: "The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen..."

"Yes, I know..."

"It is just as it is with the flower. If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night. All the stars are a-bloom with flowers..."

"Yes, I know..."

"It is just as it is with the water. Because of the pulley, and the rope, what you gave me to drink was like music. You remember-- how good it was."

"Yes, I know..."

"And at night you will look up at the stars. Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found. It is better, like that. My star will just be one of the stars, for you. And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens... they will all be your friends. And, besides, I am going to make you a present..."

He laughed again.

"Ah, little prince, dear little prince! I love to hear that laughter!"

"That is my present. Just that. It will be as it was when we drank the water..."

"What are you trying to say?"

"All men have the stars," he answered, "but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all these stars are silent. You-- you alone-- will have the stars as no one else has them--"

"What are you trying to say?"

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night... you-- only you-- will have stars that can laugh!"

And he laughed again.

"And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me."


Amber Page Writes said...Best Blogger Tips

oh no. That is just about the most horrible thing I can imagine. But that is definitely a beautiful story. I hope it brings her a little comfort.

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