Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to have to explain things to them always and forever.

Boa constrictor without elephant

Boa constrictor without elephant

I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.

But they answered: “Frightened? Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?”

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained…

The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of the boa constrictor, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two. Grown-ups never understand anything themselves, and it is tiresome for children always to be forever and ever explaining things to them.

from The Little Prince (1943)
by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, 29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944

image credit: qwrrty

What Happens After a Boa Swallows an Elephant?

The message of this quote, for me, is that what we draw (or do) doesn’t always have to make sense to other people.

My secondary response is less philosophical: I want a hat. I want a lovely, quirky, Hat of Much Personality.

How does this quote effect you?

| More

Comments are closed.