You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.

Visiting Wildlife - this one is an African Fennec Fox in The Cleveland Zoo

Visiting Wildlife - this one is an African Fennec Fox in The Cleveland Zoo

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a very long time.

“Please! Tame me!” he said.

“I want to very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me…”


“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is invisible is essential to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

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

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose–” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.

“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,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

from The Little Prince (1943)
by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, 29 June 1900 – 31 July 1944
image credit: Yvonne in Willowick

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