“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But 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…”
The Little Prince is one of my favorite books. Gentle, whimsical, yet wise and illuminating. I checked it out on audio for Axa last week. When I asked her, she said she didn’t like it so much. It’s not “battle-y” enough. “Battle-y” is her own term, and her main criterion for literature. That’s why The Iliad for Children, The Lord of the Rings, and chapters and chapters of the Bible and Book of Mormon make the cut. And The Little Prince does not.
All of her clothes are pink, I promise. We don’t encourage this. Well, not too much at least. There was the shield she got for Christmas and all the stick bows I string with dental floss for her. And I guess I was the one who burned the battle-y books on her mp3 player and read Lord of the Rings to her and told her stories from the Aeneid.
Here’s my defense: Raj wears blue and camouflage and listens to all the same books and stories as Axa. He received a shield for Christmas too. But he turns to me, full of concern, as I read him Mother Goose, and assures me that he will give food to Mother Hubbard’s dog.
I guess we don’t go in too much for stereotypes here. Although perhaps if I had eight children split evenly I might be able to draw some generalizations. I only have one of each. Almost le choix du roi (a son to inherit and solidify the kingdom, and a daughter marry off and expand it). Although if you ask Axa, she’s definitely planning to inherit the kingdom.
There are some things that can compete with battles even still. We had decided not to acquire any more animals, and Tony only relented at the last minute, but yesterday I became the proud owner of an adorable little freecycled hamster. He’s just a baby, I think, and he came free with cage, bedding and food. His own little compact world. I just can’t stop myself from looking at him over and over and snuggling his little cute furryness. Axa and Raj are both entranced too. And when we were considering his christening this morning, Axa said, “let’s call him The Little Prince.”