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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTERS 25 & 26
The well that the narrator finds at daybreak is not an ordinary desert well; instead, there is a rope, pulley, and bucket, just like on a village well. As the narrator works the pulley, the Little Prince thinks it sounds like singing. When they are rewarded with a bucket of water, both of them drink eagerly; never has the taste of water been so special.
Although the sunrise is beautiful, the narrator is filled with a sense of grief, which he cannot understand. The Little Prince notices that his friend is quiet and asks to see his drawings again. He tells the narrator that any child would surely understand the meaning of the pictures. Again Saint-Exupéry is emphasizing a child's ability to see the truth beneath the surface.
The Little Prince reminds the narrator that he needs to draw him a muzzle for his sheep. Suddenly the narrator realizes that that his new friend is thinking about returning to his star. The narrator realizes that the fear of the Prince's departure is the cause of his sad feelings.
When the Prince almost falls from the wall, the narrator rushes forward and catches him. He then asks the Prince why he is talking to snakes. Without answering, the Little Prince says that the narrator can now go home since he has fixed the engine on his plane. The narrator is surprised that the Prince knows this, for he has not said anything to him. The Prince then says he will also soon depart for home. He looks forward to returning to his star, which is very important because it holds his special flower. The Prince next tells the narrator to often look up at the stars, imagine they are laughing, and then think of him.
The Little Prince tells the narrator not to stay with him during the night. He has already planned for the snake to bite him so that he can return to his star. The Prince does not want the narrator to watch and see his pain; he also wants to make certain that the narrator does not also get bitten.
When the Prince starts walking away, the concerned narrator catches up with him. The Prince tries to paint a bright picture of the events to come, but he finally breaks down and starts crying. When the Prince finally gets up, he takes a single step and falls down gently to the ground. The snake has done the job of inflicting his poisonous bite.
At daybreak, the narrator and the Prince find a well ready to be used. The narrator is surprised at finding such a well in the desert, but the Prince does not seem surprised. The reader is left to believe that somehow the Prince has planned it all. As the narrator works the pulley to draw the water, the Little Prince talks about the sweet reward of hard work. He compares a feeling of satisfaction over work to the warm feeling that a person has at Christmas. He also expresses the importance of little water of a single rose, reiterating the theme of looking a thing with the heart.
Even though the color of the sand early in the morning makes the narrator happy, he also has a feeling of grief; he seems to intuitively know that the Little Prince is about to leave. He becomes sure of it when the Prince asks him for the drawing of a muzzle to take with him to his planet. Since he feels that he has been tamed by the Little Prince, he has become emotionally attached to him and knows that he will miss him greatly.
Some critics have compared the sharing of water by the Prince and the narrator to the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his apostles before his death. Throughout the book, the Little Prince has been a Christ figure in his innocence, purity, and wisdom. Now that he is destined to die and go home to his own little heaven, it is appropriate that the Little Prince shares a last "supper" with the narrator. Also, like Jesus, the Little Prince seems to know things without seeing them. He sends the narrator back to work on his airplane, for he knows he will fix it overnight.
When the narrator comes back to the well the next evening, he is amazed that the Little Prince knows that the airplane is repaired and ready to fly, for he has not told him the news. He is also shocked that the Prince is talking to the snake about his poisonous bite. It is obvious that the Prince believes that in being bitten by the snake he can return to his star.
Once again the Prince talks about the importance of things that cannot be seen and reminds the narrator that he must always look with his heart. He then gives the narrator a gift by describing the stars as laughing. Now each time the narrator looks into the sky, he will remember the Prince and the laughing stars and feel happy.
At the end of the chapter, the Little Prince optimistically talks about what is going to happen to him. He looks forward to again seeing his special flower and taking responsibility for her well- being. He then gently falls to the ground in death. The snake has done his work and freed the Prince to return home to his star.