El Principito by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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1

Cuando yo tenía seis años vi en un libro

When I was six years old I saw in a book

2

sobre

about

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que se llamaba : Historias vividas ,

which was called: Lived stories

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corbata

necktie

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Representaba una serpiente boa que devoraba a una fiera .

It represented a boa constrictor that devoured a beast.

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He aquí la copia del dibujo .

Here is the copy of the drawing.

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En el libro decía: “Las serpientes boa se tragan a su presa entera, sin masticarla.

In the book it said that boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it.

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Entonces no pueden moverse y duermen durante los seis meses que dura su digestión”.

After that, they are not able to move and they sleep through the six months they need for digestion.

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Entonces, reflexioné acerca de las aventuras de la selva y logré trazar con un lápiz de color mi primer dibujo.

Then, I pondered about the adventures in the jungle and managed to trace with my colored pencil my first drawing.

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Mi dibujo número 1 se veía así.

My drawing number one looked like this.

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Mostré mi obra maestra a las personas mayores y les pregunté si mi dibujo les daba miedo.

I showed my masterpiece to the grownups and asked them if my drawing frightened them.

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Representaba una serpiente boa digiriendo un elefante.

It represented a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.

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Dibujé, entonces, el interior de la serpiente boa para que las personas mayores pudieran entender.

I then drew the inside of the boa constrictor so the grownups could understand.

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Ellos siempre necesitan de explicaciones.

They always need explanations.

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Mi dibujo número 2 se veía así:

My drawing number 2 showed this:

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Las personas mayores me aconsejaron desistir del dibujo de serpientes boas, fueran abiertas o cerradas, e interesarme más por la geografía, la historia, el cálculo y la gramática. Así fue como a la edad de seis años abandoné una magnífica carrera de pintor. Me había desalentado por el fracaso de mis dibujos número 1 y número 2. Las personas mayores jamás comprenderán algo por sí mismas y es tedioso para los niños darles explicaciones una y otra vez.

The grownups advised me to put aside the drawings the inside or outsideof the boa constrictors

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Cada vez que me he encontrado con alguien que parecía lúcido

Every time I've met someone who seemed lucid,

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he probado la experiencia

I've tried the experience

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mostrar

to show

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he conservado

I have kept

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Quería saber

I (he, she, it) wanted to know

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personas mayores

adult

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no hablaba

(I or he, she, it) did not speak

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altura

height or altitude

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le hablaba del bridge

I was talking about bridge

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corbata

necktie

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ser comprensivo

to be sympathetic

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quedaba contentísima de conocer a un hombre tan razonable

was so happy to meet such a reasonable man

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me he encontrado con alguien

I have met someone

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el libro decía...

the book said...

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tragar

to swallow

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entero

entire

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presa

prey

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masticar

to chew

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encontarse

to meet

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selva

jungle

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un lápiz de color

a colored pencil

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dibujo

drawing

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miedo

fear

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¿Por qué habría de darme miedo un sombrero?

Why should I be afraid of a hat?

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lograr

to be able, to attain, to succeed

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personas mayores

grown-ups

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abiertas o cerradas

open or closed

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Tardé largo tiempo en entender de dónde venía.

It took me a long time to understand where he came from.

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Principito, que me hacía muchas preguntas, nunca escuchaba las mías.

The little prince, who asked me a lot of questions, never seemed to hear mine.

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Fueron palabras pronunciadas al azar las que, poco a poco, me revelaron todo.

The words spoken by chance, little by little, are the ones revealing me everything.

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Así, cuando vio por primera vez mi avión, me preguntó:

—¿Qué es esa cosa?

Thus, when he saw my plane for the first time he asked me: “What is that thing there?”

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no dibujaré mi avión, por ser un diseño demasiado complicado para mí

I shall not draw my plane, that would be far too complicated for me

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—Esa no es una cosa, vuela. Es un avión. Es mi avión.

That is not a thing. It flies. It’s a plane. It’s my plane.

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Me sentí orgulloso al decirle que volaba.

And I was proud to explain him that I flew.

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Después dijo: —¡Cómo! ¿Caíste del cielo?

How! Did you fall from sky?

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—Sí —respondí modestamente.

“Yes,” I said modestly.

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—¡Ah, eso es curioso!

“Ah! That’s funny…”

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Y el Principito soltó una graciosa carcajada que me irritó mucho, pues no me gusta que mis contrariedades se tomen en serio.

And the little prince had a very nice burst of laughter that irritated me a lot,

I like my misfortunes to be taken seriously.

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Luego añadió: —Siendo así, ¿tú también vienes del cielo? ¿De qué planeta eres?

Then, he added: “Then, you also come from the sky! From which planet?”

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Vislumbré al momento un resplandor en el misterio de su presencia y pregunté con brusquedad: —¿Tú vienes de otro planeta?

I immediately saw a gleam, in the mystery of his presence, and I asked abruptly: “So you’ve come from another planet?”

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Mas él no me respondió; movía suavemente la cabeza, mientras examinaba detenidamente mi avión.

But he did not answer me. He nodded softly while watching my plane.

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—Es verdad que, en esto, no puedes venir de muy lejos…

“It’s true that on that you can’t have come from very far away…”

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Y se sumió en un ensueño que duró largo tiempo.

And he sank into a reverie that lasted long..

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Entonces, de su bolsillo sacó a mi cordero y se sumergió en la contemplación de su tesoro.

Then, taking my sheep out of his pocket, he immersed himself in the contemplation of his treasure.

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Se imaginan cómo me intrigó la cuasirevelación de otros planetas.

You imagine how much I had been intrigued by this half-confidence on “the other planets.”

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Y traté de saber algo más. —¿De dónde vienes, muchachito? ¿Dónde está tu casa? ¿Adónde quieres llevarte mi cordero?

I therefore struggled to learn more: “Where are you from my little fellow? Where is ‘your home?’ Where do you want to take my sheep?”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince (p. 11). Classica Libris. Kindle Edition.

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—¿De dónde vienes, muchachito? ¿Dónde está tu casa?

“Where are you from my little fellow? Where is ‘your home?’

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¿Adónde quieres llevarte mi cordero?

Where do you want to take my sheep?”

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Él respondió después de un silencio meditativo.

He replied after the meditative silence.

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—Lo bueno de la caja que me diste es que, por la noche, le servirá de casa.

“What is good with the box you gave me is that overnight, it will serve as a house.

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—¡Claro! Y si eres bueno te daré también una cuerda y una estaca para atarlo durante el día.

“Of course. And if you are nice, I will also give you a rope and a stake to tie it during the day.

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La idea le pareció extraña al Principito.

The idea seemed to shock the little prince.

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—¿Atarlo? ¡Qué idea más rara!

“Tie it? What a funny idea!”

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—Si no lo atas, se irá a cualquier parte y se perderá.

"If you don't tie it, it will go 'whereever', and be lost.

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Mi amigo volvió a reír.

And my friend had a new burst of laughter.

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—¿Pero dónde quieres que vaya?

“But where would it go?”

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—A cualquier lugar. En línea recta.

“Anywhere. Right in front of it.”

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Entonces, el Principito comentó con gravedad:

Then the little prince observed severely.

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—¡No importa, mi hogar es muy pequeño!

“It doesn’t matter, my home is very small!”

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Y quizá con un poco de melancolía agregó.

And, with a bit of melancholy, perhaps, he added:

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—En línea recta no puede ir muy lejos.

“Right in front, nobody can go far away"

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De esta manera aprendí una segunda cosa importante:

Thus, I had learned a second very important thing.

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su planeta era apenas más grande que una casa.

his planet was barely larger than a house!

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no me sorprendí mucho

It did not surprise me much.

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Yo sabía muy bien que además de los grandes planetas como la Tierra, Júpiter, Marte, Venus, a los cuales les han dado nombre, hay cientos de otros, tan, tan pequeños, que es difícil observarlos aun con la ayuda del telescopio.

I knew that besides the big planets like Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, which have been given names, there are hundreds of others that are sometimes so small that it is very hard to see them through the telescope.

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Cuando un astrónomo descubre uno de ellos, le da por nombre un número.

When an astronomer discovers one of them, he gives it a number as a name.

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Le llama, por ejemplo, “Asteroide 3251”.

He calls it, for example, 'Asteroid 3251'.

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Tengo bastantes razones para creer que el planeta del cual vino el Principito es el asteroide B 612.

I have enough reasons to believe that the planet where the little prince came from is Asteroid B 612.

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Este asteroide ha sido visto sólo una vez, en 1909, a través del telescopio por un astrónomo turco.

This asteroid has only been observed once through a telescope, in 1909, by a Turkish astronomer.

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Entonces, él hizo una gran demostración de su descubrimiento en un Congreso Internacional de Astronomía,

Then, he made a great demonstration of his discovery at an International Congress of Astronomy.

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Pero, nadie le creyó a causa de su vestimenta.

However, nobody believed him because of his Turkish attire.

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Las personas mayores son así.

The grown-ups are like that.

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Por suerte para la reputación del asteroide B 612, un dictador turco impuso a su pueblo, bajo pena de muerte --- vestir al estilo europeo.

Fortunately for the reputation of Asteroid B 612, a Turkish dictator imposed on his (town) people short pain of death: to dress in European style.

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El astrónomo volvió a dar la noticia de su descubrimiento en 1920, en traje muy elegante.

The astronomer repeated his demonstration in 1920, in a very elegant garment.

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Esta vez todo el mundo aceptó su informe.

And this time, everybody accepted his opinion.

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Si les he dicho estos detalles sobre el asteroide B 612 y les he confiado su número, es por consideración a las personas mayores.

If I had told you those details on Asteroid B 612 and gave you its number, it’s because of grown-ups.

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Cuando se les habla de un nuevo amigo, nunca preguntan por lo esencial

When you talk to them about a new friend, they never ask you the essentials.

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Ellos ni dicen. “¿Cuál es el sonido de su voz? ¿Qué juegos prefiere? ¿Acaso colecciona mariposas?”

They never tell you: “What does his voice sound like? What games does he prefers? Does he collect butterflies?”

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Te preguntan: “¿Qué edad tiene? ¿Cuántos hermanos? ¿Cuánto pesa? ¿Cuánto gana su padre?”

They ask you: “How old is he? How many brothers does he have? How much does he weight? How much money does his father earn?”

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Sólo entonces creen conocerlo.

Only then, they believe they know him.

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Si le decimos a una persona mayor: “Vi una casa preciosa de ladrillos rosas, con geranios en las ventanas y palomas sobre el tejado”, no logran imaginar esta casa.

If you tell the grown-ups: “I've seen a nice red brick house, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof…” they would not be able to imagine such a house.

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Es necesario decirles: “Vi una casa de cien mil francos”. Entonces exclaman: “¡Oh, qué bonita es!”

You would have to tell them: “I’ve seen a-hundred-thousand-francs house.” Then they would exclaim: “How lovely!”

99

Así que si les decimos: “La prueba de que el principito ha existido es que era encantador, él se reía, y quería un cordero”.

Then, if you tell them: “The evidence that the little prince existed is that he was charming, he laughed, and wanted a sheep.

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Aunque “querer un cordero” sea una evidencia de que existe, ellos se encogerán de hombros y nos tratarán como niños.

When you want a sheep, it is the evidence that you exist,” they will shrug their shoulders and treat you as a child!

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Pero si les decimos: “el planeta de donde venía el Principito es el asteroide B-612”, entonces quedarán convencidos y te dejarán en paz con sus preguntas.

But if you tell them: “The planet where he came from is Asteroid B 612,” then they will be convinced, and will leave you alone with their questions.

102

Ellos son así, no hay que culparlos.

That is the way they are. One must not blame them (hold it against them).

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No hay que culparlos. Los niños deben ser muy condescendientes con las personas mayores.

No one can blame them. Children must be very indulgent to the grown-ups.

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...

But, of course, we, who understand life, we make fun of numbers! I should have liked to start this story like fairy tales.

105

...

I should have liked to say: “Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet not much bigger than him, and who had need of a friend…”

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...

For those who understand life, it would have seemed closer to the truth.

107

...

Because I do not want my book to be read carelessly. I feel such sorrow to tell those memories.

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...

memories. It is already six years since my friend went with his sheep.

109

...

If I am here trying to describe him, it is in order not to forget him.

110

...

It is sad to forget a friend. Not everyone has had a friend.

111

...

Then, I could become like the grown-ups who are only interested in digits.

112

...

So, yet, that’s why I bought a box of paints and some pencils.

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...

It is hard to get back to the drawing, at my age, when you have never made other attempts besides that one of a closed boa and an open boa, at the age of six!

114

...

Of course, I will try to make portraits as true to life as possible. But I am not at all sure that I will succeed.

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...

One drawing is all right, another shows no resemblance at all to its subject.

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...

I am a little wrong about the size as well.

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...

Here the little prince is too big. There he is too small.

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...

I also hesitate on the color of his costume.

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...

Then, I grope like this and like that, as best as possible.

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...

Finally, I shall also make mistakes about some more important details.

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...

But I must be forgiven for that.

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...

My friend never gave explanations.

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...

Perhaps he thought I was like him. But, unfortunately, I cannot see sheep through boxes.

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...

Maybe I’m a little like the grown-ups. I must have got older.