I have a love for Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince that I can credit directly to my older brother. He lent me the book when I was young and I don’t think I ever gave it back. I’ve since received a full-color illustration edition from a dear teacher when I graduated from high school 10 years ago (yikes!) and the pop-up edition with the most incredible baobab page. This book is immensely quotable and it will reliably make me cry. The Little Prince reminds me to maintain my imagination, to never quite grow up, and to remember that love makes the otherwise ordinary unique. There are so many great parts of the book but the one that’s struck me so keenly is when the prince tames the fox.
The fox explains to the prince, “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…”
One of the most quoted lines in the book is said by the fox when he is saying goodbye to the prince, the line about the essential being invisible to the eye. It’s a good quote with a great message. It’s not my favorite, though. My favorite comes immediately after that, after the fox has told the prince that it was taming his rose that made her unique and unlike all of the roses in the garden that he encountered. My favorite quote is this:
“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…”
And he’s right, he’s so right. We are responsible for the people we love and care for. We’re not responsible for what they choose to do–that’s on them. But we are responsible for the connection we’ve created in taming them. And the fox is right in this as well: We create this connection and are unfortunately cavalier with how we treat it. I have people I would consider to be or have been good friends whom I haven’t spoken with in months, maybe years. I am sometimes irritated with my husband when he begins to talk, in detail, about his fantasy football league. The fox reminds me that I am responsible, forever, for what I have tamed and that responsibility requires action. I promise, this is leading to yarn love.
Opal, a German sock yarn company famous for their themed yarns, has seen fit to grace The Little Prince with a line of colorways. Curiosity gripped me, I did a quick Google, and there it was:
I don’t knit socks. I just don’t. I don’t enjoy using tiny, tiny needles. I would make socks with these. And when I started shopping around for them, I discovered that 7762 is Der kleine Prinz und der Fuchs. That’s right. The Little Prince and the Fox. I am so in love. I’ve ordered 7762 and 7766, Der kleine Prinz und der Brunnen. 7766 is going to make me weepy when I knit with it. “You will have five hundred million little bells, and I shall have five hundred million springs of fresh water…” Oh dear. I’m so excited to see this colors up close, to touch them, to knit with them. I can’t wait to wear my Der kleine Prinz und der Fuchs while I get my fox tattoo.