On the fifth day of their friendship, the Little Prince reveals to the narrator the secret of his life. The Prince asks the narrator the purpose behind flowers having thorns, but the narrator is too busy repairing his plane to pay attention to the question. The Prince grows angry when the narrator does not consider his question important. Feeling hurt, he gives the narrator a long lecture on the importance of a particular flower to his planet; if any harm comes to it, darkness will fall on his world. Since the Prince fears that the sheep may hurt the flower, the narrator says he will draw a muzzle for them so that they cannot destroy the flower.
The Prince tells the story of his special flower. It began with a new kind of plant, never before seen on his planet. When a huge bud appeared on the strange plant, the Little Prince thought surely that some miraculous apparition would emerge from it. As the bud grew into a beautiful flower, it became like a female creature who took a long time to dress herself and was then vain about her beauty. Although the Little Prince found the flower to be exciting and beautiful, he was tormented by her vanity and exaggerations. Soon the Little Prince, normally filled with good will and love, began to doubt the flower, believing that she told many lies. He claims that he found it impossible to love the flower, which made him feel ashamed. In the end, he left his planet to flee from her vanity; but now he is worried about her.
By the end of these chapters, the Little Prince has revealed why he left his planet. There is a special flower that grows on his planet, which is one of a kind. If anything destroys the plant that bears the flower, the Prince’s world will become dark. Since the Prince is worried that the sheep on his planet will eat the flower, the narrator promises to draw a muzzle for the sheep to keep them from harming it.
When the Prince questions the narrator about the purpose of thorns on a flower, the narrator ignores him, for he is busy working on his airplane. The Prince is furious that the narrator does not consider his question important. Saint-Exupéry is clearly pointing out that people and their concerns are much more important than things, such as the airplane.
With excitement, agitation, and tears, the Little Prince explains the importance of the flower to him. Although the flower, personified as a woman, lends beauty to his planet, she is very vain. The Prince is greatly tormented by her vanity and exaggerations. For the first time in his life, he feels he cannot love something, for he doubts the flower’s truthfulness. He is so troubled by his feelings that he leaves the planet that he dearly loves. Now, however, he is concerned about the flower’s safety.
While narrating his story to the author, the Prince criticizes himself. He thinks that he should have been more patient with his flower, refusing to grow angry with her. If he had been tender to her, rather than scorning her, she might have changed to the better. He feels terribly guilty that he had been too young to know how to love her properly. Through the Prince and the flower, Saint-Exupéry is stating that love needs to be nurtured with tenderness and patience.
On the morning of his departure from his planet, the Little Prince puts everything in perfect order. He pulls up the last shoots of the baobabs and says goodbye to his flower. When the flower realizes that she has been the cause of his departure, she apologizes to him and confesses her love for him. Since she does not want the Prince to see her crying, she asks him to go away.
The Prince begins his interplanetary travels. He first visits asteroid 325, where he meets a king, who thinks he is an absolute monarch. Since he is really a very good man, the king only gives reasonable orders to his subjects, and no one seems to dislike him. Since the king is supposedly an absolute monarch, the Prince asks the king to command a sunset for him. When the monarch says he cannot bring forth a sunset, the Little Prince grows bored with the king’s inability and decides to leave the planet. The king tries to talk the Prince into staying by offering him the post of Minister of Justice, but he is not interested in the position. As he leaves the asteroid, the Little Prince reflects on the king’s strange behavior.
The meticulous Prince puts his planet in perfect order before departing. He cleans out the volcanoes and pulls out the last little shoots of the baobabs. When he goes to put a glass globe over the flower, to protect her, he realizes that he is close to tears at the thought of leaving her. The flower, sensing that she is the cause of his departure, apologizes to the Little Prince and says she loves him; he is surprised in her change in attitude, but he is still determined to leave. Although she seems less vain and begs him not to cover her with the globe, the flower still does not want the Prince to see her crying, so she sends him away.
The Prince’s interplanetary travels begin; the goal of his visits is to gain more knowledge. His first stop is on an asteroid ruled by a king who claims he is an absolute monarch. There is light-hearted humor in the description of the king. Wanting to be strong, he demands to be obeyed; but because of his basic goodness and gentle nature, all of his orders are fair and reasonable, and the people have no problem following them. When the king cannot produce a sunset for the Prince, it is obvious that his so-called absolute monarchy is shallow and vain. The king becomes symbolic of a vain, demanding, and hypocritical adult, who tries to be powerful, but who really only rules over his own narrow domain.