Chapter 4

ThatwashowIhadlearnedasecondveryimportantthing,whichwas thattheplanethecamefromwashardlybiggerthanahouse! 

Thatcouldn’tsurprisememuch. IknewverywellthatexceptforthehugeplanetslikeEarth,Jupiter,Mars,andVenus, whichhavebeengivennames,therearehundredsofothersthataresometimessosmall thatit’sverydifficulttoseethemthroughatelescope. Whenanastronomerdiscoversoneofthem,hegivesitanumberinsteadofaname. Forinstance,hewouldcallit"Asteroid325." 

Ihaveseriousreasonstobelieve thattheplanetthelittleprincecamefromisAsteroidB-612. 

Thisasteroidhasbeensightedonlyoncebytelescope, in1909byaTurkishastronomer, whohadthenmadeaformaldemonstrationofhisdiscoveryatanInternationalAstronomicalCongress. Butnoonehadbelievedhimonaccountofthewayhewasdressed. Grown-upsarelikethat. 

FortunatelyforthereputationofAsteroidB-612, aTurkishdictatororderedhispeople,onpainofdeath,towearEuropeanclothes. Theastronomerrepeatedhisdemonstrationin1920,wearingaveryelegantsuit. Andthistimeeveryonebelievedhim. 

IfI’vetoldyouthesedetailsaboutAsteroidB-612andifI’vegivenyouitsnumber,itisonaccountofthegrown-ups. Grown-upslikenumbers. Whenyoutellthemaboutanewfriend, theyneveraskquestionsaboutwhatreallymatters. Theyneverask:"Whatdoeshisvoicesoundlike?" 

"Whatgamesdoeshelikebest?" 

"Doeshecollectbutterflies?" Theyask:"Howoldishe?" 

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