This is the story of a prince who lives on a small planet. The unnamed narrator encounters the little prince when he crashes his plane in the Sahara Desert. The narrator sets about repairing his plane, when he hears a little voice asking him to draw him a sheep. The narrator turned and saw the little prince.
The narrator learned that the prince came from a planet so small that he could watch the sunset whenever he liked, just by turning around. The reason he wanted the sheep was that sheep eat little bushes. He wanted the sheep to eat the baobabs that were such a problem on his planet. The narrator pointed out that baobabs are large trees, but the prince pointed out that they started out little. However, the prince grew concerned, because sheep eat flowers too, and the prince had a very special flower on his planet, one he loved very much. The flower, though beautiful and sweet-smelling, was vain and demanding. Though naively unafraid of tigers, believing that her thorns would protect her, she demanded that the prince up a screen to shield her from drafts. She told him to put her under a glass globe at night to protect her from the cold. Though the prince loved her, he grew tired of listening to her words and her demands, so he left his planet.
Before arriving on earth, the prince visited many planets. A king lived on the first planet he visited. The king was happy to have a subject. The king demanded obedience. He tried to get the prince to stay, but the prince left, pondering the strangeness of grown-ups.
A conceited man occupied the second planet. The conceited man wanted the prince to clap for him and salute him, and he asked the little prince if he admired him. The prince grew tired of this, and as he left, he was more convinced than ever the grown-ups were very strange.
A drunk occupied the third planet. The prince asked why he drank. The drunk replied that he drank so that he could forget he was ashamed of drinking. The fourth planet was occupied by a businessman who did nothing but count stars, saying he owned all of them. The prince thought that these men were as odd as the others. The fifth planet was the smallest, and it was occupied only by a lamplighter, whose job it was to light the lone street lamp. The prince thought that at least his job had some meaning. However, the lamp lighter was exhausted, saying that his job used to be much better. He lit the street lamp at night and put it out in the morning, giving him the rest of the day off, and he could sleep all night. However, the planet started turning faster and faster. A day lasted only one minute, so he was constantly lighting the lamp and putting it out again.
The prince sorry to leave this planet, however, since the short days meant it had lots of sunsets.
The sixth planet was much larger and occupied by a geographer. However, he was unable to tell the little prince anything about his own planet, since he was not an explorer. He asked the prince to tell him about his planet instead. The prince said it wasn’t very interesting, since it was so small. The geographer advised the little prince to visit earth.
When the prince visited earth, he didn’t see any people at first. He kept walking and eventually came upon a rose garden. He was very sad to realize that his flower, whom he had thought was completely unique, was only a common rose like all those in the garden.
Then he met the fox. He asked the fox to play with him, but the fox said he couldn’t, since the fox was not tame, which the prince didn‘t understand. The fox explained what he meant, and said that if he wanted a friend, the prince should tame him. Then they would form a bond, and be unique to each other. The prince realized that his rose had tamed him. He came to see the fox every day, sitting a little closer each day, until the fox was tamed and they became friends. When the prince moved on, the fox told him he was responsible for his rose, since he had tamed it.
The prince realized hhe needed to go home to take care of his rose. The narrator was very sad, but the prince said they’d always be friends and that whenever the narrator looked at the stars, he’d think of the prince.
In his travels, the prince learns what it means to love someone. He realizes how important his rose is to him even though she is difficult at times. The people who live alone on the planets the prince visits seem to be a metaphor for the loneliness and isolation among adults. The king, the conceited man, and so on get locked into one way of seeing themselves and interacting with the few people they encounter, and they are unable to genuinely reach out. They have retained none of the open-mindedness they may have had as children. The prince comes away from the whole experience believing that loving someone, though it may make you sad sometimes, is worth the pain.