The Happy Prince
Short tale: The Happy Prince
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In the highest part of the city, on a small column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince.
It was all covered with fine golden honeysuckle. His eyes were two sparkling sapphires, and a large red ruby burned in the hilt of his sword.
Such was the beauty of the Happy Prince that everyone admired him.
– He is as beautiful as a weather vane,” said one of the councilors.
– You have to be like the Happy Prince, my son. He never cries,” said a mother to her son who was crying because he wanted the moon.
– He looks like an angel! – said the parishioners as they left the cathedral.
One night a swallow arrived in the city on its way to Egypt. Her friends had left for Egypt weeks before, but she had stayed behind because she had fallen in love with a reed. She decided to stay with her lover, but when autumn came her friends left and she began to tire of her love, so she had decided to set course for the Pyramids.
Her journey took her there and when she saw the statue of the Happy Prince she thought it was a good place to perch and spend the night.
When she had her head under her wing and was about to fall asleep, a large drop of water fell on her.
– Strange, there aren’t even clouds in the sky… – thought the little swallow.
But then a second drop fell, and a third. She looked up and to her surprise she saw that it was not water that fell, but the tears of the Happy Prince.
– Who are you?
– I am the Happy Prince.
– Ah. Then why are you crying?
– Because when I was alive I lived in the Palace of Carelessness and there was no pain there. I spent my days dancing and playing in the garden and I was very happy. That’s why everyone called me the Happy Prince.
There was a big wall around the castle and so I could never see what was behind it, although I didn’t really care either. But now that I’m here I can see everything and I see the ugliness and misery of this city and that’s why my leaden heart can only cry.
The little swallow listened astonished to the words of the Happy Prince.
– Look, over there in that little street there is a house where a poor seamstress lives,” said the Happy Prince, – She is very thin and her hands are rough and full of stitch marks. Next to her there is a child, her son, who is very sick and that is why he cries.
Little swallow, could you bring him the ruby from the hilt of my sword? I cannot move from this pedestal.
– I’m sorry, but I have to go to Egypt. My friends are there and I must go too.
– Please, little swallow, stay one night with me and be my messenger.
Although the swallow did not like children, the prince felt so sorry for her that in the end she agreed. So he plucked the big ruby that the Happy Prince had on his back and left it next to the woman’s thimble.
The next day the swallow said to the prince:
– I am leaving for Egypt this very night. My friends are waiting for me there, and tomorrow they will fly to the second waterfall.
– But, little swallow, there in that window there lives a young man who is trying to finish a comedy, but the poor fellow can’t go on writing because he is so cold and hungry.
Do one thing, take one of my eyes made of sapphires and wear it. You can sell it to buy food and firewood.
– But I can’t do that.
– Please do it.
The swallow accepted the prince’s wishes and brought the sapphire to the boy, who was very happy to see it.
The next day the swallow went to say goodbye to the Happy Prince.
– But swallow, can’t you stay just one more night with me?
– It’s winter and soon the snow will come, I can’t stay here. In Egypt the sun is hot and my companions are building their nests in the temple of Baalbek.
I am sorry, but I have to leave, dear prince, I will come back to see you and bring you precious stones to replace the ones you no longer have. I promise.
– But there in the square there is a young match seller who has dropped all her matches on the ground and they are no longer of any use. The poor thing is barefoot and crying. I need you to take my other eye and bring it to her please.
– But prince, if I do that you will go blind.
– Never mind, do as I ask, please.
So the swallow took her other eye and left it in the palm of the girl’s hand, who went home very happy, jumping up and down with joy.
The swallow returned to the prince and told him that he would not go to Egypt because now that he was blind he needed him by his side.
– No, little swallow, you must go to Egypt.
– No! I will stay with you forever, the swallow replied and fell asleep next to him.
The prince asked the swallow to tell him everything he saw in the city, including the misery, and one day the swallow told him that he had seen several children trying to warm themselves under a bridge while starving.
The prince then asked the swallow to tear off his gold leaf covering and take it to the poorest of the poor. The swallow complied, the children laughed happily when they held the gold leaves in their hands and the Happy Prince remained dull and gray.
The cold winter came and the poor swallow, although he tried to survive so as not to leave the Happy Prince alone, was already very weak and knew he would not live much longer.
She approached the prince to say goodbye to him and when she kissed him, a crackling sound rang inside the statue, as if the leaden heart of the Happy Prince had been broken in two.
The next day the mayor and the aldermen passed by the statue and looked at it in amazement.
– How ragged the Happy Prince is, he looks like a beggar, he even has a dead swallow at his feet! – said the mayor
So they removed the statue and decided to cast it to make a statue of the mayor.
While they were at the foundry, someone noticed that the prince’s lead heart was resisting being melted. So they picked it up and threw it in the dumpster, but there it had the good fortune to meet the dead swallow.
God told one of his angels to bring him the two most precious things he could find in that city and curiously the angel chose the lead heart and the dead swallow.
– You have done well – said God – The swallow will sing forever in my garden of paradise and this statue will remain in my city of gold.
Reflection on the story: The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde presents us with a reflection on the value of compassion and altruism. Through the story of the Happy Prince, who despite being a statue manages to feel empathy and compassion for the needy people of the city, Wilde teaches us that the true value of beauty and wealth lies in the ability to help others.
In addition, the story also shows us how happiness comes not only from personal satisfaction, but from doing good and contributing to improving the lives of those around us. It also shows us that we should not be indifferent to the inequalities and miseries that exist in the world, but that we should look for ways to help others, even if that means sacrificing our own comfort or well-being.
Frequently asked questions about the story The Happy Prince
¿Who wrote the short story The Happy Prince?
The short story was written by Oscar Wilde, a well-known Irish writer.
¿What is the story The Happy Prince about?
The tale is about the story of a golden prince who sacrifices himself to help the poor of the city.
¿Why does the prince turn into a golden statue?
The prince becomes a golden statue after his death because he was known for his beauty and kind heart.
¿Why does the swallow decide to help the prince?
The swallow decides to help the prince because he sees the sadness of the statue and his desire to help those in need.
¿Why does the swallow decide to stay and help the prince?
The swallow decides to stay to help the prince because she is moved by the sadness she sees in the statue and her desire to help those in need.
¿How does the swallow help the poor of the city?
The swallow helps the city’s poor by bringing jewelry and gold from the prince’s statue to people in need.
¿Why does the swallow decide to stay until the end to help the prince?
The swallow decides to stay until the end to help the prince because he knows he will not survive the winter if he leaves and prefers to help the prince in his last act of love.
¿What lesson can be learned from the fairy tale The Happy Prince?
The tale teaches us the importance of compassion and sacrifice for others, as well as the value of inner beauty as opposed to outer beauty.
¿What values are reflected in the story The Happy Prince?
Values such as solidarity, generosity, empathy and selfless love are reflected in the story.
¿What is the main message of the story The Happy Prince?
The main message of the story is that true wealth and happiness are found in doing good to others, even if it means sacrificing something of your own.
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