The next planet was inhabited by a drunkard. This visit was a very short one, but it affected the little prince with deep sadness.
“What are you doing here?” he said to the drunkard whom he found sitting silently in front of a collection of bottles, some empty and some full.
“I am drinking,” answered the drunkard lugubriously.
“Why are you drinking?” the little prince asked.
“In order to forget,” replied the drunkard.
“To forget what?” enquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.
“To forget that I am ashamed,” the drunkard confessed, hanging his head.
“Ashamed of what?” asked the little prince who wanted to help him.
“Ashamed of drinking!” concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into total silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
“Grown-ups really are very, very odd,” he said to himself as he continued his journey.
“Good morning” said the little prince.
“Good morning” said the merchant.
He was a merchant selling sophisticated pills intended to quench ones thirst. If a single pill was swallowed once a week, the need to drink disappeared.
“Why are you selling those?” asked the little prince.
“Because it saves a lot of time” said the merchant.
“Experts have worked it all out. You save fifty-three minutes a week.”
“And what does one do with those fifty-three minutes?”
“Whatever one wishes.”
“If I had fifty-three minutes to spend,” said the little prince, “I would walk very slowly towards a spring of fresh water…”
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery