Chapters 5-6 Summary
During his time with the little prince, the pilot learns a few new details every day. On their third day together, the little prince asks if sheep eat bushes as well as grass. When the pilot replies that they do, the prince asks if they eat baobabs as well. The pilot laughs at this, saying that baobab trees are “as tall as churches” and that a herd of elephants could not eat even one of them. The little prince laughs, too. He comments that elephants would not fit on his planet unless they were piled on top of each other.
Soon the little prince returns then to the topic of the baobabs and says that these trees do not start out big. Like any plant, they start out tiny. Many plants grow on the little prince’s planet, including baobabs. When the baobabs sprout, the little prince has to remove them. Otherwise they will grow so big that the whole planet will be infested. “It’s a question of discipline,” he explains. Every morning on his planet, he pulls out all the little baobabs right after he washes himself and gets dressed. Once on his journey he met a man who did not do this, and that man’s planet was entirely covered by three enormous baobab trees. At the little prince’s request, the pilot draws an elaborate picture of this baobab-infested planet so that Earth’s children will understand the danger of letting baobabs get too big. The pilot includes this picture in the book just in case any of his readers ever end up on an asteroid and need to know about the danger of baobabs.
The pilot soon learns that the little prince was sad and lonely before he left his little planet. Like most of the information the little prince reveals about himself, this comes out indirectly. One day he mentions offhand that he would like to go look at a sunset. When the pilot says that this is impossible until the sun sets, the little prince is surprised. After thinking the matter over, the pilot realizes that, on any planet, the sun is always setting somewhere. On a house-sized planet, you can see a sunset any time you want just by moving your chair to the right spot.
The little prince mentions offhand that he once watched the sun set forty-four times in a day. Later he says that sunsets provide great comfort when you feel sad. Hearing this, the pilot asks how the little prince felt on the day he watched forty-four sunsets. The little prince makes no reply, but it is clear that he was very unhappy.