Reading time: 4 minutes
Read and listen to the fairy tale "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde
This evening fairy tale that we propose allows us to reflect on fundamental values for our existence.
We read, listen and reflect.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde, known as Oscar Wilde (Dublin, October 16, 1854 - Paris, November 30, 1900), wasan Irish writer, aphorist, poet, playwright, journalist, essayist, and literary critic of the Victorian era,exponent of British decadentism and aestheticism. Author from…View more
Let's read together:
C’era una volta, nella piazza di un paese, la statua di un principe felice: era una statua ricoperta d’oro e tempestata di gemme e gioielli.
The inhabitants of the town had built it in memory of a prince who had governed those lands many years before: it was said that there had never been a happier person than him.
One autumn day, a swallow landed on the statue: it was flying south, to take shelter from the cold in some oasis in Egypt, but it was tired and decided to stop.
During the night, the swallow noticed that the statue of the prince was crying profusely. "What happen?" she asked.
“Look at my country,” sighed the statue of the prince, “it is in misery, and it is all my fault. Instead of worrying about these people, I've spent my life dancing and hunting and having parties, and this is the result. Still, I could still do something."
The swallow did not understand what the statue meant.
“Vedi quella donna laggiù? Suo figlio è malato e lei non ha i soldi per curarlo. Però, se potessi darle uno dei miei occhi…è un rubino grosso come un uovo: le basterebbe per curare il bambino e a sfamarlo per una vita intera. Anzi, non è che potresti occupartene tu?” chiese la statua alla rondine.
The swallow had no plans to stay there: the wind was starting to get cold and he absolutely had to leave for Egypt. However, the prince's tears and longing for her made her stop. She took one of the statue's eyes and brought it to the woman, explaining that she was a gift from the happy prince.
The next day, the statue began to cry again. “Look at those children: they are orphans and have not eaten for two days. If they could have the other of my eyes, they'd be set for life. It's a Chinese sapphire, it's worth a fortune."
For the second time, the happy prince persuaded the swallow to stop and bring the sapphire to the poor children.
On the third day, the statue was still crying. "If only I could give my crown to the miller, he would have a living, he and all his ten children." And the swallow, which by now had taken that country to heart, detached the crown from the head of the statue and gave it to the miller.
Throughout the autumn the swallow stayed in the country, helping the happy prince distribute his jewels to the poor of the city. When winter came, however, the little bird got sick from the cold. The prince's statue advised her to leave for Egypt, but the swallow was too weak and she remained perched on the statue. In December, the swallow expired and fell at the prince's feet.
Nel frattempo, il sindaco del paese, vedendo la statua spoglia di tutti i suoi gioielli, ordinò di farla a pezzi e di fonderla: “Al suo posto” disse “metteremo una bella statua in mio onore”. E così fecero, con l’eccezione del cuore del principe, che non ne voleva sapere di fondersi. Non appena la statua fu pronta, il sindaco la fece collocare al centro della piazza.
The prince's bronze heart and the swallow's little body, on the other hand, were thrown in the trash.
Ma questa storia non è destinata ad un finale così triste: infatti, dopo il Natale, passò di lì un angelo, che vide il cuore e la rondinella coperti di neve. “Due creature tanto buone non possono giacere abbandonate tra i rifiuti” pensò l’angelo.
So, he picked them up and took them with him to Heaven, where they still live happily today.