The fox appears quite suddenly and inexplicably while the prince is mourning the ordinariness of his rose after having come across the rose garden. When the fox immediately sets about establishing a friendship between himself and the prince, it seems that instruction is the fox’s sole purpose. Yet when he begs the little prince to tame him, the fox appears to be the little prince’s pupil as well as his instructor. In his lessons about taming, the fox argues for the importance of ceremonies and rituals, showing that such tools are important even outside the strict world of grown-ups.

In his final encounter with the prince, the fox facilitates the prince’s departure by making sure the prince understands why his rose is so important to him. This encounter displays an ideal type of friendship because even though the prince’s departure causes the fox great pain, the fox behaves unselfishly, encouraging the prince to act in his own best interest.