“Goodbye,” said the fox. “Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . . It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said, “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .”
This passage from the end of Chapter XXI concludes the story of the friendship between the prince and the fox. More important, the quotation explicitly states the central moral of The Little Prince. Actually, the prince has learned these lessons on his own, but the fox spells them out for him and makes clear where the prince’s future lies. By calling his lessons a “secret,” the fox reveals that such knowledge is not available to all. The fox’s lessons must be learned, and, in some way, they should be considered a privilege.