The Happy Prince was published by famous novelist Oscar Wilde in 1888. This is basically a collection of 5 different stories. The story opens with the description of the statue of “Happy Prince”. He stands high up on a tall column overlooking his city. He’s decorated in fine jewels and gold leaf. His eyes are sapphires, and the grip of his sword is topped with a huge Ruby. His people admire his beauty so much. When a child acts up, the mother may be say something like “why can’t you be more like the Happy Prince?”. Then we meet a little swallow.
His friends have begun their migration south to Egypt and he’s trying to catch up. He stayed behind to be with his love, a Reed. He spent the entire spring and summer with her. But, by fall their love and passion had fell apart and he left for Egypt. At night, the swallow needs a break from flying and rests underneath the statue of the Happy Prince.
The swallow is about to fall asleep but feels that it’s starting to rain. He looks up and realizes that the statue is crying. The statue explains that he used to spend a life of pleasure & luxury. He lived at the “Palace of Sans Souci” and never had to worry about anything. But, after his death, the people made a statue of him. Now, he’s able to see the pain of his city but can’t do anything about it since he can’t move.
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The statue tells the swallow that far away there is a mother who isn’t able to purchase medicine for her sick child. This is in spite of the fact that she is a tireless seamstress. The Happy Prince feel so bad for her that he requests the Swallow to get a Ruby from hilt of the sword and give it to woman. The swallow does not want to at first since he has friends waiting for him. Eventually, he concedes and takes the Ruby to the woman. The swallow if says he feels warm inside even though it’s a cold night.
The Happy Prince tells him he feels warm because he has done a good action. The swallow tells him about Egypt. Then, the Happy Prince sees a distressed writer who is trying to finish a play. Unfortunately, the writer is hungry and cold. The Happy Prince only has sapphires and gold left, So, he requests the swallow to take one of his eyes. At first, the Swallow was unenthusiastic to take out one of his eyes but eventually, he does. The swallow again wants to move on, but the Happy Prince requests him for one more night.
The Happy Prince sees a little girl selling matches that have dropped them. If she doesn’t bring home money then her father will punish her. He requests the swallow to get his other sapphire, which he does after protesting. Since he doesn’t have eyes anymore, the Happy Prince requests the swallow to fly out and look at the city.
The swallow observes two boys who are cold and hungry. The swallow told to the Happy Prince what he has seen and the Happy Prince have desire to help them. He asks the swallow to take his gold leaf and give it to the children, which he does. When he’s done with his mission, the swallow returns to the Happy Prince. The swallow was freezing but refused to leave the happy Prince’s side. He kissed to the Happy Prince and then died.
The Happy Prince’s heart snapped in two due to the cold. Then town Councilors came and remarked how shabby the statue was. They had it torn down and melted. The lead heart wouldn’t melt, so they threw it away. At the last of the story, God asks his angels to bring him two of the most precious things in the city. When the Angels return, they have brought the lead heart & dead bird.
Download Links to The Happy Prince story and Other Tales
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