The Happy Prince

Long ago, in a town much like yours and mine, there was this shiny statue of a prince, known to all as the Happy Prince. This wasn’t any ordinary statue; oh no, it sparkled with jewels. Rubies glittered in his eyes, sapphires gleamed on his chest, and emeralds shone from his delicate hands. Yet, for all its splendor, this prince wasn’t flesh and bone but a magnificent piece of art made to spread happiness.

The Swallow and the Sparrow

Now, right next to where the Happy Prince stood tall, a swallow and a sparrow had made their home. The swallow was a sight to behold with its vibrant red breast, while the sparrow might have seemed ordinary but was special in its own right. Together, they filled their days with joy, fluttering and dancing around the city’s lush gardens, a pair of inseparable friends in the bustling world below.

The Starving Children

With a heavy heart, the Happy Prince gazed down from his lofty perch, witnessing firsthand the plight of the city’s youngest denizens. Their stomachs rumbled, echoing through the cobblestone streets. Such sorrowful sounds tugged at his golden heartstrings. “Something must be done,” he whispered to the wind, hoping his message would find a willing listener.

The Sick and the Dying

Not far from where the children played in despair lay the sick and the dying. Rooms dimly lit by candlelight were filled with quiet suffering. Loved ones paced back and forth, their foreheads creased with worry. The Happy Prince saw this too. “How can I lie here in splendor while my people suffer?” he pondered, feeling a wave of resolve wash over him.

The Cold and the Homeless

Winter’s chill began to creep into the city, its icy fingers sparing no one in its path. The homeless sought refuge wherever they could find it—under bridges, in alleys, anywhere that offered a sliver of shelter from the biting cold. The Happy Prince saw them shivering, saw their breaths turn to mist in the frigid air. “They must be helped,” he resolved, his mind racing with plans.

The Ruby Eyes

Realizing he had to act, the Happy Prince called the swallow to his side. “Please take my ruby eyes,” he said, “and give them to the children so they may buy food to quench their hunger.” Without hesitation, the swallow did as asked, and soon, the children’s tears of sorrow turned into smiles of joy.

The Sapphire Breastplate

Next, the statue felt compelled to aid the sick and the dying. With a heavy heart, he instructed the swallow, “Take now my sapphire breastplate, and let it be used to ease their pain.” The bird swiftly carried out this task, and before long, the sapphires were transformed into a healing potion, bringing comfort to many.

The Emerald Hands

Feeling the biting chill of winter, the Happy Prince could not bear the thought of the cold and homeless suffering. “My emerald hands,” he declared, “shall warm those who shiver.” As the swallow delivered the emeralds, shelters rose from the ground, offering refuge and warmth to those in need.

The Transformation

With each act of kindness, the Happy Prince’s spirit soared. No longer adorned with precious gems, he found beauty in the joy and gratitude of the city’s people. His heart, though made of lead, felt light as a feather, filled with a happiness that no treasure could provide.

The Final Sacrifice

Yet the Happy Prince realized his time in the city had come to an end. Bereft of his jewels, he stood as a plain statue, contemplating his final act. “It’s time for me to join the celestial dance,” he whispered to his friends, the swallow and the sparrow, as he prepared for his journey to the stars.

The Legacy of the Happy Prince

Though the swallow and the sparrow felt a deep sadness at their friend’s departure, they knew his spirit would forever linger in the city. Tales of the Happy Prince’s generosity spread far and wide, inspiring countless acts of kindness. His legacy, a testament to the power of compassion, would echo through the ages, reminding us all of the golden statue that once gave everything to help those in need.

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