The story begins when the narrator depicts his childhood and one day, his plane crashes and lands in the middle of the Sahara Desert. There he meets the little prince, who instructs him to draw a sheep. Learning pieces about the strange prince through their conversations, the narrator pilot finds his little friend has come from an asteroid. The little prince took great care of his asteroid, preventing unwanted things from destroying his home. One day, a rose appears on his asteroid, and as he cares for it most deeply, thinking she is the most wonderful, special creature ever - he is depressed to assume that she does not love him back. The little prince then leaves his asteroid and rose.
As he lands on many asteroids, each one is occupied by a different adult. First, he meets the king, a man attempting to rule over the universe and the stars. The monarch, however, does not realize the will of his presumed subjects, who do not even know they are being 'ruled' over because of natural instincts. As he continues his journey, he meets more and more seemingly pathetic people - a conceited man who believes the little prince is only an admirer; a tippler who is attempting to drink his problems away; a businessman too busy to stop his work for anything; a lamplighter who does nothing but light his lamp, day and night; and a geographer who cannot complete his work because there is no explorer.
Next, the little prince goes to earth, where he meets a snake, who is very much pleased in the prince's company because of his innocence and honesty in all matters, and says his bite can send them back to their homes. He then finds a flower, an echo, many roses and a fox, whom he befriends and attempts to tame. He also meets some humans, who seem highly peculiar to him - a railway switchman who is unsatisfied, and knows people are unsatisfied, except for children, who are the only ones that know...