He was a prince when he was alive. Being a prince he never knew sorrow and suffering. So, the courtiers called him ‘the happy prince’. But he was not happy in real sense as his heart could feel the misery of needy people. He saw the miserable conditions of people around him.
The seamstress was tired due to overwork. She was so poor that she could not buy oranges for her little sick son. Her son was thirsty. The Happy Prince saw the poor lady and her son. He felt pity for them. So, he sent a ruby for her. The swallow came to the poor woman’s house and laid the ruby on the table beside her. The bird fanned the boy’s forehead with wings and flew back to the Happy Prince.
The playwright was very poor. He was incapable of buying food and firewood. The prince sent the sapphires for the playwright so that he could finish a play for the director of the theatre in time. The princes sent his second sapphire to a poor match girl. Her matches had fallen into the gutter. She was afraid that her father would beat her for this loss. So, she was helped by the prince by sending her the second sapphire.
The swallow saw all categories of people. He found the rich making merry in their beautiful houses and beggars begging sitting at the gates. He also saw a group of wandering children who were poverty- stricken.
At first, the swallow was willing to go to Egypt just after discharging his duty properly. But when he saw Prince’s activities of charity and kindness he got impressed. On the other hand now the Happy Prince had become totally blind due to the deeds of charity. In this condition, he could not leave the Prince helpless. He left the idea of going to Egypt and decided to serve the Prince.
The leaden heart of the Happy Prince and the dead swallow are the two precious things mentioned in the story. They are precious as they did various deeds for the welfare of people and sacrificed their lives for the sake of others.
Man is a social animal. He is social because he is dependent on others to lead a satisfactory life. In this regard mutual help is required. Whenever we help others, there is a feeling of satisfaction. Whenever we are helped by others, we feel grateful. It is because helping others is the essence of life.
In this chapter the little swallow feels warmth when he helps the needy people. He does his act of selfless service with utmost dedication and sacrifice. Owing to this selfless service he becomes satisfied. Yes, I have experienced such a feeling many a time. I believe in helping others. Others too help me whenever I am in need. I help others considering it my duty. I remember the day when I started helping others. Since the day I feel more confident and have become a successful citizen. I feel the presence of God around me.