This is the story about a prince who had got every thing in his life. He had not seen any sorrow in his life. One day the prince left this world. People were very sad and unhappy. People made his statue in his memory. The statue was made up of lead and fixed with various jewels. Blue jewels were fixed in his eyes. The statue was kept over a pillar at the centre of the town so that everybody could remember him. Once a bird came to visit the place and stopped between the feet of the statue. During night when the swallow was going to sleep, a drop fell on his head. He looked up and saw that tears coming out from the eyes of the statue. When the swallow asked the statue why he was sad, the prince said that all through his life he had known sorrow, but now he was seeing that somebody was unhappy. The bird was surprised and asked about what he could see. The prince told him that he has seen that there is house at a far off place where a poor woman lives. She is very sad because she has no money to buy food and medicines for his son who is very sick and unhealthy.The prince requests him to help the woman. He gives one of the jewels of his sword to the bird and told to hand it over to the poor old woman. She becomes happy after getting the jewel as he could buy medicines and good food for his son and her. The swallow follows the words of the Prince.
One after other the Prince gave out his jewels from his body and at last he gave all the pieces of his cloth also. He helped the poor young man who wanted to write good things but was helpless due to want of money. The prince helped the little girl who was selling matches; due to heavy cold her matches had become wet she could not sell it. She was afraid that her father will beat her after reaching home. The prince never wanted to see any thing unhappy in the world. He gave the jewel of his eye and made the girl happy.
The day came when all the jewels of his body were gone. The prince looked ugly and shabby. The swallow never left the place to help the prince. Then the snow came. The little bird got colder and colder. He knew that his end has come. As the Prince told goodbye to the swallow, something broke inside him; it was his heart.
One day the mayor and councilors saw condition of the statue of the prince during their visit. A dead bird was under his feet. They decided to remove the statue from that place and put statue of the mayor. They took down the lead from the statue of the prince gave it to workmen to make statue of the mayor. The workmen found that there was a heart inside the statue which did not melt. They decided to throw the heart to the heap of the dust where the little dead bird was lying. The God was seeing this. He ordered his angels to bring the two most precious things from the town.They brought the broken heart and the dead bird.
The story is an allegory. It brings out the importance of charity. We learn that love and sacrifice can endear us to God. The prince in the story is no living prince. He is the statue of a dead prince decorated with gold leaves and precious stones. He is known as the Happy Prince because there is a smile on his lips. But the smile gradually gives way to tears. The Happy Prince cannot help crying over the scenes of misery in the houses of the poor. He decides to help them with his gold leaves and costly stones. The little swallow acts as his messenger, and he gives away all his wealth. The Swallow was on his way back to his homeland when the prince had detained him to help the poor. He still wished to go back but now it was too late. The intense cold killed him. Thus the little swallow lost his life in helping the poor. His death broke the prince’s heart. So the swallow and the prince perished for a noble cause. But their death was not the end. It made them immortal. That is why the angel selected the dead swallow and the lifeless heart of the prince as the noblest things on earth. The story teaches a very useful and very true lesson. We learn that God loves those who love their fellow human beings.