“From among the tamed Arabic chieftains the French now and then took some to the unknown France, to show them the greatness of the French, to break their haughtiness. They showed them Paris, the high-rise buildings, the lights. Those watched with a straight face.
On the last day they took them to Savoya. The guide led them to a waterfall. The waterfall was like a twisted column, and it kept murmuring.
It was sweet water. Water! So much water in one minute, which would have made the desert fruitful, which would have saved dozens of caravans in the Sahara, of which in Port-Étienne had not fallen a drop for ten years, and now it was roaring there before them, as if the reserve of the whole world were pouring out from a cracked cistern.
– Let’s go – the guide said.
– Let’s wait – they said.
– Wait for what?
– For the end.
The guide explained that this water had been running on for several thousands of years, and it would run like this for several more thousands of years. The face of the chieftains then twitched.
– Allah loves the French too much – they said.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Land of Men (quoted by memory)