A tribute to The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal. In the book it said: “Boa constrictors swallow their prey whole, without chewing it. After that they are not able to move, and they sleep through the six months that they need for digestion.”
I pondered deeply, then, over the adventures of the jungle. And after some work with a colored pencil I succeeded in making my first drawing.
I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.
But they answered: “Frighten? Why should any one be frightened by a hat?”
My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of a boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always need to have things explained.”
I remember reading this book as a child and loving the simplicity with which the main character, the pilot, was able to think and then draw his ideas. It’s a book I reread every now and again so when I was given the plush night light assignment I got excited at the prospect of manifesting the pilot’s story and drawings in a 3D way. Here’s what happened…
After creating, cutting, sewing the pattern for my hat, I doubled-up the cloth on both sides of the hat with an elephant silhouette. Then I wired together Warm White LED strips with a momentary switch and a compact Energizer 12v battery in a circuit that matched the perimeter of the elephant!
Here is Tahnee wearing the hat and using the momentary switch to illuminate the elephant within the boa constrictor!
Boa-phant Night Light in Action!
I had a few difficulties wiring up the LED strips. Because I’m new to wiring in general and only just learned how to simply wire up an LED to a battery to a switch, using all of the contacts on the LED strip confused me and I ended up soldering twice as many wires as needed. The circuit worked but I had a hard time wrapping my head around it.
Another issue I ran into was proper light diffusion. Despite adding some tulle so that you couldn’t see the individual LED’s it wasn’t enough and adding too much more would mean not being able to wear the hat anymore.
Future reiterations will include diffusing the light better so that the individuals diodes aren’t visible and the outline of the elephant is clearer, possibly by creating an outline instead of a silhouette. I would also I would like to add an LED and some stuffing to the location of the switch on the front of the brim to create the head of the boa constrictor.