The Remarkable Rocket (Wilde)

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The Remarkable Rocket
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A self-absorbed rocket believed it was destined for greatness, but after being dampened by its own tears, it failed to launch during a royal celebration and ended up discarded in a ditch.

There was once a kingdom where the King's son was getting married, and the whole kingdom was celebrating. The bride was a Russian Princess who had traveled from Finland in a golden swan-shaped sledge. The Prince and Princess were deeply in love, and their wedding was a grand affair. After the ceremony, there was a state banquet, followed by a ball where the King played the flute.

At midnight, a grand display of fireworks was planned, as the Princess had never seen them before. The fireworks began talking to each other, discussing their importance and the upcoming display. Among them was a very self-centered and haughty Rocket, who believed he was destined for greatness and that the entire celebration was in his honor.

The Remarkable Rocket — self-absorbed, sensitive, and delusional; believes itself to be superior and destined for greatness.

The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.

However, when the time came for the fireworks display, the Rocket was too damp from his own tears to ignite. All the other fireworks soared into the sky, creating a beautiful spectacle, while the Rocket remained on the ground. The next day, the Rocket was thrown into a ditch by a workman who thought he was a useless stick.

In the ditch, the Rocket encountered various creatures, including a frog, a dragonfly, and a duck. He continued to boast about his importance and his supposed friendship with the Prince.

The Frog — talkative, self-centered, and content with its life in the mud; enjoys croaking and conversing.

I am made for public life, and so are all my relations, even the humblest of them. Whenever we appear we excite great attention.

The animals, unimpressed by his arrogance, went about their own business, leaving the Rocket alone in the mud.

Eventually, two little boys found the Rocket and decided to use him to boil their kettle. They lit a fire with the Rocket on top, and he finally ignited. The Rocket soared into the sky, believing he was creating a great sensation. However, nobody saw him, and when he exploded, nobody heard him either. All that was left of the Rocket was a stick, which fell on a goose, who thought it was going to rain sticks. The Rocket, in his final moments, still believed he had created a great sensation.