>> Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The others all stared at one another. "Batty!" said Edmund tapping his head. "Quite batty."
"A boy!" said she. "Do you mean you are a Son of Adam?"
Edmund stood still, saying nothing. He was too confused by this time to understand what the question meant. "I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be," said the Queen.
"Well, Sir, if things are real, they're there all the time."
"Are they?" said the Professor; and Peter did not know quite what to say.
And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different.
"For that's another of the old rhymes:-When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone/Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,/The evil time will be over and done."
"But in general, take my advice, when you meet anything that's going to be Human and isn't yet, or used to be Human once and isn't now, or ought to be Human and isn't, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet."
"The reason there's no use looking," said Mr. Beaver, "is that we know already where he's gone!" Everyone stared in amazement. "Don't you understand?" said Mr. Beaver. "He's gone to her, the White Witch. He has betrayed us all!"
"Come in! Fortunate favourite of the Queen-or else not so fortunate."
"It's all right," he was shouting. "Come out, Mrs. Beaver. Come out, Sons and Daughters of Adam and Eve. It's all right! It isn't her!" This was bad grammar of course, but that is how beavers talk when they are excited; I mean, in Narnia-in our world they usually don't talk at all.
"Oh,"said Mr. Beaver. "So that's how you came to imagine yourself a Queen-because you were the Emporer's hangman. I see."
"Peace, Beaver," said Aslan, with a very low growl.
"And so," continued the Witch, "that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property."
"Come and take it then," said the Bull with the man's head in a great bellowing voice.
"Fool," said the Witch with a savage smile that was almost a snarl, "do you really think your master can rob me of my rights by mere force?"
"I say, Susan?"
"I've a horrible feeling-as if something were hanging over us."
"Have you? Because, as a matter of fact, so have I."
But such people! Ogres with monstrous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plants; and other creatures whom I won't describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let you read this book-Cruels and Hags and Incubuses, Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses, and Ettins.
I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been-if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you-you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again.
And, oh, the cry of sea gulls! Have you heard it? Can you remember?