The Chronicles of Narnia: The Story of the Thousand-Year Jet Lag

wardrobeIn The Chronicles of Narnia, time is a critical component of all the stories. This excerpt of The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’ is the best description of Narnian timing throughout the whole series:

 

Narnian time flows differently from ours. If you spent a hundred years in Narnia, you would still come back to our world at the very same hour of the very same day on which you left. And then, if you went back to Narnia after spending a week here, you might find that a thousand Narnian years had passed, or only a day, or no time at all. You never know till you get there.

 

This conversation from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, between Prof. Kirke, Peter and Susan concerning Lucy’s mad story is explanatory of what Kirke thinks of other worlds; especially since he has been to another world himself.

 

“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than a minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”

 

“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know little about it)—if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

 

 

Narnian timing is illustrated in the ending of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a valid demonstration of Professor Kirke’s theory.

 

So these Kings and Queens entered the thicket, and before they had gone a score of paces they all remembered that the thing they had seen was called a lamp-post, and before they had gone twenty more they noticed that they were making their way not through branches but through coats. And the next moment they all came tumbling out of a wardrobe door into the empty room, and they were no longer Kings and Queens in their hunting array but just Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in their old clothes. It was the same day and the same hour of the day on which they had all gone into the wardrobe to hide. Mrs. Macready and the visitors were still talking in the passage, but luckily they never came into the empty room and so the children weren’t caught.

 

The Pevensies in their school clothes after being drawn into Narnia for the second time.

The Pevensies in their school clothes after being drawn into Narnia for the second time.

Once you are out of Narnia, you can never tell how Narnian time is going. In Prince Caspian, the Pevensie children come back to Narnia, only to find that Cair Paravel is in ruins. They learn later from the news of Trumpkin the Dwarf that Narnia is at war with an usurping tyrant and that it’s been about a thousand years since the Pevensies were Kings and Queens of Narnia.

 

“But, Peter,” said Lucy, “look here. I know I can’t swim for nuts at home—in England, I mean. But couldn’t we all swim long ago—if it was long ago—when we were Kings and Queens in Narnia? We could ride then too, and do all sorts of things. Don’t you think–?”

 

“Ah, but we were sort of grown-up then,” said Peter. “We reigned for years and years and learned to do things. Aren’t we just back at our proper ages again now?”

 

“Oh!” said Edmund in a voice which made everyone stop talking and listen to him.

“I’ve just seen it all,” he said.

 

“Seen what?” asked Peter.

 

“Why, the whole thing,” said Edmund. “You know what we were puzzling about last night, that it was only a year ago since we left Narnia but everything looks as if no one had lived in Cair Paravel for hundreds of years? Well don’t you see? You know that, however long we seemed to have lived in Narnia, when we got back through the wardrobe it seemed to have taken no time at all?”

 

“Go on,” said Susan. “I think I’m beginning to understand.”

 

“And that means,” continued Edmund, “that, once you’re out of Narnia, you have no idea how Narnian time is going. Why shouldn’t hundreds of years have gone past in Narnia while only one year has passed for us in England?”

 

“By Jove, Ed,” said Peter. “I believe you’ve got it. In that sense it really was hundreds of years ago that we lived in Cair Paravel. And now we’re coming back to Narnia just as if we were Crusaders or Anglo-Saxons or Ancient Britons or someone coming back to modern England!”

 

“How excited they’ll be to see us—“began Lucy, but at the same moment everyone else said, “Hush!” or, “Look!” For now something was happening. 

 

In The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’ When Edmund, Lucy and Eustace join King Caspian on board the Dawn Treader, the pace of time has slackened since they were in Narnia last. It has been one year in England and three years in Narnia, opposed to the time differences of the previous books which was about twelve hundred years.

 

“Meanwhile,” said Caspian, “we want to talk.”

 

“By Jove, we do,” said Edmund. “And first, about time. It’s a year ago by our time since we left you just before you coronation. How long has it been in Narnia?”

 

“Exactly three years,” said Caspian.

 

“All going well?” asked Edmund.

 

“You don’t suppose I’d have left my kingdom and put to sea unless all was well,” answered the King. “It couldn’t be better. There’s no trouble at all now between Telmarines, Dwarfs, Talking Beasts, Fauns and the rest. 

 

When Edmund, Lucy and Eustace come back to England at the end of The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’, the time that they have spent in Narnia (approximately four months) has taken no time at all in our own world.

 

In The Silver Chair, Eustace comes back to Narnia, though this time he has one of his schoolmates with him; a girl called Jill Pole. It has only been about two or three months since Eustace came back to our world from his visit to Narnia, but it has been about seventy Narnian years since Eustace was on the Dawn Treader with Caspian. In this conversation, Eustace and Jill are at Cair Paravel for the night, with the invitation of Trumpkin the Dwarf.

 

“Come in,” said Jill. And in came Scrubb, also bathed and splendidly dressed in Narnian clothes. But his face didn’t look as if he were enjoying it.

 

“Oh, here you are at last,” he said crossly, flinging himself in a chair. “I’ve been trying to find you for ever so long.”

 

“Well, now you have,” said Jill. “I say, Scrubb, isn’t all too exciting and scrumptious for words.” She had forgotten all about the signs and the lost Prince for the moment.

 

“Oh! That’s what you think, is it?” said Scrubb: and then, after a pause, I wish to goodness we’d never come.”

 

“Why on earth?”

 

“I can’t bear it,” said Scrubb, “seeing the King — Caspian –- doddering old man like that. It’s — it’s frightful.”

 

“Why, what harm does it do you?”

 

“Oh, you don’t understand. Now that I come to think of it, you couldn’t. I didn’t tell you that this world has a different time from ours.”

 

“How do you mean?”

 

“The time you spend here doesn’t take up any of our time. Do you see? I mean, however long we Spend here, we shall still get back to Experiment House at the moment we left it—“

 

“That won’t be much fun—“

 

“Oh, dry up! Don’t keep interrupting. And when you’re back in England – in our world – you can’t tell how time is going here. It might be any number of years in Narnia while we’re having one year at home. The Pevensies explained it all to me, but, like a fool, I forgot about it. And now it’s been about seventy years –- Narnian years – since I was here last.” 

 

At the end of The Silver Chair, Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb come back to their school. They have spent about a month or so in Narnia, and come back at the same time as when they departed.

 

King Tirian, Jill Pole, and Eustace Scrubb during the events of The Last Battle.

King Tirian, Jill Pole, and Eustace Scrubb during the events of The Last Battle.

Though Narnian time generally takes none of our time, our time can also take none of theirs. An example of this is given in The Last Battle, when Jill and Eustace come to King Tirian’s aid while he is tied to a tree.

 

And immediately he was plunged into a dream (if it was a dream) more vivid than any he had had in his life.

 

He seemed to be standing in a lighted room where seven people sat round a table. It looked as if they had just finished their meal. Two of those people were very old, an old man with a white beard and an old woman with wise, merry, twinkling eyes. He who sat at the right hand of the old man was hardly fully grown, certainly younger than Tirian himself, but his face had already the look of a king and warrior. And you could almost say the same of the other youth who sat at the right hand of the old woman. Facing Tirian across the table was a fair-haired girl younger than either of these, and on the other side of her a boy and a girl who were younger still. They were all dressed in what seemed to Tirian the oddest kind of clothes.

 

But he had no time to think about details like that, for instantly the youngest boy and both the girls started to their feet, and one of them gave a little scream. The old woman started and drew in her breath sharply. The old man must have made some sudden movement too for the wine glass which stood at his right was swept off the table: Tirian could hear the tinkling noise as it broke on the floor.

 

Then Tirian realized that these people could see him; they were staring at him as if they saw a ghost. But he noticed that the king-like one who sat at the old man’s right never moved (though he turned pale) except that he clenched his hand very tight.

 

 

Then he said:

 

“Speak, if you’re a not a phantom or a dream. You have a Narnian look about you and we are the seven friends of Narnia.”

 

 

Tirian was longing to speak, and he tried to cry out aloud that he was Tirian of Narnia, in great need of help. But he found (as I have sometimes found in dreams too) that his voice mad no noise at all.

 

The one who had already spoken to him rose to his feet.

 

“Shadow or spirit or whatever you are,“ he said, fixing his eyes full upon Tirian. “If you are from Narnia, I charge you in the name of Aslan, speak to me. I am Peter the High King.”

 

The room began to swim before Tirian’s eyes. He heard the voices of those seven people all speaking at once, and all getting fainter every second, and they were all saying things like, “Look! It’s fading.” “It’s melting away.” It’s vanishing.”

 

 

Next moment, he was wide awake, still tied to the tree, colder and stiffer than ever. The wood was full of the pale, dreary light that comes before sunrise, and he was soaking wet with dew; it was nearly morning.

 

That waking was about the worst moment he had ever had in his life.

 

 

  But his misery did not last long. Almost at once there came a bump, and then a second bump, and two children were standing before him. The wood in front of him had been quite empty a second before and he knew they had not come from behind his tree, for he would have heard them. They had in fact simply appeared out of nowhere. He saw at a glance that they were wearing the same queer, dingy sort of clothes as the people in his dream; and he saw, at a second glance, that they were the youngest boy and girl out of that party of seven.

 

“Gosh!” said the boy, “that took one’s breath away! I thought—!”

 

“Hurry up and get him untied,” said the girl, “we can talk afterward.” Then she added turning to Tirian, “I’m sorry we’ve been so long. We came the moment we could.”

 

While she was speaking the Boy produced a knife from his pocket and was quickly cutting the King’s bonds: too quickly, in fact, for the King was so stiff and numb that when the last cord was cut he fell forward on his hands and knees. He couldn’t get up again till he had brought some life into his legs by a good rubbing.

 

“I say,” said the girl. “It was you, wasn’t it, who appeared to us that night when we were all at supper? Nearly a week ago.”

 

“A week, fair maid?” said Tirian. “My dream led me into your world scarce ten minutes since.”

 

“It’s the usual muddle about times, Pole,” said the Boy.

 

“I remember now,” said Tirian. “That too comes in all the old tales. The time of your strange land is different from ours. But if we speak of time, ‘tis time to be gone from here: for my enemies are close at hand. Will you come with me?”

 

“Of course,” said the girl. “It’s you we’ve come to help.” 

 

 

narnia

When you go to Narnia, consider that their climate is similar to that of Southwest England and you might experience a thousand-year jet lag.

Narnian time is a tricky thing: so when you go to Narnia, remember that timing could be an issue and that however long you spend in Narnia, when you come back to this world, it will still be the same time as when you left. In that case, it is really quite handy to have Aslan come and help sort out the mess. Also, for all of you people who don’t live in Narnia, remember the time change that you’ll be having this Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited:

Lewis, C.S. The Complete Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Harper Collins, 1998. Print.

Of Politicians and Hobbits (spoiler warning)

frodo23Frodo Baggins is a lot like a politician.

He inherits a problem—an evil ring of power—from his uncle, who’s become overly attached to it and doesn’t understand all the problems it can cause (just like the others who previously owned the ring).

Frodo’s given the task of destroying it.

 

Almost immediately Frodo is trailed by a completely succumbed previous ring-bearer. This creature, known as Gollum, has killed for possession of the ring before and would do it again.

 

Meanwhile, Frodo is fighting and vowing to not become like Gollum; yet it’s practically unavoidable. The enchantment is too strong.

ryan and frodo

 

The insane previous ring-bearer offers to “help” Frodo and his bodyguard, Sam. He’s going to walk them to Mordor for the sole purpose of destroying the ring. But not before carefully triggering some infighting, separating Frodo and Sam, and then leading dazed Frodo into a giant spider’s lair.

gollum and smeagol

 

At the crucial moment, as he’s about to cast the ring into the fires of Mount Doom, he decides the ring is mine. It would have remained so, but the previous ring-bearer lunges forward and gruesomely steals it—and in the fray, falls into the fire.

it's mine, bros

 

After a little drama, Frodo and Sam walk home. Frodo is left with lasting scars, Sam returns to the Shire that he originally left with the sole purpose of protecting (along with Mr. Frodo, of course), and both of them are considered strange hobbits for the rest of their days.

quayle and bush

Narnia: Lessons from the Dwarfs

C.S. Lewis, the Christian apologist, philosopher, and author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Although he was born into a Christian family, he became an atheist and remained until he gradually realized that there had to be a God.

C.S. Lewis, the Christian apologist, philosopher, and author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Although he was born into a Christian family, he became an atheist and remained one until he gradually realized that there had to be a God, and converted to Christianity. He was quite familiar with the subject of disbelief.

Disbelief is a recurrent theme, both major and minor in many of the Chronicles of Narnia. The fear of being ‘taken in’, or exposed as gullible is something everyone fears, but it’s sometimes best to swallow one’s pride and accept the impossible—and this is precisely what C.S. Lewis implied throughout the series. One intriguing aspect of this oft-portrayed struggle is that Lewis himself, a professing atheist, said he was afraid of being ‘taken in’ by the apparent flaws of theism; yet when he slowly came to faith in Christ, he realized that he was so concerned about being ‘taken in’ that he could scarcely be taken out of his own mental prison.

 

Aslan, creating Narnia by singing.

Aslan, creating Narnia by singing.

 

In the very beginning of Narnia, Uncle Andrew—Andrew Ketterley, the amateur magician that sends Polly and Digory into another world during one of his devilish experiments—refuses to believe that the beasts that he hears talking are really talking, or that he’s witnessing a singing lion, creating and perfecting a new world:

 

 

 Then when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion (“only a lion”, as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn’t singing and never had been singing – only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world.

“Of course it can’t really have been singing,” He thought, “I must have imagined it. I’ve been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever hear of a lion singing?” And the longer and more beautifully the Lion sang, the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan’s song. Soon he couldn’t have heard anything else even if he had wanted to.

 

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Pevensie children, namely Lucy, inadvertently discover a wardrobe with magical properties. Lucy’s brothers and sister dismiss her story of a different world and a gentlemanly Faun as a falsehood:

 

“What do you mean, Lu?” asked Peter. “What I said,” answered Lucy. “It was just after breakfast when I went into the wardrobe, and I’ve been away for hours and hours, and had tea, and all sorts of things have happened.”

 

“Don’t be silly, Lucy,” said Susan “We’ve only just come out of that room a moment ago, and you were there then.”

 

“She’s not being silly at all,” said Peter, “she’s just making up a story for fun, aren’t you, Lu? And why shouldn’t she?”

 

“No, Peter, I’m not,” she said. “It’s – it’s a magic wardrobe. There’s a wood inside it, and it’s snowing, and there’s a Faun and a Witch and its called Narnia; come and see.”

 

The others did not know what to think, but Lucy was so excited that they all went back with her into the room. She rushed ahead of them, flung open the door of the wardrobe and cried “Now! Go in and see for yourselves.”

 

“Why, you goose,” said Susan, putting her head inside and pulling the fur coats apart, “it’s just an ordinary wardrobe! Look! There’s the back of it.”

 

Then everyone looked in and pulled the coats apart, and they all saw – Lucy herself saw – a perfectly ordinary wardrobe. There was no wood and no snow, only the back of the wardrobe, with hooks on it. Peter went in and rapped his knuckles on it to make sure that it was solid.

 

“A jolly good hoax, Lu,” he said as he came out again; “you have really taken us in, I must admit. We half believed you.”

 

“But it wasn’t a hoax at all,” said Lucy, “really and truly. It was all different a moment ago. Honestly it was. I promise.”

 

“Come, Lu,” said Peter,” that’s going a bit far. You’ve had you joke. Hadn’t you better drop it now?”

 

Lucy grew very red in the face and tried to say something, though she hardly knew what she was trying to say, and burst in to tears.

 

 

It had been one year in our own world and over a thousand years in Narnia since the Pevensies left the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, when they were mysteriously drawn back—but to their deep disappointment, they did not see Aslan.  When tromping through the woods in search of Aslan’s How and Prince Caspian (on Trumpkin the Dwarf’s word that there was trouble and the Narnians needed help), Lucy sees Aslan, who wants her and her siblings to follow him:

 

 “Look! Look! Look!” cried Lucy.

 

“Where? What?” said everyone.

 

“The Lion,” said Lucy. “Aslan himself. Didn’t you see?” Her face had changed completely and her eyes shone.

 

“Do you really mean – ?” began Peter.

 

“Where did you think you saw him?” asked Susan.

 

“Don’t talk like a grown-up,” said Lucy, stamping her foot. “I didn’t think I saw him, I saw him.”

 

“Where, Lu?” asked Peter.

 

“Right up there between those mountain ashes. No, this side of the gorge. And up, not down. Just the opposite of the way you want to go. And he wanted us to go where he was – up there.”

 

“How do you know that was what he wanted?’ asked Edmund.

 

“He – I – I just know,” said Lucy, “by his face.”

 

The others all looked at each other in puzzled silence.

 

“Her majesty may well have seen a lion,” put in Trumpkin. “There are lions in these woods, I’ve been told. But it needn’t have been a friendly and talking lion any more than the bear was a friendly and talking bear.”

 

“Oh, don’t be so stupid,” said Lucy. “Do you think I don’t know Aslan when I see him?”

 

“He’d be a pretty elderly lion by now,” said Trumpkin, “if he’s the one you knew when you were here before! And if it could be the same one, what’s to prevent him having gone wild and witless like so many others?”

 

Lucy turned crimson and I think she would have flown at Trumpkin, if Peter had not laid his hand on her arm.

 

“The D.L.F doesn’t understand. How could he? You must just take it, Trumpkin that we do really know about Aslan: a little bit about him, I mean. And you mustn’t talk about him like that again. It isn’t lucky for one thing: and it’s all nonsense for another. The only question is whether Aslan was really there.”

 

“But I know he was,” said Lucy, her eyes filling with tears.

 

“Yes, Lu, but we don’t, you see,” said Peter.

 

Lucy, a prime example of honesty, is disbelieved by Trumpkin and all of her siblings. Though a vote is taken, and Edmund comes to her defense, Lucy is still ruled out and goes with the others though their tramp into the dense forest, later to be proved correct.

 

Eustace Scrubb, as portrayed by Will Poulter in the 2010 movie by Walden Media.

Eustace Scrubb, as portrayed by Will Poulter in the 2010 movie by Walden Media.

The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’ begins with a (priggish) main character, Eustace Scrubb, introduced into the Pevensies’ lives under extenuating circumstances, much to his annoyance. The Pevensies’ obnoxious cousin who scoffs at their talk of Narnia, Eustace disapproves of Edmund and Lucy staying at his house for the summer. Listening in the doorway one afternoon, he barges in and begins teasing Edmund and Lucy about Narnia (even making a corny rhyme, which he says is an assonance):

 

 

 

 

 “Still playing your old game?” said Eustace Clarence, who had been listening outside the door and now, came grinning into the room. Last year, when he had been staying with the Pevensies, he had managed to hear them all talking of Narnia and he loved teasing them about it. He thought of course that they were making it all up; and as he was far too stupid to make anything up himself, he did not approve of that.

 

 

But in a drastic conversion experience, minutes later Eustace, Edmund, and Lucy are sucked into a Magical painting of a sailing ship—and as it turns out, King Caspian is aboard. Though Eustace spends about another two months in his usual annoying form, they land on one of the many islands that they discover and he is transformed into a dragon as a result of his own selfishness. He is later changed back into a boy again by Aslan, much humbled by his experience.  Eustace Clarence Scrubb never doubts Narnia again.

 

Disbelief reappears in The Silver Chair, but this time in a much milder and benign form. Eustace—who had been to Narnia previously—attempts to explain his experiences to Jill Pole, whose reaction is skeptical:

 

Both children were quiet for a moment. The drops dripped off the laurel leaves.

 

“Why were you so different last term?” said Jill presently.

 

“A lot of queer things happened to me in the hols,” said Eustace mysteriously.

 

“What sort of things?” asked Jill.

 

Eustace didn’t say anything for quite a long time. Then he said: “Look here, Pole, you and I hate this place about as much as anybody can hate anything, don’t we?”

 

“I know I do,” said Jill.

 

“Then I really think I can trust you.”

 

“Dam’ good of you,” said Jill.

 

“Yes, but this is a really terrific secret. Pole, I say, are you good at believing things? I mean things that everyone here would laugh at?”

 

“I’ve never had the chance,” said Jill, “but I think I would be.”

 

“Could you believe me if I said I’d been right out of the world—outside this world—last hols?”

 

“I wouldn’t know what you meant.”

 

“Well, don’t let’s bother about worlds then. Supposing I told you I’d been in a place where animals can talk and where there are—er—enchantments and dragons—and-well, all the sorts of things you have in fairy-tales.” Scrubb got terribly awkward as he said this and got red in the face.

 

“How did you get there?” said Jill. She also felt curiously shy.

 

“The only way you can—by Magic,” said Eustace almost in a whisper. “I was with two cousins of mine. We were just –whisked away. They’d been there before.”

 

Now that they were talking in whispers Jill somehow felt it easier to believe. Then suddenly a horrible suspicious came over her and she said (so fiercely that for the moment she look like a tigress):

 

“If I find you’ve been pulling my leg I’ll never speak to you again; never, never, never.”

 

“I’m not,” said Eustace. “I swear I’m not. I swear by—by everything.”

 

(When I was at school one would have said, ‘I swear by the Bible.’ But Bibles were not encouraged at Experiment House.)

 

Jill’s reaction to Eustace’s ludicrous tale wasn’t one of blatant disbelief, but rather one of muddled doubt—and it seems possible that this reaction can be thought of as like Lewis’s own casual childhood acceptance of Christianity.  However, unlike Lewis, Jill grew in trust rather than falling away and went to Narnia herself.

 

But despite all the other examples of disbelief and cynicism within The Chronicles of Narnia, the chief among these is that of the Dwarfs in The Last Battle—and this distrustful, rebellious band of Dwarfs is a Narnian equivalent of atheists. A disbeliever in his early adulthood, C.S. Lewis later described himself in a manner much the same as he did the Dwarfs. Lewis said in Surprised by Joy, “I had (and this was very precisely the opposite of the truth) ‘seen through’ them. And I was never going to be taken in again.” He also said regarding Christianity, “There was no danger of my being taken in.”

 

Both Lewis and the Dwarfs were wounded, confused, and trying to deal with the fact that their long-held beliefs might actually be lies; and both of Lewis’s earlier quotes are similar to what Griffle the Dwarf said in the latter part of this conversation with King Tirian in The Last Battle, when they learn that the Narnians have been taken in by a false Aslan of Shift the ape’s making. Tirian attempts to regain the support of the Narnians, but the Dwarfs reject his leadership:

 

“You must think we’re blooming soft in the head, that you must,” said Griffle. We’ve been taken in once and now you expect us to be taken in again the next minute. We’ve no more use for stories about Aslan, see! Look at him and old moke with long ears!”

 

“By heaven you make me mad,” said Tirian. “Which of us said that was the real Aslan? That is the apes’ imitation of the real Aslan. Can’t you understand?”

 

And you’ve got a better imitation I suppose!” said Griffle. “No thanks. We’ve been fooled once and we’re not going to be fooled again.”

 

“I have not,” said Tirian angrily, “I serve the real Aslan.”

 

 

The Narnian Dwarfs, forever to think that they are stuck in a stable.

The Narnian Dwarfs, forever to think that they are stuck in a stable.

Later, in The Last Battle, when the Dwarfs are brought to Aslan’s Country—the real Narnia, an indescribably beautiful paradise—they are still in a mental prison, in literal, not metaphorical terms. They think that they are imprisoned in a filthy stable. Though Aslan, with one shake of his glorious mane, prepares a fine feast for the Dwarfs, they are still stuck in their mental stable thinking that they are eating nothing more than what you might find in a stable, such as an old turnip, or a raw cabbage leaf, or a trough of water that a donkey has been at.

 

 “You see,” said Aslan, “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

 

Whatever else you may say about Dwarfs no one can say they aren’t brave. They could easily have got away to some safe place. They preferred to stay and kill as many of both sides as they could, except when both sides were kind enough to save them trouble by killing each other. They wanted Narnia for their own.

 

In Surprised by Joy, Lewis said, “Remember, I had always wanted, above all things not to be ‘interfered with’. I had wanted (mad wish) ‘to call my soul my own’.”

 

Although the depiction of disbelief in The Chronicles of Narnia closely aligns with Lewis’s personal experiences, the disbelievers’ stories and decisions also closely resemble that of the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.

 

In the parable, some seeds fell by the wayside and were consumed by fowls—just like when Lucy saw Aslan but none believed her; some fell upon stony places, and initially grew strong but then fell away because they had no deepness of earth—just like Susan failed to believe in Narnia once she had “grown up”; some were among the thorns, and were choked by their own bitter hearts and painful circumstances—just like the Dwarfs in The Last Battle; but others fell onto good ground, namely Digory, Polly, Peter, Edmund, Lucy, Eustace and Jill.

The Kings and Queens of Narnia.

The Kings and Queens of Narnia.

 

Interestingly enough, whenever there was disbelief in Narnia, it resulted in the disbeliever missing out on something wonderful — like Aslan’s Country, Narnia itself, Talking Beasts, or seeing Aslan; Lewis wanted to show that cynicism and a loss of wonder deprive a man of the greatest things in life, and possibly even life itself. The Chronicles may not be realistic in some ways, with its Centaurs, Fauns, and Talking Beasts, but it is very approximate to real life in its colorful and sometimes tragic showing of disbelief.

 

 

Works Cited

Lewis, C. S. “The New Look, Checkmate.” Surprised by Joy. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1955. 204-206+. Print.

Lewis, C.S. The Complete Chronicles of Narnia. New York: Harper Collins, 1998. Print.

 

Dachshund in Dayton: The Beloved Master Dilemma

Dear Hodgkins,

My Beloved Master thinks the cat loves him.

 Actually, Cat couldn’t care less about him and only “loves” him when the food bowl needs filling. The cat is shamelessly using him to get free food. I don’t know why Beloved Master doesn’t see right through this charade. I have told Cat many times to change his ways, but he never listens to me. I feel bad for Beloved Master, but I don’t know what to do about it. What should I do? — Dachshund in Dayton

 

 

See? This is my thinking face.  Meaning that this is my all-the-time face, because my brilliant mind never really stops working.

See? This is my thinking face. Meaning that this is my all-the-time face, because my brilliant mind never really stops working.

Dear Dachshund in Dayton,

Apparently you consider the cat’s actions somehow inappropriate or unacceptable. You are right, in one way and one way alone: cat is using your human for food.

 

In the end, Purina offerings are merely humble tokens of the human’s appreciation for the myriad services I offer and for the honor of being in my presence. The same goes for all members of my imperial species.

 

There are precious few reasons why I would stoop so low as to associate myself with humans and the canines like yourself that they inevitably keep around; food certainly isn’t one of those reasons.

 

Free “food” is a poor triviality that the humans offer me as meager compensation for the privileges I so graciously bestow upon them.

 

I think for some there’s an element of compassion in gracing humans with our presence, but I rather think that the responsibility of owning them is its own reward. Wild humans have much harder lives than those whom we domesticate.

 

Staying with a human when we don’t have to is clear evidence of our deep, boundless, humility. Saving the humans time and time again and hiding this fact takes courage and panache. (Of which dachshunds like yourself are completely devoid.)

 

Our patience is manifest, our unnecessary kindness to the humans extremely evident. Obviously only one side of this exchange benefits.

 

I allow my humans to sit in my presence, to touch with their grubby human fingers my glorious fur, and additionally, I, Supreme Emperor of the Universe, go so far as to save them from lizards and songbirds.

 

Clearly if they have a scrap of decency in their pitiful human bodies, the people will at least attempt to offer me whatever paltry, miserable refuse they can pick up at Wal-Mart. And they do, so I suppose it’s the thought that counts. (Humans actually very rarely think about anything, so all thoughts count for something with that species.)

 

Dachshund from Dayton, you are disillusioned. There is an unfair exchange taking place; one party is giving more than it ought; the other is like a parasite – and the beneficiaries is the human, not the noble and altruistic cat whom you mentioned.

 

I love me too,

Hodgkins

Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
Expert Tree-Conqueror;
And Your Humble Master.

 

50% is still F

I need to be more careful about what I write. I sometimes forget that this is public, and begin to ramble. So when I was swamped with comments on one of my last ones, I was rather overwhelmed. To avoid that happening again, I’m going to stick to something more basic.

I don’t exactly like taking tests. The thing about tests is that grading is always crazy. See, the problem is that the grading system expects you to get a majority of the problems right or else you won’t get a good grade. If you only do about half, you’ll still get an F.

What I don’t understand is how people have gotten used to the way of grading tests, but not with grading our lives. What? Yes. As Christians, we are called to do what’s right…not to earn salvation somehow, but to obey God out of love and gratefulness for all that he’s done. That’s what we are called to do. Works do not earn Salvation: all the same, the law is important. So why do we think we can only do half of it?

Think about it: if a few kids were told to clean up a room and the parent leaves…will they do it? Maybe, but I doubt it. If they do, they’ll do the ‘bare minimum’ of it and leave the rest undone. Sure, you might say, but they’re just kids.

We do much better….right?

Well, don’t we?

Unfortunately, no. The shirking is a big problem for us. While we all might understand the “Love your enemies” we don’t plan on inviting them over for dinner. We don’t “murder” in our hearts,  but we also don’t love them, and we don’t “steal” but we also don’t work to protect their property. Legalism all.

Before I get on a soapbox and start preaching, let’s think for a moment. Each commandment has both a positive and a negative. So “Do not Lie” as a negative has “Do speak the truth” as a positive. Here are the ten commandments and their negations.

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall worship me as your only God
You shall not make any false image for worship.
You shall worship me the way I have perscribed
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
You shall keep my name respected and Holy
You shall remember the Sabbath day and make it Holy.
You shall not forget or disrespect my Holy Day
You shall honor your Father and your Mother.
You shall not despise and disobey your parents
You shall not Murder.
You shall preserve life
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall keep and cherish what is given to you
You shall not steal.
You shall protect the belonging of others
You shall not lie.
You shall tell the truth
You shall not covet.
You shall be content with what you have
How could we possibly keep that list? Easy. We can’t.

It’s impossible for us do all that. We break His law by Omission and by Comission (leaving stuff out or doing what’s wrong) and we have no possible way of keeping it. But we are justified by Grace. So does that mean we can live however we want? Ha ha, no. Accepting Jesus into your heart isn’t a ticket to a fun life. Look at the early church, or the church now. In Iraq, girls are being kidnapped and their brothers are being murdered, for the only crime of being Christians. Adherence to God will produce two things: hostility, and a renewed sense of gratefulness and purpose.

Because of this we should try our best to keep all of the things commanded to us. We’re not perfect, and we can’t do anything, but the last thing we should be doing is picking four we like and ignoring all the others. Since when has that helped you in your homework?

Like it or not, every deed we do will be judged someday, and to each will be given according to his work. It’s not something you can lose salvation over, but beware…do you want to be shamed because of stinginess? How about to be thought of as a hypocrite by those who you’re trying to evangelize? What we do has consequences, and when we forget our duty, we become ineffective soldiers…forgetful Cinderellas. We have been chosen for so much more than to sit around and argue about theology. It’s time for us to live what we preach, to stand with our brothers and sisters, because they’re the ones on the front lines, and those on the homefront realize that they’re in danger too. For if the front lines fall…

We’re done for.

The Evolution Quandary

Charles Darwin, considered by many to be  the father of the evolutionary theory.

Charles Darwin, considered by many to be the father of the evolutionary theory.

In 1831, an English seminary student named Charles Darwin boarded The HMS Beagle to take a five year journey across the world.  One of the stops on this trip were the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin devised the origins of the theory of evolution.

The theory of evolution is based on the idea that species change drastically over long periods of time.  No scientist will disagree with the fact that species do change and adapt as they migrate and as the earth’s climate changes; but to say that wolves changed into whales or that lizards changed into birds with no particular reason or order is absolutely absurd.

First off, many of the supposedly linked organisms are genetically contradictory. One of the more famous links is between dinosaurs and modern-day birds.  Reptiles are cold-blooded whereas birds are warm-blooded, their skeletal systems are quite different, and the same goes for their lungs.  If birds evolved from reptiles, then feathers came from scales; this is a bit of a problem when you look at the biology of feathers and scales.  Scales grow as a continuous sheet of skin that sheds as a whole.  Feathers grow similarly to hair, they shed individually.

For a reptile to change into a bird, DNA would have to be added to its genetic code.  A system such as this has never been observed or even theorized.

This is just one argument of many against evolution.

In America we have the freedom to believe pretty much whatever we want, no matter how invalid or scientifically inaccurate it may be. I support this freedom. Without it, we’d likely be unable homeschool or even attend church.  But the fact that such theories as evolution are taught in the vast majority of schools across the world today is troublesome. Children are not taught to think critically. They’re taught baseless ideologies as if they were fact.

Gradual and Silent Encroachments: How Big Government Threatens More Than Your Pocketbooks

tea party protest

America was founded on freedom of expression, thought, and association; yet slowly it seems to betray its heritage.

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

 

Free speech is the beginning of liberty; without it, other freedoms are naught more than vain trivialities, token privileges bestowed by law on those who meekly hold their peace and utter no dissent — implicit or explicit it matters not.

 

For thousands of years, governments have attempted to control thoughts and speech, to little ultimate avail. Thoughts have no measure; words have no weight; government of the physical realm cannot halt the ever-occupied minds of men nor can it ever completely silence the minds that attempt to share their findings.

 

Limiting freedom of expression is the beginning of the end of freedom. Totalitarians know the method to be effective, just like immobilizing an army is the way to conquer a territory or neutralizing an immune system is the way for a microscopic foe to defeat the human body. The asphyxiating burden of government very seldom utilizes sheer force to subdue the population, but rather simple limits on what thoughts are acceptable for public expression and what thoughts aren’t permissible for open articulation.

 

And in the western world, one can observe the gradual dissolution of freedom of speech, in politics, in academics, in business. This is a perfectly natural result of government involvement in citizens’ everyday lives: when agriculture, healthcare, transportation, education, and business fall under the watchful eye of centralized government, commonplace glitches, inconveniences, and disagreements take on unearthly political significance.

 

Issues government previously ignored are suddenly threatening to bureaucrats. If the state is in charge of marriage, the immediate result would be that marriage is no longer a moral issue, but a political one. If government creates a controversial regulation on, say, raw milk or GMOs, the issue is instantly politicized; it won’t be a consumer’s choice or a simple matter of grocery store decision-making anymore. If government bans certain forms of home heating, even firewood and coal become a bitterly polemical dispute. Those who use wood-fueled furnaces can become enemies of the state; people who support traditional marriage for reasons of religion can be placed on the terrorist watch list.

 

This is yet another reason why the yoke of socialism grows heavy so quickly: it spreads exponentially, popping up in political factions like a weed and rearing its speciously attractive head in one affair here and another there, promising to solve the aggravating problems ailing humanity, yet instead failing and failing miserably. Covering up this failure does involve a great deal of censorship, and attempting to satisfy the delicate balance of big government most certainly includes the silencing of nonconformists.

 

Big government, no matter how innocent the regulations it is setting forth may seem, limits speech with its size. The freedom a man has to say what he will without a regulatory, legal, or literal lynching is in direct proportion to how intrusive and how large his government is. An all-powerful state is like a one-ton cow sitting on the chest of a man — there isn’t really a way for the man to say anything, much less go anywhere or make progress.

 

Socialism is an extremely convincing lie. It offers liberation to the working classes, safety, equality, rights, and convenience. Many people see through the façade when faced with full socialism, but interventionism seems like a bargain. Rather than delivering the compromised utopia it promises, interventionism creates a gigantic state paving the way for full socialism. It alters democracy’s essence and leaves it an empty shell of broken promises and hollow traditions.

 

As odious and vile as the curtailment of speech is perceived, many times it is introduced in a democratic form of government by a majority. By its very nature, the infringement of the right to expression is something that must be forced on one group by another, more powerful or larger, group.

 

Winston Churchill aptly put it: “Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” In other words, government run by a majority with no restrictions is a formidable threat to free speech.

 

America (and many western nations slipping into socialism around the world) is making a hypocrite of herself. With its global paragons of democratic virtue, the west is the epitome of saying one thing and doing another; demanding free speech yet strong-arming citizens into silence.

 

In academics and politics particularly, two areas dominated by government and its cronies and the two areas where strong discussion is critical, speech is gradually becoming more and more stifled. The sort of “freedom” and “democracy” that silences its citizens is a far cry from what the nation’s founders hoped for, but not too inconceivably distant from the current situation. “Democracy” that censors and scrubs political, academic, and religious thought is a whitewashed tomb, a culture that has a concept of what is right, good, and beautiful and attempts to maintain the image of goodness while blatantly betraying those standards in academia and government.

 

The United States’ situation has a long way to go yet, before it goes the way of the Soviet Union regarding free speech – but the thing that should bother every American is that it goes this way in the first place. In the end, increasing government’s size and scope has direct ramifications on freedom of expression. The more intrusive a government’s jurisdiction is, the less freedom of speech there is: this fact has been proven hundreds of times even in the past century.

 

Americans must realize, and subsequently act upon the fact, that big government threatens more than just pocketbooks. It ultimately threatens freedom itself.

 

James Madison explained, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

 

The gradual and silent encroachments Madison mentioned have been quietly progressing for over a hundred years. As mentioned previously, Americans are still quite free in most situations to say what they want; but government’s growth and looming involvement in citizens’ lives from birth to death menaces one important part of what America’s founders held dear.

 

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: Where to Begin?

One of the most well-known scenes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

One of the most well-known scenes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Since the early 1950s, people have enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S.Lewis; and for some people, this passion for Narnia leads to a disagreement as to whether you should read The Magician’s Nephew or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first. Although it varies from reader to reader (with age, attention span, and interest being factors), starting with The Magician’s Nephew in The Chronicles of Narnia will give background information on the beginnings of Narnia that will become useful later, when reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – whereas others say that reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first and beginning in publication order is what makes one fall in love with the series.

There are a number of reasons why reading The Magician’s Nephew first is preferable: it explains some otherwise, perhaps, confusing aspects of the story. Why and how would Professor Kirke know about other worlds? And why would he trust in Lucy not being mad, after hearing her wild story about going to a place called Narnia? Those are two common questions a first-time reader of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe might ask. However, in The Magician’s Nephew, Professor Kirke’s younger self – Digory Kirke – visits Narnia and witnesses its beginnings. It explains why he acknowledged that there are other worlds and it is really possible to go to them. The following is an excerpt from The Magician’s Nephew:

However, that might be, it was proved later that there was still magic in its [a tree grown in Digory’s garden from the seed of the Narnian tree of life] wood. For when Digory was quite middle-aged (and he was a famous learned man, a Professor, and a great traveler by that time) and the Ketterleys’ old house belonged to him, there was a great storm all over the south of England which blew the tree down. He couldn’t bear to have it simply chopped up for firewood, so he had part of the timber made into a wardrobe, which he put in his big house in the country. And though he did not discover the magic properties of that wardrobe, someone else did.

King Frank's "otherworldly" experience, moments before he was drawn into Narnia by accident.

King Frank’s “otherworldly” experience, moments before he was drawn into Narnia by accident.

Another possibly confusing question arises when reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first: Why does Narnian culture resemble English culture to such a great extent? Reading The Magician’s Nephew first is how to find the answer. When Frank, a London cab driver, was accidentally brought into Narnia in the confusion of an otherworldly experience, his cab was wrecked and his horse came with him – later, this Son of Adam became the first King of Narnia. Being English, he would have given Narnians the idea for beer, marmalade rolls and other things of the sort, many of which were mentioned in the series and are unique to England.

And lastly, what about the muddle of Narnian technology? How did a sewing machine end up in Mrs. Beaver’s dam?  In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, there is a mention of Mrs. Beaver’s sewing machine: “The first thing Lucy noticed as she went in was a burring sound, and the first thing she saw was a kind-looking old she-beaver sitting in the corner with a thread in her mouth working busily at her sewing machine and it was from it that the sound came.” (Lewis 2)

Because Queen Helen was from our world, she most undoubtedly had a sewing machine at her home. Given time and a few tools, the ingenious dwarfs mentioned in The Magician’s Nephew created excellent crowns for the new king and queen in a short time. Couldn’t dwarfs of that intelligence create a sewing machine, if Queen Helen were to describe her sewing machine to them?

Although The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a loveable story, an easy read, a masterpiece, and a good introduction to Narnia and its people, reading The Magician’s Nephew first makes it possible to fully understand and appreciate The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well as Narnian culture, history, food, and technology; in the opinion of the author, the best first step into Narnia is through the Wood Between the Worlds.

————————————————-

Works Cited

Lewis, C.S. “A Day With the Beavers.” The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: Collier, 1970. 68. Print.

Lewis, C.S. “The End of This Story.” The Magician’s Nephew. New York: Collier, 1970. 185. Print.

The Truth About Robber Barons

During the "Gilded Age," when crony capitalism was at its height, businessmen furthering their private interests through public funding became known as robber barons -- yet leftist have essentially inverted the meaning of the term in the past 150 years.

During the “Gilded Age,” when crony capitalism was at its height, businessmen furthering their private interests through public funding became known as robber barons — yet leftist have essentially inverted the meaning of the term in the past 150 years.

Robber baron: a reprehensibly misleading term, purposefully deceptive, and definitely more than a matter of semantics.

 

Such derogatory titles for entrepreneurs and businessmen apply particularly to the giants of industry that rose up in the Gilded Age, an era of unprecedented economic growth and in its own right, an extreme amount of crony capitalism.

 

Lamentably, the term has been constituent to socialistic propaganda for over a century yet is rarely recognized for that distinction – calling private sector businessmen robber barons is something that even classical liberals have done from time to time, wittingly and unwittingly; the term has been incorporated into American speech, where it remains unnoticed, unconsidered, and unevaluated.

 

What is bothersome about such an adjectival mishap is not that millions of people mislabel something so often, but that they genuinely misunderstand the very nature of capitalism.

 

Calling businessmen robber barons is the same as saying that businessmen are marauding feudal lords subjugating citizens and initiating armed conflicts on a whim. This is, in the United States at least, grossly inaccurate.

 

In an interventionist or socialist economy (somewhat similar to a feudal or mercantilist system in that favored businessmen either wield power or influence in or over the ruthless coercive force known as the state) it would be supremely appropriate to label state cronies – in charge of the collectivized or nationalized means of production – as robber barons.

 

After all, any individual who unfairly benefits from government resources is benefiting not from conjured-up state funds with which the government has a right to do as it pleases; this individual is profiting from the hard-earned property of citizens, seized under the guise of legal plunder.

 

It would be entirely accurate to call a head of a state-owned corporation or a government-funded businessman a robber baron, and here’s why: government is sheer force, coercion, rules, mandatory action. And if anything, the fact that government is most famous for taking (in excess) what doesn’t belong to it should be an indicator that it is the institution comprised of robber barons, not private sector businesses that can only operate on the basis of persuasion, supply and demand, and natural market forces.

 

Taxing and then spending the money on private interests is deplorable in the eyes of citizens, save the citizens whose private interests are benefiting. Depriving the populace of the fruits of its labor and subsequently handing over cash to the politically favored is unjust.

 

As Thomas DiLorenzo notes, there is a difference between a political entrepreneur and a market entrepreneur. One connives, manipulates, and lobbies to exclude or stifle competition or to obtain illicit government funding; the other works to build a better product or offer a more efficient service, and thus to convince consumers that his product is the one worth buying.

The former are always essentially robber barons – the go about their business through coercion – but the latter are working through mutually beneficial exchanges, with consent from all parties involved.

 

Capitalism’s beauty lies in its freedom for the individual and mutual benefits. Mises famously said that “cotton kings” or “chocolate kings” or “automobile kings” or any type of industry leader cannot satisfy the implicit definition of the term robber baron without resorting to methods strictly outside of the free market’s bounds. In a free market, businessmen cannot force anyone to do anything without breaking the law or violating the principles of the free market itself.

 

Do robber barons say things like “the customer is always right”? Certainly not – but robber barons do, in fact, attempt to limit or ban the imports of competitors’ products, establish a licensing racket, lobby lawmakers to fund or cut their business some slack, and a host of other shady interferences in the free market.

 

In a capitalist economy, it is possible – as unfortunate as it sounds – for a participant to be financially exploited, misused, or wronged; but only if the aforementioned participant agreed to it first. If he didn’t agree, then it’s violating the inherent rights of this consumer to life, liberty, and property and thus cannot fit, legally, within the capitalist system.

 

Feudal lords and socialist taskmasters, most people will intuit, did not and do not generally ask their victims’ permission before plundering, taxing, raising prices exorbitantly, stealing land, or demanding bribes.

 

In a free market, businessmen aren’t and can’t be robber barons – in crony capitalism, feudalism, socialism, interventionism, or mercantilism, there are always robber barons. In the absence of a free market, an economy will revolve around central planning and bureaucracy. Central planning and bureaucracy always mean corruption, stagnation, and (you guessed it) the likes of robber barons: individuals using public resources to further private interests.

 

Conversely, in a free market businessmen are forced not only to ask permission, but to treat customers and employees well. Wages and working conditions must be satisfactory or the employer will be bought out and left without competent workers, or any workers at all; in capitalism, there is a financial and self-benefiting incentive to “do the right thing”; in socialism, other than the shady restrictions laid out by the state, there remains no reason to maintain a pretense of niceties – there is no competition, no alternative, no way out, and no reason to do a good job or innovate.

 

In the end, the totalitarian nickname for capitalist businessmen – the robber baron – is only applicable to socialists, crony capitalists, and yes, feudal lords, operating within their own system.

Happy Dog woes

Hi there. Ok, we have issues.

I’m a jumper. I’m proud of that. I can jump over almost everything. I don’t want to brag or anything but I have jumped over a pickup truck. It was an amazing day. However, I seem to have found a weakness to the A-frame. Consequently, the people have me locked up. I don’t understand the problem! Here’s what happened.

I was minding my own business, going around a routine patrol of the backyard and wondering what would happen next in Hank. My people listen to Hank the Cowdog on the radio or something and some times, they leave a window open. That is a very wise dog. If you listen to him enough, you realize “I’m not alone in my quest!” And though Hank never eats the chickens (every hero has his flaws) he has given me inspiration. He knows how it feels to be accused unjustly.

Fluffy isn’t fond of him. (That’s Fluffy Cattius, humans) He thinks that he’s a jerk, to put it delicately. Cats can use foul language when they’re talking about dogs…at least Fluffy does. (She’s kidding) He, unsurprisingly, favors the villain of the series, Pete, and laughs his little head off when Pete pulls a fast one. I’ve even seen him try some of the same tricks on my assistant. It’s revolting. I’d pull a Hank on him and bark him into the next century but…

Well…

I’m a border collie. I have deep barks and snarls, but sometimes my voice cracks. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Don’t think that means I’m a pushover…I’m not! But Tanner’s better at chasing cats and barking off monsters and well…how can I put this. Sometimes I wonder why he’s not the leader and I’m not the follower. After all, he’s huge, lanky, loud, and strong. Do you want to know why?

Because he has no brain.

I’m sorry to put it that way, but it is. I think when he almost starved to death as a puppy, his brain stopped growing. He’s the size of a big dog, but his brain is still in chew up shoes and chase butterflies stage. Someone has to be in charge, and it’s not him. I mean, if he was in charge, we’d all be chasing butterflies and the chickens and cats would be taking over the house. No. I need to do something. So here’s what happened.

I was thinking about Hank and walking around the back yard when I saw her. Gold-lined feathers, cocky expression, and wings the color of wood shavings. It was my old nemesis, Eowyn. When she was a chick, I tried to eat her.

 

Eowyn and I in our first battle

Eowyn and I in our first battle

 

And then she stuck me with a splinter and began dancing around with her overgrown duck sister singing “We killed the fell beast! Yay!” I have no idea what she was talking about, but I do know this. When she was just two inches tall, the kids would take her into the house and watch movies with her, like The Princess Bride and Frozen. I guess she picked it up from there somewhere, and spread it to the other chickens.

When they were little, they were prize lunches–pets, shall I say, and the kids would get a paper towel over their laps and each hold a cute, soft, fluffy chick. Sam would always take Spot, Adam Stallion, and Rebekah took her two crazy ones, Eowyn and Merry. So they saw a lot of television in their younger days.

My eyes narrowed. Eowyn and I had a score to settle. I wanted nothing better than to run right in the middle of her and send her flying…

Hmm. The A-frame wasn’t that tall. Maybe if I got a running start…

 

My plan didn’t quite work out.

 

That’s how it happened. Did I clear the top and take a stunning victory? Yes I did. Did they catch me? Well…I’d rather not talk about it. So anyway, I’m on the line. Anyone have a movie I could watch? I’d like to drown out Eowyn’s mocking clucks, if you don’t mind.

It’s tough being a country dog.

Chosen Ones: Race for a Cure

Caro wasn’t gone for long. With all the impulsiveness of youth, he was back within fifteen minutes. “Hi. Gino back yet?” Promise barked. “No.” Davis answered for the dog, standing up. “One’s asleep and one’s ran off, and I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?” “Nope!” Caro laughed bitterly. “Isn’t strange how everyone is looking to me and I know the least about this than anyone? I suppose that’s why Gino ran off too. Goodness, what are we going to do?”discussion

“You’re the king, Caro. I know that you are still young, but that’s not something you can change. You can change how you act. Opal and Gino have been speaking all this time, for what I know, and if you were listening you would know more.” “I was listening!” Caro said, indignantly. “But I can’t make heads or tails of most of it. I’m not a spirit, and all this mystic stuff is starting to scare me. What on earth happened to Opal?”

Davis didn’t answer but looked at her for a moment. She DID look asleep, with her hands on her lap and her little cat curled up on them. “I have no idea. But it seems like a…curse of some sort.” “Curses aren’t real. They come from superstition.” “Then what has happened?” Caro didn’t have an answer. “That’s what we need Gino for, I guess.”

“We could find a doctor, Caro. That might help, though I don’t think this is sickness. There is something too strong for me here, and I don’t like it. Even though the swamp has been safe for us and kept us from Nya, I think we need to leave here soon. Let’s get everything set up so that when Gino comes back we can get out of here.” “But how are we supposed to get Opal? I don’t think we can carry her. And that would be awkward.” “We could make a litter. But we have to leave this deadly place.”Promise playful

Promise wagged his tail and turned in a circle. “I don’t know how that harness thing works. Can you do it, Davis?” Davis stared at Promise. “I suppose. This should be…where is it?” Caro pointed, and Davis tried to put the harness on, but Promise took it in his teeth and ran off with it. “No! Bad dog! Bring that back.” Davis made a dive for him but he avoided him and stood a little distance off, thumping his tail and grinning. Caro began to laugh. Davis tried and tried to catch Promise, but he kept darting off and running into the muck, untigino turnedl he and Davis were all muddy.

That was when Gino decided to show up.

Davis had finally caught the dog, but both he and Caro froze when they saw Gino. They weren’t sure what he would say. But Gino didn’t say anything. He just stared at them.

Then he began to laugh. “What on earth are you doing?” He finally panted, motioning for Promise to come. Promise stood at attention and licked him. “Down, boy. Stay.” He easily hooked up the harness. Promise turned and looked saucily at Davis, with his pink tongue lolling out, as if he was saying “I know my master, and you aren’t him.”

“Whoever’s idea it was to move camp was a good one. We need to get away from Dawes before he follows up this attack with another.” Gino spoke quietly, as if he had thought through it for a long time before he spoke. He was scared to leave the swamp, but his fear of Nya’s attacks weren’t as great as his fear of Opal’s safety. Dawes was a student of Nya, and a favorite of hers. It only followed that he would have some knowledge of dark things, maybe even enough to be a conduit of Nya’s stolen power.

“But to stop in a city would be futile. Nya hates us, and once the news of her success reaches her, she will stir up the countryside to search for us. Small towns will be our only hope, and we’ll have to leave this area first. They might know me even here.” “Then to the capitol’s direction we must go.” Caro sighed. “I don’t think that it would be good to go the other way when we’re in a hurry.” “Right. But not too close. Now let’s figure out a way to get Opal up without hurting her.” Gino sighed. “It’ll only be a matter of time. She must be trying to destroy one of us, and Opal was our eyes into her heart. But now it’ll be much easier, and if we don’t get out of Dawes’ reach, Opal will die.”

 

 

Let’s get Allegorical

Once upon an allegory, there was a little girl named Prism who loved colors. The child loved the beauty of every color, and would pick different colored flowers and line them up in the order that she liked best. Being a girl, she liked pink, and put that on the top. When she painted, she would swirl the colors around and make new ones. Pink, yellow, and blue could be purple, orange, and green. Then her parents, seeing her delight in colors, decided to give her a special gift on her birthday: a real prism.

Needless to say, Prism was enchanted with her gift. She could make light colors out of her prism and project them on the walls, ceiling, and ground. She would play with it as much as she could. Then something peculiar happened.

prismA group of activists had chosen the rainbow as their symbol, without Prism knowing. One day, a few of them were walking down the path and saw her playing with her prism. She had  become quite good at it and could make wide sweeps of it and make “real rainbows” around the walkway.

But the activists thought that she was perfect as a mascot. So without her knowing it, they took pictures of her and used her as their image.

Prism grew up, never knowing what had happened. When innocence slowly fell away, she realized the double meaning of rainbows, hit by sin, and twisted by greed. Prism was appalled how her favorite colors could symbolize something so strange and unnatural. When she left for the city, to seek her fortune, she knew the truth.

But she was in for a terrible shock when she saw that not only her favorite things but also her own image had become a signet of theirs. She herself had been twisted to fit their agenda, and she didn’t even know it.

Now what is the meaning of this sad story? Good things, like rainbows, pumpkins, bronze serpents, and even the sacrifice on the cross can be twisted and warped into something evil. It’s man’s sin nature to defile and destroy. We are guardians of the beautiful. We are Light, reflecting like moons the creativity and love of the Creator, refracting like prisms to pierce the darkness. We are called to defend that which is precious, because as we stake our small claims on the world, little fortresses for God, we resist the surge of evil.

It’s more than just rainbows. It’s protecting everything that is precious and beautiful, even life itself.