Friday 17 July 2009

The Lion

"Who are you?"

“Myself”, said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again, “Myself”, loud and clear and gay, and then the third time, “Myself”, whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.

Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.

The mist was turning from black to grey and from grey to white. This must have begun to happen some time ago, but while he had been talking to the Thing he had not been noticing anything else. Now, the whiteness around him became a shining whiteness and his eyes began to blink. Somewhere ahead he could hear birds singing. He knew the night was over at last. He could see the mane and ears and head of his horse quite easily now. A golden light fell on them from the left. He thought it was the sun.

He turned and saw, pacing beside him, taller that the horse, a Lion. It was from the Lion that the light came. No one ever saw anything more terrible or beautiful…. After one glance at the Lion’s face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn’t say anything but then he didn’t want to say anything, and he knew he needn’t say anything.

The High King above all Kings stooped toward him. Its mane, and some strange and solemn perfume that hung around the mane, was all round him. He lifted his face and their eyes met. Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared. He was alone with the horse on a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And the birds were singing.

From Chapter 11 of 'The horse and his boy' by CS Lewis.

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