While the Beavers, Peter, Susan and Lucy were having a most splendid tea, Edmund was utterly miserable.
He had slipped away while the others were merrily feasting, crept behind a curtain, then scooted out the dam door before anyone noticed he was gone. In his haste to leave he had forgotten his coat, his cozy, long, fur coat that would have kept him snugly warm in spite of the rapidly falling snow and deep darkness. Instead he was in his shirt sleeves and short pants as he hunkered down and forged ahead through the swirling snow, heading for the home of the White Witch.
His way was slow and treacherous as he slipped down snowy banks, bashed his shins against hidden rocks, and fell into drifts. Soon he was battered, sopping wet and cold to the bone. He would’ve turned back if his selfish little heart wasn’t clinging fast to the image of himself as King of Narnia, lording it over his brother and sisters, paying them back for every perceived slight. His dreams of grandeur and power gave him renewed strength and he pressed on until he came to the massive iron gates of the White Witch’s castle.
How I shivered at the thought of that bleak, imposing place, all spiky turrets, ice, and menacing silence. My eyes widened as Edmund came upon the courtyard filled with lions, dwarfs, and centaurs all turned to stone. I could feel the dread that must have been in his heart, the first inklings of fear, the sure knowledge that he had made a terrible, terrible mistake. And my heart leapt in fright as he stepped over a stone wolf that suddenly rose, very much alive and absolutely terrifying.
He was a massive grey beast, Fenris Ulf, Chief of the White Witch’s Secret Police, and within moments he was leading Edmund into the presence of the White Witch.
The meeting was nothing like Edmund had expected. There was no warm greeting, no thanks for the vital news he had risked his neck to bring, and not a single piece of Turkish Delight. Instead a dwarf brought him an iron bowl of water…
…and an iron plate with a dry hunk of bread.
Before he could finish he was commanded to sit beside the White Witch in her sleigh, joining her on a nightmarish journey to find Aslan. They rode swiftly at first, the snow cold and slick beneath the sleigh, but after a few hours they were unable to move, all the snow melted into great puddles. Spring had come to Narnia. The White Witch was livid! Anyone standing in her way was turned to stone and Edmund was bound and driven like a prisoner, cursed and whipped by a malicious dwarf. He stumbled and slipped and kept walking, tripped and fell and kept walking, until at last they stopped and he collapsed face down on the ground, not caring what happened to him in his relief to be resting at last.
I was so scared for him as he lay there. I wanted to warn him that they were going to kill him, that he must summon a last bit of strength to run away and save himself. But there was nothing I could do. I simply listened in anguish as they hauled him up roughly, bound him to a tree, bared his throat, and sharpened a knife, whir, whir, whirrrr.
Suddenly there were shouts and shrieks all around them! Hooves beating, wings flapping, the White Witch screaming.
Then it was over.
Edmund felt his bonds loosen as strong arms held him close, and kind, strong voices murmured comforting words as a glass of wine was pressed to his lips.
Around him figures bustled and called out and just as things got interesting, Edmund fainted. Moments later he was carried off to Aslan by a jostling party of unicorns, centaurs, birds and deer. He was safe at last.
Bread and Water
one hunk stale bread
8 oz none-too-clean water
- Toss bread on plate.
- Splash water in bowl.
- Drop on floor and serve with a snarl.