NARNIAN DWARVES FREAK ME OUT

When I was in elementary- long ago and far away in a kingdom by the sea- I read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. They were a great set of books- fun, exciting, full of unexpected creatures, spooky bad guys, and all those sorts of things. I think I must have been in fourth grade when I read them. They fall, in my memory's time line- which is admittedly questionable- between reading the Oz books by L. Frank Baum and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. (on a side note, I always thought it rather presumptuous of old J.R.R. to have 3 initials before his last name)



Anyway, in The Last Battle, which is the last book of the Narnia series, there's this scene that freaked me out when I first read it, and still gives me the creeps now. Towards the end of the story, all the heroes are holed up in this cabin. The heroes are humans and magic creatures, including a group of dwarves who are sitting in a circle with their eyes closed, terrified and not in a very good mood. Outside, the forces of evil are closing in for the kill. All looks hopeless, but at the last minute Aslan, the lion appears and magically saves the day, transporting everyone to this really nice, safe place. Hooray. But then, the heroes notice that the dwarves are still sitting in a circle with their eyes closed, terrified. See, in their minds, they're still sitting in the cabin, which has been set on fire, and they are about to die horrible awful deaths. And nothing anyone says can convince them otherwise. One of the heroes even picks up one of the dwarves, pleading with him to open his eyes and realize that all is well. But to no avail.

Eventually, they leave the dwarves behind.

That little bit haunts me to this very day. The idea of people who are so sad, so sure that everything is terrible that they can't accept anything other than misery was all too plausible. I mean, yeah, there are lots of terrible things out there, and yes, we all are doomed to one day shuffle off this mortal coil, and the sun will one day explode, and the economy sucks- I get all that. Which to me seems like an even great incentive to try and see the light where ever we can, to hear music when it plays, soak up smiles when they come our way.

That's about all for now. And if you haven't done so, please check out my plays at INDIE THEATER NOW and PLAYSCRIPTS, INC. You can download one for just $1.29. See, things are getting better already.

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