By Tenethia South
Stories like Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, and Misty of Chincoteague have for years enchanted readers, drawing them into their stories. Some people could equate the success of these books to the characters, the themes, or the author’s writing style. However, I prefer to believe these stories have for so long enraptured readers simply because they are stories about horses. The Chronicles of Narnia have no lack of horses. From The Magician’s Nephew to The Last Battle, talking horses, pegusi, and unicorns race through the land of Narnia, enchanting the readers.
The first horse in Narnia was Strawberry, who was there even before the world was created. This horse was brought to Narnia from England by accident when Digory and Polly first went into that world. In England, he was a workhorse for Frank, who later became the first king of Narnia. When brought to Narnia, Strawberry was chosen by Aslan to become a talking horse, and later became the first of the winged horses of Narnia and renamed Fledge. He bore Polly and Digory on his back over Narnia to the garden where Digory got the apple that Aslan had required of Digory for bringing the witch into Narnia.
Bree and Hwin were two talking horses from The Horse and His Boy. They had both strayed too far South in their younger years, and had been kidnapped and sold as slaves in Calormen. These two horses were instrumental in the defeat of Rabadash at the Battle of Anvard, as they bore two riders (Aravis and Cor) across the desert to warn King Lune of Archenland of the impending attack on his castle.
Snowflake and Coalblack were two dumb horses from The Silver Chair, who served the Lady of the Green Kirtle and the Dark Knight. These horses were first seen on the plains of Ettinsmoor, and later saved Jill, Eustace, Puddleglum, and Rilian from drowning in Underworld after the witch had been killed. Though they were dumb beasts, they were noble ones who did well to deliver the Prince of Narnia from his prison of darkness.
The Last Battle came around, and brought us a unicorn named Jewel. Jewel was a noble beast, and a good friend to Tirian, the last king of Narnia. Jewel served his king well, standing by his side until the very last conflict between Narnia and Calormen.
There are a number of other horses in Narnia. The four horses in the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, though not named, were important, as they bore the four kings and queens in their quest after the White Stag. Destrier was a coal-black horse in Prince Caspian. This horse bore Prince Caspian in his flight away from Miraz, and when Caspian hit his head and fell, ran straight back to Miraz, giving away the news of Caspian’s escape.
When one recalls all the horses in the Chronicles and how endearing these beautiful creatures are, it comes as no surprise that CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia are some of the best-loved books in children’s literature.