1. Me and My Introduction to Narnia

by C.S. Lois

Who am I?

I go by C.S. Lois, or Lois for short (No, Lois is not my real name!). I’m a female and relatively young. Oh, I also live in the US. I promised an article on Narnia, and here it is:

As I pondered the topic for my first Narnian article, I wondered what I should start with. I thought for a while, and then decided that, since this is my first article, I might as well write about another first: my intro to Narnia!

My interest in Lewis’s magical land began before I read the books (when I was about 11) and before they were read to me (I think I was 8 or 9). It began when I was only 4 or 5. When I was that age, my mother and I would play with a little dollhouse we made out of an old cereal box on my parents’ bed. This usually happened every morning, right after papa went to work. Well, I was a curious little girl, and a constant source of fascination for me was a certain boxed set of books. As you can probably guess, they were the Chronicles, the paperback versions, with the cover illustrations that have all the wrong colors and look pretty cheesy. (Collier Books, Division of Macmillan Publishing. Printed in the USA) In my young mind, I thought they were illustrations of a man with a very weird plumed hat fighting a boy with a spiked helmet (Miraz vs. Peter), a boy on a horse gazing at a huge lion (Little did I know who that was!), and a strange man pulling a girl by her hair (who was holding a boy’s hand) into a pool! (Yes, now I realize that it was Jadis being pulled out of the pool by Digory and Polly, but take another look. Doesn’t Jadis look like a man in that picture?!) I asked mama who those people were, and why was there a man pulling a girl’s hair, and what in the world was “Narnia” anyway? Mama just said that they were some of Papa’s books.

Years later, Papa started reading them voraciously. I wondered why, until one overcast day (I can still recall every detail!) Papa sat with me on the couch and started reading “Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy….” Thus began my love for the Chronicles of Narnia.

Many adventures concerning the books happened along the way, too. For example, Papa ordered the big, “all-in-one” color version one day, and at that time we had read LWW, PC, and were almost done with VDT. So, we ended up finishing VDT in the big version, and then reading MN, HHB, SC and LB in that order. (Basically reading it in chronological order with the books we had already read excluded.) Also, Prince Caspian and The Magician’s Nephew were left on top of the fireplace and we lit a fire later that day, forgetting that the books were there. (Why we wouldn’t see them there I don’t know.) The Magician’s Nephew is now scarred beyond recognition (and I didn’t throw it away!) but Prince Caspian is only singed, thankfully.

Here ends my (unfortunately short) tale, though I’m sure that it’s not the permanent end yet. “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after….now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Endnote: The boxed set that I refer to is one that was given to Papa when he was 15. It has endured tearing apart (and re-taping), approx. 8.9 ounces of dust, stains, ripping, tearing, chewing (by dust mites, and by me, when I get to a suspenseful part) and many other interesting things, not to mention burnings. I can proudly say that my edition is probably one of the best loved!

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