As I said, something wonderful appeared. In fact several wonderful appeared, at the very same instant. Realize, the animals, and I mean animals not fauns and other such folk, did not need particularly much fire, and were happy to get along without it. But humans did.
Currently there were only four humans on Narnia. Or at any rate on this Narnia, there be for more than one of them, in fact far more than you can otherwise imagine. One of them, Eddie, looked into what struck his eye. There were so many sites and sounds, but the one thing that stood out was the large towering figures, stretching up 40 or 50 m. but they were human. What's more, they were probably African American, which was strange. It was strange partially because there garb was definitely European in its aspect. They were trailing elongated robes, as was the custom in the middle ages, he did not realize that there were African males who in fact worthies, for example in paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, who was late medieval and early Renaissance. Very little else is known about him.
He did not realize that is the were shifting themselves, so he could absorb the figures. There were 12 of them, six males and six females, each male beside a female. They were grave, and just a bit somber. They looked looked upwards, as if praying to God. Then he realized that the line was halfway to extinguished, and their were two living figures that he had to a grip upon. That was the bird and the rodent.
Then at face level and below, he looked for them to see what they were looking at. The bird was looking at the same things he was, but with a difference. Where as he looked at their faces, and understood that they were human, in this was good; the bird looked at their faces, and realized that the Narnia he had known had a back story that was different from any that he knew before. He was also, quite clearly, alarmed and panicked. These were not supposed to be here, the bird thought. Meanwhile the rodent was quite different in his aspect. First of all he knew that they were there, and was not looking up in to there faces, but in to the ground, as if to say that he was lost. He didn't want the bird to know, and was trying to hide it. But the fire did away with that. Then just as the fire was going out, he looked upwards to Eddie. And what Eddie saw was a burning grip of hatred, there being no other word for it. Then just as the fire went out, the bird looked down at him, and saw that look.
Then the fire was out, and the bird and the rodent were intensely looking at the other.
Than the bird spoke: “Why did you lie about this?”
The rodent replied: “I didn't exactly lie to you.”
“You said there were no humans.”
“There aren't, these are effigies. There not exactly human. There is not one bone among them. You hadn't asked whether someone left a monument to a person.” Even in his ire, he was have that he furnished the gift of gab on the bird. If you had been told, the bird was quite stupid, even for his own kind.
“But why did you not mention these things?”
“You had asked, and I was not going to tell you unless you specifically asked for an effigy.”
“But I don't know what one is, to ask about.”
“That not mine concern.”
It was increasingly clear that the rodent did not care about the bird, and in fact, seemed rather peculiar. Then it hit Eddie that the rodent was not who he said was. Then it struck him that there were probably a few matches left in his pocket, if he could find them. He wondered while he searched for matches what the creature actually was. He had already guessed that it wasn't animal, but was instead some half human/half something else entirely. But he did not know what.
Then, while reaching in to his pocket, there were many eyes where there had only been two. And the were not mammalian or bird, but reptile. The bird took off, it gained several feet upward. While below the many creatures eyes were staring this way and that way, and then he realized they were the same creature. Is stared at him, and the bird, when finally a match was lit.
The fire illuminated what it was: a cobra with nine heads, which he vaguely recognized as a Greek figure. He had seen one on a tour that he had been on. The cobra eyed one set towards the bird, and the rest on Eddie, who was clearly the one who the cobra worried about. Which was sensible, because there was not much to be done about the bird.
The cobra test at him, and spoke in a much lower tone of voice. “Well now that you see me I will have to eradicate you from existence.” There was no doubt that he meant what he said. The problem was if he held the candle, he could see very well where the cobra was, but he had only one hand to do anything about it. Where as if he dropped the match, he had two hands, but the match would be out, and he would be blind. He was not sure that the cobra would be as blind as he was. He wasn't sure, it was probably in a text that he had not read. Though now he wished he had. This was a note to read things that were not about movie stars and such, and though he did not know it, he would listen to this in future. It is often the case that fear marshal the will. If only people would reason they would be better off, but at least some people learned from their mistakes, at least in crisis.
It was at that point that he realized he didn't have two drop, instead he could toss the match, and with a brief second, launch in to and attack. The only problem was he didn't have any thing to attack with. But that was a soluble problem compared to where he had been before. He just needed to find something, along a direct route to the cobra.
Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw what he was looking for. It was a stalactite, lying on the ground, it had probably fallen some time ago. Then it was simply a matter of tossing the match up, and grabbing the stalactite, and hoping that he would be there before the cobra could be elsewhere. This was a tremendous leap for him, teaching the high that he had to throw the match, and at the same time grabbing the stalactite, was the first time that he had ever done to things at the same time. But before that, he needed to calm the situation down, so he would strike at the particular instant.
“Why don't you strike first?” taunted Eddie. “Your game is finished, and now there is nothing left to do.”
“Oh I will strike when I am ready.” What Eddie did not realize, was that snakes were slow, they needed time to unwind, and then strike.
Now if Eddie had been as he was, he would have been dead. But the magic that wraps Narnia had been working upon him, and now he was just ready to do this. So as the snake was just coiling up, a split second before Eddie was throwing the match and reaching for the stalactite. I won't say it was not the best move in the world, but it was enough. He tossed the match, and grabbed at the same time. Then with both feet on the floor, he stabbed, and got his other hand. There was a moment which could have gone both ways, for the cobra was just slow enough that it did not have quite the grip that needed. So there was a struggle, and the cobra might have won yet - but to things happened. One was the bird came down, and with its strange sort of shriek had distracted the cobra by just enough. The other thing that happened, was that Eddie pushed back and behind the cobra was a little push to the left, which made the cobra's grip unstable. Even so, one of the maws of the cobra slash and tour, leaving a trace of blood in its wake. Immediately Eddie realized that there was venom and his right arm contracted, even as the cobra was dead.
“I'm hit, save yourself bird.”
“I'm not going anywhere without you.” And he meant it. Though he had been slow to recognize the problem, he was loyal enough to know that the human was part of his family.
“Why not save yourself?”
But the bird was going to answer this, the discussion had been closed. Then Eddie realized that some people were loyal, and he should reciprocate.
“Where are we going now?”
The bird wasn't a good enough linguist to explain that a little bit farther on the cave would shrink back to a single point. And it was at that point that the bird, and what he thought was the rodent, would tear the boy from limb to limb. But now they were headed upwards, to another channel which would lead them to the above ground. And full would be surprised, because the snow was melting, even as far from Father Christmas as they were.
“What do we do now?”
“The problem is I don't know if the Queen is back in her castle.”
“I do, and she's not. What is back in her castle?”
“Terrible things, anytime that an animal or other creature crosses her. Well let's just say they had wished they'd died.”
“Is this something worse than dying?”
“Imagine that your frozen in stone, but your eyes moves, and you can still see everything.”
“Is there some way we can reverse this?”
“There is a good centaur who may help us.”
“Then what are we waiting for?”
“Well there is a problem.”
Eddie's heart sank, because he that he had something wrong, and now he was going to pay the penance.
“What is that?” though he knew it was going to involve something that he would not like. But then he realized that it was not a punishment, but a penance. The difference between these two is that punishment is inflicted on you because the punisher can, wear as a penance is there to instruct, and hopefully guide. While punishment is something that you reduce, pennants is something that you willingly go through.
“Well I need to get right with Aslan, for all things I have done. And I think that your the same way.”
Eddie knew that when he first came to Narnia, he would not listen to anyone, and nothing would be off-limits. He had grown, so he knew now that he would have to grow more, and take whatever role he would be offered. He realized that that Queen was in reality, a witch, and nothing could make her in any way the one to serve.
“Let's go. If we have to pay costs, so be it. After all, this is a magical place, and we will take in stride. That isn't the way that things work in my home world, mind you.”
“It's a strange place your home is. Why do people put up with it?”
“I don't really know, but I suppose there is a reason.”
So they said to find the centaur, which they did, and they in fact did make pennants. Thus they were delivered, and set about freeing the animals that were said in stone. What the pennant was, is not important to this, suffice to say it was done.