"Once there were four children named Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy..."
Once there was two little girls, nicknamed Day and Jules, listening wide-eyed to a bedtime story. Their aunt was reading to them in the cold upper story of a farmhouse in Pennsylvania, the two little girls with blankets up to their chins, listening intently. It was an enchanting story, and introduced them to many beautiful words and lands. It was dark outside, but inside there was a lamppost and then a resurrection morning.
Once there were eight little children, nicknamed "the studentry", listening wide-eyed to the morning story. They perch on their yellow chairs, listening, but not always quietly.
"No, Edmund! Don't go with her! Don't listen to her."
"Ooooo, I think I know what's going to happen."
"Teacher, I'm scared!"
"It will all come right in the end," I tell them, and take my turn introducing young eyes to many beautiful words and lands. Outside our circle is humdrum of November, but inside is timeless betrayal and then a glorious redemption.
And then I discover that unwittingly, lavishly, they repay me. My eyes see a familiar land, but through theirs it holds the same wonder and intrigue it did during those first bedtime story-sessions.
Narnia is new... and I have found Aslan again.