Reading events from the blog-o-sphere give me impetus to read (or finish!) books that I probably would not have. My editions of the Narnia Chronicles were gifted to me as a child, and they are well tattered with use. But somehow I never finished The Horse And His Boy, although it is my son’s favorite. (And, the reason you see it on my kindle is so that I can read it late at night in the quiet dark.)
Published in 1954, The Horse and His Boy seemed a perfect fit for the #1954 Club hosted this week by Karen and Simon. It is a children’s book, after all, and a welcome respite after some heavy International Booker Prize longlisted books. (Books of Jacob I’m talking to you.) I almost forgot how powerful C. S. Lewis’ faith is, along with the insight he has in portraying it.
Briefly, Shasta lives with an unkind fisherman whom he calls father. When a visitor riding a war horse named Bree appears, Shasta discovers that Bree is a Talking Horse who longs for Narnia. As Shasta also longs for the North, they decide to run away together, and on the way encounter Aravis going to Narnia with her horse, Hwin.
Here I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.and
…dismiss it all from your minds and be comforted…be of good hope.and
But as long as you know you’re nobody special, you’ll be a very decent sort of Horse, on the whole…and
I was quite safe. That is why the Lion kept on my left. He was between me and the edge all the time.
My dear friend Carol’s favorite quote is this, when Hwin comes quite bravely up to the Lion she says, ”You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”
Really, this book is as remarkable a treatise on faith as something written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (You can find a most fascinating discussion of this book on Calmgrove’s post, as he is hosting a read-along of the Chronicles of Narnia.)
And now for something completely different! Let’s talk about Traveler’s Company notebooks. I have always told myself, as Mary Poppins tells Jane and Michael, “Enough is as good as a feast.”
But, it didn’t hold true this time. While I enjoyed my regular sized Traveler’s Notebook in brown from 2016 to 2021, I have become greedy and purchased the Kyoto edition, and now the passport Traveler’s Train. I like to think that it was the invitation to take an imaginary journey, to go wherever you like, while sitting in the dining car with your notebook and your thoughts. Apparently, a feast is made up of three or more.