Give Us This Day Our Daily Hedgehog

“After Aslan is resurrected [in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe], he travels to the witch’s castle and frees the animals she had turned to stone. A lion he rescues is so overwhelmed by this grace that he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The most pleased of the lot was the other lion, who kept running about everywhere pretending to be very busy in order to say to everyone he met, “Did you hear what he said? Us lions. That means him and me. Us lions. That’s what I like about Aslan. No side, no standoffishness. Us lions. That meant him and me.” He went on saying this until Aslan loaded him up with three dwarfs, one dryad, two rabbits and a hedgehog. That steadied him a bit.

The lion’s exuberance isn’t a mistake (though it is mischanneled), and all the people he is given to carry aren’t a punishment, but a gift — a chance to take his joy and let it lead to service and greater joy.

But what I love best of all is the wide range of people it takes for him to be steadied. The lion isn’t simply loaded up with as many dwarves or dryads as he can bear. Instead, I have the delightful mental image of Aslan looking him over, and saying, ‘Ok, he can’t take any more dwarves, but he still needs a hedgehog’s worth of gravity to be properly grounded.'”

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