Once upon a time...yes, this sounds like a fairytale, doesn't it? A story of morals for the children, perhaps a romance myth for the dreamers. But let it be known straight-out before one more word of this legend is spoken that this is not quite a fairy story.
If the story were muddled, if someone added elements of happiness that did not actually exist in full,then yes, it might just be one. Really, it depends on what each reader perceives to be a fairytale; if you think fairytales are cheerful and always filled with natural goodness in its heroes and happiness in its heroines, then you will come to see very quickly that this is most certainly not one. Yet, in case you should look back in time to the oldest of the genre and believe drama, betrayal,despair, and darkness to be the elements that make up a fairytale, maybe you would see a glimmer of a fairytale in this story after all.
Regardless, this is how it began; once upon a time...there was a noble Narnian village in the north-western woods, which was known to all as the Lantern Waste.
Now this village was considered noble because it wasn't generally a commoner's village; many families ofnoble birth (counts, dukes, marquises, retired knights, and others) had made their home there. In other words, far away though they were from the Narnian Court, the castle of Cair Paravel, it's capitol, most of them would have been heartily welcomed there if they should venture that far (and indeed, from time to time-for various reasons-some of them did).
One household living in the Lantern Wastewas the Pevensie family. Count Pevensie, his wife Countess Helen Pevensie, and their two children; Sir Peter Wolf's-bane Pevensie (he was-at fifteen-a knight of Cair Paravel but had come back to the northwest to be with his family and friends until his presence was required) and, of course, little Lady Lucy Pevensie-she was only eight years old.
They all lived in a cottage that, while on thesmallish side (for such a wealthy family's estate), was very grandly made. It had been built by Count Pevensie's great great grandfather in the olden days of Narnia and he was very proud of it. It had four square rooms on the first floor, three on the top, and one large roundly-shaped bedroom also on the second floor. The walls were made of thick pine-two of them had crimson tapestries hemmed withgold thread hanging on them-and the doorways were arched and prettily carved. The round-room, which happened to be the children's bedroom, had walls carved with ivy-patterns and a ceiling painted brightly with faux-stars against an ebony-felt backdrop.
The kitchen had an iron hanger that held golden pots above a hard-pressed brass sink with glittering silver knobs and a faucet in the shape of aLion's head, its mouth open.
Their housemaid, Dame Macready, was taking out the white breakfast china and the gold-plated sausage forks on the morning this story begins, and was cross to see Peter and Lucy weren't up yet. As they were in her charge whenever the Count and Countess were out (they were only out for a morning stroll, but still) of the cottage, she found it frustrating that they weren'talready awake, sitting at the table properly, waiting for their breakfast to be served.
"Peter! Lucy!" shouted Dame Macready, knocking on the side of the cookery with a cast-iron soup-spoon. "Get up you lazy bones, or your parents will hear of this! I'll not call again!"
"I bet..." Peter murmured sarcastically, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he sat up in the large petal-and-feather-stuffedbed he shared with Lucy. "And here I thought I'd get more rest returning home, silly me."
Normally, Peter was much more of a morning person, but his training at Cair Paravel had involved some late-night drills, and while he wasn't a night-owl by nature, his senses of day and night had been a bit thrown-off and he was a little short on sleep.
Lucy sat up and smiled at him as she had every...