Readers of the beloved Narnia series will remember a time that the land fell upon dark times. Narnia suffered the rule of a cruel Telmarine dictator. He had named himself ‘Lord Protector’ after the ambiguous death of his older brother; but had allowed the life of his nephew to continue on as he had no heir. Part of this ruler’s desire was to squash any tales that were being spread about “old Narnia”.
These tales of “Old Narnia” contained one of the most fascinating things about the Narnia series: creatures that talk. Centaurs, dwarves, fauns and Minotaur’s; trees and sea gods; beaves, foxes, bears and birds. But the most unique character among these is a little, brown mouse by the name of Reepicheep.
Readers of the series are readily able to conjure up the great storyline of this little hero. Reepicheep was first introduced in the second installment of the Narnia series, Prince Caspian. His ancestors were the mice that chewed the ropes off of Aslan at the Howe. He is a talented little creature who is consistently seen throughout the pages of Lewis’s books as valiant; sometimes to a fault.
Reepicheep was a defender. What is unique about this is his being a mouse. He is often seen as being more courageous than the Talking bears of Narnia. This is a rather humorous sight to us because we live in a world where bears eat mice. But not this little guy. He took great pride in his swift abilities and was fearless in the Narnian Revolution. At one point this pride is chided by Aslan after Reepicheep loses his tail in battle stating it is his “honour and glory….” Aslan chooses to restore the mouse to his “honour” but encourages him to be humble.
Reepicheep was also a fierce friend. In Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, we see Reepicheep take on the task of mentoring the cheeky Eustace. As the storyline pinnacles, we see Eustace succumbed by greed, steal a gold armlet which turns him into a dragon. Filled with shame and pain, Eustace is consoled by Reepicheep and encouraged to change his attitude to help others.
Finally, Reepicheep was a visionary. He is regularly seen in the books looking to the future. In the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep reaches his life’s goal by sailing over the world’s edge into Alsan’s country. One of the most memorable lines he has is in The Last Battle. After the destruction of Narnia, Reepicheep welcomes the talking beasts and kings and queens into the new Narnia. “…further up and further in!”
In everyone’s life there is a point in which they feel the Call. That unswerving, persuasive voice or action that leads them to take on new and bold challenges. The Call soon shows itself to be dependable to those who answer it. We see this in the story of Reepicheep as he sought to defend, befriend and pursue a brighter future for the Narnians he loved. We also see this in the story of Aravis as she leaves behind her life of “good” for a life of “better”.
Jordan Debbink is an author and advocate from Burlington, WI. He has spent the last 10 years working with nonprofits in many various roles but foremost as a innovator. He is the author of The Governors (c) 2014. He currently spends his time working with Pioneer Center for Human Services and the Racine Symphony Orchestra in their Development offices.