The girls watched them out of sight, standing close beside Aslan. The light was changing. Low down in the east, Aravir, the morning star of Narnia, gleamed like a little moon. Aslan, who seemed larger than before, lifted his head, shook his mane, and roared.
The sound, deep and throbbing at first like an organ beginning on a low note, rose and became louder, and then far louder again, till the earth and air were shaking with it. It rose up from that hill and floated across all Narnia. Down in Miraz's camp men woke, stared palely in one another's faces, and grasped their weapons. Down below that in the Great River, now at its coldest hour, the heads and shoulders of the nymphs, and the great weedy-bearded head of the river-god, rose from the water. Beyond it, in every field and wood, the alert ears of rabbits rose from their holes, the sleepy heads of birds came out from under wings, owls hooted, vixens barked, hedgehogs grunted, the trees stirred. In towns and villages mothers pressed babies close to their breasts, staring with wild eyes, dogs whimpered, and men leaped up groping for lights. Far away on the northern frontier the mountain giants peered from the dark gateways of their castles.
What Lucy and Susan saw was a dark something coming to them from almost every direction across the hills. It looked first like a black mist creeping on the ground, then like the stormy waves of a black sea rising higher and higher as it came on, and then, at last, like what it was woods on the move. All the trees of the world appeared to be rushing towards Aslan. But as they drew nearer they looked less like trees; and when the whole crowd, bowing and curtsying and waving thin long arms to Aslan, were all around Lucy, she saw that it was a crowd of human shapes. Pale birch-girls were tossing their heads, willowwomen pushed back their hair from their brooding faces to gaze on Aslan, the queenly beeches stood still and adored him, shaggy oak-men, lean and melancholy elms, shockheaded hollies (dark themselves, but their wives all bright with berries) and gay rowans, all bowed and rose again, shouting, "Aslan, Aslan!" in their various husky or creaking or wave-like voices.
~C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian, (1951)
Illustrations by Pauline Baynes
On this day:
1951 Prince Caspian (the second volume written in The Chronicles of Narnia) is published by Geoffrey Bles, London.
Pauline Baynes on Lewis:
"As I remember, he only once asked for an alteration-- and then with many apologies--when I (with my little knowledge) had drawn one of the characters rowing a boat facing the wrong direction!
When he did criticize, it was put over so charmingly, that it wasn't a criticism, i.e. I did the drawings as best I could...and didn't realize how hideous I had made the children--they were as nice as I could get them--and Dr. Lewis said, when we were starting on the second book, 'I know you made the children rather plain--in the interests of realism--but do you think you could possibly pretty them up a little now?'"
~Pauline Baynes, Letter to Walter Hooper, August 15, 1967