A Table in the Presence of My Enemies

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Chapter 7 - A Day with the Beavers

The beaver is far more aware of the danger of evil than the children are, yet. At the beginning of this chapter he wants them quiet and further in. At the very end he is glad it is snowing so the enemy can't track them.

Edmund continues to resist following the beaver, with his demand for absolute certainty: "how do we KNOW?" The beaver has Tumnus' handkerchief, which will satisfy the question for the normal person, but not one bewitched by Turkish Delight.

The separation is made vastly more acute by the mention of Aslan. He "has enormous meaning," without their even knowing about Him. Edmund is horrified. Peter is brave and adventurous. Susan feels a delightful smell or sound. Lucy has the joy of holidays. The 3 now willingly follow Mr Beaver. At his dam, the children see the smoke and think of dinner; but even though Edmund wants food, too, he instead notices the two hills and valley the witch pointed him toward before. While sin tempts you with physical delights, it always keeps you from fully enjoying or receiving them.

The beavers are gloriously humble and homely. Mrs Beaver says, "So you've come at last! At last! To thnk that ever I should live to see this day!" This is like Simeon and Anna speaking of the Messiah in the temple. 

Lewis well describes the goodness of the physical world. Peter helps Mr Beaver get some fish while the girls help in the kitchen. A healthy appetite and the hard work to satisfy it with a delicious meal come through well - new-caught fish, drained the potatoes, sticky marmalade roll, kettle onto the fire, creamy milk (Mr Beaver stuck to beer), and "there's nothing to beat good freshwater fish if you eat it when it has been alive half an hour ago and has come out of the pan half a minute ago." Mr Beaver takes his tea and pipe after the beer and "a long sigh of contentment" from all (no scruples here!).  Edmund is absent from all this in writing, though actually there eating. he is hanging back from fellowship, from taking part in this world, because he belongs more and more to another.

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