Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Love & Dignity

Reepicheep the mouse, after a battle in the novel Prince Caspian, loses his tail and along with that his honor.

He begs for Aslan to restore his dignity because "a tail is the honour and glory of a Mouse."  Though Aslan questions if this is really necessary he is taken aback by the other mice who are willing to cut off their own tails if the Chief must go without his.  One in the group, Peepiceek, states "We will not bear the shame of wearing an honour which is denied to the High Mouse."

What loyalty!

Aslan's response is one worthy of notation (in fact I have multiple lines and stars littering the page of my book here).  He agrees, stating "You have conquered me.  You have great hearts.  Not for the sake of your dignity, Reepicheep, but for the love that is between you and your people, and still more for the kindness your people showed me long ago when you ate away the cords that bound me on the Stone Table (and it was then, though you have long forgotten it, that you began to be Talking Mice), you shall have your tail again."

I love Aslan's reasoning in giving this bit of dignity back to Reepicheep.  It's not for his own gain, but because of the camaraderie among his own.  The loyalty of the mice towards their leader shows tremendous love.  They are willing to cut off their own tails and sacrifice their own bits of dignity to show loyalty and love towards their leader.

It makes me question what lengths I am willing to go to to honor my Chief.  Would I cut off my own tail (figuratively speaking, of course, because that would be weird if I had a tail)?  Am I willing to lose dignity and honor among my own?  And would I even first think of doing such a degrading thing to honor my king without his asking.  After all, Reepicheep didn't ask his fellow mice to cut their tails off - they thought of that on their own.  Am I even that thoughtful?

I suppose I took this as a bit of a devotion.  I keep getting drawn back to this particular passage and the loyalty and love represented among groups of people (and animals) throughout the Narnia novels.



  1. I think it's a great example of loyalty. It kind of reminds me of friends and family who shave their heads when someone is facing cancer as a sign of solidarity.