A Little Happier: A Reminder from a Favorite Moment in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

I’m a huge fan of children’s and young-adult literature. I’m in three book groups where we discuss children’s and YA literature. I read those books all the time — and I also re-read my favorites, over and over.

One of my very favorite scenes in children’s literature — and maybe all literature — is in C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It’s an enormously satisfying scene, and it’s also a very good reminder: If all else fails, we can try minding our own business.

Here’s the conversation, if you want to read it:

The Professor says, “There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

The children continue to explain why they don’t accept Lucy’s story.

“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”

“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

“But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds — all over the place, just round the corner — like that?”

“Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

“But what are we to do?” said Susan. She felt that the conversation was beginning to get off the point.

“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

“What’s that?” said Susan.

“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

After this things were a good deal better for Lucy.

Whenever I’m not sure how to address a tricky situation involving other people, I always remind myself, “I might try minding my own business.” It surprises me how often that advice works.

Do you love the Narnia books as much as I do?

Which is your favorite? For me, it’s a toss-up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Magician’s Nephew.

If you’re a fan of children’s/YA literature, you can check out my list of my 81 favorite books here. So many wonderful books.

Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

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Happier listening!

  • statmam

    IIRC seasons played an important role in that story. When the kingdom of Narnia was ruled by evil, it was always winter but never Christmas. The first sign of impending deliverance was the arrival of Christmas followed by the coming of spring. Also wasn’t it bad weather that led to the discovery of the wardrobe’s secret in the first place?

  • Julina S

    It just cracks me up that your “toss-up” is between 4 of the 7 books. Basically, it seems safe to say you don’t have a favorite, you just love the series. Haha!

    I also love the Narnia series, need to re-read them, but I think my favorite is the original, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”

    Thanks for sharing this

  • Kelsey

    I love how Lewis uses his trilemma at the begin of this passage! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s_trilemma
    So very cool. 🙂

  • Megann Willson

    Definitely The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – so much that as part of my French practice, I read it for the umpteenth time – but in French.

  • EvaWhit

    Yes, love them. I think the first one best. Though the scene when Peter and Susan leave Narnia for the last time is SO sad!

  • Melanie

    Love them so much! I’m reading them to my kids now.

  • AmberLynn

    I haven’t yet read the Narnia Series, but have really enjoyed reading books that I missed in my childhood to my own children.

  • Eric Elwood

    Very few books have been life changing for me, the chronicles did and do. I enjoyed Lewis’s space trilogy very much but Narnia is where I still find peace and hope. For different reasons I enjoyed Susan Cooper and her “Dark is Rising” series, Lloyd Alexander and the Taran books and Alan Garner’s books as well, all Anglo-Saxon mythology based but all proper coming-of-age stories that actually help us come-of-age…as for Lewis’s “trilemma” noted in your passage, I quoted it today to a Unitarian that hadn’t heard it before and it seemed to connect in a significant way.

  • Libby

    I’m a big C.S. Lewis fan, of all his books including his YA books. My favorite of the Narnian Chronicles is: A Horse and His Boy.

    • Holland Webb

      Mine, too!

  • Bright

    I loved CS Lewis when I was a boy. It’s funny, your comment about re-reading books really struck a chord with me. When I was a boy I loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I read it again and again and again. For me it was Aslan’s nobility that stole my heart. The way he gave his life so that Edward would be spared. Even know the passages around how he slowly walked to his death sadden me. The part where the mice chew away his bonds on the Stone Table was simply magical. What’s even more Awe inspiring. I wrote a children’s book last year, and it’s been published in the New Year. Seeing life the way children see life is wonderful and incredibly liberating.