By Duncan Rize
Many of the magical creatures in Narnia seem quite innocent and child-like. Only Aslan and the Beavers seem to have an understanding of the world and its dangers. The Beavers are old and sensible and they become the children’s guides in Narnia. The Beavers represent the voice of the Church in Narnia as they instruct the children in the conflict between God and Satan which is occurring in Narnia. They also explain how the Witch, who represents Satan, has brought the land under her evil spells. It is also the Beavers who explain, for the first time, to the children that they have a legendary destiny ahead of them; they are to be crusaders for God.
Mr. Beaver is waiting for the children when they enter Narnia. It turns out that he is a friend of Mr. Tumnus’s and he shows them Lucy’s handkerchief as proof. Mr. Beaver is a staunch supporter of Aslan and very much as enemy of the White Witch but he is too cautious to speak of such things in the open so he leads the children back to his home at the dam.
Once at the Beaver’s home the children are greeted by Mrs. Beaver who has hot food ready for them. Mrs. Beaver is a very practical animal who keeps her cool under pressure. While Mr. Beaver is telling the children about Aslan, Edmund slips away. When his siblings discover that he is missing, they immediately decide to search for him. Mr. Beaver immediately realizes that Edmund has betrayed them and he cautions the children that the only way to save Edmund is to meet with Aslan. The children and Mr. Beaver are in a hurry to escape from the Witch but Mrs. Beaver forces them to wait long enough to gather supplies. She has the foresight to know that they will be cold and hungry before their long journey is over. Mrs. Beaver illustrates the importance of the biblical virtue of patience.
Mr. Beaver leads the entire group on a long, dark trek through the forest. He keeps the children to the lower valleys and the undergrowth where the White Witch can’t follow them. By using his wits he manages to get the entire group to Aslan safe and sound. In the story, the Beavers represent the virtues of using one’s mind and planning ahead. Without the Beavers, the children would surely have been caught by Maugrim or the Witch.
Mr. Beaver is also the only one to speak his mind openly in front of Aslan. He is frank about his distrust of the Witch, even when no else has the courage to speak up.
Mr. Beaver’s wisdom and forthrightness make him an excellent guide for the children. Mr. Beaver is the spiritual guide of the children as they journey towards God. He has the wisdom and the moral fortitude of a holy man. It is Mr. Beaver who provides an example of true generosity and courage.
Duncan Rize loves the writings of C.S. Lewis and works with the marketing group at www.LearningByGrace.org. Learning by Grace manages of a number of internationally known online K-12 academies including www.TheGraceAcademy.org, www.TheJubileeAcademy.org, www.TheMorningStarAcademy.org and www.TheNarniaAcademy.org . This article is © 2005 ELRN, Inc. and may be quoted in whole or part as long as the author (Duncan Rize) and source (www.TheNarniaAcademy.org) are credited.