For Eustace

When C.S. Lewis said this,

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – often far more –worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.

did he know how many of us would echo him, enthusiastically pointing to Narnia? Perhaps he did. Consider this dedication that he wrote for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:

To Lucy Barfield
My Dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be

your affectionate Godfather,
C.S. Lewis

I stumbled across this piece by John Savoie over at Umbrella Journal earlier this week. And I, too.

FOR EUSTACE
(by John Savoie)

I, too, have been a dragon
and slept among jewels
dappled like a chill stream
flowing all green and gold
over my jeweled skin.

I, too, have touched the ones
I love, tenderly, with claws,
with eyes of hoard and cave,
coughed my thoughts in fumes
and chased us into solitude.

I, too, kept my light within
till it pressed upon itself
like diamond smoldering deep
in earth, the golden breeze
shrunk to fierce black flame.

I, too, have beaten the air
with leathery wings yet never
flown outside my dragon skin;
hated the hateful dragon glaring
from the steep mountain pool;

turned teeth and claws on self
to strip the mocking scales;
dug and sloughed and dug
again, but always I was
dragon’s heart in dragon skin.

And I, too, have known the Lion,
felt Lion claw and Lion breath
(a dragon seems so small),
taken the stark half-blind plunge
and died the sweet dragon death.

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