They gathered in the book. They clumped all together on the copyright page, where there was plenty of open blank space and the smaller characters – Mr. Tumnus the faun, the beavers and such – could fit between the printing year and the Library of Congress publication data. Plus, there was plenty of overflow space on the title page opposite for the more disagreeable characters such as the White Witch and the dwarf.
The White Witch always insisted on bringing her sled, which took up a lot of space. So almost all the other characters left her the title page to herself so no one got clobbered in the head when she was swinging the sled around going and coming.
Edmund sometimes sat with the White Witch. He felt sorry for her, even after he’d become a King in Narnia with his brother Peter and sisters Lucy and Susan, even after they’d all become children again and traveled back to the professor’s house in countryside England. Besides, sometimes there was a little leftover Turkish Delight, scraps really, in the bottom of the sled and he liked to see if he could get some.
They gathered when the book was shut, where there wasn’t anyone reading at the time. Lots had to be planned. Children who read the book sometimes needed a little extra boost, especially when they were on the young side for comprehension. Depending on where the reader was in the book, the characters worked out a way to bring the action to life a bit more for the reader. So they wouldn’t lose interest so quickly.
It hadn’t always been this way. Edmund sometimes got to grousing that if wasn’t fair their having to compete with video games and – heaven help them – Facebook updates. Not to mention YouTube videos.
At least that dreadful MTV isn’t such a big thing any more, Susan said helpfully.
That was horrid, Lucy agreed.
And ever since Harry Potter came along we’re getting even more readers than ever, Peter put in.
They hardly ever saw Aslan. He kept to his parts in the book – as Lucy said, He’s one to be coming and going, not one to be tied down – and besides, he had business in other lands than just in Narnia, they all knew. The other forest folk – lions, centaurs, unicorns, horses, and eagles – often stayed in the forest parts of the book minding their forest ways. They sometimes wished the Giant Rumblebuffin would stay in his own home as it made the page very crowded when he did come, but he was so good-natured they couldn’t stay annoyed at him for long.
Right then, they would say at the end of another planning session. We’re all agreed. Let’s get going then!
And more often than not the reader finished their book. Times were best when they found out the reader went on to the next book without stopping – Prince Caspian.
They knew the Prince always gave the reader a warm welcome.