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Characters I Love – Reepicheep

 

Prow of the Dawn Treader - photo by David Jackmanson, Creative Commons License (link goes to Flickr)
Prow of the Dawn Treader – photo by David Jackmanson, Creative Commons License (link goes to Flickr)

I love Reepicheep.

Reepicheep is a talking mouse who appears in three of the seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Last Battle. Reepicheep is brave, but sometimes a little too touchy about his own dignity. Eustace, who begins The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a horrible little pill, picks on Reepicheep unmercifully, and Reepicheep fights back, taking great pleasure in embarrassing Eustace. Perhaps because he’s small, surrounded by larger, stronger animals, he takes himself perhaps a little too seriously, unable to laugh at himself because he’s offended. Brave, intelligent, and accomplished, he’s not quite secure enough or mature enough to see Eustace as a bratty child desperate for attention and respect.

Eustace grows up throughout the book as he is subjected to an embarrassing, painful experience in which he must beg for help and understanding. The first character to realize his predicament and take pity on him is Reepicheep… and this is one of many reasons why I love Reep so much. Reepicheep rises to the occasion – rather than holding a grudge, he is a steadfast friend and ally. At the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep pursues Aslan (God) in a truly heroic and spectacular way.

Reepicheep has some flaws, but he’s a creature of character and integrity. He’s quick to admit his mistakes and apologize without reservation or quibbling. He’s brave in the face of overwhelming physical odds, and he’s brave in venturing friendship when there’s no real reason to believe it will be returned. He’s absolutely “sold-out” to Aslan – even though he has flaws, he ALWAYS does what he believes to be right, regardless of the cost.

That he’s a mouse who is cute enough to hug is just a bonus feature!

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