(Excerpted from the Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis.)
In the darkness, something was happening. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard.
The voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale; cold, tingling, silvery voices. And all at once the blackness overhead was blazing with stars. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.
And now something else was happening. Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn grey. It changed from white to pink and from pink to gold. The Voice rose and rose, till all the air was shaking with it. And just as it swelled to the mightiest and most glorious sound it had yet produced, the sun arose.
Digory had never seen such a sun. You could imagine that it laughed for joy as it came up. And as its beams shot across the land the travelers could see for the first time what sort of place they were in. It was a valley through which a broad, swift river wound its way, flowing eastward towards the sun. There was not a tree, not a bush, not a blade of grass to be seen. The earth was of many colours: they were fresh, hot, and vivid. They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer himself, and then you forgot everything else.
It was a Lion. Huge, shaggy, and bright, it stood facing the risen sun, pacing to and fro about that empty land. And now it began to sing a new song. It was softer and more lilting than the song by which it had called up the stars and the sun; a gentle, rippling music. And as it walked and sang the valley grew green with grass. It spread out from the Lion like a pool. It ran up the sides of the little hills like a wave. Soon there were other things besides grass – patches of rougher and more bristling green appeared in the valley – little, spiky things that threw out dozens of arms and grew larger at the rate of about an inch every two seconds. When they were nearly as tall as Digory, he saw what they were. “Trees!” he exclaimed.
There was so much to watch and listen to. A little way off, along the river bank, willows were growing. On the other side, tangles of flowering currant, lilac, wild rose, and rhododendron.
And now the song had once more changed. It was more like what we should call a tune, but it was also far wilder.
Can you imagine a stretch of grassy land bubbling like water in a pot? For that is really the best description of what was happening. In all directions it was swelling in humps. And the humps moved and swelled till they burst. And from each hump there came a different kind of animal. The dogs came out, barking the moment their heads were free. The frogs, who all came up near the river, went straight into it with a plop-plop and a loud croaking. The panthers and leopards sat down at once to wash the loose earth off their hind quarters and then stood up against the trees to sharpen their front claws. Showers of birds came out of the trees. Butterflies fluttered. Bees got to work on the flowers as if they hadn’t a second to lose. But the greatest moment of all was when the biggest hump broke like a small earthquake and out came an elephant. And now you could hardly hear the song of the Lion; there was so much cawing, cooing, crowing, braying, neighing, baying, barking, lowing, bleating, and trumpeting.
The Lion opened his mouth, but no sound came from it; he was breathing out, a long, warm breath; it seemed to sway all the beasts as the wind sways a line of trees.
And then the deepest, wildest voice the children had ever heard was saying: “Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak.”
~ excerpted from C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew (chapters 7-8) in Chronicles of Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia series is published by HarperCollins.