In C. S. Lewis's novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, of The Chronicles of Narnia series, four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, pass through the wardrobe's portal to find the kingdom of Narnia imprisoned under the spell of the White Witch. Aslan the lion, who is the king of Narnia, is nowhere to be found. Although rumor has it "He is on the move," he appears to have abandoned his kingdom to the White Witch, who spends her leisure time turning the inhabitants into lawn statuary.
The four children set out to explore this strange and somewhat frightening new country that is locked under evil's spell. They come upon Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, a husband and wife still faithful to Aslan. The Beavers assure the children that Aslan is about to return to set things right and that prophecy suggests that they have a very important, even central part to play in the drama about to unfold. Indeed, they learn they are to actually rule with Aslan from Cair Paravel itself, Aslan's royal city.
Faced with all this fearful yet exciting news, Lucy and Susan's thoughts go to what Aslan is actually like. If he is a king who is safe, they reason, that will certainly be of great comfort in light of the battle being all but lost.
"Is—is he a man?" asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
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