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And where are we heading for?” asked Edmund.
“Well,” said Caspian, “that’s rather a long story. Perhaps you remember that when I was a child my usurping uncle Miraz got rid of seven friends of my father’s (who might have taken my part) by sending them off to explore the unknown Eastern Seas beyond the Lone Islands.”
“Yes,” said Lucy, “and none of them ever came back.”
“Right. Well, on my coronation day, with Aslan’s approval, I swore an oath that, if once I established peace in Narnia, I would sail east myself for a year and a day to find my father’s friends or to learn of their deaths and avenge them if I could. . . . That is my main intention. But Reepicheep here has an even higher hope.”
Everyone’s eyes turned to the Mouse.
“As high as my spirit,” it said. “Though perhaps as small as my stature. Why should we not come to the very eastern end of the world? And what might we find there? I expect to find Aslan’s own country. It is always from the east, across the sea, that the great Lion comes to us.”
“I say, that is an idea,” said Edmund in an awed voice.
“But do you think,” said Lucy, “Aslan’s country would be that sort of country—I mean, the sort you could ever sail to?”
“I do not know, Madam,” said Reepicheep. “But there is this. When I was in my cradle, a wood woman, a Dryad, spoke this verse over me:
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.
“I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life.”
• From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
• Compiled in A Year with Aslan