Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE
Some people are proud to say that they are perfectly normal. They absolutely don’t like nonsense, they drink their tea at teatime, they eat one biscuit instead of three, they wear perfectly normal clothing, and they want their home to look like a perfectly normal home. They never stretch their mind, they never take risks, they never make mistakes, and they definitely don’t want any strange and mysterious things happening inside their wardrobe.
It’s very much different when you are a dreamer, a wisher, or a magic bean buyer. You see, logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will take you eeeeeeverywhere. Just ask Albert Einstein. He knows everything about play and the universe. Or just ask us, Frederick and Sophie. We know everything about wardrobes that are not perfectly normal. Like the one that stands in our toy room.
That wardrobe is the home of a blue monster who likes to play dress up with our clothes and shoes.
He’s best friends with monsters Lila Boubou and Choukette, and together they like to make an absolute mess! The three of them are the reason why we can never find the other sock!
As soon as you open the doors to the toy room’s wardrobe, there’s a whole story with people you don’t know yet and all kinds of adventures and battles and strange cities and storms at sea. Of course you have to walk through it and push through piles of clothes until you find yourself beyond a place called The Known to find out where you’ll end up.
One day, we walked through the wardrobe together with Wally and Lila Boubou. Lila Boubou is very fluffy and you don’t really see his nose, but he has a nose for adventure. We walked into a snowy forest with one lamppost which isn’t strange at all. It’s much more strange when there isn’t a lamppost in a forest. How else can you see the snowman you build?
Our snowman’s name was Mr. Phineas Frost. He was very happy to be back in Narnia, which was the country we were in. He thought that Wally was a Faun. We understood the confusion because Wally is as hairy as Mr. Tumnus. And just like Mr. Tumnus, Wally also makes a great best friend.
Mr. Frost told us all about Aslan. Have you ever heard of him? Mr. C.S. Lewis wrote lots of stories about him. Aslan is a very kind and at the same time quite terribly scary lion. He has the most beautiful mane. His magic created Narnia, and he isn’t always there, but when he is, it feels like spring in winter. We absolutely love, love, love Aslan. That’s why we immediately said, “Yes!” when he invited us for a ride on his back. We flew all over Narnia and it was spectacular! There were hills and small rivers, beavers and unicorns, fauns and foxes, centaurs and phoenixes. We ran into a gryphon named George who flew with us for a while.
When it’s bedtime we must go back home. It’s sad to say goodbye to Narnia, but the good thing is that it’s always there. Even you can visit it. Just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and trust in extraordinary stories. Do you see it? Oh, isn’t it magnificent to be the absolutely opposite of perfectly normal?
Frederick & Sophie