We explored many of the secret places in this way today, Thomas always a little way ahead, Matthew forever pulling me along, desperate to be as fast as his biggest brother. Poor James was not in the mood today, too tired and four-years-old to put in much effort. But he valiantly tried to keep up, and barely complained at all, just content to rest by my side every so often.
James and Matthew were just finishing off their ice-lollies when Thomas came hurtling over to us, from the direction of the memorial, face alight, and excitement bristling in every fibre.
'You've got to come and see this ... it's amazing!' he screeched.
'What is it? What is it?' We were all on our feet in a heartbeat, eager to follow our fearless leader into the deepest depths of any dangerous place his imagination could conjure up for us.
'I've found the place I've been looking for, for my secret hideout!' he said, leaping up into the air, then bouncing from one foot to the other, itching to show us his latest discovery.
We followed eagerly, knowing that it must be something very cool, as Thomas didn't do ordinary. We watched him disappear into the trees to the left of the memorial, looked at each other for the briefest of seconds, and then darted in after him. What we saw took my breath for a moment, and left me a little staggered
'Oh Thomas ...' I breathed, 'you've found Narnia!'
He whirled round to look at me, confusion in his eyes for a moment. And then he grinned, realising that I was right. He had led us to the ruins of Cair Paravel. We wouldn't have found it in any old trees; it had to be these trees, with the sunlight breaking through and making a mottled pattern on the pine needle carpet, and the monstrous white stones of the monument rising up through the canopy. It was perfect.
We started to look for Aslan.