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Disclaimer: The Chronicles of Narnia and its characters do not belong to me. I'm just borrowing them for my and (I hope) my readers' amusement only and have no intention of trying to make money off of them in any way, shape or form.

Warnings: None to speak of.
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia
Rating: G

Author: The RCK
Last updated: 16 February 2013

Thanks to Hope of Dawn for beta reading.

I used the following websites for information about guinea pigs:

To the Least of These

The Wood Between Worlds wasn't truly silent. The trees whispered for those who listened carefully. The guinea pig didn't truly listen, but the sound soothed her. She nibbled on the grass. It tasted better than anything she'd ever eaten before. She wandered a little, but there was no need to go far. There was plenty of grass and plenty of water.

She'd been scared when she first arrived. The water in the pool was too deep for her to touch the bottom, and she didn't swim well. The fear didn't last long. No fear could in this place, and her strength for swimming was greater than she expected. In this place, she thought she might have strength enough for anything.

She couldn't help but notice the comings and goings of the people. They were loud and disruptive, always moving about. She didn't know why they couldn't accept the peace of this place. There couldn't be a better place anywhere, but they always seemed eager to leave.

The last time the people came, they came with a Lion. The guinea pig had no idea what a Lion was but recognized this one. He had the look of a predator, but he felt like mother and safety and all good things. The guinea pig didn't go near while the people were still there but approached quickly when the people had gone.

The Lion's breath was warm on the her body. She smelled sun and cut grass and none of the reek of dead things that she associated with carnivores. "Ah, little one." The Lion lowered His head and nuzzled the guinea pig. "You've made a great journey." Using his teeth, He carefully removed the ring taped to her fur.

She stayed completely still, not out of fear but in the certain knowledge that He wouldn't do anything to harm her.

"You don't need that any longer. Now, what do you prefer-- You may stay here. This is a part of my lands, though not truly the country where you belong. You may come home with me to be with other guinea pigs in a land all your own, or you may go back to the world you came from."

The guinea pig couldn't really remember the world she had come from, not at first. Then she remembered being taken from her siblings and handed to a man with cold hands. She remembered being in a dirty cage with too many others and not enough food. They'd bitten and scrambled over each other, fighting for space and the wilted leaves and vegetables provided. The cold handed man would come and take away one at a time and never bring them back. When he came to their cage, he often smelled of death.

She squealed a negative. She would not go back.

"It is not all like that, you know. There are kind people with gentle hands who provide good food." The Lion's tone was gentle. He didn't seem to be urging her toward that world, just offering more information.

She squealed another negative. Why take a chance? This place was fine and beautiful. Food was plentiful. She had never felt so content.

The Lion nuzzled her again. "Ah, my child. If you stay here, you will be content, but you will be alone. Time doesn't pass here, so nothing will ever change."

Change, she felt, was overrated. She wriggled happily in the grass to show how wonderful she thought it was. The Lion, she knew, would understand.

"The land of guinea pigs has much to recommend it. There are many others of your kind there, and the food is every bit as wonderful as this grass. The best carrots you ever tasted. Apples with no seeds. Lettuce and peppers and berries. Nothing spoiled or wilted."

She hesitated. As He spoke, she could smell each of the foods he mentioned. She could almost taste them. She squeaked a question without being entirely sure what she was asking.

"I would recommend either the land of guinea pigs or a return to the world from which you came. The latter will lead to the land of the guinea pigs in the end. All creatures come to my land in time."

She wondered why He was giving her a choice. She didn't expect it from those more powerful than she, and He seemed to know what was best. As she considered, what he'd said, she realized that all she truly wanted was to be close to Him. Where would she be closest to Him? She rubbed against one of his feet, silently asking the question.

"Come with me, daughter. I am always with you, no matter where you are, but you will feel me most strongly in the land of the guinea pigs. I am your home, and that place is your home, as well."

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