With the soft crunch of snow under his feet Ben turned left to arrive home and instead found himself nose to nose with a strange looking man, hairy legs, red scarf loosely thrown around his shoulders, bare chest carrying a bundle of books tied with string. Except he wasn’t a man, his legs had quite a bestial look to them.
When the strange looking man realised Ben was in his way he let out a little yelp and presently dropped his books all over the floor.
Ben, being the polite soul that he is, bent down to pick up the books one by one and furtively looked at the spines to see if any of these were books he’d read before. The man picked up his umbrella and fixed Ben with a quizzical look.
“Are you alright?” asked Ben quietly to the other person.
The fawn looked about him, for he was a fawn, half man, half goat.
“Er, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Tumnus.”
Ben smiled broadly, stuck out his hand and said “Pleased to meet you Mister Tumnus. I’m Ben Whitehouse. People often mistakenly think my surname is Brum but that’s a slight error on their part”
The fawn half smiled, looked at Ben’s outstretched hand and clearly didn’t know what was expected next.
Ben quietly offered the suggestion “You shake it”. The fawn took Ben’s hand and waggled it from left to right instead of the correct up and down motion of a polite handshake.
Ben glanced furtively at the fawn’s legs. “If you don’t mind my asking what are you?”
Mister Tumnus politely replied “I’m a fawn. And what about you? Are you a dwarf?”
With eyes rolling Ben replied “No, I’m a bloke. I know I’m short but no need to call me a dwarf”.
At this Mister Tumnus shuddered and said “You mean to say you’re a son of Adam? You mean to say you’re human?”
Ben looked himself up and down. He was wearing a blue duffel coat, black Wellington boots and carrying a small dunlop shoulder bag he gestured at himself as if to say ‘but of course’.
Mister Tumnus asked Ben “What are you doing here?”
To which he politely replied “Well, I was walking home from work at the council, turned over here *points off* to head home and bumped into you.”
“The council? Is that part of Narnian culture? I’ve never heard of it.”
Ben replies wearily “Narnia? Oh, crap. Have I walked into a book again?” As he looks about himself he says, “I keep doing this. Last week I accidentally wandered into one of the circles of hell and ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes…”