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How Brothers Fight

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Peter Pevensie was born in 1927, after the first war, before the depression.

Edmund was born in the summer, three years later.

This wasn't a large difference between two young boys.

Peter, 5, and Edmund, 2: Too young not to be selfish. Grabbing hands and wild tears. Toys snatched away. Screaming, but no reason. Time-outs, quickly forgotten, wordlessly forgiven.

Peter, 7, and Edmund, 4: Wrestling with their father. Pinned, held tight, breathless giggles. Careful plans from careless children, then battle charges, then shouts. "Get him!" "Peter! Help me!" Cries cut short by laughter. "Edmund!" Small hands, quick feet, but no control.

Peter, 8, and Edmund, 5: Wrestling with each other. Fierce taunts, and glinting eyes. Flying fists, wild kicks, bumped heads, and angry tears. Laughter followed by screams. It would be remiss to say their sisters didn't wage play battles with them, but there is nothing little boys like so well as a good fight. Pulled hair, and tattle-tales. Bad endings, but always the same tomorrow.

Peter, 11, and Edmund, 8: Too old, now. Too different. Opposites, arguments, annoyances. Little brothers left behind, and older brothers no longer idolized. Yelling, and pointed fingers. Separation. Angry, unskilled punches, followed by hot tears. Stomping feet and slamming doors.

Peter, 13, and Edmund, 10: Fraying at the edges, but pushed frantically together. A chasm between them, but something bigger keeping them tied. Real war, real battle, real swords. Not bruises, but cuts. Protect him, keep him safe. "Peter!" "Edmund!" Fearful and heated. Little boys arguing, wrestling with their father, suddenly grown. Kings. Brothers. "No!" Take care of him, keep him safe. Gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching.

Peter, 20, and Edmund, 17: Fighting battles still. Brothers, in blood, in heart, in arms. Confident commands, and willful execution. Swords drawn, brows sweaty, back to back. Bandaged wounds, secret last words. Turns, ducks, perfect rhythm. Protect him - raise your shield - shout a warning - keep him safe. Better now. Together now.

Peter, Edmund, children once again: Wiser hearts. Tussles, arguments, always, of course. But watchful eyes for angry fists, and an extra pair of fighting hands for when things go amiss. Perfect rhythm, but smaller now. No weapons, just hands. Just words. Shoves, shouts. Little boys, once and future kings, fighting like brothers do. Rarely eye to eye, but always back to back.