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Reepicheep the Talking Mouse is probably the most courageous and valiant character in the entire Narnia series. Many times, in the books where he appears (Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), the omniscient narrator or other characters mention how fearless and heroic he is. For example:

As no one had ever known Reepicheep to be afraid of anything, he could say this without feeling at all awkward. But the boys who had all been afraid quite often, grew very red.

-- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter IX

I seem to recall a passage somewhere in the books themselves where he, or another small Talking Animal, mentions that the reason for his personality is that one so small as a Mouse must be exceptionally brave in order to be respected at all - he'll never gain respect for his physicality, so he must be the fiercest warrior in all of Narnia in order to gain the undying respect that pretty much everyone has for him. Or maybe it was in some analysis of the Narnia series rather than in the original books. Does anyone else know what quote I'm talking about? I feel like some aspects of it could be well applied to humans in real life as well.

The title of my question is a short version: I'd be interested in general analyses of why Reepicheep is the way he is, but particularly interested to find the exact quote I remember that explains it.

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    Perhaps you're thinking about when Reepicheep talks to Aslan after having lost his tail? "Highest of all High Kings," said Reepicheep, "permit me to remind you that a very small size has been bestowed on us Mice, and if we did not guard our dignity, some (who weigh worth by inches) would allow themselves very unsuitable pleasantries at our expense. That is why I have been at some pains to make it known that no one who does not wish to feel this sword as near his heart as I can reach shall talk in my presence about Traps or Toasted Cheese or Candles: no, Sir - not the tallest fool in Narnia!"
    – Showsni
    Jan 22 at 21:33
  • @Showsni I think that's got to be it! Post it as an answer please :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 22 at 21:46

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I believe that I can answer the short version of this question, identifying the quote. There is a passage towards the end of Prince Caspian, where, having lost his tail in battle, Reepicheep explains (to Aslan himself!) why mice must guard their dignity in order to be taken seriously:

"Highest of all High Kings," said Reepicheep, "permit me to remind you that a very small size has been bestowed on us Mice, and if we did not guard our dignity, some (who weigh worth by inches) would allow themselves very unsuitable pleasantries at our expense. That is why I have been at some pains to make it known that no-one who does not wish to feel this sword as near his heart as I can reach shall talk in my presence about Traps or Toasted Cheese or Candles: no, Sir — not the tallest fool in Narnia!"

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