There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. I can't tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none. Eustace Clarence disliked his cousins. But he was quite glad when he heard that Edmund and Lucy were coming to stay. For deep down inside he liked bossing and bullying. Edmund and Lucy did not at all want to come and stay with Uncle Harold and Aunt Alberta. But it really couldn't be helped. The story begins on an afternoon when Edmund and Lucy were alone and talking about Narnia. You may imagine that they talked about it a good deal. They were in Lucy's room looking at a picture on the opposite wall. It was a picture of a ship sailing straight towards you."The question is," said Edmund, "whether it doesn't make things worse, looking at a Narnian ship when you can't get there." "That's a rotten picture," said Eustace Clarence, who had been listening outside the door and now came into the room. "You won't see it if you step outside," said Edmund. "Why do you like it?" said Eustace to Lucy. "I like it," said Lucy, "because the ship looks as if it was really moving. And the water looks as if it was really wet. And the waves look as if they were really going up and down." Of course Eustace knew lots of answers to this, but he didn't say anything. The reason was that at that very moment he looked at the waves and saw that they did look very much indeed as if they were going up and down. He turned rather green and tried another look. And then all three children were staring with open mouths.
The things in the picture were moving. Down went the prow of the ship into the wave and up went a great shock of spray. Lucy felt all her hair whipping round her face as it does on a windy day. And suddenly with the wind came the swishing of waves and the slap of water against the ship's sides. But it was the smell, the wild, briny smell, which really convinced Lucy that she was not dreaming. "Stop it," came Eustace's voice, squeaky with fright. "It's some silly trick you two are playing. Stop it. I'll tell Alberta - Ow!" The other two were much more accustomed to adventures, but, just exactly as Eustace Clarence said "Ow," they both said "Ow" too. The reason was that a great cold, salt splash had broken right out of the frame.
"I'll smash the rotten thing," cried Eustace. He rushed towards the picture. Edmund, who knew something about magic, sprang after him, warning him not to be a fool. Lucy grabbed him from the other side and was dragged forward. And by this time either they had grown much smaller or the picture had grown bigger. Eustace found himself standing on the frame; in front of him was real sea, and wind and waves rushing up to the frame as they might to a rock. He clutched at the other two . There was a second of struggling and shouting, and just as they thought they had got their balance a great blue roller surged up round them, swept them off their feet, and drew them down into the sea.