As the Faun (Mr. Tumnus) scrambles to pick up all his parcels, he asks Lucy if she is a “Daughter of Eve.” She replies that her name is Lucy, and the Faun clarifies his question—he wants to know if she is a human girl. Puzzled, Lucy says she is of course human. The Faun is “delighted”; he has never seen a “Son of Adam” or a “Daughter of Eve” before.
The fact that Narnians refer to humans as “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve” is part of Lewis’s Christian allegory—humans are created in God’s image (like Adam and Eve from the Book of Genesis) and are thus divine beings in Narnia.
The faun introduces himself to Lucy as Mr. Tumnus, and asks why Lucy has come to Narnia. Lucy asks what Narnia is, and Mr. Tumnus explains Narnia is the name of the realm she has entered into—it stretches from the lamp-post to the “great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea.” Lucy tells Mr. Tumnus that she came through the wardrobe in the spare room—Mr. Tumnus says he has never heard of the “far land of Spare Oom” or the “bright city of War Drobe,” but warns Lucy they will catch cold if they stay outside talking too much longer. He invites her to come back to his home for some tea and cake, and Lucy accepts his offer.
Mr. Tumnus is clearly ignorant of the existence of the “real” world Lucy comes from. Nevertheless, knowing that she is a Daughter of Eve—and thus holds a special, revered place in the world of Narnia—he wants to help her and provide her with food, comfort, and shelter. This moment also shows Lucy’s inquisitive and trusting nature, as she willingly accompanies a strange creature she just met to his home.
Mr. Tumnus leads Lucy to the warm cave where he lives. He boils tea and makes a delicious meal, and while Lucy eats, he regales her with stories of life in the forest, telling her all about fantastic creatures who live in Narnia: Nymphs, Dryads, Dwarves, and even Bacchus himself call the Narnian woods home. Mr. Tumnus plays his flute for Lucy, and soon she realizes that she has been inside his cave for several hours, eating and drinking and being merry. Lucy tells Mr. Tumnus she must return home, but Mr. Tumnus attempts to stop her. Lucy becomes frightened, and insists on leaving. Mr. Tumnus’s eyes fill with tears, and he begins sobbing.
Lucy is having a grand time at Mr. Tumnus’s house, and believes that they are friends. However, when she asks to leave, the mood in the room changes dramatically, and it becomes clear that something in Narnia—or at least with Mr. Tumnus—is very, very wrong.
Lucy offers Mr. Tumnus a handkerchief and asks what the matter is. He confesses through his tears that he has done a horrible thing and been a “bad Faun.” He reveals to Lucy that he is in the service of the White Witch—the despotic ruler of Narnia who has made it “always winter and never Christmas” in the land. Mr. Tumnus works as a kidnapper for the Witch, and vowed that if a human ever entered Narnia, he would capture them on her behalf. Mr. Tumnus admits that he was planning to wait until Lucy fell asleep before running to tell the White Witch he had at last found a Daughter of Eve in the wood.
Lucy asks Mr. Tumnus to let her go home. He says that he of course will, though if he is found out, the White Witch will inflict horrible punishments upon him, and may even turn him into a statue—he worries he will remain stone “until the four thrones at Cair Paravel are filled,” an event that seems as if it will never happen at all. Mr. Tumnus offers to bring Lucy back to the lamp-post, but warns her they must go quietly—the whole wood is full of the Witch’s spies.
Mr. Tumnus agrees to help bring Lucy to safety, even though it means that his own well-being may be jeopardized. Moreover, his revelation about the prophecy regarding Cair Paravel seems to portend that Susan, Edmund, and Peter will soon have roles to play in Narnia, as well.
At the lamp-post, Mr. Tumnus apologizes again to Lucy, and asks for her forgiveness. Lucy wishes Mr. Tumnus well and bids him goodbye, returning through the wardrobe. Soon she feels the fur coats surrounding her, and jumps out of the wardrobe and back into the empty room where everything started. It is still raining; she can hear the voices of her siblings in the hall, and she calls to them, announcing that she has returned.
As Lucy tumbles back through the wardrobe, she is disoriented and excited. She has gained wisdom about something her siblings are ignorant of—as the youngest, she is rarely in this position, and she is thrilled about it.