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Lothíriel smoothed the soft fabric of the coverlet over her sleeping son; admiring once again the perfection of his eyelashes, feathery as a sandpiper’s wing; his silken skin; his long lovely fingers, resting on…something; a small stuffed toy she had not seen before. She carefully slipped it free to examine it more closely.
Bemused by her discovery, she did not notice Éomer’s arrival by her side. Smiling, he stretched out a finger to gently stroke the pony’s mane.
“His name is Áccorn. He belonged to our cousin Théodred when he was a boy, made for him by our grandmother Morwen. Théo’s nurse tucked Áccorn away for Théo’s own children, but he gave it instead to Éowyn, to comfort her we first arrived here. We soon realized how much she envied me my wooden sword, but still, she slept each night for years with Áccorn by her side.” His voice was soft with affection at the memory.
“This morning Winfrith brought him to me. She said that Eowyn had asked her to look for him, to see if he might not be too old and worn to be passed on. Winfrith, bless her, cleaned him and changed his stuffing, adding a bit of dried lavender to freshen him. A gift for Elfwinë, she said, from Théodred.”
“A family heirloom,” Lothíriel murmured, as he drew her close. “Not so stiff and staid as a dagger or a tapestry, but warm and alive, to a child, perfect for a young horse-lord..”
Éowyn tucked the quilt around her sleeping son, admiring once again his skin, his eyelashes, the sweet curve of his mouth; the tiny perfect fingers clutching… a small stuffed toy, something she had ever not seen in the cradle before
It cannot be, she thought, so stunned for a moment that she did not hear Faramir’s quiet footsteps as he joined her.
“When our mother passed away I slept the first few weeks with Boromir, for comfort. He didn’t sleep with the pony any more, of course, but he let me hold it; and then when I went back to my own bed, he said I could take it. It still smelled of him, a little. It always made me feel safe.”
“Even after we were older, Nanny kept all our things in good repair. I found it in a chest, wrapped in linen, along with some old puzzles and books. I don’t know why….” His voice trailed off, as if he suddenly realized why Nanny had packed everything away so carefully. “I thought I would like Elboron to have something of Boromir’s, even when he is small, to let him know how his uncle would have loved him.”
Éowyn carefully slipped the pony back under Elboron’s hand; he stirred and smiled in his sleep. When she turned to Faramir, her eyes were shining. “I had a pony, a match to this one,” Éowyn whispered. “It was my cousin’s. He gave it to me when I needed comfort. I never imagined there could be two of them, and that I would find one here. It is fitting, though, that our son should have it, a family heirloom, for our Elboron is a horse-lord as well.”
A birthday gift for Thevina, January 2006
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