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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 37:  Keeping Vigil

Legolas relaxed in the angle of a broad branch and rested his head back against the trunk of the tree, allowing its night song to flow through him in its muted restfulness.  He watched the moon rise over the wide lake, turning the flat water to an argent pathway.

‘It is a beautiful night,’ Elladan said softly from below.

‘Come up, my friend,’ Legolas murmured.  ‘It is even more beautiful from here.’

‘Can you not sleep?’  Elladan climbed efficiently, although without the lightness that took Legolas so easily into the canopy.

Legolas waved his hand.  ‘It still seems wrong to consider sleeping unguarded in the woods.  I might find it easier to accept once the elflings are confident enough to sleep in the trees.’

‘Galenthil shows promise in scouting.’  Elladan allowed his eyes to absorb the scene in front of him, but kept his hearing alert.

‘It seems a pity, in some ways, that it is a skill of which he will have little need.’

‘Oh, I do not know,’ Elladan tilted his head.  ‘It has uses beyond seeking orcs.’

‘It would have been simpler,’ Elrohir remarked as he settled between them, ‘to have set a proper guard.  As it is, none of us will get any rest.’

‘Still – no matter, just as long as the elflings remain asleep.’  Legolas leaned over to watch them between the branches.  ‘We can enjoy the peace of the night and watch the stars.’

Elrohir looked at the nest of elflings rolled in their blankets on the soft moss of the little glade.  ‘They look so innocent while they sleep,’ he said wonderingly.

‘Even though we know better,’ his brother concluded.

‘Elerrina’s brother was telling us tales of things she did as an elfling,’ Legolas said idly.  ‘It destroys her theory that all their bad behaviour is down to my influence. Adar was moved to say that he was thankful that he had not had the rearing of her.’

‘Although,’ Elladan grinned, ‘Miriwen has told me various things about your early years that you had gone to considerable lengths to keep quiet.’

‘If that is true,’ his friend told him, ‘then I shall certainly return the favour.  I would hate Miriwen to delude you into believing that she was a sweet and obedient little elleth.’

A string of babbled words made the three adars focus on those in their care, but Nimloth simply brushed at the air and turned over, her silver-fair locks spread out in the moonlight.  Elrin lifted his head and stared blankly for a moment before relaxing back into sleep.

‘Elrin reminds me of Estel,’ Legolas murmured.  ‘He feels a responsibility for all that happens round him.’

‘It is odd, is it not,’ Elladan said softly, ‘that there should be such a resemblance between two whose kinship is so remote.  If he were like Eldarion it would not be such a surprise, since he was our sister’s son as well as Estel’s, but he is clearly an elven Estel.’

‘I see something of Arwen in Eleniel,’ Elrohir remarked, ‘which is even odder in a way, for at least Estel was raised as our brother.’

‘I see what you mean,’ Legolas considered. ‘Although I had not thought of it before. She has Arwen’s fierce loyalty.’

‘And her quiet determination,’ Elladan pointed out.  ‘Nimloth throws herself into battle to get what she wants and, as often as not, suffers ignominious defeat before she bounces back to try again, but Eleniel just persists sweetly and resolutely until she achieves her goal.’

Legolas laughed.  ‘You have just described yourself, my friend as well as Nimloth – did you realise how like you your niece is turning out to be?  And Aewlin is like her ada. She is just as dogged as Nimloth, but slightly more receptive to what others have to say.’

‘I would be offended if what you say was not so true,’ Elrohir sighed.  ‘And if Galenthil was not so much like his adar.’

‘Thranduil says the same thing,’ Legolas agreed ruefully.  ‘He said he is looking forward to my having to deal with the trials of adolescence – and he has warned me that he will do nothing to aid me in my suffering.  I think he looks on the prospect as a reward for all the trouble I gave him as I was growing up.’

‘I would not be without them, though,’ Elrohir said as he watched them sleep.  ‘They drive me to distraction – and at times I wonder if I am capable of helping them grow up to be the people they should become – but life before them seems rather empty.’

‘They certainly help life avoid becoming dull,’ Elladan agreed cheerfully. ‘I think we should make a point of trying not to lose them in the forest after all.’

‘If you insist,’ Legolas laughed.  ‘We will keep careful watch over them.’

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