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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 43:  By the Water

Elrohir put back his head and smiled as the sun warmed his face while he relaxed on the tongue of rock jutting out into the gurgling river.  Below him, his daughters giggled as they tossed stones into the water and his wife’s soft voice warned them to be careful. 

‘It is a good day, is it not, my brother?’ Elladan sprang lightly over the jagged edges to stand beside him.

‘It is,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘Adar has shown his customary wisdom in seeing that we needed to get away from mundane matters for a time.’  He turned slightly and rested on one elbow.  ‘What have you done with your wife and son, my brother?’

‘Elrin has joined Galenthil and our over-sized squirrel friend in the trees.  Eleniel clearly longed to join them, but was not invited, so she has come to sit primly beside her naneth and aunts.’

‘It seems unfair,’ Elrohir objected.

Elladan grinned.  ‘Oh, come now, my brother,’ he insisted. ‘Recall yourself at the same age – would we have welcomed an elleth in our play?’

‘I concede,’ his brother said, raising his hand.  ‘It is only in relatively recent years that I have been willing to accept ellyth into our games.  But it still seems unfair to leave Eleniel out of the fun.’

‘She will unite with your daughters in a moment,’ Elladan said easily.  ‘And now that Miriwen and Elerrina have arrived to distract Sirithiel, the three of them will be off on some evil little scheme of their own before we know it.’

A faint flicker of movement attracted Elrohir’s attention.  ‘Have we any nuts?’ he enquired loudly, flicking a finger towards a nearby oak. ‘It is the only way to entice such creatures from the trees, you know.’

Two giggles were accompanied by a disdainful sniff.  ‘Noldor mud-huggers,’ Legolas called.

‘Silvan tree-scamperer,’ Elladan returned the insult.

‘At least your son has had the good sense to take after his naneth,’ their friend added, leaping easily from the branches and joining them on the rocks.  ‘Keep within your limits,’ he advised, turning back to the trees.  ‘I will come back later – after I have told these two what I think of them.’

‘And what do you think of us?’ Elrohir asked idly as the rustle of leaves disappeared into the distance.

‘It is just as well they have no reason to hide,’ Legolas commented disapprovingly.  ‘They are extremely noisy.’  He turned away from the trees.  ‘What do I think of you? That you make good friends, of course.’   He sat down on a flat rock and drew up one knee, wrapping his arms round it and lapsing into a comfortable silence.

Elladan grinned.  ‘Your daughter is less than happy with you,’ he observed as he watched Eleniel glance up at them and pout.

‘I am carefully not looking in her direction,’ Legolas admitted. ‘Galenthil has to give way to her far too often as it is, and I am not about to insist that Elrin should take her under his wing.’  He glanced at the twins.  ‘I used to envy you two dreadfully, you know,’ he informed them.  ‘You had always had each other as friends and companions and you were never on your own, as I was – but having my own pair has shown me that there are disadvantages.’

Elrohir turned towards him.  ‘In some ways,’ he agreed easily.  ‘But I would say they are greatly outweighed by the good points.

‘Are you suggesting,’ Elladan said in amazement, ‘that there have been times when you would have wished not to be a twin?’

‘Not often,’ his brother told him reassuringly.  ‘But it is not easy growing up as the second of a pair.  It takes time to develop your understanding of your own place.  With Galenthil and Eleniel it is different, because they are elleth and ellon and no-one expects them to be the same, but they are still learning how they relate to each other.’

‘And Eleniel learned early the feminine skill of managing the males in her life,’ Legolas said dryly.  ‘Her daeradar’s training has proved even more effective than watching her naneth manipulate me.’

‘Keep your foot down,’ Elladan recommended. ‘It will not do at all for her to see you as an easy conquest.’    He grinned.  ‘Like my brother.’

‘It takes a naneth to manage daughters,’ Elrohir said lazily.  ‘I have decided that the task is beyond me.  I will give them unconditional love and approval and allow Sirithiel to wield authority.  And when we both run out of ideas, I shall send them to stay with Daernaneth.’

Legolas looked at him with respect.  ‘That is a battle plan worthy of the greatest minds, my friend,’ he said. ‘Would your Daeradar not be suspicious of your motives?’

‘Highly suspicious,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘But there would not be a thing he could do to prevent it.’

‘Of course,’ his brother told him after several minutes thought.  ‘You do realise that there would be a chance of receiving back into your care two ellyth who had learned all that the Lady Galadriel could teach them.  I am not certain that I would consider that to be an improvement.’

Elrohir smiled ruefully.  ‘Perhaps you are right,’ he sighed.  ‘Maybe I will have to reconsider all the possibilities of the idea.’


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