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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 45: Dates

‘I suppose we should be grateful to his Highness the Woodland Prince for finally deigning to spend some of his precious time visiting us lesser folk,’ Elladan teased.

‘Such graciousness on his part,’ Elrohir agreed.

‘Oh, be quiet!’ Legolas protested.  ‘I really do not need to have you two on my back as well.  I have been busy.’

Elladan and Elrohir turned their horses and flanked their friend as he continued to ride at an easy pace towards their home.  The wide grassy roadway curved attractively through the graceful beeches and the leaves of spring green rustled invitingly to the elves below.

‘What kept you?’ Elrohir enquired.  ‘Elerrina was expecting you to join us days ago.’

‘She is beginning to look decidedly irritated by your procrastination,’ Elladan grinned. ‘You might have your work cut out placating her.  Somehow, the more Miriwen said that you undoubtedly had important business to deal with, the more exasperated your wife became.’

Legolas grimaced.  ‘I had better let her get her annoyance out of her system, then,’ he said, ‘before I tell her what delayed me.’ 

‘You have learned wisdom, my friend,’ Elrohir approved.

‘Is the excuse likely to worsen her wrath, then?’ Elladan asked curiously.  ‘I can never decide,’ he continued, ‘whether it is better to present Miriwen with all the bad news in one go and endure her reaction, or to dole it out in smaller doses, each of which brings about a lesser explosion.’

‘In your case, my brother, I should think it makes little difference,’ Elrohir declared cheerfully.  ‘Miriwen can read you more clearly than Daernaneth can read her mirror.’

Legolas laughed.  ‘In this case,’ he said, ‘it will give Elerrina a chance to relieve her feelings before she learns that my absence was reasonable – whereupon she will feel guilty for misjudging her loving husband and be anxious to make up with me.’

The twins digested his comment before throwing him identically cynical glances. ‘You hope,’ Elladan concluded.

‘You might have got away with something like that,’ Elrohir informed him kindly, ‘up until yesterday.  But now,’ he shook his head, ‘it is too late for your winning ways, my friend.’

‘Why do you think we are so far from home, Legolas?’ Elladan asked, in the manner of a tutor demanding information of a student who had not prepared his lessons. 

‘Are you running away?’ Legolas asked, aware of a slight sinking feeling.

‘That is not a bad idea,’ Elladan sighed.  ‘But no.’

‘We have been sent to hasten your arrival.’  Elrohir glanced at his friend quickly.  ‘Do not worry too much,’ he told him.  ‘No-one is in deadly peril – except perhaps you.’

‘What have the twins done now?’ Legolas enquired with resignation.  ‘And why am I to blame?  I was not, I will point out, anywhere nearby at the time.’

‘Do you not love the automatic assumption that his offspring are at fault?’ Elrohir addressed his brother.  ‘Anyone would think they were badly behaved and forgetful and inconsiderate, whereas, of course -,’ he allowed his voice to trail away, shaking his head in mock amazement.

‘One of the reasons we came seeking you, my friend,’ Elladan addressed him, ‘is to ensure you arrive with the right words on your lips.’

‘Sirithiel instructed me not to return without you,’ Elrohir remarked, ‘and to see that you were properly prepared.  She is soft-hearted enough to prefer not to have you bleeding on the floor.’

‘I know you are hinting at something,’ Legolas sighed, ‘that I am clearly too dense to understand.  Take pity on me and simply tell me what I have done.’

‘It is what you have not done,’ Elladan announced.

‘Do you know the date, my friend?’ Elrohir hinted.  ‘Yesterday was a day of some significance to your beloved.’

Legolas frowned.  ‘I cannot think,’ he said.  ‘Why do you not simply tell me – and then help me find a way to restore myself in her eyes.’

Elrohir grinned.  ‘It was the anniversary of the day on which her adar reluctantly placed her hand in yours,’ he said.  ‘For some reason, wives seem to find that worth celebrating.’

‘It is probably a good thing, then, that I come bearing gifts,’ Legolas said thoughtfully.  ‘If I am careful, Elerrina might even believe that I remembered.’

‘You have a special gift for your wife?’ Elrohir asked.  ‘Or would it be more accurate to say that you have gifts for everyone, including one for Elerrina?’

Legolas’s expression was remarkably smug.

‘You could not be more wrong, my friend.  I am late because I was awaiting the arrival of a very special gift.  One that will, in my opinion, more than compensate my beloved for my lateness.  There are, I have discovered many reasons to be grateful for the presence of my naneth.  Even if I will have to enquire of her why she did not find it necessary to remind me of the reason why I should bring this treasure with me.’

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