Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 49:  Above the World

‘How long do we remain here?’  Elrohir said, watching the of the sky fade to grey as the stars winked out. 

‘I am told we would be foolish to try to climb down without the aid of the moon path,’ Legolas told him.  ‘But that, also, to return before nightfall would be to miss out on some things we should see.’  He looked towards the east.  ‘I should like to see the sun rise above the forest,’ he observed.

‘And set, too,’ Elladan added.  ‘I am in no rush to descend.  It is not the first time I have tried rock-climbing, but it was not the easiest task.’  He lifted an eyebrow at his friend.  ‘I do not know that you prepared us too well for that, Thranduilion.  I shall bear that in mind.’

‘I have never been here before, either,’ Legolas said mildly.  ‘I did not know what to expect.’  He tilted his head back and looked at the sky, now taking on hint of burnished bronze.  ‘I suspect climbing up here could be one of those rites of passage young elves are only too ready to undertake.’

‘Although we know what happens when such challenges are accepted without due preparation, do we not, my twin?’ Elrohir commented.

Elladan sniffed and ignored him.

‘Do I sense a tale you are reluctant to tell?’ Legolas asked idly.

‘No,’ Elladan informed him haughtily.  ‘It is a tale I refuse to tell.’

Legolas turned his glance to Elrohir, who shrugged and grinned, shaking his head. ‘My lips are sealed,’ he said. 

‘I will ask your adar,’ Legolas threatened.

‘You will discover nothing,’ Elladan told him smugly.  ‘He does not know of it.’

‘How long do you think it will be before your son attempts this climb?’ Elrohir interjected hastily. 

‘Many years.  Many, many years,’ Legolas said decisively, ‘if I have any say in the matter.  A climb that is difficult for us would be far too dangerous for elflings.’

‘True,’ Elrohir reflected, remaining silent for several moments before adding, ‘not that that will stop them.’

‘Them,’ Legolas repeated, a hollow tone to his voice.

‘Of course, them,’ Elrohir nodded.  ‘You do not think Eleniel would deign to be left out, do you?’

The sky lightened in swirls of pink and gleaming gold as the sun reached up above the snow-capped mountains, turning the white peaks to blazing glory as a haze of mist disguised the canopy of green leaves with a veil of shimmering pearl.

‘It is like being on the masthead above a dawn sea,’ Elladan said breathlessly.  ‘It makes me feel like an albatross drifting above the world.’

‘Just do not try to act like one, my brother,’ Elrohir said absently.  ‘You are not Daernaneth.  It is as if I had never seen sunrise before,’ he said, marvelling in the purity of the morning. ‘I had forgotten how it felt – those first weeks in the Blessed Realm, when the sun rose over the sea with a cleansing fire that burned away the taint left by too many injuries in Arda.’

‘Listen,’ said Legolas, as the birds of the forest greeted the morning with a chorus of joyous song.  ‘It amazes me,’ he commented, ‘that the most beautiful song comes so often from the least remarked of the birds.  My eyes rejoice in the sight of many of these forest dwellers with their plumes of bright feathers, but my ears are delighted by the song of the seemingly insignificant small brown birds.’

Elladan took his eyes from the mountains as the sun rose higher and the colours of the day replaced the glory of dawn and looked sideways at the Prince of the House of Oropher, whose beauty had excited attention from so many.  ‘I am saying nothing, my friend,’ he commented dryly.

The early mists faded leaving the world above the forest contrasted in clear blue and multi-hued greens.  It grew hot on the pinnacle of the great stone column and the three climbed down a little to use the peak itself as shelter from the sun.  Racemes of white flowers opened on the broad branches of some of the tallest trees, sending wafts of heady fragrance to perfume the air across broad stretches of the forest.

‘Look,’ Elrohir said, breaking the silence in which they relaxed. 

Turning in the direction he pointed, they saw a mass of butterflies; vivid scarlet and rich gold, fluttering from tree to tree as they made use of the gift of nectar provided by the flowers, whilst tiny birds of iridescent blue darted among them.

‘I had been told of them,’ Legolas murmured, ‘but I had yet to see them.’

‘This experience has been remarkable,’ Elrohir admitted as the moon rose to bathe the great column of rock in silver light.  ‘I think the sunset may have been even more stupendous than the dawn.  And yet, you realise, that the more we say about it, the more likely we are to find that the elflings have sneaked out to discover its joys for themselves.’

‘I shall make a point of telling my offspring that they should not even consider climbing up here,’ Legolas said, ‘until your daughters are old enough to be able to keep them company.’

‘I would not risk that, my friend!’  Elladan grinned.  ‘I can think of nothing more certain to guarantee that all five of them undertake the adventure at once.’

<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List