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 52: Making an Effort

Two fair heads bent together over the objects before them, eyes gazing intently on the slender shafts, hands steady and careful as they worked.

‘I do not believe,’ Elrohir remarked, ‘that I have ever seen Nimloth sit still for this long.’

‘Not even when she fell when escaping through the window and broke her arm?’ his brother enquired.

‘Well,’ Elrohir conceded, ‘perhaps then – although she was unconscious, so it does not really count.’

‘I thought Legolas was supposed to be teaching Galenthil the noble art of fletching.’

‘He was – but the ellon could not endure the dedication being shown by these two obsessives and he begged off after the first couple of hours.  He and Elrin took their bows off to the butts to spend some time using arrows rather than creating them.’

‘Alone?’ Elladan raised an eyebrow.

‘Do you think I am insane?  Of course not – Thranduil offered to take them.   He seemed to find this,’ he nodded towards the table, ‘highly entertaining and said it would be a shame to interrupt them.’  Elrohir gazed thoughtfully at his daughter.  ‘Do you think we might have been looking in the wrong place for something that would inspire Nimloth?  She is clearly not much moved by traditional feminine pursuits.  We thought that taking up archery would help her – but, although she is quite good, it does not arouse in her the dedication that Eleniel shows.  Do you think she might have inherited some of the Noldor side of her ancestry and need to learn to make things?’

‘Work in wood?  Or metal?  I cannot see her forging swords,’ Elladan said doubtfully, ‘or ploughshares, come to that.  And, given the family history, would you want her working with jewels?  It seems a risky idea, only to provide her with an occupation.’

His twin smiled wryly.  ‘Yet what is more important than to see that your offspring’s talents are developed to their fullest?  Sometimes need means that one talent has to be subordinated to another, but if youngsters are forced to take a path that is wholly against their personality – well, they will not be happy and they will not be good at what they do.’ 

‘I wonder if that was what Finwë said as he watched Feanor,’ Elladan mused.

Elrohir lifted an eyebrow.  ‘Are you comparing my daughter to Daernaneth’s uncle?’ he enquired haughtily.

‘No,’ his brother grinned.  ‘I am comparing you to Finwë.  Maybe you are more like your andaeradar than we realised.’

‘So you think it is a bad idea,’ Elrohir said with a disdainful sniff.

‘I am not saying that,’ Elladan protested, ‘although I think I would prefer to have her working in wood.  It seems more – natural, somehow.’

‘That is the blood of the Lord of the Golden Wood showing in you,’ Elrohir observed.  ‘One of the moments that proves we are more Sindar than Noldor.’

‘I refuse to be mistaken for a Wood Elf,’ Elladan objected.

‘There is not much chance of that.’  Legolas did not take his eyes off his work.  ‘No-one who has seen you in a tree could make such an error.  You climb with all the skill and grace of an arthritic bear.  Estel was at least twice as good as you in the canopy – and he had the disadvantage of being a Man.

‘I think I have been insulted, Elrohir.’  Elladan looked at his friend.  ‘Do you think we have been insulted?’

‘Demand satisfaction,’ Elrohir suggested.  ‘A challenge.’

‘It would not be wise.’  Legolas gave his pupil’s arrow a last searching look before putting it down and nodding dismissal to Nimloth.  She beamed at him and skipped off, ignoring the typical banter between her adar and uncles.    ‘If I were you, I would not press the matter,’ Legolas grinned.  ‘It would be my right to set the challenge – and I would make it a race through the treetops.  You would flounder like a seal on a stony shore.’

‘Tempting as your suggestion is,’ Elladan said with firm regret, ‘we had better not indulge ourselves.  Can you imagine the response of our wives and parents if we set such an example to our offspring?  Our lives would be in serious danger.’

‘True, I fear,’ Elrohir sighed.  ‘We will have to find something less – contentious to do.’  He leaned over the table and picked up the arrows on which Nimloth had been working, looking them over critically.

‘She has talent,’ Legolas informed him, ‘but I do not know if the work would sustain her interest for too long – it has the delight of novelty at the moment.  She seems to enjoy being challenged – if something is new or difficult or somebody tells her that she cannot do it, then she immediately wants to have a go, but I doubt that will be enough to make her master the skill.’  He looked at Elrohir.  ‘I do not think you have yet found the path for your daughter, my friend.’

‘I suppose it was too much to hope for,’ Elrohir shrugged philosophically.  ‘We will just have to keep giving her different things to try until she finds something that inspires her.  She has time enough, after all.’

‘Indeed,’ Elladan agreed.  ‘I am still looking forward to the day when I find the work to which I wish to dedicate my years in Aman.’  His eyes sparkled as he glanced from his brother to his friend.  ‘Any suggestions?’


<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List