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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 56: Absence and the Loving Heart


‘Why are you in such an evil temper?’ Elrohir asked mildly, turning to gaze at Legolas as he walked beside the twins towards the training grounds.

Legolas scowled.  ‘Would you not be less than pleased if your wife announced her intention of leaving you?’

They continued in silence along the path between the trees.  The breeze stirred the leaves and they whispered comfortingly as the blond elf passed.

‘I feel sure,’ Elrohir said finally, ‘that there is more to the story than that, my friend.’

‘She intends to take the elflings and spend some months with her parents,’ Legolas complained.

‘And, of course,’ Elladan nodded, ‘no sooner did she mention the matter, than you threw a fit of the sulks serious enough to make her doubt the wisdom of ever coming back.’  He grinned.  ‘I have tried that one, my friend.  It does not work.  If anything, it makes your beloved even more determined to carry out her plans.  Miriwen told me that she had no intention of being blackmailed by someone whose behaviour resembled that of a particularly obnoxious elfling.’

Legolas grinned reluctantly.  ‘Miriwen was always one to speak her mind,’ he allowed.

‘It is just as well,’ Elladan agreed.  ‘I am not, as you know, the most talented of elves when it comes to picking up coded messages.  If she expected me to work out what I had done, she would be waiting a long time.’ 

Elrohir smiled.   ‘True,’ he remarked.  ‘Arwen always found it better to hit you over the head with her reasons for annoyance, too.’  He shook his head.  ‘Of course, Naneth was always skilled enough to manipulate us with no more than a tilt of her head and a wistful expression.’

‘Anyone who grew up with Galadriel and Celeborn as parents would have to develop an above average level of talent in getting her own way,’ Legolas allowed.  ‘Your naneth not only gets everyone to do as she wishes, she also makes them grateful for the opportunity to please her.’ 

‘After Naneth and Daernaneth,’ Elrohir said thoughtfully, ‘Miriwen’s attitude is really rather refreshing.  And my brother responds to it like a puppy anxious to please.’

Elladan sniffed disdainfully.  ‘You cannot talk,’ he said.  ‘Your wife only has to flatter your masculine pride and you purr like a kitten.’

‘Puppies and kittens,’ Legolas remarked.  ‘What does that make me, I wonder?’

‘A hedgehog?’ Elrohir suggested.

‘Or perhaps a mule,’ Elladan said idly.  ‘You are stubborn enough.’

‘Thank you, my friends.’

Elrohir scrunched his face up in disgust.  ‘I do not appreciate the idea that my wife has turned me into some kind of pet.’ 

‘I accept the truth,’ Elladan admitted.  ‘Miriwen can play me like a harp.  I suppose I should be grateful that her manipulations are well intentioned.’  He grinned.  ‘I think Naneth was relieved that I ended up in the care of an elleth who suits me so well.’

‘Many of your past interests,’ his brother agreed, ‘would have been a disaster.  Although marriage has not stopped you looking at other ellyth,’ he added disapprovingly.

‘I am married, not dead!’ Elladan protested. ‘I can admire the view without wanting to leap in the river.’

‘You want to watch out,’ Legolas warned him.  ‘Miriwen is not one to tolerate such games.  If she catches you flirting with another, she will have you on a plate – and Sirithiel and Elerrina will cheer her on.’

 ‘Perhaps you could convince Elerrina to stay if she thought you might flirt with another,’ Elladan suggested.

‘I would not do it!’ Legolas rejected the idea out of hand.  ‘Any more than you would.  You are all talk, my friend.  Elerrina has a perfect right to take the offspring to see her parents – but I do not have to like being left behind.’

‘You could accompany her,’ Elrohir offered.  ‘I am sure she would not object to taking her husband along with her.’

They strolled in silence for a few moments.

‘On the other hand,’ Legolas said thoughtfully, ‘the thought of being left to myself for few months is beginning to seem better all the time.  I will appreciate my wife and children so much more for having missed them.’

‘You could remind yourself of how much better off you are these days,’ Elrohir said solemnly, ‘by packing up a few possessions and going off into the woods.  It will remind you of the value of a comfortable home and a loving family.’

‘And we would not want you to put yourself at risk,’ Elladan agreed.  ‘We would be almost bound to come with you – just to ensure your safety.’

The three looked at each other thoughtfully before breaking into laughter.

‘Perhaps I am coming to terms with the idea of my wife’s absence,’ Legolas allowed.  ‘You are right.  It will only be a few weeks, after all.’

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