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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 65: Curiosity


‘Have you ever wondered,’ Elrohir enquired idly, ‘at the differences between men and elves?  Do you think that the Firstborn might have been an experiment on Eru’s part and that he then took out the elements that displeased him when he made men?’

There was a moment of total silence before Elladan turned to meet Legolas’s eyes.  ‘I knew it would happen,’ he said gloomily.  ‘He thinks too much – like Adar – and his brain has finally gone.’

‘I think not,’ his brother said amiably as he rested against the rock and looked out over the valley.  ‘It seems a reasonable enough thought to me.  When a craftsman is designing something new, he tries it out and refines it and alters the bits that do not seem quite right and makes a second trial that is better than the first.’

‘I prefer not to think of myself as a rejected experiment,’ Legolas commented.  ‘I would say that I am much closer to perfection, myself.’

Both twins stared at him with identically disdainful looks.  ‘You would,’ Elladan told him.  ‘I would say that blond heads contained little but dandelion fluff, but you might take that as an insult – and mention it to Naneth.’

‘Not to mention our grandparents,’ Elrohir reminded him with a shudder.  ‘I cannot imagine which of the three would exact the most painful vengeance.  Unless of course, they put the matter in my daughters’ hands.’

Legolas grinned.  ‘Or I could set Thranduil on you,’ he suggested.  ‘Or my naneth.  I believe she would be less than impressed to hear you insult her long-lost son.’

They sprawled easily in the dappled shade above the small trickle of water, content to listen to the rustling of the trees and the sweet trill of birdsong.

‘What made you think that?’ Legolas asked.

‘Oh, I do not know,’ Elrohir shrugged.  ‘I just wondered.  The Valar and the elves are part of Eä and will be until the end of days, so why would Eru choose to make men short-lived creatures who pass beyond its bounds?  Why would he feel that the gift is a gift unless it is special?  Does the Creator feel that it is better to move on – is it the elves who are, contrary to most opinion, the ones who are stagnating?’

‘If you feel that,’ Legolas asked, ‘why did you not then choose a mortal life, as Arwen did?’

‘Because I am an elf, of course,’ Elrohir told him.

‘We are,’ Elladan nodded in agreement.  ‘We took our time about it, but in the end there was no real decision to make.  All this half-elf business is easier on the tongue, but it is less than accurate.  I suppose that if we had been in Arwen’s position – a fated love beyond the understanding of the two kindreds – you know – all that Beren and Lúthien stuff – we could have made her choice, but,’ he shrugged, ‘when it came down to it, we were not and we wanted to come home.’

They turned over the ideas as best they could on a still warm afternoon.

‘If the Secondborn were an improvement on the elves,’ Elladan mused, ‘why would Eru choose to make them so heavy-footed?  What benefit would there be to wallowing in mud?’

‘And the only advantage to their being so unobservant,’ Legolas added, ‘would be to make it easier for Morgoth’s creatures to prey on them.  Surely Eru’s intention was not to provide easy meals for monsters?’

Elrohir grinned.  ‘And how could anybody not like the pointed ears,’ he said.  ‘Changing them for the rounded variety is a clear abandonment of taste.’

‘Maybe he had seen one elf too many serenading the trees when he decided to make men ungainly,’ Elladan teased.

‘Or perhaps he had grown tired of watching certain elves crafting pointless creations of polished stone.’

‘I miss them,’ Elrohir said softly.  ‘Much as there is to love in the Blessed Realm, the absence of the Secondborn will never cease to grieve me.’

‘And yet,’ his brother said, ‘I do not miss losing them.’

‘You have a point,’ Legolas acknowledged, his eyes dark.

Elladan looked at him swiftly.  ‘So have you come to any conclusion, my twin?’ he asked.  ‘Is it the part of our heritage that comes from men that makes us so irresistible?’  He grinned.  ‘Were we drawn to the Blessed Realm so that all those poor inferior children of the Firstborn could have something to admire?’

‘And the lines of the Edain continue here,’ his brother grinned.

‘Although, Peredhil,’ Legolas remarked as his long fingers combed patterns in the dust.  ‘It would seem that your children will no longer be confronted with making a decision.’

‘There would be little point,’ Elrohir agreed, ‘in facing a choice of kindreds here, where there is only one.’

‘When they discover that,’ Elladan said, grinning wickedly at his brother, ‘your daughters are going to be really annoyed.  How dare you commit them in their absence, Elrohir, to living the lives of elves!’

‘Oh, I think I can live with the fate, my brother,’ his twin smiled, ‘of having my daughters by my side until the end of Arda.  Even if they are among the most recent products of an early experiment.’

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