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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 76: Serendipity


Elladan looked confused.  ‘I fail to understand quite what happened there,’ he said.

‘It is remarkable,’ Elrohir agreed.

‘I would have expected,’ his brother mused, ‘that such an abundance of – incidents – would have let to us being the objects of everyone’s opprobrium.’

‘Yet . . .’ Elrohir marvelled. 

Legolas nodded.  ‘Each apparent catastrophe resulted in some fortunate fall of the dice that somehow produced a breath-holding moment before tumbling in precisely the way that worked.’

‘It will never happen again,’ Elrohir said.

‘Never,’ his brother shook his head in amazement.

‘Come, my friends,’ Legolas encouraged them, ‘we deserved the good fortune.’

Two identically raised eyebrows made him grin.  ‘Well – maybe not,’ he conceded.

‘The look on Adar’s face suggests he knows that we are not quite the heroes of the hour we seem to be,’ Elrohir remarked.

Elladan waved an airy hand.  ‘It would take more than our modest demeanour to convince him or Glorfindel that anything more than a fortunate chance enabled us to walk away from this.’

‘Just think,’ Legolas shook his head.  ‘If we had not slipped out to enjoy a night’s fishing on the river, we would not have lost the oars . . .’

‘If we had not first over-indulged in wine and boastful stories of past catches,’ Elrohir added.  ‘Do not forget that.’

‘But,’ his brother protested, ‘if we had not been – shall I say – made light-headed by the transcendent beauty of Ithil’s argent disc gleaming on the water, we . . .’

Elrohir groaned. ‘No, my twin. Avoid bad imagery at all costs. Argent disc, indeed.’

‘Had we not been on the water and without oars, we would not have drifted down river.’ Elladan stared down his nose at his brother.  ‘And had we not, we would not have seen the tree fall.’

‘Which was, in truth, convenient for us,’ Legolas mused, ‘as it enabled us to – er – halt our voyage just as it was becoming rather too swift.’

‘And then our rods made it possible to retrieve the elfling safely before the current took him,’ Elrohir smiled.

‘Not to mention getting his stunned parents out of the flet,’ Legolas added.

‘Before their neighbours arrived,’ Elladan continued.

‘To find us co-ordinating the retrieval of the family’s goods . . .’

‘And ensuring the health of the shaken elves.’

‘And then,’ Legolas added, ‘we happened to have a handy boat to transport the victims to receive your adar’s care.’

Elladan considered the night’s activity, then shook his head to dismiss the events.  ‘Remarkable,’ he shrugged.  ‘I can only assume that it was one of those things that was fated to happen.’

Legolas extended his legs to prop his feet on the small table before him.  ‘It is reassuring,’ he remarked.  ‘Too often we have seen series of unfortunate events that led to disaster – no single one of them that bad in itself, but with a cumulative effect that was . . . ,’ he waved his hand as if to summon the word he was seeking.

‘Devastating?’ Elrohir suggested.  ‘Overwhelming, perhaps?  Crushing?’

‘It stands to reason,’ Elladan mused, ‘that, if bad things lead to worse, there should be good chances that lead to better.’

‘And that a hero can be a bold elf with good fortune – just as villainy can just be a reflection of insuperable pressure.’  Legolas stretched.  ‘Take Turin Turambar . . .’

‘No, thank you,’ Elladan interjected.

‘His misfortune was to be on the edge of a blade – between triumph and disaster.’

‘Or your daeradar,’ Elrohir said softly.  ‘With better luck, he could have been the hero of the Second Age, honoured by all.’

‘What counts,’ Elladan said seriously, ‘is trying.  If you spend too much time worrying about how history will see you, you will never do anything.  And it is always easy to look back and say how things could have been done better.’

‘Good fortune,’ Legolas murmured, ‘is made up of a hundred hundred small sacrifices and choices, most of which pass unregarded.’ The look on his face told his friends immediately who was in his mind.

‘They succeeded beyond all hope,’ Elladan said, grasping his friend’s shoulder.  ‘Then accepted the responsibility that came with it.  And they received the reward they deserved.  Of that I am certain.’  He grinned.  ‘As will we.’

‘Now that, my brother,’ Elrohir observed, ‘is a rather less encouraging thought!’

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