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 81: Patience

‘I have never,’ Elladan said lazily, ‘thought of myself as a patient elf…’

‘Nor has anyone else,’ his brother interrupted.  ‘Ask Erestor.  Or Glorfindel.  Or, indeed, anyone who had to coax a little knowledge into your head.’

Elladan buzzed a beech nut at his twin.  ‘I have always wanted to understand why, you donkey.  Whereas you were so eager to please that anyone might have been under the impression that you thought approval was dependent on compliance.’

‘Elrohir?’ Legolas asked incredulously. ‘Are we talking about the same dogged elf?’

‘You were not acquainted with him when he was an elfling.’  Elladan shook his head sadly.  ‘Had it not been for me, my friend, he would have been one of those sad prodigies who sit indoors on beautiful days translating treatises into Quenya, while all their age mates mock them.’

‘While had it not been for me,’ Elrohir retaliated, ‘Imladris would have had an heir who never mastered basic literacy.’

‘Unfair.’ Elladan pulled a face.  ‘I would have learned – in my own time.’

Legolas shook his head.  ‘Is this one of those moments when you manage between you to make me glad that I never had a brother?’

‘I hope not.’  Elrohir grinned.  ‘We made a good team – together we covered most possibilities.   We saved each other a lot of work.’

‘Probably just as well,’ Legolas mused.  ‘Considering Elladan is not a patient elf.’

‘But I am learning,’ Elladan reproved them both.  ‘I am adjusting my pace to suit the Blessed Realm.’

The three friends considered.

‘I hope not,’ Legolas said finally.  ‘It takes an age for anything to change here.  There are still elves following the same routines they did when the Trees lit the land.  I would not want anything to give me that kind of patience.’

‘That is not patience,’ Elrohir objected.  ‘That is inertia.’

‘And complacency.’ 

‘I would not want to develop that level of inactivity!’ Elladan declared.  ‘There are those here who could have moss growing on them.  It is almost ent-like.’  He paused and reflected on the image for a moment.  ‘Well, maybe not,’ he conceded.

‘So what has happened to make you pontificate on your personal failings?’ Elrohir asked.  ‘You tend to do your best to avoid introspection.’

‘If you were less keen on mocking me,’ his brother grinned, ‘I could have made my point long ago and moved on to other things by now.  I was going to say – I have never been a patient elf, but I think taking development in the new realms at this slow pace has been to everyone’s benefit.’

‘M’mm.’  Legolas leaned back against the welcoming beech.  ‘You are right.  There was a time when I felt that I would be stuck for yeni negotiating over haulage rates and grain supplies – and settling who should be allowed to journey when, knowing all the time that half of those travelling west were not bothering to wait for permission while the rest felt that every decision made only went to prove how prejudiced we were against whatever group they represented.’

‘As long as they are all offended,’ Elrohir shrugged, ‘they can accept it.  It is only when one set of people appears to be favoured above another that it causes trouble.’

‘Elves are not always creatures of reason, whatever they might claim.’ Elladan stretched himself out along the branch.  ‘Half the time I think that the only purpose of lordship is to provide everyone with someone to dislike.’

‘Maybe it is a Noldor thing,’ Legolas suggested.  ‘Wood Elves will ignore their lords and slide off into deep and hidden places if they wish not to co-operate, but they rarely engage overmuch in debate.’

‘Legolas – their kings since the First Age have been Oropher and Thranduil!  Would you argue?  Being somewhere else seems the best imaginable way to avoid complying with unpopular commands.’

Elladan laughed.  ‘He has a point!’

‘I would not say that the Noldor kings are much fonder of being defied!’

‘No.’ Elrohir grinned.  ‘But the Noldor I have known seem to be far more convinced that they can talk you into submission.  Very politely, of course.  With plenty of compliments and bowing.’

‘Maybe you have just been lucky in your Noldor,’ Legolas remarked.

Both twins looked at him sympathetically.  ‘It is more that you have been unlucky, my friend.’  Elladan shook his head.  ‘Your beloved adar-in-law has pig-headedness down to a fine art.’

‘He will get over it,’ Elrohir said doubtfully.  ‘He is surely not so stupid as to fail to see – eventually – that you make as good a son-in-law as anyone.  Better than most, I would say.’

‘But you might need to develop a remarkable level of patience, my friend.’  Elladan grinned.  ‘The sort that can wait for mountains to grind down to sand.’

‘But I doubt you are the one to teach me how,’ Legolas said dryly.  ‘Unfortunately.’

<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List