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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – part 2: New Dangers

‘Tell me’, Elladan challenged. ‘What is the best thing about this elfling’s playground?’

Legolas considered the question. ‘No orcs,’ he replied, ‘and the spiders are all of reasonable sizes.’

‘And what would you say is the worst thing?’ Elrohir enquired.

They walked along the avenue between two rows of tall beeches, their light footsteps making little noise on the neatly raked gravel.  ‘No orcs,’ Legolas repeated. ‘And the spiders are too small and innocuous to use for target practice.’

The twins lifted similar eyebrows. ‘You miss the delights of fighting orcs?’

‘At least if an orc attacks you, everyone accepts that you are fully justified in removing its head,’ their friend told them. ‘The worst creatures here are far more dangerous, but you are not permitted to lay a finger on them.’

‘There are dangerous creatures here?’  Elladan’s eyes brightened.

‘Dangerous and untouchable,’ Legolas warned.

‘Is that not a contradiction?’

Legolas stopped abruptly, causing the other two to turn and face him.

‘Tell me, my friend,’ he asked earnestly, ‘who is the person whom you would go furthest to avoid annoying? The person who can turn an intrepid warrior into a snivelling elfling with one barbed reminiscence? The person who will approach a sovereign king on his throne and wipe a smudge from his cheek with a handkerchief dampened with saliva?’

‘A mother?’

‘Now imagine that mother multiplied by ten, by a hundred or more – each of them viewing you as prey and looking you over with the object of ensnaring you in her web to be a husband for her daughter.  Let me tell you – I have had more practice in running since I have been here than in hundreds of years of fighting the creatures of the dark.’ 

The twins shuddered and grew pale. 

Legolas smiled wryly.  ‘I have even begun to encourage belief in the insinuation that I am not interested in ellyth in that way.’  He looked at Elladan and Elrohir. ‘Thank you for your most welcome arrival, my friends.  Now you can spend some time as the objects of the hunt.’

Elladan winced as the horrific prospect registered. ‘Do you think that if we started running now, we might be able to escape?’

‘Not a hope, my friend,’ Legolas replied regretfully.  ‘They are far too ruthless to let us get away that easily.’

‘So,’ Elrohir said thoughtfully, ‘here in the Blessed Realm we are forced to suffer two-legged spiders trying to wrap us in their silken coils in place of the Mirkwood monsters.’ He sighed as they resumed their walk. ‘I think I could learn to miss the simple violence of dealing with orcs.’

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