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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 29:  Grass Widower       

Elladan lifted the decanter of wine and topped up his glass before offering it to his companions, then leaned back.  ‘How are you coping with your bachelor life, then, Legolas?’ he asked.  ‘For centuries you wanted to have some independence from your adar – and ran to outstrip the ellyth chasing you so that you might remain unwed.  And now Thranduil is off visiting and your wife has taken the elflings to see her parents and you are on your own.’

‘Might I point out that I have begged you both to join me this evening?’ Legolas pointed out.  ‘What does that suggest?’

‘A desire to recapture your youth in an evening of drinking and revelry?’ Elrohir suggested.  ‘Or would it be more correct to say you are screaming with boredom?’

‘Well,’ his friend replied, ‘I am not exactly screaming – yet.  But I had no idea how much I would miss them.’

‘Whom do you miss most?’ Elladan asked mischievously.

‘It is not a competition,’ he said with dignity. ‘I miss them all.  The house seems twice the size and horribly empty.’

‘How many people do you have working for you here?’ Elrohir mused. ‘Cleaning and cooking and stitching and so on?’

‘Naneth suggested that you might like to come and stay with us,’ Elladan offered.

‘Adar said it was terribly brave of her considering the amount of chaos we used to create, but she said we were grown up now.’

The three friends exchanged glances and burst into uproarious laughter.  ‘We were grown up then,’ Legolas chuckled.  ‘In fact some of our best disasters happened after we were old enough to know better.’

‘Do you know,’ Elladan sobered up, ‘I hope Elrin never gets to hear of some of the things we did – it makes me shiver to think of him and Galenthil sneaking off to copy some of our pranks.’

‘You do not think Eleniel would join in?’

Elrohir grinned.  ‘She always seems a bit more sensible to me – although so did Arwen and when I think of some of the things she did -.’ He shook his head. ‘Do you remember when she sprinkled that innocuous looking powder on our pillows and into our beds one night when we had been celebrating rather too enthusiastically, and we woke up in the morning with the bedding and ourselves dyed patchy green?’

His brother closed his eyes. ‘I do indeed.  It took weeks to wear off properly.  And I recall that somehow I ended up feeling that it was my fault and that I should apologise to her!’

‘It’s not Eleniel I worry about,’ Elrohir returned to the subject, ‘the elleth who scares me is Nimloth.  I think Aewlin will be a bit more reasonable, but Nimloth seems to have no concept of danger.’

‘She takes after her Uncle Elladan,’ Legolas suggested. ‘He has always felt a need to try things out – oh look, there is a hole in the ice, what will happen if I jump into it?’

‘Look, a patrol of orcs, how many can I take out single-handed?’ Elrohir chimed in.

‘If I jump off the cliff, will I learn to fly before I hit the water?’ their friend continued.

‘I am not reckless,’ Elladan insisted.  ‘I just make decisions quickly.’

‘Without considering all the information,’ Elrohir added.

They sat in comfortable silence for a moment.  ‘Do you think,’ Elladan asked, ‘that, if we had the elflings promise not to copy anything we did, that we would be safe?  After all, I can think of very few adventures that we did not attempt.  They would be compelled to be well behaved.’

Legolas turned his glass in his long fingers.  ‘There would have to be limitations,’ he said.  ‘After all, if they do not know we tried it, but instead come up with the idea spontaneously, that would not count as breaking their promise.’

‘We would have a good reason for telling them all the stories, then, would we not?’ Elrohir added reflectively.  ‘Every piece of mischief we described would mean one more trick from which we would be safe.’

‘I do not believe Miriwen would approve: she would say we were being underhand, manipulative, devious schemers and that we would deserve what we would undoubtedly get.’

‘She would probably be right,’ Legolas told Elladan reluctantly.  ‘She usually is.’

‘It seems too good an idea to waste,’ Elrohir pointed out. ‘I will put it to Sirithiel. And perhaps I will ask Adar why he did not try it.’

‘So,’ Elladan changed the subject, ‘for how long have you been abandoned?’

‘Too long,’ Legolas replied morosely. ‘And I have been left far too many tasks to complete simply to sneak off to the woods.’

‘Ah,’ Elrohir nodded, ‘that, of course, is one very effective way of ensuring that your elflings do not get into trouble.  Keep them busy.   Maybe the old methods are the best.’

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