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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 30:  Safety First      

‘Are you all right?’

Elrohir shook himself, setting his head swimming.  ‘Oh yes, my friend,’ he said, somewhat muzzily. ‘Of course I am.  How is Nimloth?’

‘Elladan caught her.  He has taken her back to Sirithiel.  She is uninjured, my friend, although her naneth may decide to remedy that.  Where do you hurt?’

Elrohir considered.  ‘I am not sure,’ he replied.  ‘There is nothing that stands out. Somewhere between everywhere and nowhere.’

‘We will wait for Elladan to join us before we make any attempt at movement, Elrohir.  He is better at this than I am.’

A cascade of small stones to the right indicated that the uninjured twin was clambering down the steep wall.

‘How is he?’

‘I am here, my brother.  Speak to me.’

Elladan released his breath with relief.  ‘Are there any broken bones?’

‘I believe not,’ Legolas remarked. ‘And he is aware of his bruises.’

‘Help me up,’ Elrohir insisted.  ‘And tell me how we are going to get back up this slope.’

His brother laughed, as he began a careful examination.  ‘Not a chance,’ he said.  ‘You will stay just where you are until Miriwen leads the rescue party back to lift you out.’

Elrohir closed his eyes in exasperation. ‘At least tell me how Nimloth is.’

‘You managed to lift her high enough for me to grab before that root gave way and tipped you down here,’ Elladan shrugged, ‘and I returned her to her naneth – who is less than pleased with her.  I begin to think that only chains will keep that one out of peril, my brother.  She seems to feel that a warning about the danger of an activity is an invitation to proceed.’

‘Yet if offered no prohibition, she feels that is an instruction to go ahead,’ Elrohir sighed. ‘Nothing seems to make her pause and think.’

‘Eleniel said that Elrin told her not to try to climb down to see the nest,’ Legolas informed him.  ‘He apparently tried to divert her by leading them off to watch the parent birds circling in the thermals, but she slipped away.’

‘She will develop more sense in time, my brother,’ Elladan consoled his twin.

‘If she survives long enough!’  Elrohir lay back, eyes shut, a crease between his brows.  After a moment he added, ‘This hillside is a seriously uncomfortable place to lie down, my friends.  Can we not find somewhere a little less – rocky?’

‘You look like Adar,’ his brother commented.  ‘I had no idea until recently that it was we two who put that expression of weary anxiety on his face. I had thought it was more to do with the Dark Lord and the responsibility of running Imladris, but since your elflings started their campaign of terror, I have realised what a worry we must have been.’

‘They do things it would never occur to me to forbid,’ Elrohir admitted.  ‘Nimloth is reckless, but the ideas that spring from Aewlin are terrifying – she thought it would be a good idea to picnic on the roof a few weeks ago, Legolas, which would not have been so bad had they not decided to have a camp fire.  Fortunately, Sirithiel found them before they managed to ignite the tinder and she confiscated the flint.’

Legolas grinned.  ‘You make me feel grateful, Elrohir, that Galenthil and Eleniel are reasonably co-operative. And I believe Elladan thanks the Valar every night for the sensible ellon who is Elrin.’

‘There is no justice,’ Elrohir commented as he turned on to his elbow and began to lever himself from the hillside.  ‘You two deserve sons who throw themselves into every piece of mischief they can devise – but instead, I am sent daughters from whom Sauron himself would choose to run.  Sirithiel is tearing her hair out.’

‘I wonder what your daernaneth was like as an elfling,’ Legolas mused.  ‘Perhaps you should speak with her adar – he might have words of wisdom for you.’

‘Daernaneth just laughs, and says that they will learn,’ Elrohir moaned, wincing as he pushed himself carefully to his feet.  ‘Daeradar looks at her in that way he has and adds, ‘in time’.  I do not think he anticipates a rapid improvement.’  He tested his limbs cautiously.  ‘I believe I am in one piece, my friends.  Shall we look for a way to remove ourselves from here?’

A cry from above was followed by a rope snaking down the slope.  ‘Ah,’ said Elladan. ‘Rescue seems to have arrived.  I will go up and inform Adar that you are capable of movement.’

Legolas put his hand on Elrohir’s shoulder consolingly. ‘Do not worry about them too much, my friend,’ he said.  ‘At least they will keep us from becoming too self-satisfied in this land of ease and plenty.’

‘Thank you, Legolas,’ Elrohir said, grimacing as he put his weight on his badly scraped leg, ‘for words that I find to be singularly lacking in consolation. I will remember them.’


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