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VII. Cue: A tree speaks.
In the Old Forest they’d encountered Old Man Willow, with his songs of sleep and his malice toward those who moved freely through the valley of the Withywindle. The four Hobbits had survived the encounter, but had developed a healthy appreciation for the ability of some trees to plan mischief.
In Lothlorien, on the other hand, they felt not malice but curiosity and solace. Peace, whispered the mallorn among whose roots their pavilion had been raised.
Rest, advised its fellow.
Strengthen, was the message of a third.
We will watch over you.
And the suspicion they knew toward trees dissipated.
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