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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 6 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
Oh, so sad. This is likely something every reader can remember from their childhood. The loss of you first pet is so hard because you do invest so much emotionally and you don't realize it. It would be even harder for elves, I imagine. Well done.

Author Reply: Elflings don't even have any experience of age around them, do they? Even their great-grandparents look like particularly attractive twenty somethings with no signs of their many centuries.

Even if they know intellectually that animals age and die, it's not the same as it happening to a creature that you care about. And Fluffy wasn't old - she was killed by accident, which is something that can, presumably, also kill elves, even in the Blessed Realm.

I hope Aewlin will learn to love Patch and share her with Nimloth - but there is that little bit of sorrow inside her now that knows that nothing lasts unchanged for ever. I think her adar would have liked her to live a few more decades before she learned that.

TieAillin AlcarionReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
I've been enjoying this story since you started writing it. Wonderful, and gives you a chance to explore a lot of things. How old are the elflings now?

(and for me this chapter is timely. We just lost our dog of 14 years after a short illness last week. She was what I like to think of as an Elvish breed that usually lives to be around 20, so 14 was really not quite middle aged. And my two children are having a rough time dealing with it. My thoughts on loss are that love is always worth the pain, and that I lose something precious when I guard my heart.)

Walking with Elves (only on the Discovery Channel--we wish!)

Author Reply: This story started as one tiny little idea - and has just grown. It is pretty haphazard as the time scale moves forward though, although it is moving forward. I reckon the elflings are approximately in Human Equivalent years: Elrin - 12 ish, Eleniel and Galenthil - 10 ish, and Aewlin and Nimloth - 7 ish.

It is dreadful adapting to the loss of a much loved pet, and children find it especially difficult losing a family member who has been there for much of their lives. But you are right - love is worth the pain.

SharonBReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
Yes, it's difficult enough for us mortals to lose that first pet let alone a little elfing learning that lesson. I'm glad that Adar Elrohir can comfort his little Aewlin.

And Legolas was really attached to a few humans so I can see he wants to fight his children learning about the pain of loss, especdially so early on in life. However, that is a part of life, even in the blessed realm. But never do we want the little ones to learn that lesson early in life.

Good chapter.

Author Reply: Yet elflings must be confronted by the loss of their pets, as they are children for longer. Possibly Fluffy's death is even more of a shock as it was an accident - Fluffy was still not much more than a kitten. I think Adar would have liked to protect his little one from any distress, but as he can't, he will settle for comforting her.

Any death reminds Legolas of those he loved - even if the century or so of their association was no more than an eyeblink in the life span of elves, they are still in his heart. (I read a story recently where Pippin and Merry asked Legolas to remember them for always - sorry whoever wrote it, I can't recall who it is - and I feel that is how he honours those he loved.) But he still doesn't want his children to know loss - but you are right, it is inevitable.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
How sweet and how sad! The mortality of pets is a hard lesson to learn. Poor little elfling! I like your showing this side of the the twins and Legolas. It seems to be a side that doesn't come up so much in fic even with all of the angsty fics out there.

Can't wait for more!

Author Reply: I like seeing E2L as caring fathers wanting to protect their offspring from all evil, yet knowing that they cannot keep them free of the sadder aspects of life. Pet mortality - well, it's probably worst of all the first time, but elflings are young for so long that it must occur to them several times. Even their ponies are unlikely to live until the elflings are adult.

I hope Aewlin takes some consolation in Patch when she gets over her first sadness.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
It is awful to want to protect your children from life's sad truths and to realize that you can't. These three are very good fathers to try to work out the kind of balance to strike between protecting your children and misleading them.

Author Reply: It is very difficult to tread the right path - but being exposed to the less pleasant sides of life is an important part of maturing. One of the most unpleasant things you realise as a parent is that you cannot defend your children at all times - and seeing their disillusion when they are hurt.

They are good fathers - they were parented well themselves and it does have a knock-on effect.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 42 on 10/11/2004
Ah, Bodkin, what a sad chapter! Poor little Aewlin, and poor little Fluffy. I know exactly how she feels - over the years I have had three cats who met an untimely end on the road outside our house. Child psychology says that grieving for pets is actually good practice for dealing with other loss later in life - but for immortal elflings, that doesn't work.

I like the originality of the name, BTW - one of my cats (black) was called Sooty!

Nice image of Elrohir comforting his daughter, though.

(Sad little back story about the twins' dog, too)

Author Reply: It must be a problem with elflings and pets - 20 years for a cat would see out human childhood, but elflings would still be quite young and have almost no experience of loss. But I can't see that stopping them from wanting to care for pets.

Children are usually so 'original' when naming their pets - we've have a rabbit called Snuffles and guinea pigs called Nibbles and Scuttles. And other guinea pigs named for a range of chocolate bars - and, come to that, one called Sausage.

I liked seeing Elrohir cuddling Aewlin - it's difficult putting anyone else in these unless they are asleep, because they can't talk - and I liked having her centre stage.

Poor Tug. Things affect elflings so intensely.

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