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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 6 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/13/2005
Back in the day when I would go pick strawberries, I thought that I should be weighed going in and coming out to get an accurate count of how many strawberries I was taking home with me. I'm afraid I was as bad as the elflings.

I loved the debate about growing methods. The slightly different points of view of the different realms. I'm sure both were very aware of taking care of the forest, just simply had a different perspective on how to do it.

Elrohir is a typical male. Things just magically clean clothes, jams and breads...all those nice little things that make life pleasant. He made me laugh.

Another enjoyable chapter. Carry on...


Author Reply: It's letting yourself eat the first strawberry. Once you've broken and that slightly-too-squishy, I-can't-put-that-in-my-basket, oh-I'd-better-eat-it berry has found its way into your mouth, you're lost.

They do have a different perspective on growing methods. I was thinking it probably had to do with space - Imladris small, Mirkwood big - and population density - as much as that the Noldor like to control and the Silvan prefer to live with nature untamed.

The whole of Middle Earth (and everywhere else) would have collapsed without all those wives and mothers performing female magic while they debated the important things!

Thank you. There are more waiting in the wings, so there's no prospect of this stopping yet. (I sometimes think I should go back and read them all from the beginning just to see how they've changed.)

Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/13/2005
Ahhh, i can taste the berries, the wonderful sweetness and then the odd not so ripe one that just reminds you to be careful.
A bit philosophical for berry picking these elves, by the time they get to the rest of the bushes the elflings will have stripped all the ripe easy to reach ones! Ha.
Nice writing Bod

Author Reply: Berry picking is irresistible, isn't it? And yet there appears to be a whole generation of ignoramuses growing up who have no idea which of the wild berries and nuts are edible! Or are afraid to eat them because it might be unhygienic. Yet that big squishy blackberry - or blueberry - or strawberry - sunwarmed, and picked from the hedgerow, is just so gorgeous. Like peas from the garden or a tomato from the vine.

E2L can't get together without talking about something - and maybe leaving the work to the elflings is part of their cunning plan!

Perhaps their wives need to get them competing with each other for who can pick most - that would certainly increase their productivity.

Thank you.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/11/2005

It was blackberries with my family. :D Buckets of them for freezing and cobbler.

Can such an argument be resolved or only judged case by case?

As usual, sublime and humourous, but a serious reflection all the same.

Author Reply: Blackberry picking. I'm sitting here with a reminiscent grin. Blackberry picking is one of the few harvesting events that you can do without being a)landed or b) paying. Just by going out into the countryside - and it's hot, wasps buzzing, still, sticky purple fingers, niggling little scratches from tiny thorns. Although hazelnuts and chestnuts are good for collecting, too - only that's colder - crisp autumn days. Stop. Mustn't get ahead of myself.

Well - it's case by case really, I think. Imladris needed to intervene more - they had a high population density (and a load of Noldor who couldn't see why nature shouldn't fit their view of the world), where as Mirkwood had a low population density and, consequently, less need to meddle.

But simply encouraging a few trees to grow where it suits you doesn't seem too terrible to me - why should seed be scattered by birds and not elves? But then an awful lot of bad environmental damage has been done by people who thought their little intervention would be either beneficial or totally harmless. (Rabbits. Australia.)

But then, fortunately, E2L talk - but I never need to decide who is right!

Thank you.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/11/2005
I loved this! I totally can see the Woodelves having festivals associated with the gathering of the items they took from the forest aand that is definitely how I see them supporting themselves. I really liked the contrast with the Imladris way of doing things. Personally, I do think the Woodelves' way would be more fun.

I know it's only Summer, but I miss the harvest festivals we had in Kentucky--they don't do that in Florida. You've made me sooo nostalgic! Great chapter!!

Author Reply: Woodelves/festivals, festivals/Woodelves - they go together like a horse and carriage. And there's nothing like gathering food to encourage people to celebrate full storehouses!

The Woodelves' way would probably be more fun, except in bad seasons when there wasn't so much to gather - when a more structured arable system might seem a better idea. But I think (apart from it being more Noldor to change the world to adapt to you rather than vice versa) it could tie in with the size of their realms. Imladris is small: you would have to be very organised in making sure that it supported the population - whereas Mirkwood is huge and relatively sparsely populated. Like the difference between Holland and Canada.

Take a vacation - harvest festival time in Kentucky. It could become like New England in the fall!

Thank you.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/11/2005
I know exactly what Elrohir means by 'eating more than they are picking'! This reminds me of hot summer days spent picking strawberries, and eating so many I felt sick, and didn't want any for tea by the time we got home.

I like the differences you draw between the attitudes E2L have to gardening and cultivation. Legolas has a uniquely wood-elf approach - take only what the forest provides, and leave enough for the woodland creatures - while the twins are more managing, but still in harmony with the land.


Author Reply: The smell of strawberries always makes me think of pick-your-own farms and strawberry-stained offspring. And blackberrying in late August - those hot days that happen so infrequently, but are always the summer days of memory.

E2 are just a bit more prepared to organise nature - and a bit less physically familiar with the process of extracting food from the soil. And they have a point. But then, so does Legolas.

But they all like the thought of the partying!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 67 on 7/11/2005
What an interesting debate! I like seeing the two different takes on how to live in harmony with nature, and they seem to me to be in keeping with Tolkien's vision of Imladris and Mirkwood.

Author Reply: Thank you! E2 don't see why there shouldn't be a bit of gentle tweaking - and Legolas doesn't really see why there needs to be. Apart from the Noldor/Wood Elf debate, I wonder if there is any link to the fact that Imladris is relatively small, so the inhabitants need to maximise their food supplies, whereas Mirkwood is relatively large and relatively sparsely inhabited?

However - picking berries in the forest on a summer's afternoon seems a pretty good thing to be doing regardless.

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