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Fellowship had traveled several days beyond familiar territory, the
less concealing and more dangerous to all. Despite the travelers’ great
few enemies were able to slip up on them during the dark, though
foes were overconfident. The attackers were quickly dispatched with
to their would-be prey; yet even when survivors’ bodies came through
unmarred, nerves remained frazzled long after a fight ended. Three such skirmishes later, the Fellowship
found it difficult to rest easy at camp in yet another near-barren area
hazy waning moon; for the protection of all, no foe-attracting fire was
allowed. Settling the others as best they could, Gandalf and Aragorn
to privately discuss the whys of recent happenings and ways of future
perturbed to note several furtive glances directed his way during the
discussion. I politely move far enough
away so as not to overhear them, and this is the gratitude I get…they
surely talking about ME. His fingers twisted thin strands of golden
a nervous twitch as he wondered why he would be the subject of their
conversation. Just as his patience neared its end, the wizard and
The elf’s unease was not lessened by the way Gandalf
avoided looking his way as meanwhile Aragorn moved
purposely toward him.
me,” the man quietly ordered as he strode past his gaping friend and
camp. Taking a swift reconnoiter of the campers, Legolas saw the wizard
engaging the others’ attention away from the small drama happening
elf narrowed his eyes, ire rising, and turned to follow Aragorn. That scruffy human will divulge what is
going on, else I threaten to locate one tall tree or overhang from
fling him. He soon caught up with the man and the two continued in
until reaching a stream passed previously.
watched in increasing puzzlement as Aragorn knelt on the broad dirt
scooped his hands repeatedly in the clean, chill water. The man smiled
the watching elf and motioned for him to join in. Legolas gave a wry
smile before ambling over and settling himself opposite his friend. “If
your idea of bathing, you are in desperate need of a lesson in the real
The elf rather enjoyed the prospect of a refreshing dip and discarded
weapons in anticipation, but was stayed in his actions at that point.
prissy elf, that is not the purpose of our retreat. I need to inform
you of a
decision Gandalf and I have made that concerns you.” Aragorn broke his
with Legolas and, either unnerved or embarrassed at the forthcoming
was making abstract designs in the now-wet dirt between the two beings.
blinked in surprise. So he reveals the
secret freely…why do I suddenly prefer continued ignorance? His
grew as Aragorn’s tale was told.
sight and hearing are exceptionally valuable to our company, as are
with bow and knives. And of us all, you are the one least likely to be
in conventional ways at least…yet Gandalf and I have concluded you may
responsible for attracting, um, trouble, by your, well, glow.” The
an apologetic shrug at his friend’s shock. “We realize it is a natural
for your kind, and that even though you can suppress it, it takes some
of will to do so, effort that may need focus in other direction during
journey.” He paused as Legolas glanced to his watery reflection,
brightly in the flowing stream.
It is true
I do not think of this aspect overmuch, and normally I would
be among other Elves whose shining during wartime is seen as a beacon
one to another. He looked back at the
quietly waiting Ranger. I am no longer among my kind; now
discipline myself to look to another Hope. “I shall not fail my
duty to the
Fellowship; I will make what effort is needed to solve this dilemma,
require some help.”
his friend’s trust, Aragorn nodded his willingness and revealed more of
earlier discussion. “Gandalf spoke of a spell he could cast that would
diminish the glow so you would not have to spare your concentration on
so.” If he had thought that would relieve the elf, he was greatly
gave a horrified gasp and gulped. I trust
Mithrandir, yet the wizard can be a bit overzealous at times…he might
extinguish me altogether! He turned
a piteous gaze on the man and pleaded, “Please not that. To render me
unnaturally might mute Arda’s song to me…I should be of little worth to
if so dulled and deafened.”
Aragorn hastened to soothe the fretting elf. “Tis your spirit that
I would not have that squelched - to make you so bereft would wound us
much as any weapon.” As Legolas relaxed, the Ranger flashed a quick
“Instead, we agreed to follow a plan of my devising.” He turned his
back to the ground, vigorously swirling his hands in a slick layer of
the man suspiciously; though showing traits of a brilliant strategist,
Aragorn’s previous ‘plans’ were synonymous with ‘pranks’. I
think I am not going to like this. “And just what, pray tell, is
this ingenious plan your devilish brain has concocted?”
cynical at such a tender age.” The Ranger smirked at the elf’s pout.
answer is obvious; right in front of your face, in fact.” He gestured
air between them, hovering his hands there as Legolas attempted to
mind whirled, considering then discarding several ideas. After a few
realizing the man continued to hold his hands before the elf’s visage,
concentrated on what significance such an action might have. Is he offering something personally? He
holds nothing in his hands…‘the hands of the King’…mayhap he refers to
prophecy of the king’s healing hands? Legolas’ thoughts were
confusing than helpful as he struggled to make sense of them. Does he mean to ‘heal’ my glow? How?
Legolas shook his head to clear it before admitting his confusion to
“I’m sorry, but I just don’t understaAAAAHH!”
complaint ended in a yelp as two very muddy hands slapped themselves
either side of the elf’s face. The fingers of those hands moved busily,
smearing mud across the bridge of Legolas’ nose, his
chin, and any other place reachable. “What - are - you - doing? Cease!”
snarled, trying to swat away the offending hands and only succeeding in
his own coated with the brown muck.
At a more
vigorous attempt to scuttle away, Legolas felt one hand leave his face
latch onto a braid to hold him in place. The two beings were nearly
now, Aragorn ending sitting on the wriggling elf. A string of Elven
the air, as well as bringing a blush to the man, who chose to ignore
inventive ‘suggestions’. I had thought either
of my fostering-brothers to be Master in the art of insult, but now I
Prince has won that title. “This would be over much sooner if
hold still.” The man panted at his outraged friend, whose golden hair
transformed. Quickly finishing, the Ranger backed off, waiting in some
trepidation as the elf sat up and gave a soft wail at his now
tresses and skin.
me!” Legolas turned a fierce glare on Aragorn and was further
aggravated to see
a satisfied look on the man’s face.
you should look at yourself now too. Seek your reflection in the stream
He saw the elf tense at the mention of the water, and grasped at a
before Legolas could plunge in. “Please, only look.”
in the tone of the plea gave Legolas’ pause. Nodding tersely, he leaned
cautiously over and peered in, huffing grumpily at the sight that
greeted him. Were it not for a small glimmer of my eyes,
I could not distinguish my form from the dark that surrounds me. A
later, the meaning of what he saw and thought hit him. He straightened,
his senses outward, a slow smile of amazement spreading across his
face. Estel’s plan truly worked - I am nigh
invisible, yet without distracting effort on my part, or sacrifice of
of the Song to my ears. Noticing the man’s close attention, the
erased his grin. I may have to concede
its effectiveness, but I must never allow him to think I approve of
intoned stonily. “You have made your point. I will go along with this
with the understanding that you constantly try to formulate a better
one to replace
Aragorn hastened to assure his friend, vastly relieved at the elf’s
“And meanwhile, I can take steps to see that you are not the only one
‘disguise’ for the duration.” In an attempt to lighten Legolas’ mood,
promptly smeared trails of mud on his own face. “There…how do I look?”
studied intently, then sneered, “Normal, filthy
human. A disguise for you would be ‘clean and neatly attired’.” His
returned as Aragorn took a turn to pout. When the man stood, holding
beckoning hand, Legolas sighed in resignation and took the assist to
gathering his weapons, however, the elf hesitated to start back.
return soon, lest the others think we have yet again summoned trouble
to us.” Surprised
at the lack of a retort, the Ranger turned to find the elf staring
again at the
flowing waters of the river.
I may stand watch for the entire night, since I am…‘prepared’ for it,
not need sleep anyway.” Knowing his friend would argue that all would
watch turns as usual, he reluctantly added, “I would rather not be seen
shall be teased mercilessly.”
not be,” Aragorn vowed adamantly, having a care for the elf’s pride.
have been absent, Gandalf has informed the others of the sacrifice you
their behalf, and none shall dare make light of it.” As the two began
stroll back to camp, the Ranger grimaced as a thought occurred to him.
course, that may not prevent seemingly endless questions from the
though I am certain they mean no offence.”
“No offence shall be taken of their curiosity. Their eagerness to learn
refreshing.” His light mood briefly darkened. “But if that dwarf looses
single insult from his cavernous mouth, I shall slice out his tongue
it in his pipe for him to smoke!”
should strive to hide Legolas’ knives for a time. “I will
make certain Gimli keeps a civil tongue.” Hearing low voices ahead,
halted their progress. “Allow me to go ahead and be sure each person is
apprised of the situation. I shall call you when all are ready.” At a
agreement from his friend, the man hurried away towards their waiting
up at the few stars sparkling between the heavy clouds. Elbereth,
the things I endure for this mortal…yet I bear no regret
claiming him ‘heart-brother’. Still, would be prudent to strongly
devious human of his obligations to that honor. Hearing his name,
took a deep calming breath; holding his muddy head high, he walked
toward his destination, taking much solace that night (and several to
in the plotting of exquisite revenge on a certain Ranger.
END (sort of…keep going)
Postscript: Some years later,
Elladan and Elrohir learned of the
aforementioned ‘mud incident’ (you just know it had to happen!) and in
to their dear friend Legolas, the Twins composed the following
song (to the tune “What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?”):
What do you
do with a too-bright Elf Prince? What do
you do with a too-bright Elf Prince?
What do you do with a too-bright Elf
Prince, early in the evening?
Drag him to
the riverbank - muck him up good. Drag
him to the riverbank - muck him up good.
Drag him to the riverbank - muck him
up good, for to pass the night safe.
What do you
do with a muddy Wood Elf? What do you do
with a muddy Wood Elf?
What do you do with a muddy Wood
Elf, on throughout the dark night?
back to camp to let his friends view. Take
him back to camp to let his friends view.
Take him back to camp to let his
friends view, gather ‘round and tease him.
What do you
do with a grumpy Mud Elf? What do you do
with a grumpy Mud Elf?
What do you do with a grumpy Mud
Elf, when next day comes dawning?
Toss him in
the river and let him clean off. Toss
him in the river and let him clean off.
Toss him in the river and let him
clean off, then RUN like Balrogs chase you!
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