December 1, 2006

Terrible winds rattled the boards in the windows of the telain, and a few flakes of snow managed to sneak beneath the doors. Everyone who was able was snuggled at home, with the exception of the border guards, who were snuggled in the warmth of their cloaks on the guard flets.

At the heart of Lothlorien stood the Great Mallorn, home to King Amroth, his seneschal, and the seneschal’s family. It was in the home of Lord Celeborn, Seneschal of Lorien, that a quiet night was taking place.

On one side of the main sitting room, Lady Galadriel sat in a rocking chair, knitting a new wrap for her daughter Celebrian, who was sitting at the spinning wheel. Now and then, one of the lady’s hunting hounds would raise their head, unaccustomed to being so high up. With the prediction of a harsh snow storm, the lady had insisted her dogs be brought inside.

Celeborn was intently studying a book while a number of scrolls surrounded him on the couch he was sitting on. A soft noise caused him to turn his head, and find his young son Haldir out of bed and peaking sleepily around the corner. In the youngster’s hand, there was a much loved stuffed brown horsy doll that accompanied him everywhere. “I thought you went to be two hours ago,” mused Celeborn, not at all angry as the elfling shyly approached him.

“I keep trying to sleep,” he insisted, “but Orophin smells funny.”

Within a moment, Galadriel had abandoned her yarn and was walking around the corner to the nursery. “Oh, my, my, what did you eat?” they heard her say from the other room.

“Whatever you gave him, no doubt,” Celeborn called out in response. “He is a baby, you know.”

“Can I say here until the stinky goes away?” asked Haldir, large, puppyish eyes making his plea.

“Just until your Nana returns,” said Celeborn.

Haldir crawled up onto the couch beside his father, dragging his horse behind him. The elfling proceeded to climb over Celeborn until he reached a comfortable spot. Still clinging to his toy, he asked, “Why are you rubbing your eyes? Do they hurt?”

“Yes, I am tired,” admitted Celeborn. “I have been reading through this book for hours.”

“Can I read some for you?” offered Haldir.

Celeborn considered this and then handed the book to the youth. “Be my guest.”

Across the room, Celebrian looked over with amusement, knowing what the book was. Celeborn was about to take the item back when Haldir said, “This is a story about a yellow dragon and a fly, and they were friends. Everyone thought the dragon was mean, but really, he was just hungry. The fly would buzz around and find spoiled things, like eggs and meat, and tell the dragon about them so that the hungry dragon could eat and be full without being a mean dragon anymore. The end.” As he ‘read’, Haldir turned the pages of the book, flipping hastily to the last one at the end of his story.

“Excellent,” commended Celeborn, applauding his son’s tale. Haldir beamed as his mother came back into the room, cradling Orophin.

“Alright, Haldir, the smell is gone and you may return to bed. It seems Orophin has an upset tummy, and I am going to keep him out here with me for a little while until you fall asleep so that he does not distract you,” Galadriel said. As Haldir tried to object, she added, “If you are to make your lessons tomorrow with Glorfindel, you must go to bed now.”

Haldir nodded, handing the book back to Celeborn. “Good night,” he said, taking his horse with him.

“Good night, Haldir. Sleep well.” Celeborn smiled as he opened the book again.

“What are you reading, dear?” Galadriel asked, intrigued. “I cannot imagine you truly have a dragon tale in that book.”

Celeborn smiled. “I certainly wish it had dragons in. In fact, I think I shall most certainly take Haldir’s version over this,” he said and he held up the volume so that his wife could see that is was the yearly ledger for the realm.