December 3, 2006
|Although the secret identity of Adar Rhiw had long been
guessed by both Elros and Elrond, both of them still continued to leave
their boots out to be filled by the mysterious elf (who had, apparently,
reindeer and a magic, flying sled, along with the ability to leap down the
chimneys of lit fireplaces without being burned). It was after about a dozen
years or so of living with their Uncle Maglor that the twins awoke one
morning to find their candy in neat little sacks at the end of each of their
beds. Wondering if Adar Rhiw had not seen their boots, the pair rushed to
them to find an unexpected surprise.
- - -
“Look at mine, Uncle, look at mine!” insisted Elrond, holding up his kitten underneath Maglor’s nose when the ellon came to his side of the table to pour a glass of milk for the elfling. “He has stripes! And his tummy is white!”
Maglor smiled and nodded as the poor kitten was helplessly smooshed up into his face. “That he does, Elrond. What have you named him?”
“Mmmm... I have to think on that still,” admitted the youth, pulling the kitten back down into his lap.
Elros held his up for inspection as well when Maglor made it to the other side of the table. “Mine I named already,” he said as his uncle gave the kitten a scritch behind the ears.
“And what did you name her?”
“Ummm... I forgot.”
Down at the other end of the table, Maedhros looked up from his half-eaten breakfast. “You forgot her name already?” he asked little Elros, pointing at him with his spoon, unable to eat and point at the same time.
“Yes,” answered Elros.
“Then it more than likely was not the right name to start with.”
“I will name mine Rolly because he rolls over a lot,” decided Elrond, completely uninterested in breakfast.
“You should name him squirmy,” suggested Maedhros. He had to toss his spoon aside so that he could lean forward and grab the glass of milk out of the way of Rolly’s back legs. “Perhaps cats should not be allowed at the breakfast table.”
“Or to lunch or supper,” added Maglor, agreeing with his elder brother.
Elrond pouted. “What about teatime?”
“Cats, crumpets, and hot liquid – no,” Maedhros sternly informed the youngster.
“There you go, Rosie. Go play,” said Elros, letting go of the kitten. She thankfully leaped off of his lap and bounded to the doorway, looking over at her brother.
“Oh, alright.” Elrond leaned down, planning to place the kitten on the floor, but he twisted away and ran to his sister. The pair turned the corner and disappeared.
“May we play with them after breakfast?” asked Elros.
Maglor nodded. “Uncle Maedhros and I need to go outside and clear the path. It snowed last night, so I want both of you to stay inside.” The twins nodded emphatically. They both knew the stories of what could happen to a peredhel in the cold, frosty snow, and heeded Maglor’s command. “I am going to start a stew, but if you smell it burning, you must come to the door and call for me.”
The twins were left to themselves after breakfast. For a little while, they alternated between playing with the kittens and going to the window to check on their uncles’ progress. Maglor was already coming back up the other side of the path, while Maedhros slowly scraped his shovel along and then tipped it to the side when it became full.
“I wish we could go out in the snow,” remarked Elros.
Elrond shivered. “But then we would freeze.”
“I still wish we could go out in the snow. Remember what Ereinion said about the snow battles he would have when he was our age?”
Frowning, Elrond said, “I suppose. But I do not like the idea of getting cold.”
Elros considered this and then said, “We could have an inside snow battle!”
Nodding, Elros ran to the cupboard and retrieved a pair of large bowls. “Come on, we need to go around to the back so that Uncle Maedhros does not see us.”
The pair went to the back door and opened it to find a rather large drift. Some of it toppled into the house. Each scooped a bowl full of snow and brought it inside before closing the door. Already, the snow on the floor was beginning to melt. “Where should we go?” asked Elrond, holding his bowl, not about to admit that his hands were very cold and wet already.
“The kitchen,” announced Elros. “Then they cannot happen to see us from the windows.”
Into the kitchen they went, finding their kittens curiously sitting atop the counter, looking at the rows of spices on a shelf, and occasionally batting one off. Ignoring this, the twins each set their bowls on the opposite ends of the table.
“Ready?” asked Elros, lifting up a handful of snow.
“Go!” shouted Elrond impatiently.
Snow began to fly, though not very far. Halfway through their bowls of snow, the table had many puddles, and the twins were damp, but not much else had occurred. Then, Elrond learned something. “Look! If I pack it together, it...” He paused, looking at his snowball.
“What? What does it make?”
Elrond smirked, and then threw his new weapon at his brother. Elros, who had been watching him, ducked in time, and the snow hit the wall, sticking to the bricks. They began anew, throwing the balled up snow and hitting quite a lot of other things besides each other.
Packing together the remainder of his snow, Elrond held his giant snowball in both hands and grinned. Elros was out, and turned the bowl upside down, putting it over his head. “Dare you to throw it!”
“Huh-uhhhnn!” Elrond put all his strength into throwing the snowball, which flew right past his brother and into one of the poles that held the stew over the low fire. In an instant, the poles came crashing down, followed by the stew that spilled across the floor.
Any remains of snow were now gone, either puddles or enveloped into the spilled stew. The sound of the front door opening made Elros rush to put away the bowls. Elrond grabbed their kittens and held them while Elros looked frantically around.
“Boys? Where are you? I have a surprise for you,” called Maglor.
Grimacing at the mess, Elrond spied the pitcher of water on the counter. Nudging his brother, he nodded to the pitcher. Elros grabbed it, spilling some of the water into the basin that led right down a pipe to the side of the house, and spilled the rest quietly onto the floor, setting the pitcher on the ground.
When Maglor and Maedhros entered the kitchen, they found quite a worse mess than had originally been made. “What the...”
“Sorry, Uncle, we lost track of the kittens while we watched you through the window, and then we heard a crash, and then we came in and thought we would try to clean it up, and—“
“Elros, there is no need to continue. Kittens can be such naughty things,” Maglor said shaking his head. He walked over to Elrond, plucking one and then the other from him. “Look at this. Look what I found,” he said to the cats, dangling a bit of wet, leafy plant at them. “We just happened to have some catnip growing in the garden, and it wasn’t entirely frozen.”
“What a mess,” said Maedhros as he came to the doorway. He was panting slightly and sweating, for although he accomplished less of the shoveling, he had to put in a greater effort.
Maglor brought the kittens to his brother and said, “I have an idea. You play with these two rascals and mellow them a bit with the catnip, I will clean up the kitchen, and boys?”
“Yes, Uncle Maglor?” they said in unison.
“Go ahead and get yourselves cleaned up. I cannot hold you accountable for what these two precious little brats did,” he said, nuzzling one of the furballs.
Once the twins were safely in their room, Elros turned to Elrond and said, “Having kittens is going to be even more fun than I thought.”