December 8, 2006
|“Ada, may I have money for candy from the gypsies?” asked
Arwen sweetly as she peered up over the top of her father’s desk.
“Sweetheart, we call them ‘wanderers’, not gypsies, and no, you may not,” Elrond answered.
Arwen’s frown could not be seen, hidden by the desk as she was. “But Ada, Erestor always calls them gypsies, and Erestor is always right, and they only come here once a year, pleeeeeeeeease?”
“Best to give her the money for it, Adar,” said Elladan with a grin. “You would not wish for her to do as we did to you, would you?”
Elrond narrowed his eyes at his twin sons. “I had nearly forgotten about that.”
“Oops,” replied Elladan, still grinning.
The Lord of Imladris’ mind wandered back to a time some hundred years before, when he was being asked the same question that his daughter asked, but by his two sons.
- - -
“Pleeeeeease, Ada, pleeeeease?”
“No, and no. No to you both. All of that sugar will rot your teeth. There is no need for you to have candy.”
“Well, we know we do not neeeeeeed it, but we waaaaaaant it,” whined Elrohir.
Elladan added, “You get to buy everything you want, Ada.”
“Oh, do I now? Perhaps that is because it is my money, and when the two of you are making money, the two of you can decide how to spend that money. Until then, I will decide that for you.”
Elrond’s thoughts flashed forward a few hours after that conversation. He had finished his work early and decided to take a walk with his wife in the courtyard. During the winter when Gildor’s company was in the valley, they would set up their tents and camp in the valley, with a few wagons open for business so that the residents of the Homely House could purchase trinkets and such, including various candies.
Under a tree, a makeshift little stand was occupied by a pair of elflings and some of the saddest wares ever made available to the Elves of Imladris. “Stuff for sale! Buy it now!” shouted Elladan to anyone and everyone passing by.
“Oh, my goodness,” giggled Celebrian, while Elrond glared and marched over to the booth.
“Just what do the two of you think you are doing?” he demanded.
“We have recently decided that we are in the business of selling things, too,” announced Elrohir. “It was the only thing we could think of doing to make money.”
Elrond looked around at the assortment of items spread out on the ground and on the little wooden table from their nursery that somehow found its way outside. “Where did you get all of this?”
“People gave it to us,” answered Elladan. “The bows came from Glorfindel. This one is too thick and does not bend very far but someone might want it for decoration. And this one is broken,” he explained, pointing out the crack, “but if a girl or someone not very strong uses it then it should still work.”
“Erestor gave us these,” said Elrohir holding up one of the empty ink bottles. “They could be nice for putting things in. This came from Lindir; it only plays one note.” Elrohir blew into the flute to demonstrate, and sure enough, no matter where he put his fingers all he got was one note. “Want to buy something?”
“No, I most certainly do not. You are selling a whole lot of garbage is what you are doing,” scolded Elrond. “Furthermore, you are making a mockery of me! Gather these things up right this instant, and throw them away!”
Twin sets of grey eyes watered up and twin lower lips wibbled. But no tears came, for Celebrian returned to save the day. “Look what I just bought!” she said, and crouched down to hand each of her sons a bag of sweets. “Now, before you take these inside, would you please take all of these things and put them next to the incineration heap?”
“Sure!” shouted twin happy voices, rushing about to do as they were told.
“Clebri,” said Elrond after their sons had run back into the house, smiles on their faces and candy sacks in hand, “that teaches them nothing.”
“Oh, darling, they are just children. Candy?” she asked, pulling from some concealed place a much larger bag of candy, which was opened to reveal some of Elrond’s favorite treats.
- - -
The Lord of Imladris smiled. “Do they still make different flavors of taffy, Arwen?”
His daughter nodded.
“What about chocolate disks? Any of those?”
Again, Arwen nodded.
“And the cinnamon jellies?”
She nodded once more.
Elrond opened his desk and took two coins from it. “Go down, and have them give you a pound of each of those, and use the rest of the money on whatever you like.”
After Arwen left, Elladan leaned down on the desk and looked his father in the eye. “What about me?” he pouted.
“What about it? Go see if Erestor has some ink bottles for you to sell.”
With a snort, Elladan stood up and shook his head. “I had to try,” he said as he began to leave.
Elladan turned around, catching the coin that was tossed to him.
“Share that with your brother,” added Elrond before returning to his work.