Dwarves and Elves
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Singing of the Trees, The: 1. The Singing of the Trees
Characters: Gimli, Legolas
Setting: Fangorn Forest
Summary: Gimli sees Fangorn Forest
Many thanks to Avorniel for being my beta! All mistakes are my own. The characters do not belong to me in any way or form...
It was far too quiet in the forest.
Gimli was already hard pressed to keep up with the fleet-footed Elf ahead of him, and so was crashing through the forest and making such a noise that he was convinced that everyone within five leagues of them would hear the racket being made. Yet…
Yet, it was still too silent in Fangorn Forest.
They had been travelling for the better part of the day after they left the Fellowship, and now it was nearly night, but the Elf ahead of him gave no signs of stopping and finding a suitable place to camp.
And while they still ran through this forest as though enemies were on their trail, the night was closing in, and the forest was getting darker, making the silence even more oppressive than ever.
Brave though Gimli might be, he had no intention of spending the night trekking through the forest, or finding a suitable place to camp in the dark. So, he called out to the Elf ahead of him.
“Master Elf! You might like to spend the night traipsing through the woods, but this dwarf requires solid ground on which to spend the night. We need to find a place to camp.”
Legolas continued as though he had not heard, and Gimli muttered a curse under his breath. But just as he was about to call out again, the Elf stopped and turned around to face him.
“Here. This is perfect. All we need now is some firewood and then we can rest for the night.”
Gimli walked up to the Elf, looking around the area he had found. It seemed no different compared to the clearing he had seen half a league back, or the one a league back, or the one another league back from that…
When he mentioned this, Legolas just gave him one of those Elvish looks that combined amusement, impatience, and condescension all rolled into one. “This is the best one, Gimli. I have been speaking as much as I was able to the trees, and this is what they have told me.”
“I still do not understand your meaning of speaking to trees, Legolas,” came the reply, as the Dwarf began to pick up dead wood from the ground to build a fire. “I could hear nothing save my own footsteps as we ran.”
“That is because your ears are turned outwards, Master Dwarf,” Legolas explained patiently. “Come, let us eat first, and then I shall show you the wonders of the trees, just as you taught me of those in Aglarond.”
After the meal, Legolas dragged Gimli towards one of the trees. “It has allowed us to climb it and listen to its song. Nay, Gimli!” he added with a laugh, as he saw the Dwarf’s stricken look at the word ‘climb’. “You do not have to climb the tree if you do not wish to. Just sit against the base of the tree, and that will be fine. I shall climb up later.”
The two settled down with their backs to the tree, and then Legolas spoke again. “Close your eyes, Gimli, and relax. Clear your mind of all other thoughts, and soon you’ll hear the song of the tree.”
Gimli did as he was told, and waited.
He was just about to open his eyes and ask how long it would take when his hand touched something hard on the ground.
It was a stone, a flat and completely smooth stone, and from experience Gimli could tell that this stone had been around for a very long time. Just like the tree against his back.
He rapped on the stone with his knuckles, and from the sound it gave out, knew that the stone was still very hard and strong. It had faced the adversities of the elements, and yet it still remained strong and unyielding. Just like the tree behind him.
And that stone – if it was ever broken down by the wind and the waters, still it would not be defeated, for it would become soil, and provide nutrients to the other living things that relied on the soil, so spreading its good to other beings around it. Just like this tree that he was leaning against.
Then the dwarf started, for he could hear a voice from the tree behind him. It was a deep, resonant voice, and while there was no way he would be able to decipher what it said, the sound – the song – flowed through him and gave him such a sense of peace that it was as though he was at a forge in the Lonely Mountains again.
Perhaps the stones and the trees were not so different after all…
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