I was straightening Faramir's room, when I heard it start yet again.
"What is it, Faramir?"
"No, that's a horse. Say horse." Boromir's voice had an irritated edge to it.
"No, horse." He was definitely annoyed, and I couldn't help giggling to myself, though it was a terribly childish reaction.
Faramir still hadn't spoken any word except Boromir's name, and it was starting to wear on Boromir's patience, which was never his strong suit. Boromir wasn't mean-spirited, however. He couldn't quite bring himself to be dismissive to his small brother, when Faramir so clearly adored him. But some days, it drove Boromir mad that Faramir said, "Bo'mir" for anything and everything, no matter how many times either one of us gave Faramir the correct word.
I might have been worried, but that Faramir seemed to understand what we said to him, most of the time. He looked up when I said his name, came running when I told him we were going outside, frowned at the word "nap", and in general, responded when spoken to exactly as I would expect a not-yet-two-year-old to do. It was just that he had only one word of his own.
"Bo'mir?" Faramir's little voice was puzzled.
"Naaannny!" Boromir wailed, "he's doing it again!"
With an effort, I wiped the smile off my face and went into the playroom. "He's doing what again?" I asked, sitting on the floor between the two of them.
"He's calling the horse 'Boromir'," Boromir said with a glare at his brother. "He calls everything 'Boromir'. Can't you make him talk ?"
"I can not 'make' him talk any more than I can make you --" I almost said "keep quiet for more than a moment at a time", but caught myself and changed it to, "--King of Rohan. He will speak properly when he is ready, duckling, and not before. He is learning."
Boromir scowled. " I don't want to be King of Rohan," he said, "I want him to stop calling everything 'Boromir'!"
"Bo'mir!" Faramir echoed, grinning in delight as he climbed into my lap.
"No, that is Nanny!" Boromir corrected, nearly grinding his teeth together. "Nan -ny."
"Bo'- mir," Faramir repeated gravely, nodding as he grabbed hold of the end of my braid.
I couldn't keep from laughing, and Boromir shot me a disgusted look.
"You should be proud, Boromir, that out of all the words there are, he has chosen to say only your name," I pointed out, wincing when Faramir pulled a bit too hard. "Gently, little one."
"But it's boring," he complained. "I can't talk to him about anything fun!"
"You said the same thing before he could walk -- 'it's boring!' -- but he learned to walk, did he not?"
"Yes," Boromir sighed. "But he took so long."
I laughed again at Boromir's long-suffering expression. "He learned to walk more quickly than you did, my impatient little man."
"Did he?" Boromir tilted his head and studied Faramir for a moment. "Well, that's prob'ly because I showed him how."
"Quite possible," I chuckled, shifting Faramir to the side so he wasn't crushing my knee.
"Bo'mir," he said, smiling up at me and leaning against my shoulder.
"You'd better hurry up and start saying something else," Boromir told his little brother severely, "else I am not going to talk to you any more."
Faramir stood, and went over to his disgruntled brother. "Bo'mir," he sing-songed as he gently patted Boromir on the head.
Boromir stared at him for a moment, and I braced myself for an explosion of frustration. But to my surprise, Boromir gave a resigned smile. "All right," he said, "I will still talk to you. But you must try to learn all the words soon, Faramir. Now you come sit down here- you be Eorl, and I will be Cirion and we will kill that wicked dragon."
I moved to one of the chairs, and watched them play, pleased with Boromir's reaction . I'd be trying to teach Boromir patience for years, and it seemed Faramir was succeeding where I had failed.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.