9. Day Eight - Birds in the White Tree (Boromir, birds, bunnies)
Boromir had been laying quietly in the glade for long enough that the birds had resumed their cheerful songs. Even a rabbit came out of hiding and grazed unconcernedly not twenty feet away. By some trick of the mountain, the air here always smelled fresher, and, sometimes, it brought surcease to the weight on his heart. Not today. He knew it would serve Gondor better to do something: give Faramir's Rangers more men and support, attack the Dark Lord in places not yet entrenched and boiling with orcs, make alliances. Yet his father's insistence on only holding what they had could not be shaken, and Boromir could not gainsay Denethor openly.
Even in this neglected glade of kings, there was no peace. A flash of blue and yellow and an angry chirr-rr-rr sounded from the edge of the grass where the rocky slope began. The rabbit had come too close to - it was certainly the wrong time of year to be a nest. Boromir grinned as the rabbit stared at the small birds that swooped around its head, before hopping clumsily away. The determined tits chased the rabbit across the grass, then flew back to the rocky area and settled down.
Never much of a naturalist, but curious to see what they protected so fiercely, Boromir walked quietly across to the edge of the scree where several of the brightly colored male tits gathered. One bird launched himself from the top branch of a tiny seedling tree with glossy dark green leaves and flew at Boromir's eyes with a cry.
Startled, Boromir waved his arms protectively in front of his face and backed away. "Keep your secrets, then," he admonished the birds from a safe distance. Turning away, he gathered up his things to hike back down the mountain.
Pictures of the birds
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