12. Rod and Staff
Rod and Staff ("...your rod and staff...")
Putting the Steward's Rod before him, Faramir leant a little on it. But symbol of his authority was grown unsteady, and it slid a little from his grasp, causing him to slip.
A strong arm supported him, and a rumbling voice said: "There now, Grandfather, what would Grandmama say?"
Faramir looked at Barahir, and despite his grey-flecked hair managed a roguish look. "She would likely mumble and mutter at how favored by fortune I am at not having yet tripped over my own aged feet."
Barahir nodded. "Perhaps she would," he said laughingly. And he stooped to pick up the rod for his grandfather, giving its golden top a quick polish before handing it back. "Why Grandfather, since you are so incredibly old and feeble, why do you not use a staff?"
Slipping under the arm that still supported him, Faramir pinned it behind the young man's back. "This old and feeble Steward requires no staff to support him in his dotage, I am certain."
Barahir gasped, but then laughed. "But you do, Grandfather. What if I had not been there? Why do you not walk with a staff?"
Faramir sighed a little, and his hand rested rather wearily on the top of the Steward's Rod. Shaking his head slowly, he answered quietly, "I do not wish to revisit the memories that a staff might bring back to me, my young one. There was once when an aged man, feeble in appearance, was very dear to me, and a staff could only call him up before my eyes. And, alas, he is gone from this world forever, my truest friend."
"Mithrandir?" asked Barahir, his eyes brimming with curiosity.
Faramir nodded, resting his arm on his grandson's shoulder as they descended the stairs together. "Yes, even he."
"Will you tell me a about him?" asked Barahir. "There are no stories that tell of you and he together, and I would like to hear one about the 'old man in a battered hat, who leaned upon a thorny staff.'"
"You know your poetry well," said Faramir, the thin wrinkles in his face clearing. "Very well, O one whose desire for bedtime stories has not yet settled. Where shall I begin? I first met Mithrandir when he came to see my father, and I wished to ask him a very important question about Earendil..."
With an eager and intent face, Barahir listened to all that was said, as grandfather and grandson walked slowly out of the Citadel.
A/N: The story that Faramir tells may be found in my story "Curious Questions". Barahir, Faramir's grandson, is Tolkien's creation, even if his personality is mine. The poetry that he quotes is from Frodo's lament.
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.