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Stillness

Author: Linda Hoyland
Title: Stillness
Rating: PG
Theme: Back to School
Elements: Wilderness skills
Beta: none
Author's Notes: none
Summary: When Eldarion fails to pay attention to his tutor, Aragorn decides a spot of Ranger training might teach a valuable lesson.
These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain.
Word Count: 719




“Your tutor tells me that you have been fidgeting and not paying attention during your Quenya lessons, Eldarion,” Aragorn sternly admonished his young son.

“But Quenya is so boring, ada! It is so hard to sit still! And what use is it, since I want to be a Ranger! Rangers don’t sit learning boring old words.”

Aragorn looked thoughtful. ”Do you indeed, ion nîn?” he replied. “Maybe then we should begin your training in earnest tomorrow. I have a free afternoon.”

“Yes please!” Eldarion jumped for joy.

***

“I expected you to scold Eldarion, not give him a treat,” Arwen later reproved her husband. “If he is to become as great a king as you, he will need to study.”

“I believe he will apply himself more carefully to his studies in future, my love,” Aragorn said mildly. “He reminds me very much of myself at his age.”

Arwen regarded her husband quizzically but said no more.

***

The nest afternoon, the King and his excited young son set out for the woodland that bordered the Pelennor. A group of Faramir’s Rangers acted as their guards. They followed at a discreet distance endeavouring to make themselves invisible.

“I am going to teach you how to track a deer today,” Aragorn told his son.

“Can I kill one?” Eldarion asked with the bloodthirsty gusto typical of the young.

“Not for many years yet,” his father replied. “Deer are Yavanna’s gift to us, as are all the wild creatures, and we must respect them, only kill when we are hungry and then quickly and cleanly with a single shot. No, I shall show you how to track a deer, but you will need to be very still and quiet and pay attention. Do you think you can do that?”

“Yes, ada,” Eldarion replied.

“Look! ”said Aragorn. “Here are the hoof prints of a stag. We will follow them.”

Aragorn and Eldarion followed the tracks until they came to a thicket surrounding a stream.

“The stag has crossed the stream,” said Aragorn. “We will wait here concealed in the undergrowth and see if any others come to drink.”

The boy and his father settled themselves in the bracken and waited. Aragorn was as unmoving as the surrounding trees, but Eldarion fidgeted constantly. “Why don’t the deer come, ada?” he asked after a while. “It is dull sitting here waiting!”
“The deer can hear you moving around, ion nîn, “ said Aragorn. “They will not come because they are afraid. Maybe we should go home?”

“Ada, no!” Eldarion protested. “I can be still, I promise!”

“Very well, we will wait a little longer,” Aragorn agreed.

Father and son settled down again to wait. This time, Eldarion remained still and quiet and they were rewarded with the sight of a hind and her fawn drinking from the stream. Aragorn smiled at Eldarion’s rapt gaze. The boy seemed hardly to breathe so determined was he not to frighten the deer away.

“Can we watch and see if any more come?” Eldarion asked when the doe and her baby vanished through the trees.

“Of course,” said the King.

Eldarion managed to remain quiet for long enough to see a stag, a fox and a wild boar visit the stream. He only stirred when his father told him it was time to return home for supper. On the way back, Aragorn taught the boy the correct terms used in hunting and tracking.

***
That evening when Aragorn went to bid goodnight to his son he found the boy in a thoughtful mood. “Did you enjoy being a Ranger today?” the King asked.

“Oh yes, ada! I did indeed,” Eldarion replied. “I want to be a Ranger when I grow up, so I will practise sitting still when I learn my lessons.”

“That is exactly how I learned to be still,” Aragorn informed him.

“I still think Quenya is boring, though!” said Eldarion. “Do Rangers have to know it?”

“Can you remember the words I taught you this afternoon?” Aragorn asked.

“Oh, yes, they were interesting ones.”

“And every one of them was Quenya!” With that Aragorn kissed his son goodnight and went in search of Arwen. He thought it would be a long time before the tutor complained again that his pupil was not paying attention.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamflower02
Jan. 17th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Once more Aragorn proves what a wise father he is, showing Eldarion that patience is a virtue in a way that shows it's not only virtuous but also useful!

And I loved the bit at the end: "And every one of them was Quenya!” LOL!
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm pleased my story made you smile. It just jumped in my head when I read through the prompts!
shirebound
Jan. 18th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
What a wonderful father and teacher. Eldarion is a fortunate boy.
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
Thank you,yes Eldarion is indeed lucky to have such a wise father!
someplacetobe
Jan. 18th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
I liked this, that Aragorn showed him that Quenya was useful and demonstrated what a great teacher he is!
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm pleased you enjoyed my story.
ellynn_ithilwen
Jan. 18th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
Aww, such a lovely story! :) I knew Aragorn would somehow show his son the importance of learning. He did it perfectly. :)
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm pleased you enjoyed this glipse of Aragorn and Eldarion.
harrowcatliz
Jan. 18th, 2011 11:41 am (UTC)
What a great way to teach. A treasured afternoon by both.
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Thank you. I'm sure both of them will always remember.
virtuella
Jan. 18th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so true to life! There are always pupils who think they don't need an education because they want to become an X, Y or Z - as if in any of those careers they could do without skills...
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
Thank you.I'm so pleased you felt this was true to life. I recall when I was little announcing I wanted to be the only person in England who could not read!
paranoidangel42
Jan. 18th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Aw, that's really sweet. I like that Aragorn finds a way to get Eldarion to sit still and learn Quenya by stealth.
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:46 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm pleased you enjoyed seeing Aragorn impart some wisdom to his son!
clodia_metelli
Jan. 18th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Awww, sneaky Aragorn! What a clever way to handle the child.
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm pleased you liked Aragorn's cleverness.
(Deleted comment)
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Thank you.I'm sure Aragorn was both.
blslarner
Jan. 19th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
And I'm certain much the same means were used to help him learn to sit still and not fidget, and to help him appreciate the languages he was expected to learn. Lovely tale, and definitely in keeping with what we know of the nature of small boys and this particular small boy's father!
lindahoyland
Jan. 19th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
Thank you I'm pleased you enjoyed this. I always imagine Eldarion as much like his father when he was young.
antane
Jan. 20th, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
That was a great way to motivate his son to be more attentive to his lessons. What a great father and mentor Aragorn is. Your other story shows it too.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)
lindahoyland
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
Thank you so much.I'm pleased you enjoyed these glimpses of Aragorn as a father.May God bless you too.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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