Title: Learning and Relearning Our Histories
Learning and Relearning Our Histories
“Your cousin and his friend awakened a week ago, soon we must begin our travel back the Minas Tirith; from there we shall mostly return to Rohan. It is time that you learn more about your duties and the history of Rohan, Swordthain of the King. I have prepared an area where you can begin your lessons. Would your cousins and friend like to sit with you and learn of your new country?”
Thus began Hirden’s schooling of the hobbits in the history and customs of the Rohirrim. Each morning for a week he would scratch on their tent and they would join him on a hill overlooking a parade ground where the Rohirrim eoreds practiced and perfected their moves in a ballet of war. They were removed from the field that they could see the overall appearance of the moves but were not close enough to overhear the corrections and cursing as the riders worked the kinks out of each move. Here the cooks of the camp knew to keep a steady supply of nutritious foods coming, having been primed by two kings, two princes, one protective dwarf, and two elven healers that the hobbits must not feel that they were in anyway causing hardship with their need for a constant food source. Here was a place that each of the other Walkers knew they could find the hobbits and join them as the demands of the camp allowed. Occasionally Hirden had the privilege of listening to the lessons that Eomer King and Elessar King remembered their tutors teaching them about Rohan. The three wealthier hobbits were already somewhat aware of the challenges of management and as a master gardener and planner of growing things, Sam was experienced in some of the necessary forward thinking that leaders must do. It was interesting to realize that there are people in the world who have never learned of your own culture, but to have the honor of learning their culture while teaching them some of the how and why of life as you have always lived it is unique.
Hirden and Merry were in the midst of a discussion of the reasons and theretofore of crop rotation when they were interrupted by the arrival of the kings’ personal guards. “Something major must be happening; look, Merry: the eoreds have moved to surround the hill and set up as if on guard duty,” Pippin was looking over the field and accessing the suitability of the defenses as they had learned in the days before this. “They have shifted into war parties. The pikes and spears are out front and the archers are in the middle of the pack, with us in the rear to be protected.”
“Master Hirden, you are to be congratulated he has learned the lesson and recognizes the troops deployment without trouble.” Prince Imrahil had arrived at the hill with all of his armor and arms in place. King Elessar on the other hand was still arranging his sword and sheathes on his new armor. “We have been warned that there is an unexplained mass moving in our direction out of Mordor; while we are sure that He is dead and most of his minions have fled they have had the same three weeks to recover that we have had. Some of his more determined servants may be trying to regain some control over their lives. Legolas and Gimli are going to your tent to retrieve your gear now.”
“This hillock will make an excellent sight to oversee any battle if we must engage the enemy. Thankfully because they have been using it for practicing maneuvers we can be fairly certain of the footing if we must make any charges.” Eomer King, Legolas, and Gimli joined the group on the hill. Eomer, Imrahil, and Gimli began to help the hobbits to arm themselves; Aragorn and Legolas moved as high as they could on the curve of the hill to see what Legolas could discern of the mass they were awaiting. Hirden was amazed at how quickly the hobbits accepted the danger and shifted from congenial and pleasant companions into warriors of experience and strength. Up until now it was easy to imagine that these were just another new and immature group that he must train in the ways of Rohirrim warfare. These four had faced many and greater dangers than he had ever dreamt of. And they had triumphed.
Peals of laughter were not what any of the assembled warriors were expecting. All were amused when Legolas threw his arms around Aragorn and just rocked with laughter. Aragorn was laughing so hard he was in danger of falling over and rolling down the hill. When they were able to compose themselves the two make their way to their friends. “Well, foolish elf; what do you see in the wisp of clouds this time…more crebian?” Gimli realized that the elf must have been able to appraise the ‘danger’ and that he was jubilant over the outcome.
“Not crebian, my friend dwarf. But I believe that I will let you await their arrival and see if you recognize them on your own. I shall walk back to camp and apprise the cooks that lunch preparations should be continued. By the time I return the cloud should be close enough for even you to see, Gimli.”
Aragorn had continued on to talk to his guards and they were in the process of following his instructions. “Master Hirden, might we join in your discussion group as we await the ‘invasion’ force? I believe that Imrahil and I might have some interest in crop rotation ourselves?”
And thus it was that Gandalf on returning from a brisk morning ride on Shadowfax found his friends and the eoreds of Rohan watching the first of the great migratory flocks of swallows come up out of the south to spend the hot seasons in the lands of the north.
“We have all been so entangled in fighting the evils of his making it never occurred to us to wander about the depletion of the harmless and helpless creatures that have needed to journey over his lands all these many year; I wonder how many more signs of hope we will yet be greeted with?”