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23
White Ladies (Éowyn)

The long labor has ended, and the weary new mother is well. My grand-daughter regards me with bright grey eyes, so like Faramir’s.

“Is the baby horse truly alright, Grandmama?”

“It is a little filly, Aredhel; and yes, she will do quite well.” The child is barely four years of age, but it is never too soon to learn the rudiments of horse lore.

“Am I too late?” Faramir enters the stall, bearing a bucket of fresh water. “Ah, the foal is here! He sets the bucket down, then kisses my cheek. “Well done, my dear!”

I would have praised the mare before the rider. But he has always put me first.

“Look, Grandmama, Grandsire!” Aredhel squeals. The newborn grey filly struggles slowly to her feet. “Can I ride her?”

I catch Aredhel’s small hand before she can run to the foal. “Nay, child. She is just a baby; much too young to ride. But you will ride her when you are both older.” I sit down on the straw-covered floor and pull her close, leaning my back against the wall. She lies back sleepily in my arms. Remembering how her father lay there too, I press a kiss atop her raven-haired head.

“If your grandmother agrees, we will name the foal Ar-Feiniel; for she will be a white lady too, like both of you” Faramir tells the child. Leave it to my Prince to find a pretty Elvish name for the foal. I suppose it is fitting. Faramir knows that the filly will be white by the time Aredhel rides her. I smile my assent.

Faramir sits down beside me, and puts his strong arm around us both. Together, my husband and grand-daughter and I watch our newest White Lady totter to her mother and begin to nurse.

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