Feelings of Superiority
They had sailed east for days, but the land showed only a smudge against the horizon.
"There," the man pointed, "live the men who need us most. Their lives are short and they know nothing of things you take for granted. We will bring them as much wisdom as they can accept."
The boy leaned against his father. "Were we not the same people once?"
"They stayed in darkness while we have been touched by the Valar." The man tightened his hold on the boy's shoulder. "We are their natural lords. They will be grateful we have returned at last."
Tall Lords of Rhovanion
"Isn't it cheating," I whispered to my father in our own tongue, "if we say these are good horses?"
"They are good enough for their kind. Speak only truth and you will have honor."
In my eyes all the horses were culls I'd be happy to see gone. The sickle-hocked or pigeon-toed, chicken-hearted young stallions shook their pretty braided manes and pranced around the grandly robed dark-haired men.
"I wanted this stallion," to practice gelding, I thought sourly while keeping a smile on my lips, "but my father says he is worthy of you and so I must do without."
I watched my father sharpen his sword and gather his gear for war. My heart burned that I lacked the years to accompany him.
"Why do they deny the truth, father? They are so dark-hearted they do not seem like Men."
"There is merit in their slaughter, and who knows? Some may be brought to the light by our example."
"Will the war be over by the time I am old enough to fight?"
"Pray that it is so, and make the sacrifices at the proper times. I fight for the day when we will live forever in Annatar's light."
The Slopes of Taniquetil
When I heard what they did, I withdrew into myself. "I do not understand. How could they do that?"
My father drew me into his arms and smoothed the hair back from my brow. "I know not. The light is richer and more golden, brighter, where we dwell and we lack for naught."
I felt the pull of joy in my heart and turned from it to the outer lands. "They truly waste their time in making things?"
"The glory is in the words and the song and the being. They seem lesser but perhaps they have the light within."
Acts of Creation
"The best times happen in the forge and the workshops where we come close to divinity in the making of new and glorious things. The land is better for our shaping. Peer beneath the surface and you will begin to fathom the mind of Eru, my son."
Under his sure hands and my learning ones, a new thing came into being, and it seemed good to us.
"What of the others, father, who do not know this joy?"
"Those who live content to bask in others' creations are surely lesser in the mind of Eru. We pity them."
"What are they?" I could not keep the fear from my voice.
"Those who listened. You see what has become of them."
They swathed themselves in layers of fiber and leather, cut off from the sun and wind, and their unknown language sounded harsh. I fingered the sharp stone tip of an arrow and looked to my father for permission to shoot.
"They chose their fate, my son. Come away and leave them to it. You need not see them again."
Vision blurred with tears, I melded into the forest. Cuiviénen changed, but we stayed and kept faith with Eru.