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Two For Trouble
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1

The boys may seem a bit precocious for two but this was conscious decision on my part. Tolkien says that elves acquired language skills young and these two are, in addition to that, sons of Fëanor. Also, if anyone wonders how the tanner might know what Finwë would call his grandson, I would argue that they were the celebrities of their day and every bit of information would be circulated as gossip.


~~~

Every summer they come here. They buy all their leather directly from me. Take it from me to the cobbler and the saddler. Prince Fëanaro won't use their standard stock. Only mine is fine enough for his family. The first time I saw the two youngest they were with the oldest brother Prince Nelyafinwë, the one King Finwë calls Russandol, the best looking of a handsome lot.

Prince Nelyafinwë had driven his mother along with the two littlest ones. They stopped right here in front and he leapt down from the simple cart that they had ridden up in with the grace of a Vala taken elven-form. It was built like the kind a farmer might use to bring his produce to the market but well-painted and clean; bright red it was with black trim, a merry-looking outfit, well-maintained.

The Lady Nerdanel moved into the driver's seat and took the reins but those two, alike as two chicks just hatched from two eggs, set about fussing--squealing enough for a wagonload of ill-mannered brats. I couldn't hear what any of them were saying but it seemed the small lads wanted to go with their brother. The Lady looked to be scolding while those two paid her no more mind than if she were the wind in their ears. Then Prince Nelyafinwë laughed and said something to her and then to the boys. He lifted them out of the cart and set them on their feet. Made sure he had a tight hold on each of them and bade his lady mother farewell. She reached out, touched his cheek. Such a smile lit up her face whenever she looked at her eldest, nearly made her look a girl again.

The two wee demons, barely reached his knees they did, stood legs apart and chins up with a stance as proud as their sire. Their hair was as bright as that of their elder brother. Resembled him so much you could have mistaken him for their atto if you hadn't have known better. Pulling on their brother, they marched right up to me like they intended to make an offer to buy the place.

Prince Nelyafinwë looked from me to them and laughed like he thought they were right clever. He said to them, "I will only warn you once. One wrong move and I'll take you back to Amil." They nodded like they meant it. He said, "Fine. Now mind your manners. This is the Master Tanner of Formenos. Please greet him politely."

They answered both in one voice, "Good morning, sir."

Sounded and looked like cherubs they did, except around the eyes--full of mischief and more than bit wild. Then I asked, "And will you tell me what be your names, sons of Fëanaro?"

"Ambarussa!" they came back at me quick as you please in chorus.

The one on the right piped, "Pityafinwë," and the one on the left, "Telufinwë."
They've grown up to be fine young men, generous and well-spoken. Nearly as fair as their brother, though not as tall or strongly built. Yet still are always on the look-out for trouble. High-spirited they are, not ill-willed.

~~~

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Further Author's Notes:

1) I was worried when I had finished this piece that the little devils ought to have been complaining about the smell. (I think tanneries smell bad or maybe I am mixing them up with a glue factory and a tannery side-by-side on the outskirts of the little town on the Ohio River where my mother grew up.) I almost continued the scene to include that element but it seemed like it would ruin the symmetry so I decided I wouldn't worry. (Or maybe those clever Noldor would have figured out a way around that problem.)

2) The concept here (highly disputable, but I think not ruled out by canon) is that Formenos existed as a town before Feanor built his stronghold there when he was forced into exile.

3) Going nuts over the use of cherub. Can't think of better word. I'm willing to leave it and assume it is a translation from Quenya to English of a word I do not know. (How is that for shameless self-justification?)


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