Tolkien Fan Fiction Home Tolkien Fan FictionAll the tales of the Valar and the Elves are so knit together that one may scarce expound any one without needing to set forth the whole of their great history.
Birthday drabbles
  Post A Review  Printer Friendly  Help


Trade in kind

Vilwarin asked for anything with Aragorn and Rangers.


"There's no journey without a hitch," the older Rangers say. "There's always something—just hope it doesn't kill you or anyone else."

Aragorn and Halbarad have faced bandits, orcs, payment reneged, floods, and one time even fire when a summer thunderstorm set the plains between Mirkwood and the High Pass alight. That had nearly been the end of them; it had certainly been the end of the goods they had been guarding.

This time, it's a broken cart—Southern measure doesn't fit the ruts in the Road near Bree, and the axel had given way, taking much of the undercarriage with it. Halbarad had run ahead to town to bring help, while Aragorn had stood guard with the cursing merchant.

Eventually, help had come: a cart to match the ruts and carry the goods, and draft horses to drag the wagon back to town, whence it was sent to the smith and carpenter. Aragorn and Halbarad, off duty now, go with it nonetheless to watch as smith and carpenter take off dented wheels, break out the old axel and its damaged fittings, make a new one, replace the chassis, fit the cart with iron-capped wheels broader in the rim than the ruts.

"Are you any good at carpentry?" Halbarad asks.

"I can make a bow. Or a spear," Aragorn replies.

Halbarad grunts. "Too bad," he says. "Sometimes, I wish…"

He doesn't finish, but he doesn't need to. Young as they are, they've been on the Road long enough now to know their proper craft—to know that it's no 'craft' at all, as the smith or the carpenter or weaver or even merchant measures the meaning of that word.

Thus as the smith and carpenter shake hands, Aragorn murmurs wistfully, "Me, too." He ducks his head and sighs. "Me, too!"


Post A Review

Report this chapter for abuse of site guidelines. (Opens new window)

A Mike Kellner Web Site
Tolkien Characters, Locations, & Artifacts © Tolkien Estate & Designated Licensees - All Rights Reserved
Stories & Other Content © The Respective Authors - All Rights Reserved
Software & Design © 2003 - 2018 Michael G Kellner All Rights Reserved
Hosted by:Raven Studioz