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Birthday drabbles
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Fire falls up

RiverOtter asked for stories about getting older and/or wiser.


Age grows wisdom, they say in Bree and he's heard similar sayings in his wandering this Middle-earth.

Yet 'tis not true, he knows. White locks, wrinkles and abundant years are not age, nor does the passage of years make for growing old. And he has seen wise children, who think nothing of giving their bread to a beggar, or their hearts to a stranger, only because of their hungers.

Age is the weight that draws one down, burdens by remembering the flight of years, memorializing their passage in flesh that suffers that flight. Some bear it gracefully, others badly, and if one wishes a measure of wisdom, 'tis in that strange, graceful bearing that frets not unduly, like the self-consuming flame that falls always towards heaven.

Centuries he has walked and labored, and still the balance weighs badly. Gandalf, watching smiling old women toddle open-handed babes, traces the graceful bent of backs, the artless interest, and strives to step lightly.


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