The door of Feanaro’s study slammed shut behind him. Nolofinwe’s glare slid away from the impervious oak and hit Maitimo, who had just come into the hallway with a drawing in his hand that he had meant to show his father. Maitimo shook his head in confusion, his ears ringing a little as if he had been slapped. Nolofinwe gave an angry snort and stormed out of the house.
Maitimo looked at the drawing in his hand and discovered what he guessed he should have known already. Even if it had not evidently been the wrong moment, his drawing of a kingfisher in flight was not good enough to show his father. Looking at it dispassionately—now that the first flush of creation had passed—what he saw was an engaging enthusiasm in the underlying sketch, several flaws in the execution and a distinct lack of originality overall.
He swallowed his disappointment and, drawing still in hand, wandered out into the garden where he found Makalaure, who had somehow escaped his mother’s supervision again, sitting on his behind in the dirt and mulling over the question whether he was lost and whether he should start yelling now or maybe put it off a bit.
‘Look, Kano, I drew a bird’, said Maitimo and showed him the drawing.
Kano’s face lit up.
‘Bird’, he said and reached out and grabbed.
In no time, the paper had crumpled and torn in his pudgy little fists.
‘Bird gone’, said Kano uncertainly.
He felt this was a greater crisis, potentially, than being lost.
‘No’, said Maitimo soothingly, picking him up and settling him in the crook of his arm, ‘the bird is not gone, Kano. It’s still out there.’ He pointed off into the hazy distance where—somewhere—kingfishers flew and dived.
He began carrying Kano up and down the garden path, singing a song to him about kingfishers. It wasn’t a very good song and he didn’t sing it very well, but that did not matter, because Kano liked Maitimo to sing to him. Kano cuddled against him to listen.
They forgot about the drawing. Rain came and washed away the colours and soaked the paper. Their father’s anger lasted longer than that.