Lessons of Birds
I've always loved watching birds. The aggressive blue and white ones have brash calls, steal brazenly from others and are not well loved. The red ones are largely silent but devoted mates and their brilliant coloring lifts my heart. Blending seamlessly into the background are multitudes sporting brown plumage, always watching for opportunity. Predators cull the weak and astound with aerial acrobatics in the sky. Yes, an elf can learn a great deal about behavior by watching birds.
Some birds are treasured because of their gifts; the nightingale is cherished for her music and the iridescent feathers of several species are carefully collected and incorporated into jewelry and artwork. Then there are those that sparkle with gold - as if the very sun itself splashed them with a casual paintbrush. I was born under the starlight but the large lights that seemed to coincide with the arrival of our relations from the West fascinate me. The golden birds reflect Anar and have won my heart.
Melian surrounds herself with elleths who dress in clothing rivaling the colors of birds. They coo and trill and circle around the queen in a never-ending dance of misdirection.
I enter the court and bow to my liege lord and his lady but then I become uncomfortable when the colorful ladies of the court surround me.
“Dance with me, Lord Celeborn.”
“Isn't the moonlight romantic tonight, Lord Celeborn?”
“Would you walk in the gardens with me, Lord?”
“Lord Celeborn, ...”
The words blend into meaningless sound even as their bodies seem to merge into a single multicolored harpy. I shiver, turn, and leave Court again. I want to return to the living trees, not remain among the carved columns of the fortress.
Entering a glade, I see her. She is framed by a ray of sunlight, gleaming as if liquid light. Holding her bow she says, “Teach me to shoot, Lord.” Her voice is deep, calming. Her words are sparse, carefully chosen. I am entrapped.