This small fiction should be the ultimate epilog of the green book of Tuckborough, but can be read alone.
Gandalf was walking through the woods, deep in thought. On the red carpet, his staff marked the hesitant and muffled pace of his walk, while the dubious wizard examined fatal recent events. The forest around was slowly stripping of its glorious gold and purple. Overloaded saplings were spreading their burden of ruddy fruits and amber leaves, as their summer vitality was slowly ebbing.
A stealthy growl turned the attention of the old man who brandished his stick. From the still dense green thickets, echoed a powerful trigger, followed by a flexible and fluid reception on dry leaves. Yellow almond eyes narrowed stealthily in the dark foliage. A huge lynx advanced from under ripe clusters, sniffing the gray magician who calmed down.
Gandalf knelt while removing his faded felt and greeted the giant lynx with a stroke. Rhosgobel’s enchantments were accompanied by an infallible watch, which relentless ferocity discouraged, for the moment, the corrupt hordes of Dol Guldur. The beast let out a roar of complicity and disappeared under the thickets.
Gandalf had directed himself thanks to Radagast’s hives, that peopled the clearings at the forefront of his refuge. Coming out of a thicket, the gray magician entered a grassy meadow. A large majestic stag turned his powerful antlers to him, already angrily scraping the floor with his hooves.
A small brown and talkative figure warmly interjected:
- "Your Majesty, may I introduce my cousin Olorin ? He is a bit hasty and hardly understands the ways of the forest, but he is a worthy wizard, who excels in his own field! "
Radagast abstained to add that apart from fire - that it would have seemed unseemly to brag about before the Great Stag who feared it - he had never understood what could be the specialties of his distant cousin. But he gave him full confidence, for Gandalf’s love for the children of Illuvatar indeed extended to their four-legged companions.
Approaching, gray magician discovered that the Grand Cerf, the height at the withers exceeded its own size, smoldering gaze a large doe, lying on its side in the grass.
- "I'll take care of your female, your Majesty. With the help of Yavanna, she will join you shortly, pushing before her your vigorous young fawns! "
While approaching, the gray magician discovered that the Great Stag, which withers height exceeded his own size, was smoldering gaze a large doe, lying on her side in the grass.
A tear wandered to the edge of the female’s velvet eye, when the large male bent over her distended belly. The brown wizard, imitated by his cousin, bent as the Great Stag rut and rushed into the thickets.
- "He must go to war every fall now. The woods get more obscure every year." Radagast sighed. Many lines had formed at the august ranger’ forefront while he sniffed the air toward the southwest. As to raise the brown wizard’s morale, a pigeon looked up over his fur hat and cooed a comforting song. A fountain of dried dung along Radagast’s ear and beard showed that the bird was nesting full time on the head of his protector. His brown eyes softened and seemed to come back to the present.
- "Gandalf! Come on! You should make yourself useful!", Threw the brown wizard by rolling up the sleeves of his coat.
Cousin Olorin nodded somehow ruefully, following the ranger and helping to carry the full doe on the landlord’s sleigh.
Along the way, Gandalf related his latest adventure and spoke his host about his doubts and concerns, but Radagast did not seem to care about events outside the desperate struggle he led against Amon Lanc dark hordes.
- "Two dragons ! Come on, Gandalf! If you insist on bearing your venerable attention towards the north, I need to provide you with further information! ", he patronized.
This required a day-long answer or nothing at all. The gray wizard sighed : it seemed useless to seek the advice of the honest Radagast, outside the fate of the animals or the war against Dol Guldur. His friend must have suffered many setbacks...
But his host absolutely meant to offer some help. A few minutes later, a large buzzard landed on his shoulder, not without casting hungry glances at the dove who cowered in his hat.
The brown wizard and the prey bird exchanged a few plaintive cries.
- "Adlor reports that a sprite... iridescent... managed to put an end to the war between the Great Eagles and the Giants!”
Radagast felt uncomfortable with the improbability of such news, and thought his friend might, in turn, laugh at his information. But to his surprise, Gandalf showed great interest. Frowning his bushy eyebrows, Olorin interrogated the buzzard which tilted its head, watching the newcomer with a bewildered air.
- "Gandalf, you are desperately horny!" Intervened Radagast
The gray wizard was taken aback and protested, but Radagast interrupted:
- "I am positive! Your twittering sounds like a horn! Try again! »
Avian semiotics was one of cousin Radagast’s pet peeves. His perseverance with animals was only equaled by his impatience with thinking bipeds. Gandalf whistled again applying with much good will.
- "Prolong the trill! And more flexibility on the Kwââkk! »
Gandalf huffed and puffed with red cheeks, under the thumb of the inflexible master fowler.
- "You are incorrigible! Let me do it!" ended up exasperated Radagast.
After many questions, translations, comments, denials, demands for confirmations and various details, Gandalf knew that a kind of leprechaun, an offshoot of the irises marshes on the great River Anduin, was captured by a Great Eagle and had helped, for the price of his life, defeat the Giants who infamously warred on them. After which the Northern Eagles seemed to have brought home their benefactor, west of the Misty Mountains.
Without further comment, the gray wizard took out his pipe and filled it with a slight smile, as if he had just received good news about a dear friend.
The sturdy trunks of a powerful strain had invested an old mansion of the Bearnings and raised the imposing building in the lap of their forks. The branches of the centuries-old beech had intertwined with the oak beams of the old common hall. The men of the bear clan had to abandon it, but the new occupant had accommodated with the openings brightening the ceiling and life teeming in its foliage. The home of Radagast included many parts, corners, windows, posterns and staircases, randomly added by the beech’s distorting growth. Now it housed entire colonies of woodland animals who contributed in one way or another to the coexistence, generally peaceful, of their species.
The wizards reached the mansion in the late afternoon. Winged squadrons were flying in the declining ceiling blue, reviving the sweet and warm fullness of summer with the exquisite carefree of their warbling. Their flight spread far around the refuge, relaying the vigilant attention of the Master of Rhosgobel and maintaining contact with the army of his allies, with fur or feathers.
Radagast pushed the door of the ground floor. A large bed stood in the middle of an indescribable jumble.
The brown wizard carried the full doe there and brought some straw. Gandalf was quickly relegated to the floor, as he behaved so gawky and annoyed active Radagast. The gray wizard retired, found a chair and fell fast asleep there. He had not sat in a safe place with a roof over his head for many moons.
The song of the blackbird pulled Gandalf from a deep dreamless sleep. The new morning light was filtering in golden hues by Rhosgobel skylights. The wizard stretched a moment, gazing with amusement the incredible mess that reigned on the floor, in a busy hum of bees.
The building was hardly level, but the astute dweller had used every inch to store plants in pots, vials, colored soils, seeds of all sizes, fragrant herbs, medicines and strange instruments. In front of the windows bloomed improbable grafts. In a giant transparent glass jar, you could see an entire anthill, galleries and rooms, the workers in and out of the jar and running along the floor towards the forest. On the tables were spread countless moss cultures, with variegated textures and colors, or elixirs with strange glows. Everywhere were running plant stems that brought water to the miniature forest. A large hive hanged from the intersection of two beams, from where the swarm flew to an open window.
Aimless, the wizard amused himself with a curious installation: an inverted ceramic bottle, sealed with a drip-tap, overlooked a tray filled with spores of a soft green. Some scrolls piled nearby bore Radagast’s tiny and illegible handwriting. Gandalf thought he could decipher notes about the black mildew. Intrigued, he let a few drops in the tray. A viscous and ink black liquid crept into the spongy foam sip with spores. Immediately the dark streak spread in all directions, as if the liquid reached the core of every seed.
With a guilty conscience, Gandalf stepped back and watched, ready to sterilize this horror with a purifying fire blast. But the drag stabilized, then slowly its conquering arms dislocated in a sparkling cloud as the green spore won back.
Gandalf, sighing with relief and repressing a culpable frown, ensured that the valve was properly closed, and promised himself, not to touch anything.
He picked up his backpack and staff, and prepared to walk down the stairs. The wizard stopped short, unprepared.
Standing on the porch, a big beaver was watching him carefully and suspiciously, her arms folded. A scarf tied around her head and a tiled apron gave her quite the air of a hobbit gossip.
Remembering some Longbottom strong chatterbox, the gray wizard cleared his throat, took a careless air and went downstairs with dignity. Behind him some scathing remarks rang out about nosy rascals and freeloaders, but he pretended not to hear, while the beaver lady began her household with grumpiness.
Radagast was blessed with a deep sleep and loud snoring, lying on a straw bale ripped on the floor, in the middle of empty baby bottles, a little fawn in his lap. Gandalf looked at the scene with a shy smile that faltered when he saw the doe, issued for now, nursing another fawn on the bloodied bed.
The gray wizard stroked the Great Stag’s offspring, took it from Radagast and went to his mother. The brown wizard awoke and stood up, shaking his fleas like a wild boar in the middle of his lair.
- "Oh, Radagast! " Said exceeded Gandalf.
Hearing loud recriminations sounding off the floor, the brown wizard explained Gandalf that he had known this creature when she was quite small. He had taken her in, while her parents were to succumb to a vicious wolf attack from Dol Guldur, on an eastern tributary of the Anduin.
Rapidement, l’intelligente castor s’était rendue utile, réparant et étendant le fief de son maitre, qui eut l’idée de la nourrir de ses élixirs. C’est alors qu’ils reçurent la visite d’un elfe de Lorien, un émissaire de Dame Galadriel. Ce qui devait arriver se produisit : la jeune castor prit goût à la parole…
Quickly, the lovely and witty beaver had proved useful, repairing and extending the stronghold of her master, who had the idea to feed her with his elixirs. That's when they were visited by an elf of Lorien, an emissary of Lady Galadriel. And that happened: the young beaver took a liking to speech...
- "Radagast, was it reasonable?", Uneasily and reproachfully interrupted Gandalf.
His host nodded ruefully:
- "I know, but she had such a thirst to do well! She meant so much to be of service, and helps me thoroughly! She rules the household with a firm and just grip. But in the end I'm not sure I made her happy... With age advancing and in the absence of a... suitable companion... she got bitter..."
As a matter of fact, unkind comments about the wizards’ poor hygiene descended the stairs, shortly before their author.
Notifying the disorder of the room and sunk sheets, Radagast claimed to have some urgent business to conduct. He grabbed his stick and slipped away before the matron of the house could see the pitiful state of the ground floor. Gandalf followed him, as much to avoid the severe house-keeper, as to talk seriously with his host about what had brought him to Rhosgobel.
Radagast walked quickly away from his home, to take refuge out of earshot. He did well because strangled yelps pursued him for quite a long time.
At the edge of the wood, a litter of young red squirrels happily pursued between smooth branches of a sprawling hazel, bending under its nuts while their elders strove to a curious ride, collecting fruits in a jar wood.
- "Thank you very much, Madam Spip! What news about Scrat?"
A salvo of acute complaints arose. Radagast took a sorry air. The grievances promising to extend, the brown wizard threw a determined air:
- "I'll talk to him. Your elder must abandon this absurd quest for the biggest acorn of Greenwood! Fear not!"
Gandalf arrived as his cousin pretended to walk away again, jumping from one idea to another.
- "Aïwendil !" Protested the gray wizard, by using the voice of their order.
The interested party finally stopped and deign to listen. Gandalf told him the tragic fate of King Thràin, kidnapped with some parents by the minions of Dol Guldur. For a long time the two elders weighed their chances, imagining the best course of action to help the unfortunate descendant of Dùrin.
Radagast did not hide his pessimism but conjured Gandalf to wait a few months before his attempt.
- "We must leave the Hydra doze to expect any chance of success... And in addition, you need to regain your strength..."
Gandalf, sick at heart, had to surrend to his arguments.
When they returned to the manor, mother beaver had set the table for lunch, in the room she had completely scrubbed. The doe and her fawns now lodged in a comfortable shed, built in the morning and amply provided with straw.
The housekeeper was waiting for them sternly, her butler towel on her arm. Radagast ducked his head when he passed in front of her, but he was called to order and wash his hands! Gandalf could not repress a smile, thus the same blame was applied to him.
While the austere governess brought and served them the meal, with an offended air, the two wizards suffered a whole string of ironic and bitter comments about the chronic disorder of the master, his irresponsibility to invite questionable vagabonds, and some other grievances, held in reserve for the days of great irritation.
When they were alone, Olorin asked his cousin how he could stand such an irascibility, to what Aïwendil answered with an evasive gesture.
But when Gandalf had emptied his second plate of tasty stew with mushrooms, he understood better the extraordinary indulgence of Radagast.
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