My Meeting with the Elves
Jillian Liew (Galendeloth)
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Walking past the back woods of my house one day, I noticed something very strange deep in the forest. It looked as green and as lush as it was throughout the year before, but something caught my eye that time. My inquisitiveness got the better of me and so I made for the direction of the strange soft rustling noise and the glint of bright yellow in the woods.
It wasn’t difficult trekking through the thick woods with the tall ancient trees hovering above me. There was a path, so I took it as that was the only choice I had. This was my first time in the old forest as my parents always warned me not to go into it. This was one of those times when your parents’ orders just weren’t enough to stop you from getting your foot into a huge discovery.
After about thirty minutes of walking on the beaten path, I looked down to view my sore aching feet only to realize the path was gone. Trees were growing all around me, but no path leading back to my home. Panic flowed through me like the blood rushing to your cheeks when you were embarrassed. I didn’t know what to do. Every worry-stricken thought went through my head. What if I never get home? What if I’m hopelessly lost forever in this ancient forest with no hope of survival? My heart tightened in my chest and my voice was lost and I could not find it to shout for help.
“The sun is dying,
Someone or some people were actually singing joyfully in this dreadful forest. If they were singing, that meant they knew their way, for sane people do not sing when they are lost. I immediately scrambled my way towards the voices a few distance ahead. The voice or voices were getting clearer. I hastened my pace. The sound of many hoofs clicked. I was nearing the joyful songs, I knew it.
Suddenly, the clicking stopped and the songs ceased. I was hidden behind bushes so I knew I was quite safe.
“Who treads there?” said a voice. “Show yourself, or we shall spear you with our arrows.”
I was scared naturally so I surfaced out of instinct and pronounced myself.
“Do not spear me! I am just a lost traveler, I seek my home but I do not know the way!”
When I saw what I saw, it was a sight to behold. What I saw was people or rather unlike people; they appeared tall and slim, beautiful and proud. They were dressed in some fashion which I wasn’t too familiar with. The dozen or so bodies were clad in green and brown garments and had on long cloaks with silver brooches fastened to it. All had their weapons of bows pulled or long swords drawn. To add to their gracefulness, their hairs were long till their chests and were either dark or blonde in color.
“What is a halfling doing here? Is it a spy following us for weeks now?” asked one of them in a commanding voice. He had an arrow ready aimed at my chest.
“Hold your tongue, Haerendil. She does not look it nor carry any harmful weapons. First, we shall ask questions,” said the leader of the group calmly. He above them all appeared to be glowing actually. He got off his horse with such smooth actions and fell to the ground without a hush of noise. The rest followed suit and fitted their weapons back to their original places. When they stood up, they were at least six foot or above. Their stern expressions gave away faces of warriors, I should think. And then I noticed something very queer. Unlike the people I know at home, these people had long fair faces and strangely, sharp pointed ears. Something in my heart told me I have seen them before or heard of people such as these.
“Who are you? And why have you been following us since? My people and I have been traveling for long. We are weary and cannot waste any time. Answer swiftly and we shall do what we can to help you little one,” spoke the fairest and tallest one with a very smooth voice.
I swallowed my fear and answered as best I could. It did not seem wise to upset them, “I am just a lost traveler and I seek my home with the hams roasting and pies baking in the oven. I do not wish any harm done to you or your people. Or should I say… elves of your kind.” That was when I remembered where I noticed these beings before. They were elves. Beautiful, fair, and lovely creatures elves were. The elves stared at me with curious looks. They did not seem threatened by my stature but were interested in my being here.
“You are a clever one, little halfling. We are elves, but Wood Elves mind you. I am called by the name of Thranduil. These people follow my words for I am the King of the Wood Elves of Mirkwood. We are travelers too. We are only a fortnight from our destination. I believe we have some time to spare to help the little one get back to her home. Tell me, where do you hail from?” said Thranduil at last. His face was soft and tender. He did not look a day old at all, for a king’s face is usually hard and old from time. The rest appeared the same. Ageless looking yet old from experience of the trekking of woods such as these.
“I came from ten or twenty yards back there at that old crooked birch tree but was following a trail heading east I believe, for half an hour before that,” I explained as best as I could. They looked at me with quite humorous feelings.
“Very good! That shouldn’t be too difficult a path for my kinsman to find. My son, Legolas, will search for your trail,” said the elf king. Came forth an elf, though an elf prince, looking and dressed as humble as the rest of the other elves apart from the king. He was tall, at least six feet, and gentle looking. He jogged back the way I came from. I noticed he did not even make a twig crack as he trekked the leaf covered path lightly. In no less than a few minutes, Legolas returned with good news.
“I have traced the halfling’s path,” said Legolas in his elven tongue to his father. Thranduil smiled at satisfaction. “If you would kindly follow me, I shall lead you the way,” said Legolas in the common speech to me. I followed the elf prince but had a hard time keeping up with him. The rest did not follow but stayed where they were. I bid the Wood Elf king, Thranduil farewell because and that was the last time I shall lay eyes on him. Soon, I came across some trees that seemed familiar to me. Even the air seemed noticeable. Legolas was way ahead of me. My breath was failing me a little. Then he stopped a few paces from me looking directly straight at a path.
“This is where we depart, little halfling. Your trail is through these oak and birch trees if you can find it, which shouldn’t be too difficult,” said Legolas. Then he turned and faced a tree and gently caressed its trunk. His face looked solemn. “Do not be hasty in calling them old and useless. They tell a many great stories and history. I grew up living with the trees in the woods. I know a great deal about them. My kinsmen are waiting and my father is worrying. I bid you farewell and a safe trip to your home. Take care, little one,” With that, Legolas turned and ran swiftly back to the waiting hands of the traveling elves of Mirkwood. That was the last time I will ever see elves.
I could only stare after him. I had just met elves. This is not a very common thing to happen to my people. They were marvelous and an experience for me. I followed the trail the second time back to my humble home with the fires crackling and the kettle singing. On my way home, it got me thinking about what Legolas said before he left. The trees can tell you stories of old times, if you search carefully enough. I hurried on home to tell my Uncle Bilbo Baggins all about my adventure with the elves, like the ones he had with the wizard Gandalf and the thirteen dwarves.