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With the Last Light of Durin's Day
[Bilbo] went to the opening and there pale and faint was a thin new moon above the rim of Earth. At that very moment he heard a sharp crack behind him. There on the grey stone in the grass was an enormous thrush, nearly coal black, its pale yellow breast freckled with dark spots. Crack! It had caught a snail and was knocking it on the stone. Crack! Crack!†The Hobbit, ĎOn the Doorstepí
He was large, and strong, and courage displayed in a lifetime of battles and skirmishes to keep himself and his clan safe and fed had brought him great respect. He was a good provider, and rarely flew far from the family that depended on him. And so his mate watched this day, greatly concerned, as he grasped in his beak a succulent snail from the river and took to the sky toward a high peak of the dragonís mountain. She had watched him shudder, then leave without a word, not knowing that ManwŽ Wind Lord had whispered in his heart.†
To the ledge, now, with food!†
There was no denying that summons, and as the thrush flew strongly upwards, words once again fluttered against his heart like the wind against his feathers.†
Of all the generations of your kind, a Great Task has fallen to you. A hero of Middle-earth you will be, my child, remembered and honored in tales. But you must hurry, the light is beginning to fade.†
Flying far and beginning to tire, his sharp eyes spotted a ledge and a sheer wall of rock. There, that was the spot, the exact spot! He sensed it as unerringly as he had known how to fly, how to mate, how to feed his family.†
Well done, my child. Now feast, and rest, and do not fear for your safety amongst the armored ones. They do not seek your life.
The thrush swooped proudly onto a patch of grass, and slammed the snail he held in his beak against an ancient stone. As the last sliver of the sunís light shone on a portion of rock wall, a small person sitting nearby cried out. The thrush trilled a greeting.†
When the last morsel of snail was consumed, he waited a moment, wondering if something else would be asked of him, but there was only silence. The sky was darkening, so he took to the air once more and drifted gently downwards, conserving his strength. Once home, he would gather his family and sing his tale. He didnít know why he had been summoned, and never would, only that deep in that place where a bird senses direction and purpose, the Voice had whispered,†Well done. Whatever the reason for his flight, the Wind Lord was pleased with him. And after a lifetime of strife, his heart was at peace.
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