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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Prompt 56: Abandoned
Ficlet: Kitten
Rating: G
Minas Tirith, 17 FA

Aragorn's eldest daughter was very much an explorer. By the age of six Eleniel was doing her best to find ways out of the King's House to the rest of the Citadel. By ten she knew which guards around the Citadel were the most unobservant and the easiest to avoid. By the age of twelve Elessar had finally come to a compromise with the imaginative adventurer on where she could explore and who she had to have accompany her.

On one fine afternoon she was wandering about the clean, bright, and heavily-guarded sixth level with two of the royal family's guards trailing behind. She looked around various dark corners and down secret alleys for any signs of Adventure. Her twin brother would often tell her that she was being silly playing such childish games at twelve years old, but she did not care. Life in the Citadel was often rather dull so her imagination kept her entertained.

It was in this search that Eleniel found a kitten. The word 'kitten' seemed too fine a word for this wretched, half-starved beast, and the two accompanying guards looked at the creature with a mixture of revulsion and pity. The girl, however, immediately lost all thoughts of Adventure when she came upon the animal.

"The poor dear! He must have been abandoned." Before the kitten could scurry away, Eleniel picked up the stray and held him close. "No, no, don't be frightened, and don't try and scratch me! I must take care of you." Any objections her caretakers had to this fell on deaf ears, and the princess quickly went back to the Citadel to find the kitten some food.

***

"Here you are."

Eleniel looked up from her place on the floor. "Adar! What are you doing here?"

"I should be the one asking that," her father pointed out.

"I'm feeding Faermith."

Aragorn hid his amusement and kept his face stern. "You have already named the stray and have yet to ask permission to keep him. What brought on this foolish audacity?"

The girl immediately became alarmed and she sprung to her feet. "Oh no, Adar, forgive me! I completely forgot!" She took her father's hand and kissed it reverently. "I was so worried about his condition, and you must understand that I never meant to disobey your will! Punish me if you must, but please do not turn out Faermith half-dead into the cold, unforgiving world!"

The king let out a hearty laugh at the act and drew the girl into an embrace. "No need for such formalities among family, dear heart!"

"It is how a child speaks to one's parent when the elder is angry in the old tales," Eleniel pointed out.

"And those are only old tales, not the present day," said Aragorn with a smile. "And you have not angered me, though I do wish you would have come to me beforehand."

"I am sorry," she replied, "but you will not turn Faermith out, will you? I promise to take care of him, and he will stay out of your way!"

"You may keep him on one condition."

"Yes?"

"Do not keep him out of my sight; I want to be a part of his family as well." Eleniel's face split into a grin and she embraced her father gladly while the new addition to the family continued eating nearby.





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