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Ancestress  by Dreamflower


Encounter Among the Trees (part 1)

"I do not think I knew myself when my watching of his clan and his people turned to watching him; I often observed his little group of hunters when they set out on their quests to provide for their family-- I noted that they always returned with a bounty. They were never empty-handed. One day they had ventured beneath the eaves of the Greenwood. Five young hobbits, skilled with sling and stone, as well as sharp-eyed. Tūk set two of them gathering chestnuts, while the other two accompanied him with their slings, and they ventured a bit further into the forest.

I was aware that Tūk and his friends were being watched, by other eyes than mine: there were Elves in the trees above, observing the small intruders.

I watched the Elves. The Elves watched them. They were three, in Silvan garb, and they whispered among themselves. It was no effort to hear what they were saying.

"These halflings have come further into the wood than before."

"It is but a minor intrusion. They harm nothing; even when they hunt they use only stones and slings, and take no more than they must to feed their families. And they never take the larger game."

"Yet still it is a trespass. And they will continue to come further into our lands."

I still wonder what spirit of mischief moved me, but it was only a moment's thought to cause an Elven foot to slip-- just enough to make a sound.

Tūk's head snapped up, as did those of his companions. His hand went instantly to snatch a stone from his pouch.

"A squirrel?" asked one of his friends.

Tūk shook his head slightly, but continued to stare intently at the branches above him.

He raised his hand with the stone.


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