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Ancestress  by Dreamflower

Chapter Forty-five, Adamanta's Children: Beryl

Tk was at first determined that we would not have another child. Ten, he said, were enough for anyone. I knew that he feared what had happened with Bildad would happen again, and that he would lose me and our child. I knew that would not happen again-- I had found that part of myself I had nearly forgotten after years of living in the hra of a hobbit, that part of my spirit that would not allow me to come to harm.

By the time Bildad became a faunt, my arms were aching again for the joy of holding a new babe. One day in the spring of the year that he turned three, Tk and I took an afternoon alone, wandering the fields together with a basket of food. It was not hard to overcome his reluctance that day, and I quickened.

Beryl was born at the turning of the year, in the dead of a cold winter. The snow was swirling against the windows of the smial when she was placed into my arms.

If Addie had loved singing, Beryl loved to dance. She barely went through the crawling stage, quickly learning to run and to skip and to dance with a grace that was nearly Elven. Her sisters and brothers encouraged her, and as she grew older she was in demand at festivals as a dancer. As a youngster she loved the sprightly circle dances which were nearly games, and when she grew older, the lads vied for her attention when it came time for those dances that were done in pairs.

It came as no surprise then, to any of our family, when she celebrated her thirtieth birthday by announcing her betrothal to the lad who was the second finest dancer in the village.

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