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B2MEM 7: “Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.” The Sil, Chapter 2, p. 61 Nook edition.
The Unexpected Lesson
Within the Valley of the Sun was an ancient temple, very small and its door uncharacteristically framed in wood rather than stone as was more customary. The strange northerner that Sohrabi, the Farozi’s younger son, knew as Horubi’ninarin examined the friezes that decorated its walls with interest, for he’d not seen their like anywhere throughout Harad. “Can you tell me the story behind this scene?” he asked his young host, pointing to a particular line of figures that depicted a number of Men facing what appeared to be a tall creature that resembled nothing so much as a fir tree. But how on earth could the people of this region know fir trees, much less a fir tree that pointed to the more normal cypress and palm trees native to the region, among whom other trees that to his eyes appeared to be common to the northern lands were interspersed?
The Haradri smiled. “It is an ancient story, that one day those who owned a grove of date palms and cypresses awoke to find that in the night other trees had appeared in the midst of their grove, strange trees of a like that none had ever seen before. And it is said that the greatest of these trees spoke to them, asking whether or not others of its kind had come their way, perhaps teaching them how to grow their date palms and cypresses. The next day the strange trees were gone, and none ever saw them again. But it is said that the Lady of all Trees guided them back to where they grew properly. So this temple was raised to her, framed in cypress wood in honor of the grove where the strange trees that looked through eyes that were said to be golden brown wells of wisdom were once seen.”
As Aragorn entered the Circle of Orthanc, he remembered that long-ago day when he apparently first learned of Ents from a Haradri princeling. Certainly the eyes of the Ents who served as Gandalf’s guide to wherever it was that Treebeard awaited the Wizard were just as Sohrabi had described them!
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