Leaf and Twig by Marta

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Celeborn steadied his small foot in the crook of a branch. It would hardly do to fall now; quite apart from breaking a bone or two, he'd give away the game. His uncles would be coming after him soon, and he did not intend to be caught. He knew what they'd say, that he'd strayed further than was safe and that they'd keep him from playing hide-and-seek next time if he couldn't behave. Sometimes Celeborn wondered whether they'd ever been young; he knew all growing things once were small, but he could hardly believe it in this case. And it wasn't as if he was truly unsafe, he was well within the circle guarded by the sentries...

A speck of silver glinted in the distance. That would be them, the day was too warm for cloaks and their hair gave them away a mile off. And they were coming this way. Celeborn tucked his arms inside his tunic and tucked his own head under a branch so he wouldn't be seen so easily. They would soon reach the hill.

a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda… the tree seemed to rumble. Celeborn felt it through the bark, his feet fairly trembled with the vibrations.

Somehow it felt like more than simple chance; he could have sworn that there had been a meaning in that rumbling. He couldn't explore it now, that was Galadher with his crooked nose even now peering over the crest of the hill –

And there it was again: lalla-rumba, as soon as he'd said that word "hill." This deserved exploring, straight-away when he got the chance. He rubbed his fingers reassuringly along the underside of the tree's branch, hoping he (she?) realized that Celeborn understood.

He'd say more now and risk getting caught – but how did you greet a tree, in any case?

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