Learning Process by curiouswombat

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Learning Process


It was going to explode.  He’d had it for hardly any time and it was going to explode!

Someone was talking to him – calling a name.  It sounded vaguely familiar… “Mithrandir.  Mithrandir!”

Ah yes.  That was his name now.  He opened his eyes slowly, then shut them quickly.

“It is going to explode!”  he said to the disembodied voice.

“What is?”

“This body.  I fear it will explode.  At the top I think… or perhaps lower down.”

“You will not explode,” the voice said, “but remember, next time you drink so much wine, the headache that comes the morning after.”


………………………………………..

The Mithlond Elves were becoming accustomed to their strange guest.  Some knew whence he came, what he had been – but just what he was now both he, and they, still tried to understand.

He looked human, and well aged.  But, the healer, knowing of his mission, thought him probably immortal.   Mithrandir professed it likely; but this body was too new for him to understand and recognise the differences.

Now it hurt him… again.  Toothache – nay, toothagony, more.
  
“It must be pulled. Now to hope for Elvish teeth that re-grow, or you will eventually be able to do nought but suck!”


………………………………………..

Oh good grief!  What now?  He knew that his memories of life in Valinor had been clouded to help him adapt to this new role but, he was certain, no-one had warned him about the way this body would continually… excrete things.

“It is something that afflicts the mortals on a seasonal basis,” the elven healer said.  “The body seems to respond in this way to the lowering of the external temperature in the winter.”

As his eyes ran and, horrors, more fluid streamed from his nose, Mithrandir was not sure if he wanted to stay alive until the spring…


………………………………………..

He was coming to terms with this, oh so solid, flesh and so, when he awoke in pain, knees drawing up towards his chest, his first thought was ‘Ah – I recognise this one!’

It would pass.  The elvish healer had explained some of the inner workings of the hroar and, now, the maia recognised this pain as being the result of a disturbance in those twists and turns through which food progressed. “Often the result of a surfeit,” he’d been told.

But, oh, it was a fair price; he’d happily endure this stomach ache again for more hot apple pies.


………………………………………..

Travelling with elves from Mithlond, Mithrandir now ventured inland to begin his mission proper.

He carried a staff, but wore a sword and knew well how to wield it.  At least he knew the wielding in theory.  But when they were attacked by the abominations, Melkor’s get, and he swung the sword in self-defence it was very different.

The feeling as the edge hit flesh and shuddered into the body, dark blood pouring forth, was new.

Years later, Mithrandir realised just how well he had become accustomed to this life the first time such killing did not make him retch.


………………………………………..

It was cold.  It had snowed earlier and there was a bitter wind that drove the chill and damp deeper into flesh and bone. 

Gandalf, for such he was in this company, pulled his woollen cloak tighter around himself and wished that the large grey hat (which had seemed such an interesting choice when he had first seen it) came down more closely over his ears.  Ears that ached, dully.

He could, of course, go nearer the fire but, as the voice of one fellow traveller droned on and on, he decided he preferred the more physical form of earache.


………………………………………..

He watched new found friends, amongst both Dúnedain and hobbits, fill pipes of various styles with those dried leaves, slowly set them alight with much ceremony, and draw in the smoke.

It helped them think, they said, or to relax.

Eventually Gandalf decided he might be more easily accepted should he join them in their ritual.

But how he had coughed and spluttered; now his throat felt almost raw.  Never again, he thought, never again.

Yet no sooner had he thought it than he found himself wondering if the discomfort might, in some way, be eased by trying another pipeful…


………………………………………..

He remembered the very first time; here at Mithlond, scant days after his arrival, as he tried to come to terms with this body that kept him earthbound and learn its strengths and limitations.

Such a long time before, it seemed now; for the hroar had kept him also time-bound.  Soon he would be Olórin again, free of bodily encumbrance at will.  For old times sake he purposefully supped much wine, with many toasts to absent friends. 

Boarding next morning, predictably heavy-eyed and empty-bellied, Gandalf thought that, strangely, he would miss such bodily discomforts more than anyone would ever know.



………………………………………..

Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only, and all rights remain with the estate of JRR Tolkien.




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