The Old Took's Faunts by Kaylee Arafinwiel

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Story Notes:

Begun in May 2014 as a Birthday Mathom to my Tolkien family to mark my 29th birthday on May 29! :)



Author's Chapter Notes:

Mistress Marigold Rumble is a new OC of mine. She is probably a relative by marriage of the Widow Rumble from LOTR, and it is my headcanon that she will never have children of her own - whether she is barren, or had no prospect of marriage for some other reason, I don't know yet. So she thinks of her charges as her own children, the only children she will ever have.

S.R. 29 Thrimidge 1235

On his third birthday, Isengrim Took woke early, both eyes at once. In truth, he couldn’t help it; the wailing of the new babe was a sound reminder why he had been exiled from his Mama and Papa’s room. But his nurse, Marigold Rumble, was there, and Mari made everything better; she picked up her little master and hugged him to her breast. “Master Isen! You are three today! You know what that means,” she said cheerfully, so as to distract him, and Isengrim brightened.


“I’s a faunt, Mari!” he chirped, and Mari nodded. “Yes, you are, my lamb! Suppose I get you ready so you can pick out a nice present for your Mama and Papa.” But there was no need to tell Isengrim; he was already tumbling out of bed and trying to snatch up fresh clothes.


Mari laughed and dressed him properly; it wouldn’t do for the grandson of the Thain to go out with his shirt inside-out! But Isengrim was a big lad, in more ways than one; he was rather tall already for a lad of his age, and not likely to squirm as she dressed him. He even correctly identified the clothes she wanted, and handed them over.


Dressed, feet and hair neatly combed, and face washed, the faunt trotted beside his nurse down the garden path, one hand curled firmly into hers. Suddenly he let out a rather undignified squeal, and pulled free. “Mari! Mari!” He reached for a clump of daisies.


“Gentle, Isengrim! Show me gentle,” she cautioned, and Isengrim stopped, considering the flowers before carefully plucking three and trotting back to her. He held the flowers out.


“For you, Mari!”


“Thank you, my lamb,” Marigold replied, accepting the small posy. She followed Isengrim as something else caught his fancy; an oddly shaped stone, half-covered in dirt. Mari helped Isengrim brush it off, and her eyes widened at the golden sparkles it held. “That is a lovely stone,” she told the lad. He nodded.


“Granda’s,” he said.


Marigold nodded; she saw no reason why the Thain wouldn’t accept that from his grandson. Isengrim’s next find was a snail-shell, which he proclaimed was for his Granny. Mari supposed the Lady wouldn’t find it too distasteful. Lady Sapphire loved nature.


“What about your Mama and Papa, Isen?” she prompted. A shadow crossed Isengrim’s face, and he looked at the ground.


“They not want me.”


Marigold hugged Isengrim tightly, understanding the source of her charge’s doubt. “Of course they do, Isengrim! They have a new little brother for you to love, but that does not mean they love you any less! In fact, since he was born the day before your birthday, he is like a present just for you.” She smiled. “You will be able to play with him by the time he is a faunt, and to teach him things. Isn’t that nice?” she asked the son of her heart.


Isengrim thought it over carefully, and nodded. “Uh-huh.”


“So let’s find them a nice present, to say thank you,” Mari prompted. Isengrim hunted carefully, intent on his task, and Marigold followed dutifully. They ended up in the stables, where Goldenrod, the barn cat, was looking after her litter. The kittens were just old enough to leave their mother, and Isengrim beamed.


 “Kitties for Mama an’ Papa!”


The stablemaster overheard Isengrim’s cheer, and laughed. “Is that the way of it, small master? All right, then.” He fetched a basket, lined it with a soft blanket, and nodded. “Take your pick.”


The faunt considered the half-dozen kittens, and selected two; a golden one, like the mother, and a grey one with white and black patches. He put them in the basket, and Mari helped him carry it, as the two made their way triumphantly back to the Thain’s family apartments. 



Sunshine and Storm became permanent, welcome residents, much to the lad’s delight.

Chapter End Notes:

29 Thrimidge (29 May) is my birthday, so I gave it to Isengrim. :) We aren't given the dates of any of Thain Gerontius' children's birthdays, so I've picked days to suit myself.

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