Hope Grows by Karri

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Author's Chapter Notes:

Written for Lindahoyland's trick or treat bag, for which she requested something with Aragorn and the color blue.


"But, mother, why must we put it away?" Estel queried plaintively, clinging tightly to the small blue blanket in his hands.

Sighing softly, Gilraen clothes the lid of the chest she knelt beside and patted the top. Accepting the invitation, Estel sat atop the chest and gazed expectantly upon his mother.

"Everything in this world has time, Estel. Once its time is over, it must make way for the next thing whose time has come."

"But why must a things time end? Cannot some things last forever," Estel responded.

"Nay, my love," replied his mother. "For in its time, everything has a purpose; when it's time is over, if it makes way not for the next thing, then the next thing's purpose cannot be accomplished." Resting her hands upon his lap, she peered up into the small face and asked, "Do you understand?"

Estel frowned, "I think so… But I still do not see why Blanket's time must be over. It is still a good blanket, soft and warm and all that a blanket must be."

"Hmmm," Gilraen murmured. "Indeed, it is still all those things; that is true." She paused and gently tugged at an edge of the blanket, releasing it quickly lest Estel feel threatened. "It is also much too small for you now. It is a baby blanket, my love. You are a baby no longer. The comfort and protection it once offered it can but give in lessened measure."

Estel frown, clutching his blanket closer.

"Blanket has served you well, but its time is at an end. There is a new thing that will serve you better now, but it cannot accomplish that purpose if you cling to Blanket and do not allow the new thing its time," Gilraen explained patiently.

As expected, the mention of a new thing, piqued the child's curiosity, and his grip upon the small blue blanket loosened. "A new thing…" he queried.

"Indeed," his mother confirmed. "But it cannot come forth until Blanket has relinquished its time and been tucked away inside the chest. Can you do that?"

Estel sighed, deeply and with as much emphasis as possible, but then hopped off the chest and, with great reluctance, handed over the blanket.

Gilraen accepted it with a token bow and, with all the reverence due a child's Blanket, folded it and tucked it carefully inside the chest. Then, she reached for something Estel could not see, setting it beside her, still out of his sight, as she closed and locked the chest.

"Now, my son, from your grandfather, to your father, and now to you…" Unwrapping the thing she had removed from the chest, Gilraen presented it upon her raised palms. "May it serve you for many years to come!"

Estel eyes grew large at the sight of gilded blade now before him. It wasn't a sword, or even really a dagger, just a small, serviceable blade with which he might skin a rabbit or carve a piece of wood – just the sort of every day sort of blade that most grown up Men and elves carried upon their belt as a matter of course. And it was his blade. Grinning as the meaning set in, Estel accepted the blade with as much reverence as his mother has used when tucking away Blanket.

"I am a man now!" he thought to himself. "My time has come!"

The end.




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