Many races live upon the face of Arda. The Ainur, the Elves and Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, also Orcs and Trolls... Aren’t we forgetting someone? Yes, we are: the animals! But no more. The Animals of Middle-earth is our January topic.
Our world knows many species of animals, and there are not fewer of them in Middle-earth: two- and four-legged ones, even those many-legged, and, of course, fishesss, precioussss... Eagles always held a special place among them as the heralds of Manwë, and played an important role in the tales of Middle-earth. They fought in battles, and more than once their wings saved lives – were it Beren and Lúthien, dwarves, hobbits, or a certain wizard.
Another of the wizards was known for having a special connection to animals – Radagast the Brown, just like the Rohirrim to their horses. Not only the noble Maeras, but all of their herds that they loved like their own children. Riding is a common means of transport, and animals are important for all people not only as a means of transport, but also in providing their food. Many families are dependent on their animals, and consider them family members. Even the hunters have respect to their prey.
Aragorn and Legolas are not farmers, but they certainly encountered animals daily – their horses, the animals they had to hunt for food, or those they just encountered in the wilderness... What is their relationship to animals? You can write about the horses they got from Éomer – Hasufel and Arod, or the other horses they had, like Roheryn whom Aragorn got as a gift from Arwen.
You can write about their pets – what animal did little Legolas or little Estel drag home and beg his father to let him keep it? Are they a dog person or a cat person? Maybe they had a special relationship with a pet. The love of an animal can be just as strong and precious as the love of a close friend.
Let's show some love and kindness to our animal friends as well, and not only in stories! (But we are looking forward to those as well, of course!)
Here are the stories from this month:
Catatastrophe by Linda Hoyland 2nd place
Death to the Beast by Windsurfbabe
For the Love of his Master by Rebecca Wilkin 2nd place
Great Things from Small by Darkover
My Boy by Archeress of Silverbow
Noro! by Astribob
The Horse and the Rider by Ragnelle 1st place
The Secret Pool by White Wolf
Winter Wolves by Fiondil 3rd place
nautika, StarLight, and Mirach