The colour of love|
I borrowed these characters
from Tolkien and will give them back once the story is told.
– Eldarion fears that his parents no longer love him.
“Will you play with me, please,
naneth?” Eldarion begged.
“Not now, dear one, your
sister needs to be fed.” Arwen looked down lovingly at the tiny babe
at her breast. “Have you no lessons today?”
“My tutor is unwell.”
“Go and play with your nanny
in the nursery then,” said the Queen, fondly stroking the baby's cheek.
Eldarion sadly did as he was
bidden. His nanny was so very old as well as being slightly deaf and
no good at playing games. He soon cheered up, though when he took out
his toy soldiers. He arranged them in rows and beat his toy drum for
them to march to.
His mother appeared in the
nursery doorway, his wailing baby sister in her arms. “Eldarion, stop
that noise at once!” she cried. “You have woken your sister up just
as I had settled her off to sleep. Go and find your father. He is free
this afternoon.” With that she turned and left.
Eldarion considered that his
sister made considerably more noise than his toy drum. He could not
understand why his mother made such a fuss about the infant. All she
ever did was sleep, or eat or cry!
He made his way along the corridor
to his father's study, telling the guard on duty that his mother had
The King was standing by his
desk with the Steward by his side. Both men were studying a map intently
which was spread out in front of them.
“Will you play with me or
tell me a story, please, ada?” asked Eldarion.
“Later, my son,” said the
“Naneth said you were not
busy today,” Eldarion protested.
“I want to show Lord Faramir
this new map of the realm,” said Aragorn.
“It's not fair! Why must
you look at some dull map?”
“Eldarion, I cannot always
be playing with you,” Aragorn replied.
“Playing is more fun than
stupid maps!” Eldarion muttered sullenly.
“Go to your room!” Aragorn
said sternly. “You are not to speak to me or to Lord Faramir like
Eldarion burst into tears.
Dodging the guard, he ran down the corridor and outside into the garden.
Aragorn hastened after him,
the Steward at his side. “Whatever is the matter with the boy?”
Aragorn asked in bewilderment.
“He is still unaccustomed
to not being the only child, sire,” said the Steward. “Éowyn and
I had to go to great pains to convince our eldest that the new baby
was not loved more than they.”
Aragorn looked horrified. “Surely
Eldarion cannot believe that his sister is replacing him in our love?”
Faramir nodded sadly. “Boromir
was younger than Eldarion when I was born, but he once told me he thought
at first I was come to replace him! And that was despite our father
greatly preferring him!”
The King and the Steward came
across Eldarion in a summerhouse in the Queen's garden. The little boy
was curled in a ball sobbing his heart out.
Aragorn knelt beside him. “Why
are you crying, my son?”
Eldarion gave a loud sniff.
“I'm not crying. Only stupid girls and babies cry!”
“Something troubles you though?”
The King put his arms around the child. Faramir discreetly slipped away.
“You and naneth don't love
me anymore!” Eldarion burst out then started to sob again.
“Whatever makes you think
that, ion nîn?” Aragorn asked in dismay.
“You've got a new baby now!”
“That is because your naneth
and I have enough love to share. Did I not explain to you before your
sister was born, that when a man and a woman love each other very much,
they are wed so they can share that love with the children that they
hope Lady Yavanna will give them? We love you just as much as we have
done since the day you were born to us.”
“But how can you? I've heard
you say you love lots of people. You cannot have enough love left.”
“My poor foolish boy!”
Aragorn hugged his son tighter, trying to think of some words to console
him. “Come with me,” he said at last, taking Eldarion by the hand
and leading him out into the garden, which was Arwen's pride and joy
and filled with blossoms of every kind. “Now look at the sky. What
colour is it?”
“Blue,” said Eldarion.
“And what colour is the grass?”
“It is green, ada.” Eldarion
“And your naneth's rose bushes?”
“They are pink and white.”
“And the other flowers over
“There are red ones and blue
ones and orange ones and purple ones. More colours than I can count!”
“What if the sky were green
like the grass? Would that look nice?”
“No, it would be horrible.”
“Which flowers do you like
The little boy ran straight
to Arwen's wild flower bed and pointed to the scarlet poppies, which
grew amongst buttercups, daisies and cornflowers.
“Those!” he said.” Red
is my favourite colour.”
“Would you like all these
flowers to be red or the poppies to be by themselves?” Aragorn asked.
“No, that would be so dull.
I like the poppies because they are brighter than the others, but the
poppies would not look so pretty without the other flowers.”
“So we need all the colours
“Yes,” Eldarion said without
hesitation. “I like lots of colours.”
“Do you remember when you
had your portrait painted?”
Eldarion pouted. “Yes, it
was dull sitting still, but I liked seeing all the colours the artist
used. But why, ada? That was a long time ago.”
“You agree that lots of colours
are good, though?” Aragorn persisted.
Eldarion nodded. “Everyone
knows that, ada! Why do you ask?”
“Because love is like all
the different colours, my son. Every colour is special and each colour
makes the others look all the fairer. We need the blue sky and the green
grass, the scarlet poppies and white daises and golden buttercups, just
as I need you and your naneth and your sister and my friends and still
have enough love for each of you. The more we love, the more love we
have to give.”
“But everyone makes such
a fuss about the baby!”
“They did exactly the same
when you were tiny. Your sister is so very little that she cannot tell
us what she needs, so that is why she needs so much attention from your
naneth, so that she will grow big and strong like you are. Then you
will be able to play together and she will love her big brother very
much. You just need to be patient while she grows up. Now, would you
like to look at the new map with Lord Faramir and I and I will tell
you a story about my travels?”
“Yes, please, ada!”
“And think about what I have
just told you. I love you none the less now you have a sister neither
does your naneth. You each have a special place in my heart, just as
all the colours have a special place in the rainbow.” He bent and
kissed Eldarion tenderly on the forehead.
Eldarion was not sure he quite
understood what his father meant, but he did know that the King told
wonderful stories !