Yule Mathom Challenge 2005

December 2 - 23 obstinate oliphaunts

4. 23 Obstinate Oliphaunts - by Stefania

"I think the Sultan of Near Harad was laughing behind our backs when he gave them to us as part of the peace negotiations," the King Elessar sighed as he gazed down the broad table. His councillors listened politely though some seem rather confused. "So now they lounge within their fenced area, doing nothing but trampling the turf on the Pelennor, making a ruckus and a mess. That doesn't even get into the cost of feeding all 23 of them. Each seems to require a tree a day."

Aragorn caught Hurin, the Keeper of the Keys, chuckling behind his hand. "Be thankful I haven't ordered them moved within the gates of the city." The Keeper sat up abruptly and turned his attention to his sovereign.

"I should think that one of my intelligent and capable counsellors might have a suggestion as how to deal with these mumakil. Mmmm, what say you, Director of Public Works?"

"Why, yes indeed, I do have a few ideas that might work," Prince Imrahil eagerly leaned in to the table. "The Minas Ithil environmental program is stalled. We have so much trash, waste, and all manner of foul products that need to be hauled out of the city remnants and into the Morgul Vale to be burned. The Rangers have built carts for this enterprise, but they are too heavy for even a team of four horses to pull. If we could train the mumakil as draft beasts, then we could get back on track with the greater Morgul Vale superfund initiative."

"That would be an environmentally sound idea, Imrahil," Aragorn said, "if we could only train them. Alas, those beasts are so obstinate and willful. They carried troups of Haradrim on their backs into battle. But now each refuses to have a single man so much as try to jump on his back."

"That's right," Imrahil agreed. "And I propose we hire the right people as their handlers. It would also help to solve the problem my nephew and his Rangers have been having with homeless vagrants squating in Ithilien. At the last comment, Faramir raised a skeptical eyebrow but kept silent.

Imrahil rolled out a parchment that he placed on the table for all to see. "Councellors, I propose that the Rangers post copies of this recruitment announcement on convenient trees within a ten mile radius of the Morgul Vale. It says:

"Wanted: Strong bodied and strong minded Uruks, Orcs, and others over the height of 5'10"

The Gondorian government is now hiring trainers, drovers, and stable attendants for our large fleet of hearty Mumakil. Experience with Mumakil a plus thought not necessary. Good pay, pre-fab accomodations are guaranteed, and no Nazguls for managers.

Sex and color unimportant. We are an equal-opportunity employer. Send all queries to the attention of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, Emyn Arnen"

The councellors all applauded this latest and greatest of Imrahil's public projects.

All except Faramir, who said, "You propose to post these announcements wherever we think enclaves of Orcs might be hiding?"

"That's right," Imrahil said brightly.

"Uncle, I did not know Orcs and Uruks were literate in Westron."


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: HASA Workshop

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/10/06

Original Post: 12/03/05

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