41. New Growth
Spoilers: book, post-RotK
Archive: HASA, surely.
Notes: I know Memorial Day is technically supposed to be for people, but I couldn't resist this... I remember when I was in high school, we had to watch a film on nuclear power. The film had a segment on nuclear weaponry, and I don't think I'll ever forget watching the series of nuclear detonations set off on atolls in the South Pacific and the sense that US weapons research was of the persuasion that, "Well, as long as there aren't people there, it must be okay to release lethal radiation into the ecosystem." Our world pays as high a price as we do for our hostility. And our stupidity, come to think of it.
Fangorn could feel himself becoming tree-ish.
'HOOM,' he thought irritably. 'If ever there was a time for becoming like an-old-willow-over-a-deep-cool-pond-in-a-long-winter-with-frost-on-his
ht-silvery-weak-on-his-back, this isn't it! I should never get my work done, if I keep on like this.'
But it was late autumn, and all the leaves on the trees were fallen.
All the leaves on all the trees that were left, he corrected himself.
He and his fellow Ents had managed to start restoring the wild trees to their places, but the trees had turned out to be rather contrary and the other Ents more than leisurely in their approach to restoring them. Well, they had many seasons, and if an Ent wanted to be like an old-lazy-brook-on-a-hot-day-with-the-air-thick-and-very-slow-and-the-bumblebees-fat-and-buzzing-sluggishly-about-the-flowers-and-even-the-fi
sh-in-the-brook-not-bothering-to-swim-it-was-so-hot, who was he to hurry them along?
Fangorn wandered along the border of the old forest, careful of the new saplings under his great feet. He wondered if they would make it through the winter, without their larger companions to shield them from the wind; that thought drew his gaze upward, to fall upon what he wished at times he could not see. The prospect of thousands of shattered stumps stretched before him, and he felt the deep stirring of true Entish anger for fallen friends and companions.
'I wonder if it will always be here?' he thought, reaching down to coax a tiny ash tree into standing up straight. 'The orcs and Saruman - BURARUM - tore his parents down to feed his fires... the Rohirrim would make a spear out of him, if it weren't for me keeping him safe!' He moved on to a nearby linden. 'And they would make shields out of this one, too, when he has grown!'
Fangorn had a vision of his forest stretching forever, reaching out to take in all the other forests and keep them safe. 'Safe from what?' He thought of the fierce, noble Lord Aragorn, the Rohirrim, and even the young hobbits. Such small things... They needed an Entmoot, was what, to keep them from hasty actions, but such notions seemed very strange to them, always hustling along. Maybe spears and shields was a faster way to settle things for them. He thought about earth churned up, living things torn cruelly from their homes. Did they bother counting that cost? Fangorn did not know.
'And I am growing tree-ish!' How many centuries were falling away for him? In a very dim corner of his mind, he saw himself frozen absolutely still with his forest being chopped down around him, fuel for another Saruman's fires, more weapons for the race of Men a thousand winters down the road.
Old Ent-anger quivered at the thought.
'That is a long way away,' he consoled himself. 'My forest will grow again... if I cannot have my friends, I might at least have their saplings.' After administering one last drop of Ent-water on a small, weak oak, he strode into the forest.
The stumps of the dead trees hunkered down under the cold wind.
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.