"Nanny! Nanny!" Boromir sounded frantic, and I wondered what could have happened in the time it had taken me to walk into Faramir's room. "That baby has Clover and he won't let go!"
I hurried back, for Clover was Boromir's dearest toy, and his reasonability would only go so far, if he thought his stuffed pony was being hurt.
Faramir was sitting in the middle of the rug, contentedly chewing on Clover's front leg. Boromir had hold of Clover's back legs, almost crying in anger. "You let go, baby! He's mine, he's mine!"
I knelt by them, saying, "Come, Boromir, let me, " but of course he refused to listen.
"He's slobbering all over Clover!" Boromir exclaimed, panicked. "Make him stop, make him stop!"
"You must let go, duckling," I said, "you do not want to tear poor Clover in two by tugging on him so hard, do you?"
Horror crossed Boromir's face, and he immediately released the pony, though I could see his hands twitching, as if he were restraining himself from jerking the toy away from his small brother.
Carefully, I peeled Faramir's fingers from the pony's leg, noting that he had, indeed, slobbered all over Clover. Of course the toy had seen much worse treatment – he was Boromir's, after all – but I understood Boromir's reaction. Clover had been with him as his whole life, and he was very possessive of the pony. In fact, I had taken to putting the toy away when other children came to visit, for Boromir would fly into a temper if they laid so much as a finger on that pony. Other toys, he would happily share – but not Clover.
I returned the pony to Boromir, who examined it anxiously. "Look, he's all wet and dirty!" he exclaimed, raising a tearful face to me. "That baby just grabbed him and wouldn't even listen when I told him he couldn't play with Clover!"
Faramir, realizing that he would not be getting his toy back, started wailing in protest. I took him into my lap, whispering soothingly in his ear, and had to stifle a chuckle when I saw that Boromir doing the same thing to Clover.
After a moment, Faramir quieted, and I turned to Boromir. "You know that Faramir did not mean to hurt your pony," I said. "He is just a baby, love."
"He messed up Clover," Boromir sulked, clutching the toy horse jealously to his chest.
"If we wash Clover, he will be good as new in no time," I said, looking around the room for something to give Faramir as a distraction. "Although he may not be dry in time for you to sleep with him tonight."
"That's all right," Boromir said, scowling at his brother. "Just as long as the baby slobber is gone. Why does he have to touch my horse?"
"If you do not want him to play with Clover, then you need to keep a closer eye on your pony," I said. "Faramir does not yet understand that Clover is yours, and not his."
Boromir muttered something under his breath that I could not quite catch, then he went to pick up the grey stuffed rabbit lying under the table. "Here," he said, dropping it into Faramir's lap. "That is yours." He pointed to the as-yet unnamed rabbit, a gift to Faramir from his uncle's wife when she had learned of my nickname for her youngest nephew.
Faramir looked down at the toy, gave a happy chirp, and promptly began gnawing on one of the rabbit's long ears. "Good," Boromir said, frowning darkly. "Now you don't touch Clover, and I won't touch your rabbit, all right?"
Faramir babbled something that Boromir took as agreement, for he suddenly smiled and turned to me. "Please will you wash him?" he asked, holding the bedraggled pony out to me.
I set Faramir on the floor, and took Clover. "I will, once Faramir is taking his nap," I said, setting Clover on the mantle for safekeeping.
Boromir sighed heavily, but nodded. "Will you use the lavender soap?"
"Yes, I will use the lavender soap."
"And dry him in the sunshine."
"Yes, of course."
"And be careful with his ears – he doesn't like it when you get water in his ears."
"I know, Boromir."
"Sometimes you forget."
"I will not forget."
"Thank you for making the baby give him back."
"You are welcome, duckling."
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.