2. I Shall Not Want
I Shall Not Want ("...I shall not want...")
Faramir approached his desk with brooding, his mind troubled by his imagining of its contents. It was time now, when he should look over the reports of the season. Alas, though the War of the Ring was over, he feared its lasting consequences.
The farmers' fields in Gondor, left untended or even pillaged, had been subject to hasty attempts of restoration through the winter and early spring of 3020, and planting had gone ahead almost as normal, but it was done with only a half-hope of success. Faramir took the first report, and with a sigh he opened it. Reading a few lines, he frowned and shook his head, setting it aside and picking up the next one. It also was set aside quickly, and it was not long before the reports from each district had all been scanned. Brow condensed, but with a different emotion growing in his heart, Faramir stood and left in search of his King.
"My lord," called Faramir down the hall as Aragorn was almost disappearing around a corner.
Aragorn turned with questioning evident in his gaze, but his face grew subtly older as he remembered Faramir's task that day. "Yes? Come to give me the worst?"
"I have," said Faramir, his voice sounding a little distant and light.
"Well? Will we survive this winter?"
Faramir's hand waved in front of him as he appeared lost for words. Then, he looked straight at Aragorn and said: "My lord, it is a miracle!"
Knowing Faramir fairly well by now, Aragorn waited for the vagaries to be dispelled.
"The crops," said Faramir, shaking his head, "they flourished this year."
"You must have read the figures wrong," said Aragorn with a frown. "Let me see them."
Faramir looked cryptically at his King. "My lord," he said smoothly, "of the two of us, who has been around more paperwork and figures in the last few years?"
Aragorn did not respond to this, putting a hand to his forehead in confusion. "But that cannot be. The crops all failed to be planted in time last year, and surely this year could not make up for that."
Faramir let out a breathy laugh. "I know. It is impossible, I know. But every crop, from Anorien to Dol Amroth, has given near twice its normal harvest this year." He paused, and then whispered: "We are being blessed."
Aragorn smiled and put a hand on Faramir's arm. "We are," he said fervently. "And if we ever doubted the worth of what we did in the War, this reward would vanquish all doubt. We are blessed."
"Whatever this year brings," said Faramir with a smile of his own, "at least we may know that we shall not want."
Aragorn laughed, relief driving away a few small wrinkles. "Thank the Valar, that is true!"
Author's Notes: I imagine that crops were damaged by the War of the Ring, which happened in early spring. However, I also imagine that the bumper crop that the Hobbits experienced in 1420 was world-wide, so that Gondor and Rohan would also experience a good year.
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