Now that Middle Earth is clean of Sauron’s evil, and the true King on the throne, things are peaceful once again. All the people of Middle Earth are able to travel about without harm coming to them.
After the wedding of Aragorn and Arwen, Gimli and Legolas travel to Fangorn Forest to fulfill one part of a pact that was made during the last war of Middle Earth. Now Gimli is fearful of nothing except for Fangorn Forest. Shifting his weight from leg to leg Gimli strokes the length of his beard, thinking of how, and when, to enter the forest. The day is warm with a wind blowing from the east playing through their hair.
Legolas looks down at Gimli, “Come my friend there is nothing to be fearful of. The forest will not harm you.” Not long after these words leave Legolas’ lips a couple of trees move their branches and talk in tree language.
Gimli moves back a couple of feet and says with a guff, “You seem to forget my elf friend. I, too, saw what this forest did to the Urak-Hai as they ran from Helm’s Deep. Tis not what I had in mind for myself.”
“You shall not be harmed. You are not Urak-Hai nor Orc,” Legolas says in a toneless voice as he places a hand on Gimli’s shoulder.
Pulling his eyes away from the forest and looking up at Legolas, “I know I am neither one of them. But does Fangorn know the difference between me and them?”

Legolas lets out a little laugh, “My friend, it knows the difference between you and them. For your head is a bit shorter than there’s.”

Gimli gives him a foul look, “Tis not amusing to laugh at ones size. Tis not how high one’s head is but the size of his heart that matters.” By this time the trees have stopped moving and it is though they are watching Legolas and Gimli as much as they are watching them.
Nodding his head Legolas replies, “Aye. Frodo, is small as a child, yet has the heart and courage of many men put together.” Gimli nods in agreement.
As the sun nears the middle of the sky Legolas walks toward some rocks and crouches down, to where he is sitting on his calves, on top of them. He begins to sing a song about how the sun brightens his mood and thoughts.
Legolas’ moving catches Gimli’s attention and he asks him, “Where are you off to?”
“These rocks look lonely,” he answers over his shoulder and a smile upon his lips. “They ask that I keep them company until you have gotten up the courage to enter Fangorn.”
Gimli growls at him and moves forward a few steps, one of the trees talks to him. He stops in his tracks. “These blasted trees. I do not like the fact that I do not understand what they are saying.”
Smiling Legolas tells him, “They, like me, are wondering when you are going to get the courage to enter the forest? They grow impatient waiting for you!”
Gimli turns to him, ” I shall enter when I am ready to do so!”
Legolas laughs at his Gimli’s quick of temper. “My friend, please forgive me. I make fun at your expense.” Moments later Legolas is at his side again, “Let us enter together side by side as we did in battle at Pelennor Field.”
Gimli begins to walk forward with Legolas at his side. Within inches from the forest, the trees begin to talk and move their branches again. This time Gimli does not stop and proceeds forward into the forest. Legolas lays his hand on Gimli’s shoulder to give him encouragement. A few yards into the forest they stop. Gimli looks around to see if any of the trees have moved. Not seeing any movement, he continues forward. “Never in my life have I seen trees of such great size. It truly amazes me at all the different shapes and sizes. Some are short and stout. Others are as tall as the sky itself and as thin as a man.” Hesitantly walking to one of the trees, he lightly places his palm against the tree. The tree talks to him and he can feel the vibrations all the way to the core of his being through his hand. “I do wish that I could understand what they are saying.” He then replaces his hand with his ear as if that is going to help him to understand what they are saying. He stands that way for an hour or so. He cannot feel the wind in here. There are too many trees and they block the wind from entering the forest. The sun is allowed in through open branches at the top of the trees.
Standing near by and watching Gimli with the tree, a big smile comes to Legolas’ lips, “Why don’t me move along deeper into the forest? There are plenty of more trees for you to listen to in this forest. Some of them are older than I am.”
Stepping away from the tree Gimli places his hand on it one last time, “Truly amazing.” As he steps back from the tree, it says goodbye to him in his own language.
By the time the moon chases the sun from the sky, they have stopped and made camp. The ground is soft with sweet grass and soft moss. This is a good place to sleep for the night. Gimli begins to gather wood to make a fire for preparing evening meal. Watching him Legolas asks, “In what purpose are you gathering wood?”
Gimli answers, “Build a fire to cook evening meal with.”
“My friend, you might want to re-think with what you are doing. And have a good look where we are at.”
Gimli stops and looks around and realizing that the sound he is hearing are trees talking to one another. Some of them are even moving their branches in anger. Letting the wood fall to the ground from his arms he stammers, “Please forgive me. I, um, am thinking with my stomach not my head. It will never happen again.” The trees seem happy with this and calm down.
Looking at Legolas, Gimli asks him, “How do you propose I should cook my meal?”
Legolas sits up and asks him, “Did you not pack food that does not require to be cooked?”
“I do have such food. Though I was looking forward to a hot meal. I guess I shall have to wait,” Gimli answers him as he pushes some dirt around with his boot. Both of them grab food out of their packs and begin to eat. The trees all around them are talking. After their meal, they rest their backs on rocks and gaze into the night sky. Stars fill the sky with their light and seem to shine brighter here than anywhere else on Middle Earth.
Legolas sighs, “I wonder what it was like to be one of the first born? To awaken on the soft grass by the river and gaze upon the night sky so full of shinning stars. And to be the first one to hear what the sound of water running in the river is. To smell the all the different smells surrounding you.” As if hearing him, a star far off into the sky brightens and dims. He lays down into the grass and watches it for some time. Gimli, softly snoring, brings him back to the present. He looks over at his friend and is jealous of him, for he can sleep.
Feeling restless, he quietly stands and begins to roam the forest. Humming a song, he moves about the forest floor. Coming to a clearing he stops and looks at the sky. A flash of light shoots across the sky when he looks up. Legolas smiles and says out loud in though, “Orome is out hunting this evening.”
Moving along he stops underneath a tree and puts his back against it. The tree moves a branch down to him. Reaching out and gently stroking the branch, “Suilaid old one.” Straightening the branch back out, the tree is still once again.
Feeling the rising of the sun he returns to where Gimli is sleeping and is now snoring louder. He sits on a near by rock and listens to Gimli’s breathing. Sitting and listening to Gimli breathing, a rush of feelings flood Legolas all at once. Shaking his head to try and clear these feelings does not work. He remains motionless and lets them have run their course.
Knowing that Gimli will want morning meal he goes in search of fruit and nuts. The morning is crisp and cool. The air is full of the smell of damp leaves and grass.
Legolas returns a short time later with a bag full of fruits and nuts that the trees allowed him to take. Upon entering their little camp he sees the Gimli is now awake, “Morning. How did you sleep?”
As Gimli yawns and stretches, “Morning. I slept very well hanneid. I gather that you did not rest again last night?”
While walking to Gimli and giving him his share of the morning meal, Legolas answers, “No, you know that we elves do not need to rest as often as men and dwarves do. I know that these fruit and nuts will not make up for a hot meal, but they will fill your stomach.”
In between bites Gimli comments, “At times I wish we dwarves were like elves and can go days without needing rest. We would get much more work accomplished then.”
With a mouth full of food Gimli asks Legolas, “Did you find anything while wondering about last night?”
Swallowing what food is in his mouth, Legolas replies, “No, all was quiet. Orome was out hunting last night. Nothing else stirred.”
When they are done eating their morning meal and the day has begun to warm up they load the horses and move deeper into Fangorn.
When mid day comes around the air is warmer and has dried the dampness out of the ground and trees. Though there is still the smell of old moss and grasses the deeper they go in.
The day is uneventful with the exception of Gimli’s eyes soaking in all the different trees that are around him. Often times, his mouth would fall open at the mere size of a tree. When he stands by them, he is the size of a pebble in comparison. “Now I truly understand how the Hobbits feel when standing next to men and elves.”
Legolas smiles, “It never occurred to me of how they feel standing next to us. I would think that it could be some what scary at times.” Legolas then goes and stands next to Gimli at the same tree and puts his back against the bark. He moves his head back looking up the tree, “The Hobbits must have been scared when they first saw men and elves and at how much taller they are compared to them. It is no wonder that Hobbits keep to themselves and do not venture far from home. I would be frightened at someone as tall as I am if I were them.”
Nodding in agreement, Gimli goes, “It is frightening the first time you see how much taller you are to them, and us dwarves. And it does not help with the things one hears about men and elves. Not all the stories we hear when young are good ones. There are bad stories as well.”
Legolas continues to stare up the side of the tree and tries to wonder how it would be the size of a hobbit or dwarf. After looking up the tree for a few moments he decides that he is glad to be an elf and keeps that thought to himself, for he does not want to hurt his friends feelings.
After walking a bit they find an old path and decide to follow it. The forest becomes thick and dense with a lot of under growth of bushes and saplings. Gimli pulls on his collar, “Is it me or are we getting closed off by the trees and bushes?”
Legolas, who is behind Gimli, tells him, “It does seem that they are closing in around us. But yet I do not see any movement. Let us keep moving forward and see where it ends.”
With trees and bushes pulling on their clothes and Gimli’s beard he comes to a wall of branches and leaves. Carefully pulling them apart and looking through the opening his eyes go wide with what he sees.
Behind him Legolas asks, “What do you see?”
Gimli is speechless and can do nothing but point.
Giving him a quizzical look, Legolas moves up besides him and pulls a few branches apart and has a look for himself. He too is speechless.
The clearing is wide with an array of different flowers of all colors and types. The grass is of supple moss and soft sweet grasses mixed together. There is an array of flowers but yet they cannot smell them. A slight breeze picks up and carries the fragrances to them. They inhale and slowly exhale in unison wanting to savor the fragrances. Off to the right, running down the side of the mountain, and ending in a brick pool is clear water.
Legolas is the first to move out from behind the branches and bushes. Gimli is not far behind him and makes his way to the pool, “Do you supposed this is the pool that Pippin and Merry told us about?”
Legolas walks over to the pool and stands next to Gimli “It is as they described to us.” He leaves Gimli by the pool and begins to wonder around the clearing. Legolas hears footsteps far off and cannot tell what it is. They are moving towards them at a fast rate of speed. “Gimli, someone or something approaches.” Legolas swiftly moves back over to where Gimli is and stands by his side waiting for whomever or whatever is making haste towards them.
It does not take long for Gimli to be able to hear the footsteps too. “I do not recognize the sound this creature makes,” he whispers more to himself than to Legolas.
Not a few moments pass when Treebeard walks into the clearing, “Ho Hum elf friend.”
Legolas shakes his head and greets Treebeard, “Suilaid Treebeard.”
Looking down at Gimli Treebeard goes, “We have set eyes upon each other before? I have yet to hear your name?”
Legolas steps forward, “Treebeard this is Gimli, son of Gloin. We came to Isengard with Gandalf the White after the Ents had already taken it over. That is where you may recall seeing Gimli.”
“Oh yes, now I do recall. Not quite as small as Meriadoc and Peregrin. Pleasure to meet a friend of an elf friend,” Treebeard rumbles.
Gimli, almost falling back on his backside, looks up at Treebeard, “Pleasure to meet you, Treebeard. You and the Ents did a fine job of cleaning the filth out of Isengard. I just wish that I could have been there to see the look on Saruman’s face when he was defeated. That traitor of a wizard.”
“He was not too pleased when he saw that it was the Ents who were attacking him,” replied Treebeard. “He was utterly surprised and shocked. Then he ran from the balcony and barricaded himself inside of the tower.”
The three of them talked for the remainder of the day and shared stories.
As night approaches, Legolas asks, “Treebeard, we wish to venture further into Fangorn Forest, may we have your permission to do so?”
“Ho Hum, yes, venture abroad for as long as you like. Be watchful of some of the older trees. They not soon forget what has been done in the past. Good idea to steer clear of them for the time being. I will put the word out that an elfkind and dwarf kind will be venturing about.” Looking up at Treebeard again Gimli goes, “Thank you. We shall not harm one tree while walking about Fangorn.”
Treebeard looks down at Gimli, “If you should come across any Entwives. Please tell them to come home.”
Smiling up at Treebeard, Gimli replies, “We shall do it if we come across any during our adventure.” Treebeard thanked them turned and made his way south. He has some saplings that he needs to tend to. They are replacing the trees that Sarman’s orcs had cut down to fuel his war.
Settling in for the evening, Legolas and Gimli share stories and sing songs from both their races. It is late into the night before Gimli falls asleep. Legolas finds that he too is feeling sleeping and lays down in the still warm moss and grasses. It is not long for sleep to claim him too.

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