Grace Before Meat

Author: Gwynnyd

Nominator: Larner

2011 Award Category: Ficlet: Later Age Elves

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A brief moment in Eriador. Inspired by the activity of two deer during my recent descent to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Thanks to Adaneth for the title.

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

What a gentle scene to evoke: the Fellowship camped with Aragorn and others out searching for some meat for the meal Sam and Pippin even now are preparing for, Frodo and Gandalf asleep in their bedrolls, and Legolas guarding those who’ve remained within the clearing where they are resting for the day. And here come two such creatures to graze, feeling safe, and for such reasons. Sam doesn’t fully understand Legolas’s reluctance to use his bow in this case, and I can appreciate his confusion. But apparently Pippin, after his first reaction to their visitors, finds himself agreeing with the Elf, considering the lack of further surprise as described in Branwyn’s writing. Sam can only hope the others’ hunt is successful. I’ve heard some hunters expressing just such a reluctance to disturb such perfect scenes, and certainly was reminded of such a scene in Rosemary Sutcliff’s Warrior Scarlet, still one of my favorite books by that author. Branwyn has caught so perfectly both the current peace and the realization by Legolas (and hopefully Pippin as well) as to why these creatures are here, grazing so close to what could so well be such a dangerous environment for them. Yes, no wonder they feel safe! And I am so proud of the Elf that he will not agree to betray that trust! Very well done, and evoking such warmth from the reader!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A great little piece about one moment of singular grace for an elf, and disappointment for two hungry hobbits. It makes all the sense in the world that Legolas can't bring himself to allow Pippin to shoot two deer who trust the elf to protect them; and it also makes sense for Pippin to be hungry and Sam to have a cook's hope that a coney will be brought to thicken the stew. Unusual and credible; a pleasure to read.

Reviewed by: Ragnelle  ✧  Score: 4

A delightful little story. The descriptions of the deer was very well done - just enough to paint the image to us, and detailed enough to make us see them clearly. And the hobbits were hobbitlike, and true to their different characters, not an easy thing to bring across in such few words. And Sam's ending words were so very Sam-like, full of hobbit sense. It made me smile.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

I like Gwynnyd's idea here, that animals and other beings would seek shelter in the presence of Elves and Maiar. Certainly, it makes a great deal of sense, given the nature of their spirits, and the effect of the piece is good.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

This is a nice look at different cultural attitudes in Middle-earth. Pippin's confusion seemed appropriate, but the way he accepted it even as he did not understand it was very sweet, marking him as an appropriate choice for the fellowsihp. Nice work, Gwynnyd.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

A touching vignette-- it's a matter of trust. I really like the explanation Legolas gives. And Sam and Pippin will get over it, LOL!

Reviewed by: goldleaves  ✧  Score: 1

A short glimpse of the travels of the fellowship and the majesty of nature