2007 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Children - Second Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Other Ficlet
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: An early-morning excursion to the seashore has surprising results for young Boromir, Faramir, and Uncle Imrahil.
Reviewed by: EdorasLass ✧ Score: 7
Imrahil takes his young nephews out for a morning of crab-catching, with the intent of preparing a beach-picnic breakfast, but things do not go as planned. As she always does, Ann weaves vivid images with carefully-chosen words: [Some, like living flowers, waved their petals as if in time to underwater music; others, hauling their homes on their backs, crawled purposefully along the sea-mossy rocks. Fiddler crabs scuttled and scurried away.], drawing the reader immediately into the story. I love the dynamic between Imrahil, Boromir, and Faramir - Imrahil comes across as that really cool uncle who's always full of surprises for his nephews, "sneaking" them out of their beds before dawn to lead them off on who-knows-what kind of adventure. The boys' horror at realizing they're meant to *eat* the crabs is priceless - I can just see their shocked faces! And it's wonderful that Imrahil doesn't try to push them into eating their little crab friends, understanding that they both aren't ready for that next step in their education, even though that was the entire point of this outing, in his head. Such a lovely, lovely man. *happy sigh*
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
This is an utterly charming slice of life of the sons of Denethor, in childhood and sharing carefree moments with their Uncle Imrahil in Dol Amroth. Lovely descriptions of the seashore and tidal pools. Imrahil's tenderness and fondness for his young nephews shines through in an understated way. The boys' fondness for the unforeseen adventure is typical of youngsters everywhere, and their reluctance to cook the creatures they've caught shows their essential good nature, as well as their innocence and privileged status. I loved little Faramir's farewell to the crabs.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 5
A charming, delightful story, told in warm, light-hearted tone that fits very well. The description of the tidal pools and their inhabitants in the moonlight is lovely and enchanting, and it really is no wonder that Faramir and Boromir are so entranced by it. When Imrahil reveals why they have caught all those crabs, it must have come as a real shock, the prosaic purpose so much in contrast with the delight of before. ["That was different. Those crabs were supper. These crabs are creatures."] Of course! Oh, the innocence of children! And the ending just had me laughing with the irony. I wonder what Boromir would have wanted for breakfast if they had not caught crabs, but fish...
Reviewed by: Mechtild ✧ Score: 5
[Contains spoilers] The subject of this tale makes it easy to relate to. Young Boromir balks at eating the living creatures he has seen and touched and holds squirming in a sack, but is happy to eat fish that is cooked, served on a plate. I dont like the idea of eating venison, which comes from animals I see walking around, strolling at dusk unconcernedly down the neighbourhood street, or raiding the gardens at night. Cattle do not live near here. By the time I see them they are unrecognizable, in packages, or on a plate, smelling delicious. P.S. Lovely descriptive work in the opening!
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 4
This reminds me of the old sea food diet joke see food, eat it. Except this time, it actually works the other way around: see food, don't eat it. Young Boromir and Faramir show themselves to be still on the sensitive side when it comes to the difference between what is served on the table and what they have to catch for themselves. The crabs got lucky this time, though Boromir's last comment shows the truth of the old 'out of sight, out of mind' (and conscience) truism. Cute story!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 4
Ah, the innocence of children. Imrahil's attempts to give his two nephews a treat by catching and steaming crabs on the beach backfires. The children, after all, now know these crabs, having caught them themselves, and having appreciated the life in them. So it is they refuse to have a part in the second planned activity their uncle had intended. So reminiscent of children I've known--and was myself, once upon a time--unable to eat an animal I'd known personally! Heh! Lovely mood, and the setting is well described and wonderful.
Reviewed by: Linda hoyland ✧ Score: 4
[spoiler alert] This is truly heartwarming story concerning young Boromir and Faramir's visit to Uncle Imrahil. Their uncle takes them fishing for crabs and they catch a good many, but the boys insist on freeing them rather than taking them home to eat. I thought this a lovely foreshadowing of the compassion that adult Faramir will show towards those in need. I loved the dreamy atmosphere of this charming story.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 4
Beginning to get a Ranger's eye for the edible, perhaps - but he's not yet made the association between live creatures and dinner. Faramir is so sweet here. And so is Boromir - who is quite happy to eat fish provided by others. Kind Imrahil, letting them get away with such squeamishness. It's great to see the three of them having so much fun on a early Dol Amroth morning, behaving in a way that Denethor would doubtless see as unsuitable. Faramir's wish to the crabs for a profitable life - charming. I found this story to be delightful.
Reviewed by: agape4gondor ✧ Score: 3
Very nice tale. It is gratifying to think that Imrahil would take time out of a busy court life and military life to take the boys on such an adventure. I loved the conclusion. Still laughing at poor Imrahil who would have enjoyed such a fresh and delicious breakfast!
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 2
This was lovely, and perfectly captures both the knowingness and naivete of children. Well done.
Reviewed by: phyloxena ✧ Score: 1
Imrahil must have been a little bit disappointed. Nice children.