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Broken Horses

Chapter 3: Chapter 3

by raniel42

Chapter 3

Pendan grumbled at the cold as he trudged toward the barn. Of course he had to go get the brat. He was sick of her getting everything. Everyone treated her special because her adar was dead. How did that make her special? He knew plenty who'd lost their adars or their naneths. His nana hadn't even come with them. Pendan snorted irritably. Miri was a brat. Probably would always be a brat too.

He opened the barn door, relieved when it moved silently. He slipped inside. He heard sniffling. It must be Miri. He couldn't believe she was still crying. Over a stupid wooden carving, no less. He moved closer to her. Miri was sitting on a hay bale with a saddle blanket wrapped around her shoulders. She was not just crying, she was talking. Pendan hid in the shadows wondering what Miri was doing and wondered who she could be talking to.

“He's so mean, Nennie.” Miri sniffed. “He hates me so much and I don't even know why. He's always hated me.” Miri sniffed again.

Pendan watched as the mare nuzzled Miri's cheek with her large, white nose. “I know you like me.” Miri said scratching the nose.

“I don't know what I did to make him hate me.” Miri continued. “He's not mean to my cousins. Or nana. Or Aunt Hithel. I used to like him, I think. Once a long time ago. Before he started hitting me and hurting me and just being mean.”

Miri wiped some tears from her face. “He broke the present I made for ada, Nennie. You know the one I worked so hard on for so long. I used you to model it from, remember?” Miri pulled the blanket around her a little tighter.

“I wish I could stay out here with you tonight.” Miri said. “You would keep me warm. Right, Nennie?” Miri sniffed again and sighed. “Nana won't let me stay out here now. She'll say it's too cold. Besides my cousins are here. Did you meet their horses. Nen?” Miri asked. She waved her hand toward the new horses in the barn.

“That is Galroch,” Miri indicated the big brown. “He's Galbraith's horse. Next to him is Rohal. He's Torchirion's horse. Orthonn got a new horse and I don't know her name yet.”

Miri got up and check to see the horses had water before resuming her spot on the hay bale. “Nennie, why does he hate me?”

“I don't hate you.” Pendan said.

Miri jumped to her feet. “Go away!”

“I can't go away.” He grumbled. “You have to come inside first.”

“I'm not doing anything you tell me to, present breaker!”

He sighed. “I'm sorry I broke your present to Strider. Now will you come back in, it's cold out here.”

“Leave me alone. Just go back inside. I'm going to sleep with Nennie.”

“You can't stay out here. Strider said you have to come back inside.”

“I'm not going anywhere with you.”

“Would you just come on.”

“You can't make me.” Pendan took a step toward her.

Nendal pawed at the floor anxiously. Miri backed up. “Come any closer and I'll scream. Nennie won't let you hurt me.”

“Miri, stop being such a baby, just come inside.”

“I'm not a baby! I'm seven now.” She said with a huff.

“You're acting like a baby” Pendan mumbled to himself.

“I heard that!”

“Miri just come inside.”

“Why? Did you want to break my presents too?”

Pendan gritted his teeth. “I'm not going to break your presents.”

Miri sat back down on the bale and refused to look at him now. “I'm not going anywhere with you! You're mean and you hate me!”

“I don't hate you.”

“You act like you do.”

Pendan was getting angry. The little brat just sat there, not listening to him.

“You always hurt me.” She sniffed. “Or break things or make me feel bad. You must hate me.”

Pendan rolled his eyes, she was insufferable. “I don't hate you.”

“Then why do you do that stuff to me all the time?” Miri had fixed her bright green eyes on him. For someone so young, Pendan had never seen such an intense stare. He shuffled his feet trying not to feel so uncomfortable under her scrutiny. Must be from her elf side he thought.

“I don't know why I do it, alright?” He snapped. “It's not like you don't fight back.”

“Nobody else treats me like that.”

“Maybe you need someone to make you realize you're not as great as everyone else thinks you are.” he grumbled.

“Nobody thinks that!”

Pendan rolled his eyes again. “Please, all the Rangers treat you like you're someone special and you're not. Even the elves do. You're just a brat to me.”

“I'm not a brat!”

“You always get your way!” Pendan yelled. “Our chieftain treats you like a princess!”

“I do not always get my way!”

“You played a prank on Lord Erestor and didn't even get in trouble!”

“I did too! Just not as much as my uncles did!”

“See you don't even get punished when you do something wrong!”

“I had to clean all the practice swords in Imladris!” Miri screeched.

“You did not.”

“I did too! It was Glorfindel's idea!”

“Lord Glorfindel set your punishment?” Pendan asked bewildered. “The Balrog slayer?”

Miri sniffed. “Yes, he supervised me so I wouldn't hurt myself. It took me two days.”

“Two days?”

Miri nodded.

Pendan sat next to Miri on the bale. “I don’t hate you. I don’t know why I do those things to you. Our cousins pick on me and you’re the only one I can pick on.”

“That doesn’t mean you have to.” She sniffed. “They pick on me too.”

Pendan shook his head. “It’s different when they pick on you.”

“No it’s not.”

“Yes it is. Maybe they don’t mean to hurt me, but they do.”

“Why don’t you tell them then?”

Pendan looked mortified. “I can’t do that! They’d never let me hear the end of it.”

“They stop when I tell them.”

Pendan sighed. “It’s different for you. You’re a girl of course they’re nicer to you.”

“I could tell them.”

“No!” Pendan said sharply. “That would be even worse than me telling them.”

“Oh.”

There was a long pause as neither child said a word.

“You really don’t hate me?”

“No, I don’t hate you. I guess I’m just jealous sometimes.”

“Why would you be jealous of me?” Miri looked very surprised.

“Didn’t you see what Lord Elrond and his sons sent you? Or the fact you have a horse and I get to ride Billen but he's not really mine.”

“But you get to do everything! They always tell me I’m not old enough yet. Pendan’s old enough. I never am.”

It was Pendan's turn to look surprised. Is that how it seemed to her?

“They don’t think I’ll really be a Ranger.” She added quietly. “I heard Eldorian talking to your ada. They think I’ll just be a healer, but I want to be a Ranger and go on patrols and help kill orcs. It’s all I want to be when I grow up. At least they believe you’ll be a Ranger.”

Pendan knew there were not many females among the Rangers, but there were some. “Maybe it’s just Eldorian who thinks that.”

Miri shook her head. “Your ada told him they are humoring me until I grow out of being a tomboy. I’m not sure what that means, but I don’t think it’s nice.”

“It means they think you’ll stop wanting to be a Ranger when you get older and want to be more like my nana, your nana, or Hithel.”

“All I want to be is a Ranger,” Miri whispered. Absently she reached up and scratched Nendal’s nose again.

The mare had been staring at Miri since Pendan sat next to her. When Pendan looked back at Miri, he saw she was crying again. It was pretty mean of the adults to think that Miri wasn’t serious about being a Ranger. It was all she’d ever talked about. Reluctantly Pendan had to admit she was getting good with a ‘blade’ even if it was a wood practice sword.

“I could help you train.” Pendan offered quietly. “Maybe if I did they would think you are serious.” Miri whipped her head to stare at him wide eyed.

“You, you would do that for me?”

“I would.”

Miri threw her arms around Pendan’s waist. “Oh thank you!”

Pendan sat frozen for a moment unsure of how to respond to Miri’s enthusiasm. Finally he put his arms around her shoulders and returned her hug.

“Can we go inside now?” Pendan tried. “It’s cold out here.”

“Alright.” Miri stood up and kissed Nendal on the nose.

“Here.” He put his cloak around her shoulders.

“Thank you, Pendan.” Miri smiled up at him.

The two children left the barn and headed back to the house. Had they noticed, they would have seen the additional footprints of several adults leading back to the cottage. Adults that heard every word the children exchanged.

Fini

Translations:
Ada: papa/daddy
Nana: mama/mommy
Pigenur: little fire
Umaew: evil bird
Oltho vae: sweet dreams
Gen Melon: I love you
Tengwar: written form of Sindarin
Ion nin: my son
Haru: Quenya word for grandfather
Gwenyn: twins
Naneth: mother
Ion: son
Nendal: Waterfoot

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Chapter name
Chapter 3
Created
28 Nov 2013
Last Edited
28 Nov 2013
Hits
260
Words
1604