Characters/Pairing: Aerin, Broddun (OFC, Brodda's sister, Easterling)
Warnings: nongraphic animal death; canonical background (occupation of Dor-lomin)
Book/Source: Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales (CoH)
Disclaimer: Middle-earth is all Tolkien's (except for Broddun).
A/N: continuing an earlier series on Aerin and her sister-in-law: see here on my journal. Double drabble.
They walk together in the evening by the brook, quietly. It is never wise to attract attention. Startled, Aerin sees Broddun bring up her sling, a simple but efficient thing of leather and horsehair. A well-aimed stone whizzes into the shadows.
‘Look’, says Broddun, holding up her prey and continuing an earlier language lesson. ‘Long ears—a hare. Short ears—a rabbit.’
‘Hare,’ repeats Aerin in Easterling.
She reaches out and runs her finger along a long elegant ear. Oh faint heart! Her people captive, starving, dying—and here she is, in tears over the sudden death of a hare.
‘You grieve. You grieve over Master Hare.’
‘I’m foolish,’ says Aerin, drawing her hair over her face. ‘I’ve never hunted for a living.’
‘Not so,’ says Broddun. ‘There are words to say. People forget—because the old died on the road and in battle, because we do not know these lands. Strawhead Country, they say and do not show proper respect. But I was taught. I forgot until you reminded me.’
Aerin listens as Broddun recites the many names of the hare.
And in the thin stew ladled out to the thralls at noon there’s just a bit of meat.