An Aussie in King Aragorn’s Court – Chapter 6, Y.M.C.A.

by May 27, 2004Coralie's Corner

Coralie and Boromir headed back into the camp with Legolas not far behind. Aragorn signaled him over.

“I trust that you found everything in order, Legolas”, he asked deliberately.

“In truth I cannot say. My instincts tell me that something was amiss
between the two of them, yet the Lady was unharmed,” Legolas replied
looking over Aragorn’s shoulder to where Coralie was now busy rolling
up her sleeping bag. Even from this distance he could see that her
hands were shaking.

“Some harm cannot be seen so easily as a bruise upon the skin,” Gandalf said pointedly.

“You are right Gandalf,” agreed Legolas “I sensed some fear in her,
although she hid it well. I doubt that any would have noticed save

“Or ranger.”

“Or wizard, for that matter,” countered Gandalf and Aragorn one after the other.

Aragorn turned in frustration towards Gandalf. “This complicates
matters Gandalf. It is not right that she should be here. She is a
woman and not suited to this task. I wish that she had come before we
left Rivendell. `Twould have been better for both her and us to have
left her there in Elrond’s care. I would have her safe.”

“And I would have her safe too, Aragorn,” replied Gandalf placing a
hand on his shoulder. “I agree with you. She should not be here, and
yet she is. It is obvious that our Coralie here is not a native of
Middle Earth, but comes to us from another place and time altogether. I
do believe that she spoke truthfully about coming to us from the

“I know that you are right Gandalf, but why her? Why now? If we
needed some help from the future, why didn’t the Valar send us some
great warrior who could aid us in our task and not some maiden without
strength? It would also help to have someone who could remember what
happens to us on our quest!” Aragorn was clearly exasperated.

“Oh she has strength, Aragorn. But not of the kind you would seek.
I am sure that there is more to her than meets the eye,” countered

“Yes, and what meets the eye is obviously pleasant,” replied
Legolas. “Twould seem that Boromir thinks so as well, though that is
not to my liking.” He cast one suspicious eye in Boromir’s direction.

Gandalf and Aragorn both looked at Legolas questioning his last
statement. They waited expectantly for him to say more. He was looking
beyond them, almost lost in some recent memory. Presently, Gandalf took
up the thread of the conversation again.

“I do not know or understand the purposes of the Valar in sending
her here amongst us. Whether it be for good or ill, to aid our quest in
some large or small way (which she has already done, on the slopes of
Caradhras by the way), or whether the purpose has neither to do with us
nor the ring bearer……… I cannot say. But I will say this…….
Whatever it is, I am indeed glad of her company.”

He looked around at the various members of the company now
gathering their belongings together for the road ahead. Lastly, he
looked at the elf and the man who stood before him and sniffed the air.
“The lady was absolutely right about too much testosterone! She has
lightened my heart and my senses….if you get my meaning…..Ah! I
smell strawberries.” And with that he strode off, staff in hand towards

Aragorn and Legolas stood for a moment with jaws agape.

“If I didn’t know that was Gandalf among us, I’d say he’s completely lost his mind!” said Aragorn with frustration.

Legolas laughed and cuffed his shoulder. “Or his heart!”

“You don’t think…..” Aragorn looked at Legolas.

“No ….he wouldn’t ….” Legolas looked straight back at his friend.

“He couldn’t….” Aragorn tried to sound confident.

“Couldn’t what?” Pippin had snuck up next to them without their knowing.

“How long have you been there?” They both looked down at him accusingly.

“Not long!” replied Pippin. “I thought you were talking about Gandalf. What can’t he do? I thought he could do everything?”

“Never mind Pippin. Look, Gandalf is calling us over to him.” They
walked off leaving Pippin standing there scratching his head. He would
never understand the ways of big folk.

“What did I say?”

“Lady Coralie. I trust that you are quite refreshed for the journey
before us?” Gandalf enquired. “Presently, we shall be taking a far more
darker path under the mountains as we could not go over, through the
mines of Moria. I understand that you may be a little fearful at this
prospect, but rest assured that I and the company shall do our best to
keep you safe at all times.” Gandalf sniffed the air as he leaned in
her direction. “Ah!” he thought to himself. “That is strawberries I can
smell!” he noted the bottle of Strawberry Milkshake shampoo on the
ground amongst her things. She was busy getting ready for the trek
ahead and had dressed in black leggings and a buttercup yellow t-shirt.
Coralie looked up at him enquiringly.

“Remarkable!” he thought to himself. Her eyes look so blue against
that yellow shirt of hers.” He was still standing there, leaning on his
staff smiling down at her.

“Gandalf?” she asked, waiting for his reply.

He heard the footfall of the others and came to his senses.

“Ahem! With your pardon Coralie, we are going to have a meeting
about the path we should take today. I have already told Aragorn,
Legolas, and of course you my Dear, of my plans. Now I must tell the
others and see what the Ring Bearer decides. We must take counsel
together before we go further……. By your leave?”

They all looked at Gandalf, amazed that he had so readily taken her into his confidence.

“Sure thing,” she replied, standing up to adjust her Clie player on
her waist band, ear phones in hand. “I have to work out anyway. Don’t
mind me.” Coralie placed the ear phones on her head and turned to make
the final adjustments to her pack, strapping on her skis.

The Fellowship walked over towards the smoldering embers of the camp fire.

“What does she have to work out, Gandalf?” asked Frodo as he walked beside him.

“I don’t know Frodo,” Gandalf replied. “Perhaps you can ask her later.”

They stood in a circle, waiting for Gandalf to speak.

“Frodo. We must decide upon the course we shall now take. We cannot
go back and attempt the pass of Caradhras again. The Enemy will be
watching the pass closely now and I also suspect any path that will
take us around the mountain.”

“What do you propose Gandalf? If we cannot go over the mountain and
the path around is blocked….. are we to go back to Rivendell?” asked
Frodo in return.

Pippin’s face brightened visibly at the mere mention of return to
Rivendell; Merry and Sam looked up hopefully. Aragorn and Legolas stood
silently by whilst Frodo looked troubled.

“I wish I was back there,” he said. “But how can I return without
shame – unless there is indeed no other way, and we are already

“You are right Frodo”, said Gandalf: to go back is to admit defeat
and face worse defeat to come. If we go back now, then the ring must
remain there: we shall not be able to set out again. Then sooner or
later Rivendell will be besieged, and after a brief and bitter time
will be destroyed.”

“Then we must go on, if there is a way,” said Frodo with a sigh. Sam sank back into gloom.

“There is a way that we may attempt,” said Gandalf. “I thought from
the beginning, when I first considered this journey, that we should try
it. But it is not a pleasant way. Aragorn was against it until the pass
over the mountains had at least been tried.”

“If it is a worse road than the Redhorn Gate, then it must be evil
indeed,” said Merry. “But you had better tell us about it, and let us
know the worst at once.”

“The road I speak of leads to the Mines of Moria,” said Gandalf.
Only Gimli lifted up his head; a smoldering fire was in his eyes. On
all the others a dread fell at the mention of that name. Even to the
hobbits it was a legend of vague fear.

“It is a name of ill omen,” said Boromir. “Nor do I see the need to
go there. If we cannot cross the mountains, let us journey southwards,
until we come to the Gap of Rohan….Or we might pass by and cross the
Isen into Langstrand and Lebennin, and so come to Gondor from the
regions nigh the sea.”

“Things have changed since you came north, Boromir,” answered
Gandalf. “Did you not hear what I told you of Saruman? With him I may
have business of my own ere all is over. But the Ring must not come
near Isengard, if that can by any means be prevented. The Gap of Rohan
is closed to us while we go with the Bearer.”

“To enter Moria would be to walk into a trap, hardly better than
knocking at gates of the Dark Tower itself. The name of Moria is

“You speak of what you do not know, when you liken Moria to the
stronghold of Sauron, Boromir.” answered Gandalf. “But I would not lead
you into Moria if there were no hope of coming out again. If there are
Orcs there, it may prove ill for us, that is true. But most of the Orcs
of the Misty Mountains were scattered or destroyed in the Battle of
Five Armies. The Eagles report that Orcs are gathering again from afar;
but there is a hope that Moria is still free. There is a chance that
Dwarves are there, and that in some deep hall of his fathers, Balin son
of Fundin may be found. However, it may prove, one must tread the path
that need chooses!”

“I will tread the path with you, Gandalf!” said Gimli. “I will go
and look on the halls of Durin, whatever may wait there – if you can
find the doors that are shut.”

“Good, Gimli!” said Gandalf. “You encourage me. We will seek the
hidden doors together. And we will come through. In the ruins of the
Dwarves, a dwarf’s head will be less easy to bewilder than Elves or Men
or Hobbits.”

The hobbits said nothing. Sam looked at Frodo. At last Frodo spoke.
I do not wish to go,” he said; “but neither do I wish to refuse the
advice of Gandalf. We shall go through the Mines of Moria.”

At these words all fell into silent thought. Their quiet reflection was suddenly interrupted by singing.

“Y.M.C.A. It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.” Coralie had her back to
them and was some distance away under the trees. She appeared to be
dancing, although this was a dance they had never seen the likes of
before. Her arms were waving above her head one minute and the next she
was bending at the waist and then standing up again. Clearly, she was
listening to something on her head phones and was singing along,
oblivious to all around her. Suddenly she leaped up onto an overhanging
tree limb above her and started pulling herself up to chin height in a
repetitive motion. She was counting.

“What is she doing?” queried Pippin.

“I don’t know Pip…Let’s go take a closer look,” answered Merry as
they ran over to the clearing. Sam and Frodo just looked at each other
and shrugged, following closely behind. Gandalf laughed delightedly,
glad to have something to amuse him after such dark counsel. Aragorn
and Legolas looked at each other with eyebrows raised behind his back.

“Come,” said Gandalf. “Let’s investigate this new mystery. Very
amusing…..” His voice trailed off as he walked away. Aragorn and
Legolas just sighed and followed in his wake with Boromir and Gimli in

They all stood now, a little distance away from Coralie in a semi
circle. None knew what to make of what she was doing. She had counted
to 20 whilst pulling herself up into the tree with her arms. Clearly,
she had no idea she had gathered such an audience. Her back was still
towards them and by now she had landed back on the soft earth and
appeared to be stretching out her limbs. There was a trail of sweat
down the back of her shirt. She was stretching over at the waist quite
slowly arms outstretched. The hobbits were involuntarily bending with
her. She leaned forward to touch her toes. Aragorn coughed as she did
so, trying to alert them to her presence. Boromir had a foolish grin
spread across his face, his head was tilted to the side following her
every move. Legolas pushed passed him and stood at the front of the
company arms folded across his chest.

“It is plain to my sight that the Lady cannot hear us at present
and should deserve some privacy. It is not seemly for grown men to be
standing here gawping at her for their own amusement.” His eyes
narrowed and focused on Boromir as he spoke.

“Amusement? I would call it something else entirely!” laughed
Boromir. He could see that Legolas did not share the joke. “Very well,”
he conceded walking away. Gimli followed talking to himself as he
trailed his axe in the dust. Gandalf gathered up the hobbits.

“Legolas is right boys. I know you mean no harm and that this is a
new thing to see, for all of us actually….but, it would be
unchivalrous for us to remain here in this position especially as the
lady is not aware of our presence.”

“She said she was going to work out,” said Frodo looking up at
Gandalf as he led them away. “Do you think that is what she mean’t?”

Aragorn looked at Legolas and shook his head. “Right, I will leave this part up to you alright? This is no work for a ranger.”

“But you are Aragorn son of Arathorn. You are no mere ranger. You
are the rightful king of Gondor! As a woman and a member of your race,
she is subject to you!” protested Legolas.

Aragorn held up his hands to ward him off. He had never seen the
elf flustered before. “Yes and if you remember, she is the great, great
grand daughter of some nobleman from France. For all I know, she could
be my great, great grand daughter somewhere down the line if she really
does come from the future as Gandalf thinks, and I don’t wish to cross
swords with her.”

“But, but…” Legolas was completely lost for words. He had a resigned look on his face.

Aragorn laughed heartily and slapped Legolas on the shoulder as he
departed. “You’re a better man than I, my friend. Perhaps there is ice
in your veins after all.” He strode off laughing after the others who
were by now getting ready to depart on the next leg of their journey.

“Perhaps not,” muttered Legolas to himself as he looked at Coralie
who was now sitting cross legged on the grass in front of him. He
walked as silently as only an elf can up beside her. She appeared to
have her eyes closed and was singing softly with the music in her ears.


Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

living for today

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed nor hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Legolas listened quietly drinking in the sound of her sweet,
melodious voice. “She is more kindred to elf than she realises,” he
thought to himself. Coralie sat very still with her eyes closed. Her
breathing was soft and regular. Legolas noticed small beads of sweat
across her brow and upper lip. She had obviously exerted herself, but
she did not look to be in any physical distress. Still she sat. So
still. He could hear very faintly the strains of music from her

“I wonder if that is Enya again?” he thought with a smile. He waited. “What can she be doing?”

His words were soft as he gently touched her shoulder.


She opened her eyes and turned to him with a serene smile upon her
lips. The scent of strawberries hung in the air between them as soft as
the morning.

“Hello Legolas. I was meditating.”

“Meditating? That’s almost Elvish!” he was more than a little
surprised. He had never met a woman, a human quite like her before.

“Yeah! Well I wish I were an elf so I could have your skin mate!”
she said patting him on his knee. “But since I’m obviously not and
running on a time frame here, I’m going to put on some sunscreen.” With
that she jumped up and jogged back to her pack leaving Legolas sitting
there alone on the grass.

“Intriguing … ” Legolas did not finish the thought. He got up and
followed her back. She was practically skipping. Legolas laughed to see
such youthful abandon.

“She is obviously a woman and not a young maiden without
experience, but she has a child like quality about her…. Perhaps she
is more kindred to the hobbits in spite of her height.” He mused as the
hobbits rushed over to her at once.

“Coralie we want you to……” Pippin came screeching to a halt in front of her.

“What Pippin means to say,” said Merry nudging him out of the way.
He fell silent as the shadow of Legolas strode past him. “Is that…
er… um,” he suddenly looked quite bashful and kicked at the ground
with his hobbity feet.

” I think, begging your pardon Lady, what Merry and Pippin are
trying to say is that we would like to learn that dance you were doing
earlier under the tree.” asked Frodo politely.

“Yeah! Whaddya call it?” asked Sam suddenly, surprised at his own eagerness.

Coralie threw back her head and laughed. “I was doing a work out boys!”

“See I knew that’s what she mean’t by work out after I saw her doing it!” Frodo nudged Sam.

“So……. You were watching me then?” she asked. The hobbits
coughed and quickly looked around. The others were out of earshot
making final preparations for the day’s trek.

Pippin held up his hands. “No! No! Lady. We wouldn’t spy on you or
anything, would we lads?” he quickly gave sideways looks to the others
who nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

“No! No! Nothing like that!” They chorused at once.

“Really?” Coralie said with a twinkle in her eye. “Then how do you
know what I was doing exactly? The hobbits suddenly felt quite ashamed.
They had been spying on this nice lady and now they were caught. They
stuck their hands in their pockets and dug at the ground with their
toes. Coralie laughed again.

“Don’t sweat it boys. I couldn’t care less. I will teach you if you like.”

“OH! Yes Please!” The hobbits were radiant. Coralie proceeded to
show them the accompanying movements for the chorus of YMCA and teach
them the words.

“Look,” she said. “I’ve got a better idea. Wait here.” She went
over and rummaged about in her pack whilst the hobbits continued to
practice the movements. They loved to dance and this was something
entirely new and fun to try. Before, this “ski queen” had come upon
their path, they were weighed down by the burden of their hearts.
Coralie walked over to them with two flat looking boxes.

“Right,” she said. “These are speakers. Believe it or not, I can
make the music come out of my little player here, for all to hear.” The
hobbits looked at her wide eyed as she attached them to the MP 3 player
on the Clie. “Are you ready?”

They all nodded back at once in anticipation grinning from ear to
ear. It was all she could do not to laugh out loud. They were so

“Okay! Here we go!” she pressed play.

Aragorn and the others jumped around. True, they had listened to
the little music box the night before, but this was different. The
music reverberated through the little glen they occupied filling the
corners that were empty but a moment before. There, over near the trees
were Coralie and the hobbits dancing away and forming funny shapes with
their bodies as she had done so earlier. Gimli let out a loud whoop!
Boromir dropped his sword. They all began to laugh. Gandalf was wiping
tears away from his eyes.

“Never in the lives of three hundred men…..” he could barely speak from laughter.

“Well Legolas,” laughed Aragorn. “She’s entirely your
responsibility. Perhaps you should learn this dance too.” He was crying

“Listen. They are singing along!” countered Legolas. He was laughing hard and could barely get the words out.

On the air, they could hear tiny hobbit voices singing. “Y. M. C. A. It’s fun to stay at the Y. M. C. A …”

Legolas and Aragorn looked at each other. “What are they singing?” chortled Boromir.

“Y M C A and something like `Young man….” Aragorn had tried to
sing the tune which only served to send Legolas, Boromir and Gimli into
more fits of laughter. Gandalf dabbed at his eyes.

“Come.” said Gandalf still shaking with mirth. “We have a ways to
go today before we reach the doors of Moria. I will collect my

They were still chuckling as they made their way forward on the
road. The hobbits kept singing “Young man!” and pointing at each other
as they walked along, laughing hysterically. Gimli scuttled after
Coralie. Looking up at her with a sideways glance he asked “Lady, do
you think you could teach me that dance too?”

“Of course!” she grinned and skipped along the path in front of him.


Young man, there’s no need to feel down

I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground

I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town

There’s no need to be unhappy

Young man, there’s a place you can go

I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough

You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find

Many ways to have a good time.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for young men to enjoy.

You can hang out with all the boys.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

You can get yourself clean

You can have a good meal

You can do whatever you feel.

Young man, are you listening to me

I said, young man, what do you want to be

I said, young man, you can make real your dreams,

but you’ve got to know this one thing.

No man, does it all by himself

I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf

And just go there, to the Y.M.C.A.

I’m sure they can help you today

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for young men to enjoy.

You can hang out with all the boys.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

You can get yourself clean

You can have a good meal

You can do whatever you feel.

Young Man, I was once in your shoes,

I said, I was down and out with the blues

I felt, no man cared if I were alive

I felt the whole world was so jive

That’s when someone came up to me

and said young man take a walk up the street

There’s a place there called the Y.M.C.A.

They can start you back on your way.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for young men to enjoy.

You can hang out with all the boys.


It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

It’s fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

Young man, Young man, there’s no need to feel down

Young man, Young man, pick yourself off the ground


Just go to the Y.M.C.A.

Young Man, Young Man, I was once in your shoes,

Young Man, Young Man, I was out with the blues






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Found in Home 5 Reading Room 5 Coralie's Corner 5 An Aussie in King Aragorn’s Court – Chapter 6, Y.M.C.A.

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