Mandy felt the tears welling up inside of her. “I don’t want to stay here!” she screamed aloud, “Lord, why am I here? I want to go home. I want to see my family! I don’t wish to be here! Why can’t I go back home?” She slid to a stop in a clearing. Falling to her knees in exhaustion and weariness, she just started weeping. She fell asleep and started dreaming…
“Mandy.” a voice called, “Mandy.”
“Yes? Who is it?” Mandy answered, gazing around.
The Warrior came up to her. “I have a plan and a purpose for you. Do not fear, I am with you.” He comforted her, gently touching her brow where His mark was on her.
“But, will I go home?” she asked.
“Trust Me.” was all that He answered. He smiled at her and then disappeared.
“Hrmm, hoom.” A deep voice startled her.
She leapt up and whirled around. She didn’t see anyone.
“Who’s there?” she yelled, grabbing a large stick.
“Brrrm…sticks wouldn’t harm me, Elf-wen.” the voice answered with what seemed to be a chuckle.
“Show yourself!” Mandy cried again.
“Well, if you insist.” a large tree stepped into the clearing. Mandy gaped and then ran. Suddenly, she felt herself being lifted up.
“No, put me down!” she thrashed about, trying to get down.
“Calm down, little Elf-wen. I will not hurt you. I am friends with the elves.” the tree brought her up to his eyelevel.
“Who are you?” Mandy gazed at his eyes, somewhat human, but also animal like.
“I am Treebeard, an Ent.” Treebeard answered.
“An Ent?!” Mandy stared at him.
“Yes. Now what are you doing in Fanghorn, Elf-wen?” he asked her, walking forward.
“Elf-wen? What does that mean?” Mandy asked confusedly.
“Ahh…it means `Elf maiden’.” Treebeard replied.
“I am no Elf!” Mandy snapped.
“Hmm…I find that hard to believe because of the way you are dressed and your looks wouldn’t deceive anyone.” Treebeard chuckled at her glare.
“I don’t have pointy ears or the long hair or the fair face of an elf!” Mandy retorted.
“Ah…look.” Treebeard lowered her down to see herself in a pool.
Mandy saw a face that was an elf looking up at her. “No. That’s not me! Is it?” Mandy felt her hair, which had grown longer in the weeks she had been in Middle Earth…but her ears!, “How is that possible? I’m not an Elf! At least, I wasn’t a week ago.”
“Well, I don’t know about weeks past, but I know an Elf when I see one. And you most certainly are an Elf.” Treebeard set her in a branch up near his head, “Ah…I remember the last time I had someone riding there. Two small hobbits, they were. Such joyful creatures.”
“Hobbits?” Mandy asked.
“Yes, half-lings. Well, now. I will take you to my house, if you wish.” Treebeard offered.
“I guess that would be okay.” Mandy answered, not really caring.
“Good. Hang on, Elf-wen.” Treebeard walked in long, loping strides towards his house.
Legolas followed the tracks until he came upon Treebeard’s. “She’s met up with Treebeard! Hopefully I can catch up to them.” he gave a shrill whistle. Arod neighed and galloped over to him. “Larka, Arod! (*Swiftly, Arod*) To Treebeard!” Legolas commanded the horse. Arod reared and raced away towards them.
Mandy had heard the whistle of Legolas’s. “Oh!” she gasped, as Treebeard suddenly turned, “Where are you going?”
“I have heard the sound of another elf. Perhaps your companion?” Treebeard moved forward quickly.
“Wait, I don’t…I mean…” Mandy stuttered, knowing it was Legolas, “I don’t think he will know me.”
“No matter. Elves should know each other.”
“But…” she stopped, seeing that protesting had no affect. Soon, she could see Arod galloping swiftly towards them. Treebeard stopped and waited for Legolas to come up.
“Greetings, Prince of Mirkwood.” Treebeard greeted Legolas.
“Greetings, Treebeard. I am looking for a mortal maid. I thought she
ran into you, but…” Legolas asked, still mounted up.
“I have seen no mortal maid, but I have seen an Elf-wen. She is here.” Treebeard answered, lifting Mandy gently down.
Mandy thought about running, but figured it wouldn’t do any good.
“Ed’ i’ear ar’ elenea! (By the sea and stars!) Mandy?” Legolas jumped down and came towards her.
“Hi, Legolas.” Mandy flinched at the look he gave her.
“What happened to you?” he asked, walking around her.
“I don’t know. I fell asleep and got woken up from Treebeard. Next thing I know, he says I’m an elf. I deny it only to look into a pool and see that I am.” Mandy said quickly.
Legolas just looked at her. She had the ears of his race, her hair was pulled back with a circlet of leaves, and she was dressed in Elven garb.
“Man na le?” Legolas asked, “Pedich i lam edhellen? Henia? (*Who are you? Do you speak Elvish? Do you understand?*)”
“Hanya, Legolas. (*I understand, Legolas.*)” the words flew out of her mouth. She cast a frightened look towards Legolas, “How do I know Elvish?”
Legolas gazed at her in amazement. “I do not know how such a thing could have happened…but I know someone who would know.” Legolas said, taking hold of her hand, “I am taking you to Lothlorien, the realm of Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. They will know. If I may?” Mandy nodded. Legolas examined her ears.
“Yes, they are real, Sir.” Mandy joked, “I wouldn’t fake them.”
Legolas smiled, “I wouldn’t think of you doing something like that. Come. I will take you to Galadriel.” Before he lifted her onto Arod, she went over to Treebeard.
“Thank you, Treebeard. I won’t forget you. I will be sure to visit you again.” she hugged him as best she could.
“Nor will I forget you, Elf-wen. Mayhap you will visit me and we can wander around these woods of mine.” his voice boomed deeply, like laughter.
She walked back to Arod, who nickered a greeting. He nipped playfully at her hair. “Daro. Ú-mado nin! Amin u-tyav maar! (*stop! Don’t eat me! I would not taste good!*)” she slapped at his nose lightheartedly.
Legolas laughed at the look on her face when the Elvish came flying out. He helped her up onto Arod.
“Oh, no. I am not riding sidesaddle!” Mandy swung her leg over. Legolas grinned then mounted up behind her.
“I knew there was something special about you, Mandy. You didn’t look Elven, but you certainly felt like it.” Legolas said softly, coaxing Arod into a loping gallop, “Le na elen nin (*You are my star*).” Mandy barely heard the words he murmured quietly because she had fallen asleep, her eyes staring unseeingly ahead, her head resting on his shoulder.