The next day dawned bright and cheery. Estel jumped out of bed.
“Today is the day. Today I get to learn to ride Titton. Do you think father will let me out of school today.”
“I don’t think so dear. You got to have off yesterday so I think today is not a day he will let you miss.”
“Can I go ask him?” He asked giving Gilraen a gigantic grin.
“Oh what should I do with you? You are impossible.” She thought for a minute and said, “I’ll tell you what why don’t we go have breakfast at Elrond’s house and you can ask him there.”
So Estel ran to get his jacket and books while Gilraen grabbed her shawl. They went across the lawn to Elrond’s home.
“So how is my little man today?” Elrond asked as they entered the home.
“I am great! Can I stay home from school today and get started learning to ride?” Estel cried eagerly.
Elrond got thoughtful and said. “No, my son, I can’t let you have off today. Too much idleness in our lives makes us lazy like orcs. Do you want to be like an orc?”
Estel got serious and shook his head no. “Now lets go have breakfast. I think there are sweet rolls on the table.”
Estel’s eyes lit up and he bounded to the table. He picked out his spot and sat quietly waiting for everyone to sit also. He was taught to wait patiently for all to sit but it was so hard when sweet rolls were on the table. He eyed them so hard that if his mind could have done it he would have had all those rolls in his plate before anyone sat. Elladan and Elrohir came into the room and past him by going to talk to the cook. Then they went around the corner looking on the ground as if they lost something. After checking out the day at the window Elrond said, “If you boys don’t come sit I will give Estel permission to throttle both of you.”
Elladan and Elrohir laughed uproariously as they came to sit. “I swear little brother I should have daggers sticking out of my back with the ones coming from those baby blues of yours.” Estel just sat there smoldering some more. “It was only a little fun bro. Don’t get too stern too early in life,” Elrohir chuckled.
“You will pay. I don’t know when or how but you will pay,” Estel said angrily.
“Estel don’t be so angry at them they were only playing,” Gilraen said quietly, “Lets just sit and eat a nice breakfast.”
Estel sat nicely and ate but he watched as the rolls disappeared. Then when the last one was on the plate he saw Elladan reach for the roll and quick as a flash he had it bit it. After he ate the bite he said, “See I told you I would get you back.”
“Well I guess I should never underestimate Estel when he wants something.” Elladan smiled. Estel sat there smugly eating his roll. He was very proud of himself having outsmarted his brother who was much older than he.
“Time for school” Gilraen said as he finished up his roll and put his plate in the kitchen to be washed.
“Ok I am all ready. Lets go.” Turning to Elladan he said, “I’ll see you after school in the riding corral. DON’T BE LATE”
“Oh I will be there,” Elladan said over his shoulder.
School dragged on for Estel. He thought lunch hour would never come. During lunch he and Serme went to the swing and sat together gently swinging.
“Do you think this day could go any longer?”
” Well yes it can we still have history and Math yet?”
“Ugh I think my head is going to explode.,” he yelled putting his head in his lap.
The teacher called them in and another long and boring lecture on the life of Fingolfin began. Finally the bell rang signaling freedom. Estel practically ran the other kids over to get to the door. Gilraen was waiting for him with his riding clothes in her hand. He dressed fast and sped like lightning to the riding coral. Elladan was there with Titton all saddled up and ready to go.
Estel approached her with reverence and talked quietly to her. He rubbed her neck and gave her a bit of apple that he saved. Elladan brought the mounting log over to Titton’s side. “Now be careful as you get on her she is ready for you but if you spook her she will jump.”
Estel climbed on the stump and just as he was getting his foot in the stirrup he heard a child yell out “Hey Estel watch out for those big clumsy feet” Estel jumped slightly from the scare and he did accidentally kick Titton in her side causing her to rear and Estel fell flat on his face.
Elladan scooped up Estel to get him out from under hooves and sat him on the fence while he calmed Titton down. Then he walked over to Estel, “Well that did not go so well.”
“No and I am not going to get back on her.”
“What? What do you mean you aren’t getting back on Titton.?”
“Just what I said.” And swung around and ran off toward the pond close to the waterfall.
Elladan was quite confused. He took Titton back to the stables and brushed her down thinking about what happened. He thought he should go talk to his father and see what he says, but first he stopped to tell Gilraen what happened and where Estel was hiding.
Gilraen walked slowly to the pond. She knew what was wrong. It had been a problem all year. Once when the children were playing during school break time Estel slipped on a wet leaf and fell on his face. Another time he was not watching where he was running and tripped over a root of a tree. The children were not too forgiving and they laughed at him for his clumsiness. So she knew the problem but she was not sure how to make him feel better. It was hard on her sometime living in this place and yet feeling like a guest instead of part of the people.
She came up on him and sat down. She just sat there awhile and laid her hand on his back. Suddenly he cried as though his heart would break, and she just held him and let him cry.
“I just don’t understand why they have to say that stuff, or even why I have to be different.”
“Estel things happen in our lives that don’t make sense and there is no sense to be made from those things. Our job is to learn to deal with those things as they happen and grow to be better from those things. I know 5 people in this place that don’t look at you as different and they are your very best friends. I am 1 of those people, your father is another .You have your brothers and Serme and Raion. And actually that makes 6. Serme thinks the world of you and that is because you treat her with love and respect. You have to give yourself that love and respect as much as you give it out. I am your mother and I never gave birth to a looser and your Father Loves you as much as I do and he did not teach you to become a looser either.”
“But Momma that boy did that on purpose to hurt me and laugh at me.”
“Yes but is he ever nice to you and do you like him.”
“Then brush him off and teach yourself to get back up from a fall and get back on that horse. This morning at breakfast did you let your brothers get you down when they teased you?”
“NO and I will become better and I will show him I am no flop.” He jumped up and hugged his mom. “I love you, momma,” with that he ran off to find Elladan.