The Long Winter- The Winters End

by Oct 6, 2004Stories

It was early one morning in March that it happened. It was totally un-expected and perhaps the only person who realised that the day would truly come was Taina. It was, after all, her who discovered it. She had gone down to the graves of their father, Kaina and Maina. Rein was too tired to get up, he barely had any strength left. Yet something did make him get up. A shrill scream rang over the camp, everyone leapt to their feet and rushed to the source.
It was Taina. Yet she did not look terrified, nor hurt. Her small, child’s face was filled with something Rein thought he should know but somehow could not remember. She was pointing outwards, across the snow.
Wait! The snow! Was it possible or was that water trickling down the hillside? Rein turned back to Taina, who smiled the biggest smile yet. Soon it was flying all around the camp. The snow was melting.
The reaction of the refugees was something that Rein would never forget. It was one of the most beautiful sights he had ever seen. Everyone, adults and children alike, stared for a while. Then slowly there was an eruption of noise. Everyone was laughing, crying, shouting and jumping. Rein was not sure whether he was laughing, or crying, or both. Taina rushed and flung her arms around her mother with murmurs of “I told you.” In her ear.
Rein felt that his feelings could no longer be contained. He would have to burst open and let them all out. He watched the snow melt day by day, his heart filled with joy and a kind of sadness. His father had worked so hard, Maina had worked so hard, yet neither of them were here to see this miracle.
The joy of the refugees could not be contained simply by one celebration. Over the next few days there were many. People who had extra food were sharing it out with those who had less. People were dancing and singing all around the camp. Yet no celebration could possibly hide the horrible truths that surrounded that winter. Less than half of the Rohans had survived. Many of those who died were young children, unable to stand the cold. There was still very little food, and water. More and more people were reported dieing everyday. It was a horrible sight, the refugee camp. Yet there was something in the atmosphere that everyone felt but no one could describe. A glimmer of hope that they could, and would survive this.
That hope became more than just hope though. For a few days later Fréalàf went down to the enemy camp and caught them unawares. He felt that this was his duty because he was the King’s sister son, and so the rightful king. He took back Edoras. They were going home!

Back in Edoras Rein looked around his house. It felt strange to be there without Maina or his Father. Not that it was much of a house anymore. It was completely wrecked. Many of their possessions had been stolen, the rest had just been put on the floor. In some places it was hard to walk through the mound that was on the floor. Rein’s mother wept when she saw the house.
Rein and Taina went through every room in the house, just in case anything of value had gone unnoticed. Amongst the discarded items lying discarded on the floor Rein spotted a small piece of string. Curious, he picked it up. It was a necklace. He recognised it instantly as Maina’s special necklace that her friend had made for her. It was just a piece of string with a small stone on it but Maina had worn it everywhere. She did not wear it at night for the reason that it might fall off without her knowing. That was why she had not had it at Helm’s Deep.
Taina saw the look on his face and came over.
“What have you found Rein?” She asked quietly.
“Look.” Rein held the necklace out to her.
Taina looked up at Rein and then at the necklace. She seemed fairly upset by it.
“Taina……” Rein wanted to do something to cheer her up. Finally an idea struck him.
“You should have it.” He said out loud.
“It is Maina’s. I could not take it.” Taina looked quite startled.
“It is what Maina would have wanted.” He placed the necklace in her hand. “Try it on.”
Taina put the necklace on with trembling hands. Rein stared at her in shock. She looked so much like Maina. He put his arm around the younger girl.
Their mother came to them at that moment. She saw the necklace around Taina’s neck and gave a small exclamation of joy.
“Oh, my children,” She breathed, “We will get through this, I can feel it.”


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