Warnings: Nothing in particular.
Word Count: 524
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit it would be all about the minor characters.
Summary: The Entwives are not lost. They simply walked away.
Their journey west was long and arduous. The sharp stones bit their roots and the wind tore at their branches, a trail of leaves left streaming in their wake. When a sudden spring blizzard fell upon the mountains, the Entwives stood shivering beneath a blanket of cold snow, waiting for the path to clear before marching on again.
Their numbers whittled gradually the longer that they traveled. Some they lost to goblins in the night, hungry axes seeking fuel for cooking fires. Some they lost to the cruel mountains, dear friends falling down to darkness when their roots slipped off the stone. But even as they mourned their fallen, the Entwives still pressed on. For while their progress was slow, their hearts were strong and stubborn, willing to risk everything for their united dream.
They had loved the land they’d left behind. They’d loved their husbands and the forests they watched over and they had never wished to leave. But the woods had changed around them, the old trees growing twisted beyond their skill to heal.
There had been no saplings in those forests. The seeds they’d planted would not root and so the Entwives had held an Entmoot to decide what they should do. Their discussion lasted for three turns of the seasons: from summer’s stifling heat to the sharp bite of winter’s chill. They had weighed their options with great deliberation and then the Entwives walked away. They had hoped their kin would follow; but even if they didn’t, the Entwives’ choice was made.
Their spirits had not faltered through their long months of travel. Despite snow and storms and screaming winds, the Entwives continued westward and their tears flowed freely on the day that they arrived. When they traversed the mountain foothills and saw the land spread out before them, as rich and green and fertile as any could have dreamed.
So they gathered their remaining strength and sought out a lush forest in which to set their burdens down. Their children would grow strong here, grow strong and full of life as they could not in the east. Each seed was planted carefully into the waiting soil. The Entwives chose the perfect cradles, the softest, richest earth, and then spread their branches wide to watch over their children. They dug their tired roots deep into damp soil before allowing their exhaustion to sweep their minds away.
The Entwives slept through the seasons as their bark grew thick and sturdy and their tattered leaves began to heal. They drowsed in warmth and sunshine while their children sprouted slowly, every green shoot shielded beneath its mother’s arms.
The trees grew up around them and soon the hobbits followed, burrowing down into the earth on the fringes of their home. But the new arrivals were respectful, taking only fallen branches and never harvesting too much for the forest’s denizens to thrive. So while they sometimes stirred when hobbits walked beneath their branches, the Entwives did not wake from their well-earned slumber. Instead they continued dreaming as their children grew toward self-awareness, roots stretching strong and deep and green leaves reaching toward the sun.