Released early from his lessons because his tutor was unwell, a bored Eldarion made his way to his father’s study. Ada had said he was working on some dull but important documents. Maybe he could be persuaded to play a game with the collection of model soldiers that Eldarion so liked instead for a little while? The brightly coloured and bejewelled models, a gift from a visiting ambassador, held a great fascination for the young prince. Ada had confided in him that playing with model soldiers was much more fun than working even when you were very old, as his father undoubtedly was.
Eldarion passed the guard at the end of the corridor, who smiled and greeted him.
The boy tapped on the door of the study, but received no reply. Strange, for he was certain ada was planning to spend all afternoon working there. He listened carefully. A strange and raucous sound suddenly emanated from the room.
Although he was forbidden to enter without permission, Eldarion opened the door.
Aragorn was slumped back in his chair with his mouth wide open, snoring loudly, his papers scattered around him.
Eldarion was about to creep quietly away when his little sister, having escaped the care of her nurse, toddled past him through the open door and ran to her father. She was clutching a doll almost as big as herself.
“Ada, look at my dolly, she has a pretty pink bonnet and shawl!” Farawyn cried. (
Aragorn’s only reply was an especially loud snore, which made both children jump.
“What is wrong with ada?” Farawyn asked, her lower lip trembling.
“He is just asleep,” her brother replied. “We must not wake him or he might be cross with us as we are not supposed to be in here.”
“I will leave dolly’s new bonnet and shawl for him to see,” said Farawyn. “They will keep him warm. Naneth says people get cold if they fall asleep without a cover over them.”
The children tiptoed from the room, quietly closing the door behind them.
A little later, the Queen went in search of her husband. “Will you have tea with me, my love?” she asked brightly as she entered the room. She then caught sight of Aragorn and burst out laughing. Stifling her mirth, she hurried off in the direction of Faramir’s study.
The Steward was engrossed in a document on grain tariffs when Arwen entered his room.
“Faramir, you must come with me at once to Estel!” Arwen demanded.
“My lady! Is the King unwell?” Faramir asked anxiously, springing to his feet.
“No, nothing is wrong. I just want you to come and see him,” Arwen replied laughing at the very thought of what she had just witnessed.
Queen and Steward made their way to the King’s study, where they both stood, shaking with mirth.
“I wonder how many flies he has caught? Or has the colour of that shawl frightened them away?” Arwen giggled.
“We should wake him,” said Faramir. ”What if the servants come in?”
“Dolly is cold and wants her bonnet and shawl back!” announced the Farawyn, running into the room.
“Lady Farawyn, come here!” called the little girl’s nurse from along the corridor.
Arwen rushed out and called to the servant. “I will look after my daughter now. You may go Miriel.”
“Yes, my lady,” said the nurse curtsying. She disappeared in the direction from which she had come.
Arwen returned to the study just in time to see her daughter remove the doll's frilly bonnet from Aragorn’s head and bright pink shawl from his chest. The little girl then kissed her father.
Aragorn blinked and open his eyes. ”What is the matter?” he asked a trifle tetchily.
“You were snoring when I came to ask you if you would take tea with me,” said Arwen sweetly. “Faramir is invited too.”
“I do not snore!” said the King. “Ada does not snore, Farawyn.”
“Dolly snores then, “said Farawyn wrapping the pink shawl around her plaything.
Unable to feel out of sorts any longer, Aragorn picked up his little daughter and hugged her. "Bring dolly to tea, there might be some of her favourite cakes to eat," Aragorn said smiling.
"Girls!" snorted Eldarion.
Queen and Steward smiled at each other. The afternoon’s entertainment had been most amusing.