We were a bit tired of our hole in the ground and decided to have a look and make sure everything was fine in the woods.
We made our way up the hill and over the meadows which already had a autumn-like feel to them.
We passed some plum trees and hedges of brambles and filled our bellies.
Then we came across some beautiful weed, once known as Athelas, now forgotten by the inhabitants of this realm and only remembered as chickweed.
Not far from these plants we stumbled nto a deep hole, which we then recognised as the giant footprints of... TROLLS! It was stamped into the moist ground, but we could see that this must have happened some nights ago and we could neither smell nor hear any suspicious stench or noise and went on.
(Not without taking some of the glorious Athelas plant, of course.)
For fear of the mighty troll (and presumeably of its nasty smell, too, you know, troll poo´s odour CAN kill), this little snail retrieved into a bigger house and brought its old one with it)
And lo! And behold! We caught a glimpse of the most rare and beautiful of sights in these later days-one of the most valiant and majestically radiant of the ancestors of horses appeared on the brim of the worls to give guidance and counsil to us without word.
But alas! We could not remain on the sun-blessed plains of the horse-lords, but had to venture where our duty led us without remorse; into the murky halls of ancient and nightmare-ridden woods we had to venture. People these days call us wayward, as rovers and ramblers and roamers of the wild we are denounced amongst manfolk. And yet would they not sleep unpeaceful were it not for the striders in the green keeping clear their sleep from the nightmares of the wilderness, from troll and orc and evil spirit? Mushrooms are bred in the crevices of the murken halls of the dark backwoods, creatures foul and sinister walk the wold with ill-befitting grace.
Sounds haunt the wild we can seldom fathom; and it is fear beyond comprehension that besets the wanderer.
Oh yes, we too are hunted by creatures foul and dark, but also by manfolk not knowing it is we that save their borders from the critters of the void.
So we practiced a bit our stealth and camouflage techniques.
...like this, see...?
Into the deeper thicket, under ancient and somber halls we went...
...on our heroic quest. For we had heard, that in the deepest darkness , the shning shroud of everlasting twilight, there it is that flourishes the greatest weapon in the war against the trolls...
The almighty mushroom of troll-decapitation. for it is when a troll dares to eat just a tiny little bite of this almighty concoction of nature, it goes wild and is said to recognize its own ugliness in the mirror of a pond (trolls normally are not intelligent enough to see any connection between their mirror image and their own individuality), and, with due self-agnition, tries to get rid of its own head.
Dumb as a castle wall, it decapitates itself by banging its head against a tree sturdy enough to stand up to such abuse.
We quested far, we quested wide, and yet all we found were the creatures of Myrkwood. We asked this beetle who was enjoying aleisurely evening stroll around the block, and he hinted the one and only almighty mushroom of troll-self-decapitational might were growing beyond the mountains of stump, far away, where but few of his kin had ever roamed... erm.. two metres away.
Okay, we were lying.
He had no clue whatsoever. But this is a tale of a glorious quest after all!
So on we went on the quest and feasted our eyes on the sight of those ancient hills, where still sleep the heroes of old.
But what had we to endure? The sight of a troll who had broken down a whole forest... he even left shreds of its ugly loincloth hanging in the branches, or maybe his handkerchief. We were not sure if it were troll snot or an even uglier substance, so we steered well clear of the shreds... they stank bad enough, that much we can tell you. But the life of a ranger is full of hardships.
So rest it was we needed, be it just to recover from that smell, so we made camp to rest and to feast on our forage.
Abstembious indeed are the victualies a ranger often has to be content with. A bowl of fruit, some mushrooms and a drink of herb and spring water.
And yet, company makes hardship less annoying and eases the effort.;-)
The tree of Gondor, even if clothing often is held simple and practical, is the one asset of pomp we allow ourselves in our frugal lives. It keeps a memory alife of a time long gone by, when the world was bathed in the twilight of the ancient trees of sun and moon and is a banner and a talisman against the forces of Evil.
For the evil eye keeps an even more closer scrutiny on the servants of light, the warriors of dreams. It watches even through a cuppa tea.
Bugger off, Sauron, we are eating!
Then dim became light, and on we went on our patrol through the thicket.
The strange oaken fruit that spill the thoughts of poets from light and wind and sun and rain onto script not yet written led us on to our path towards the monster mushroom of troll decapitation...
And, growing in the underbrush, under a bush, beneath a tree, did I say already under a bush, there it grew from its root, deeply submerged in the subterranean:
THE MUSHROOM ITS VERY SELF.
So, mission accomplished, we went on our merry way...
To a place where the Méaras still ride.