-Note- Okay, my lack of updating was bothering me, so I ventured into the hinterlands (read: the space under my bed) and dug this up, written last July… :P Faramir is almost 6, and is visiting his Uncle Imrahil in Dol Amroth. Boromir is presumably also in Dol Amroth, but he's elsewhere at the moment.Finduilas has died within the past year.

­-Disclaimer- All characters, settings, etc. belong to Tolkien.

Tall Ships

Faramir was tired. Tired and hungry. He was, after all, a growing boy of nearly six years. He was getting so old, in fact, that Uncle Imrahil had let him trot around the lawns on a pony the day before.

He tugged at the high collar of his shirt. It had been zealously starched and ironed that morning, but the black wool was uncomfortable in the spring sunlight as he played with his soldiers in the garden.

His row of blue tin knights, poised to overtake a row of red ones, was thrown suddenly into shadow as a booted foot appeared before him.

"Good morning, Faramir."

Faramir looked quickly upward and flashed a toothy grin.

"Good morning, Uncle Imrahil."

Faramir squinted, his eyes dazzled by the sun that shone from behind his uncle. Was Uncle holding something behind him? A toy, perhaps? Since Mama's death, he had received so many toys…he did not think he wanted another one.

"A bit warm to be wearing black, isn't it?" asked Uncle Imrahil cheerfully. Faramir liked his voice. It was soft and warm, like hugs and stories.

"A little," he said.

"Well!" Uncle Imrahil revealed a bundle of clothes from behind his back. "Perhaps these would be more comfortable…? They were once your cousin's."

Faramir looked quickly from the bundle to his Uncle. "But…Papa said…I don't think…Mama…" he stammered. But the wool was so very hot! He tugged again at his collar.

Imrahil hid a frown. "Faramir, I'm here and your father is not." He winked. "I shan't tell him if you promise to do the same."

Faramir giggled weakly and held out his arms in response. His Uncle hugged him tightly, and Faramir sighed. Imrahil stood again and handed him the clothes: soft gray pants and an airy blue tunic, embroidered at the edges with silver seas. They had been worn with love and time, and had been folded with care.

Imrahil smiled. "Now get you dressed in proper clothes for growing boys such as yourself, and I will be waiting here."

Faramir nodded eagerly. "Where will we go?"

"Would you like to walk the beach to the harbor?"

"Oh, yes!" he cried, delighted, "Let's see the ships!"

"Then off with you!" Imrahil gave the boy a gentle push and watched him sprint through the gardens, disappearing through the open doors.

He stooped again and began to gather the soldiers, which had been strewn about in Faramir's excitement. He set them carefully in their basket, reading the small silver plaque on the handle.

To Faramir

From Father, with love

Prince Imrahil frowned thoughtfully, closed the basket, and set it down.

(l)

Faramir returned, looking cooler and much happier. Imrahil took his hand and allowed the boy to lead him down the sloping lawns, through the dunes scattered with seagrass, and onto the ocean beach.

The tide was coming in, but the waves looked safe enough so long as he kept Faramir from going in too far. They both paused to roll up their pants, then splashed into the ankle-deep shallows.

The Prince's house was near the port, and it did not take long for the two to reach their destination. The harbor, tucked into the city of Dol Amroth, was a bustling trade center for regions south, north, and up the river. There was always a steady trickle of vessels going in and out.

The beach ended and the waves broke against a rocky seawall. Across the water, Imrahil could make out the wooden docks and forests of masts and sails, wreathed in light sea fog.

"Uncle!" Faramir exclaimed excitedly, "Look!" Up the coast by a half league or so was a large, four-masted merchant ship. Faramir dropped into a sitting position, legs crossed, and Imrahil followed gracefully. He put an arm around his nephew.

Together, they watched the ship sail in.

(l)

Thanks for reading!