Disclaimer: All characters and situations from "The Chronicles of Prydain" is the invention of Lloyd Alexander and belong to him. This is written purely for entertainment and at no monetary gain.


Grower of turnips.

He is digging. There is no shovel, so he uses his hands, digging into the soft earth, clearing away the stones until the earth is loose enough for planting. You taught him to dig. You taught him how to use a shovel. That was your joy; the tilling and digging, the planting and sowing, watering and weeding and care for your garden. He did not see it then, the joy of making things grow, of feeling the earth beneath your nails, the ache in your back that told you that the day had been well spent. He did not yet know that the taste of your own fruit is sweeter than any other.

Then he would rather have had you teach him to wield the sword.

For this task his sword is useless, and so he digs, using his hands to hollow out the shallow bed. He digs alone, for this one task is his alone and he has sent his friends away that they shall not disturb him. The earth is reddish and thick, heavy and hard-packed. His progress is slow, and he knows that he can not spare much time for it, but he works on. There is a stillness around him; he is so concentrated on this task, so absorbed in the work of loosening the dirt that all other thoughts for a time are stilled.

It can not last.

His digging ends. Loose heaps of earth lie beside you. It is lifeless and barren, and even you can not make anything grow in it. Your heart had longed for your own garden, as his longs for a time when you could have been digging together. But you have always known that not all wishes are fulfilled; that much warrior have you been. Now he knows as well.

He lifts your body and lays it in the shallow grave. Carefully he covers it with the earth, tucking you in as once you did for him. You will never speak to him again, and he too is silent where he stands beside your grave. Then in the end he speaks:

"Sleep well, grower of turnips. Sleep well, true friend."

A/N: This story was written for the challenge "Best friends" at Wendwriter's forum Can We Talk. It was inspired by the exchange between Taran and Coll in "The High King" where Taran calls Coll "a true warrior", and by the death-scene of Coll later. To me those scenes show how Taran have grown to a man, making him an equal to his old teacher, and the friendship between them that often get lost among the relationship between the other Companions.

A/N 2: I want to thank Thranduil for pointing out a few typos to me. They have been fixed. I also want to thank Deandra for helping me with some gramatical errors and an unclear sentence. I hope they are clearer now.