Title:A Sign of Hope
Rating:G
Theme:Birds
Elements:Jay
Author's Notes: none
Summary: Faramir encounters Gandalf in his father's garden.
Word Count:200
Written for the LOTR GFIC Community Challenge

In the sunny seclusion of the Steward's gardens, the old Wizard thoughtfully sat watching the birds searching for unwary insects.

"Am I disturbing you?" asked the young man.

"Not at all, my dear boy, I was thinking how people resemble birds," said Gandalf. "Your father now reminds me of a hawk, for nothing escapes his attention."

"An apt observation." Faramir seated himself beside his friend. "Which bird do you associate with Boromir?"

"The jay; a colourful and sociable fellow."

Faramir smiled as he watched the handsome bird strut across the lawn. "And what am I, Mithrandir?" he enquired.

"I see you as a swallow, my boy," said the Wizard.

Faramir looked slightly disappointed. The Swallow was a pretty and graceful little bird, but it seemed somewhat insignificant compared with the keen eyed hawk and handsome jay. Still, it was fitting enough for a younger son.

"Why so downcast?" asked Gandalf. "The swallow comes with the springtime as a sign of hope, so what bird could be finer? However long and dark the winter the swallows will always return. Now I must return to the archives." With those enigmatic words, the Wizard rose from the bench leaving Faramir lost in thought.

A/n. Winner MEFA 2009 – Races - Cross Cultural Gondorians