Curufin


I can hear the click of his little black shoes as he dances on the flat stones. The sound is swift and rhythmic, like a hammer on an anvil, but gentler. He throws his head back as he spins around, his arms out to his sides, lifting up and down as he twirls; white sleeves flapping like gull's wings.

'Father!' he cries, 'Father! Look how high I can jump!'

He jumps in the air, arching up towards the sky, and lands with a bow, his grey eyes shining.

'I can almost fly!'

He runs towards me, tugging his little black vest down to meet the top of his little black trousers, obviously quite pleased with himself.

'Yes, Curufinwë,' I answer, running my hand over his dark hair.

He smiles again, but soon a puzzled frown crosses his face. 'Why can I not fly, Father?'

He looks up at me, pleading for an answer, and I can tell that he in all certainty does not understand. Why should he not fly, like the birds, high in the sky far above? It has been so long since I also wondered the same thing, and he says it with such bewilderment that I almost laugh.

'Why can I not? I want to fly, Father.'

He waits for me to answer.

I open my lips to explain to him, to tell him of wings and air resistance and weight and skeletal structures, the science behind it all, but I do not; he is too young and eager to hear that yet. He will learn it later, in years to come, when he has grown taller and stronger, when he no longer falls asleep in my arms, his head buried against my shirt, sucking forgetfully at his knuckles; I will teach him all I know then.

'And so you shall,' I say, lifting him by his arms.

He seems so light as I draw him up, holding his little, wriggling body so high off the ground. I wonder if this is how I felt to my father. My Curufinwë, he looks so much like me. I kiss the tip of his ear and breathe him in. I can feel him under my hands, warm blood and strong bones. I hold him out from me.

He giggles as I sway him back and forth, whacking his heels together to the rhythm. I start to spin, and as I spin, faster and faster, he lifts up, out from me, cutting round me through the air. I hear his laughter, clear and giddy, and see his face, lashed by his soft black hair, full of joy. I spin still faster, raising my arms higher until they are straight out before me, and he flies at the ends of them, unable to contain his excitement.

'I am flying, Father!' he shrieks. 'I am flying!'

And I laugh with him.