Author's note: Somewhat inspired by the actual situation in Paris.

Enjoy. Or do not. I do not often get into moods weird enough to think out things like this.

Foul Birds

By Le Chat Noir

Finwë disliked pigeons. He had nothing against birds in particular, but pigeons were a different matter. They did not content themselves with being foul, ungraceful, foul, pullulent, and foul some more, they had to add to that list of defects the aberration of being Not Clean. Many of the most important buildings of Tirion, not to speak of the lesser ones, had more than a right to complain about the inelegant birds' obnoxious lack of manners. It had often been decided at Court that Something had to be done about it, but up to now no one had yet dared to make a move against the creatures beloved by Yavanna and Manwë (It was, at least, the official excuse. None of the Wise among the Wises would ever have admitted that no drastic solutions had ever been found against the avicole pests.) Therefore, the unlucky artists, sculptors and architects kept on lamenting, and inventing various ways of keeping the impolite birds at bay –with an uncertain rate of success-; and the Masters kept on talking about respect and reverence to the birds created by Kementari; and the said race of feathered nuisances kept on using the splendid works of art of the Elven City for a purpose they certainly were not intended for.

That day, when he came back in his study to find the window open, the Noldorin king could of course do nothing but sigh at seeing a rather unexpected visitor standing there on his desk, as innocently as possible. Then, there was the fact that the grey bird had settled itself in the very centre of the rolls of parchment he had previously been working on. That was something that went beyond the acceptable. He had known the animals were bold, but to the point of being disrespectful to royalty… he would have to have a word with Yavanna someday. Flipping himself down in his chair, he shooed the intruder away with an impatient gesture.

He made the impatient gesture meant to shoo the intruder away.

More like.

Unmoved, and unmoving, the winged thing wore an insolent look. Its feathers were ruffled by the wind, or someone's hand. Frowning slightly, Finwë took a closer examination. He had the disturbing impression that the bird was peering at him sideways with a malicious expression. Its impudent glare somehow reminded him of a very distinct person. Wasn't it Fëanàro who used to look at people like that? It had taken a Mandos of a long time to get him out of his habit of teasing everyone he met along the road.

"Shoo!" The King waved his hand in front of the bird again, however with very little more result than the first time.

"Are you deaf or stupid, you rude animal?" He exclaimed in exasperation. "I said 'Shoo', did you hear?"

He tapped his fingers on the desk nervously. Maybe it was very unfair of him to pass his temper on the poor pigeon. It had, technically, done nothing to anger him. It was only that he had just had an argument with one of the young scientists -or whatever they were called - of the City (who was in a state of exultation about something along the lines of light and energy and thunderstorms; what a folly) and it was not a good time to ask indulgence and patience out of him. With one last murderous glare to the unhappy representant of the pigeonal brood; he pulled his chair closer to the desk and grabbed his quill, with deliberately exaggerated gestures.

However, after a mere five seconds of scribbling, he threw the quill down, and made a grab for the pigeon's neck. The bird did not even make a move to escape his hand. Startled from the unexpected lack of resistance, the king nearly tumbled off his chair.

Under his fingers the pigeon felt cold, cold as only, in his experience, stone could be.

He stared. Expert were the hands who had shaped the sculpture indeed. It was, so to say, perfect; down to the very last feather. Immediately, his bad humour melted away like an ice cube too close to the fire.

A pair of glassy eyes stared back at him, unblinking. It did, indeed, have a malicious kind of look about it, but now he recognised it as only a little playful smile, and wondered how he did not see it earlier. On this bird there were no gold, nor silver, only plain painted stone. It was a beautiful piece of work. Admiring, he turned it around in his hands. By some incomprehensible process, the artist had managed to reproduce even the lustre on each tiny fluff of the feathers. It really looked soft -though dirty, aye, but that's how pigeons were supposed to look-, and just… live.

Settling the small statue on the desk again, more gently this time, he chuckled softly to himself. Maybe it was not Yavanna he had to talk to after all.

My, that boy was improving fast…


Author's note: If people want to ask, yes, this is the same Finwë as in There was Night. Yes, it was meant to be the same Finwë as in There was Night. Yes, if you will, go look for the hidden meaning or whatever else there might be or might not. After all, Fëanor never acts without after thought, does he? (Of course, it may very well be that he only wanted to cheer his daddy up.)