Horse of Rohan

by Aredhel Ar-Feiniel
I.

The foal raised it's small head and struggled to it's feet for the very first time seeking it's mother's warmth in the cold windy night it had been born into.

It looked in wonder as the sun burst red edged over the hills and plains on Rohan it's wamth a comfort to the tiny creature still becoming used to it's long and awkward legs.

As the days passed the little horse grew stronger and braver carvorting with the other foals and teasing some of the older horses often earning a bite or gentle kick for their efforts.

The days passed by and the foals coat grew more silky and shiny and changed from a dark colour to a soft grey. He spent his time racing the winds that whipped up and down the plains and practiced his neigh sending it ringing from the hills.

Often they saw other horses in the distance with little figures seemingly stuck on them and heard ringing sounds unknown to the yound horse, but the herd did not seem worried by this and the horse learnt to ignore them too.

One day the riders they had often glimpsed in the distance came close. The older horses weren't worried this had happened many times before but to the yound horses who had never seen man before it was an ordeal.

The riders surrounded the herd and sent them galloping in the direction they wanted them to go. Fear sweat broke out on the little grey, eventually on the brink of exhaustion he was seperated from his mother and with the other yound horses driven into a tall yard he escape.

His mother and the herd were free to go but as she left she gave him a reassuring glance. One of the men with fair shaggy hair and a kind face gave him something that tasted nice and scratched his face. There now young fellow there's nothing to be frightened of we'll look after you.

The rider glanced the horse up and down. You're a nice sort I think I'll call you Arod.

II.

 Arod had had come to love and respect the fair haired Rohans. They had taught him much. Not to run from foes, the joys of having a brush getting all the itchy spots and of course lots of treats.

On this day he could feel tension in the air. The men were unsettled. It was a feeling he had not experienced before but he held steady as the saddle and bridle were placed upon him.

That's strange he thought as he passed the training fields where he usualy went when ridden. Right out of the town he was ridden the man apon his back a comforting and reassuring presence.

Suddenly Arod smelt something it smelt like smoke and death and fear and he heard screams and growls and yells in the distance. The riders moved into a gallop and he was swept along with them, their hoof beats drumming out battle, battle, battle as they ran.
When they reached the burning village Arod almost turned and ran but his rider kept him steady. It was full of fearsome creatures who walked like his beloved men but were at the same time hideous and deformed to his eys.

"Kill the Humans " they grunted and Arod saw many of his friends fall. He felt anget then and a fierce joy in crushing and maiming these ugly orcs. What a horse one of the riders called.

When the battle was over and all who could return had he heard the pride in the voices of the men as they cared for him. It was his first battle of many against the orcs and uruk hai but he felt safe with his rider there with him.

But one day came a battle when his rider left him. One minute he was there and the next he was gone. He searched until he found him lying on the ground but he wouldn't move when he nudged him to come that it was time to go home.

Better bring him along said the rider named Eomer saluting the dead and comforting the weary and confused young horse who kept neighing for his lost friend and companion.

III.

 Arod lagged along with the riders feeling lost and lonely. He noticed that he was not the only one without a rider, but he couldn't understand why he had been left alone. Every so often he would stop and look back in the direction they had come a call a sorrowful neigh to his lost friend.

The other horse Hasufel he was named drifted over and both horses were united in their sorrow for a few moments. But Arod looked up he was sure he had glimpsed a movement on the hill up ahead.

As the riders streamed past the rocky outcrop on the hill Arod looked for a hint of the movement he had seen earlier. There it was again. A tall dark haired man, an elf and a dwarf stepped out. Arod snorted in surprise he had never seen a dwarf or elf before and looked on in fascination.

"What news Riders of Rohan" called out the man. The Riders wheeled around and with a well practised manouver surrounded the 3 with a fence of spear points. None of them flinched or were worried Arod noticed.

Then Eomer was speaking "What is a man an elf and a dwarf doing in Rohan speak quickly" the dwarf replied "tell me your name horse master and i'll tell you mine". It was a deep and earthy voice. "if you were taller i'd cut off your head" then the elf spoke "you would die before your stroke fell". This voice sent a thrill through Arod a promise of good something he couldn't quite explain.

Suddenly he looked up Eomer had called him forward, he had missed everything that had passed between the strangers and the riders when the elf spoke. Eomer was speaking again "May they bear you to better fortune than their previous riders..." Arod felt a shudder of excitement as the elf took his reins.

Legolas he was named spoke gently to Arod as he removed the saddle and bridle. "We don't need these..." As he mounted Arod knew he had found a new friend. This was a true rider one he would gladly serve. He galloped forth with Hasufel at his side and a joyous neigh echoing around the plains.