Faramir and Eomer sat comfortably by a
fire, momentarily silent as they downed the last of their wine, smiling
contentedly at the way the day had gone. This ease and composure,
however, was soon broken by pattering feet behind their chairs.
Turning, they beheld three figures in white standing at the doorway.
"Mama did not tell us our bedtime story and tuck us in," said the
eldest, little Theowyn.
Faramir groaned. "Children, your Mama was very tired, and went to bed
"But we cannot sleep," said the older of the little boys.
"Very well," said Faramir, "I will come and tuck you in."
"No!" said Theowyn firmly. "You cannot do it, Adar."
"What is this?" asked Faramir, slightly indignant.
"Mama has told us many times that the only good storytellers come from
the House of Eorl, so you cannot do it."
Faramir's jaw sagged a little, and Eomer chortled. "They are certainly
your and Eowyn's brood!"
Faramir looked at his determined children, and then at Eomer who
was grinning, and then he smiled. "Of course, children, I understand
your reasons perfectly. Therefore, your uncle Eomer, the only other
member of the House of Eorl here present, will be glad to tuck you in
and tell you a story."
"He will do, I suppose," conceded Theowyn.
Eomer was speechless in shock, and he spluttered as Faramir patted him
on the shoulder. "Be off now, my master storyteller."
"Please please Unkky 'Mer?" begged the smallest one, sucking his
thumb and looking up with big blue eyes framed by golden curls. No one
had yet resisted wee Turion, and Uncle 'Mer did not break that
"Very well," he sighed, and the children at once grabbed his hands and
dragged him upstairs.
Once there, however, he put up his hands and said: "But I have no idea
what to do."
"You must tickle us until we laugh, and then, if it is Tuesday,
play pillow-fight with us, but otherwise just pull up our blankets and
then tell us a story," explained Theowyn.
"It is Wednesday," said Eomer relieved.
"Tickle us, tickle us!" shouted Beren, the older boy, jumping up
and down. A roguish light came into Eomer's eyes, and suddenly
growling, he leaped on the bed and started tickling them all quite
mercilessly. Shrieks of laughter and happy squeals came wafting down
the stairs to where Faramir sat triumphant in his chair. He smiled to
himself, and made a toast to Uncle 'Mer.
Eomer found it fairly easy to go along with this, having done it
once or twice with his own children, and he was even having fun, when
suddenly Beren fought off "the tickle monster" with a pillow.
Forgetting that it was Wednesday, his sister joined in, and Eomer found
himself pummeled with fat feather pillows.
"No one beats the House of Eorl so easily," he cried, and picking
up the other two pillows, he fought them off with prowess. Just as he
had pinned Beren and wrested the pillow from his hand, however, Theowyn
leaped on his back. Giving a mock-growl which sent her into more peals
of laughter, he rolled her off.
Unfortunately for him, she landed near Turion, who went off balance
and fell crashing to the floor all of a sudden. All play stopped as his
eyes went wide in shock, and then his thumb came out of his mouth, and
he began to wail. The "tickle monster" was now abashed, and he quickly
scooped up the little one with a concerned and furrowed brow.
"There, are you all right there, little man?" he asked, and looked
the babe all over for injuries. But Turion seemed merely to be upset,
and Eomer had no idea how to carry on.
"Make him stop," moaned Beren, covering his ears with both hands.
"You have to make him smile again, or we shan't sleep," reminded
"Can I not bring your father in?" pleaded Eomer, holding the baby
gingerly. "I have no idea what to do!"
"No, you cannot! Be a man and do it yourself."
Eomer noted grimly that that particular line was an old one of
Eowyn's, and he resolved to make the little one smile again if it
killed him, which it very well might if Eowyn ever heard that he had
knocked her son to the floor.
"Come on there," said Eomer, smiling widely and stupidly, "who's going
to be a happy baby?"
Certainly not Turion.
"Now, now there, who's Mama's precious little pumpkin-poo, who is,
who is?" cooed Eomer, trying another tack, and smiling all the while.
Theowyn and Beren giggled at the sight, but Turion wailed.
"Where's the baby?" asked Eomer, covering his eyes. "There he is!" he
pronounced, smiling and ducking in close to Turion.
The baby's wails ceased as the great bearded face came close enough
to brush his nose with the whiskers, but he recovered from the shock
shortly, and wailed.
"Agh," moaned Eomer, "it is hopeless." Then, remembering Turion's
thumb sucking habit, he pulled at straws for an idea, and, taking his
hand, put Turion's thumb into his own great mouth.
"Mm," he said, smiling and sucking.
Turion's eyes would have popped out of his head if they had gotten any
bigger, but he stopped crying.
"Mm," he said again, and then Turion pulled back his hand. Eomer
braced himself for wails, but they did not come. Turion hesitated for a
moment, but then tentatively put out his fingers. Eomer, catching on
quickly, put them in his mouth and sucked on them dutifully.
"Mm, tasty fingers," he said. The hint of a smile went over the baby's
face, and then he pulled back his fingers again.
"No," whined Eomer. "I want my fingers back."
Turion gave a drooly grin, and put his fingers back. Becoming once
again a mock-monster, Eomer gently devoured them, and said: "Mm, my
"Mine!" said Turion, and pulled them back.
"No, mine," said the "finger monster", and devoured them again, making
Turion giggled. "Mine!" he squealed.
"No, mine!" responded Eomer.
"Mine!" And here Turion buried his fingers in his nightgown.
Eomer mock-howled and wept. "My fingers are gone," he wailed.
Turion shrieked joyously and revealed the fingers again. Eomer whooped
with exaggerated joy and devoured them again.
Just then, Elboron walked in. He was rather sleepy, and the sight
of his very large uncle—eating his baby brother's fingers!—was too much
"What are you doing!" he gasped, and ran forward, fists raised. "Adar,
come quick!" he called.
"No, no," begged Eomer. "You will ruin it!"
"You were eating him!" Elboron's face was wide-eyed and traumatized.
"I was not!" said Eomer indignantly. "I was merely pretending to."
"It's true," said Beren.
"Unkky!" called Turion, and reaching up, took hold of Eomer's bushy
"No, mine!" responded "unkky" quite seriously, trying to detach the
"Mine!" crowed Turion in response, enjoying this game far too much.
"Remind me never to teach you anything," muttered Eomer to the
little one with a sigh, as he successfully removed the painful
death-grip on his beard.
Faramir came running up the stairs three at a time as soon as he
heard Elboron's frantic call, without any idea of what he would find.
"What is going on!" he cried as he entered.
The scene was hardly peaceful: pillows were strewn all over the
floor, Turion's cheeks were still tearstained, and none of the others
were in their bed.
"Nothing," said Eomer grinning. "Just tucking them into bed."
Faramir looked at the pillows. "It's not Tuesday," he said.
Eomer's eyebrows went up. "It is not, is it!" he gasped, and then
turning to the children, glared at them most intimidatingly. "Tsk, tsk,
little ones, how could you deceive your good uncle so?"
"Sorry," they murmured.
Faramir, seeing that Eomer did indeed have the situation under control,
"Now a story!" said Theowyn.
"Only if you are in your beds!" demanded Eomer.
"But we all have to be on one bed to tell the story," said Theowyn.
"Why?" sighed Eomer, wondering what new mischief his sister could have
"Because if it gets scary, we have to hold on tight to you."
"Oh," said Eomer. "Very well, on Turion's bed, then."
Soon Eomer found himself sitting cross-legged on a bed, with Turion
curled up in his arms, Beren snuggled next to him on his left, and
Theowyn sitting expectantly right in front of him. Elboron, ten, sat
more decorously on the edge of the bed.
"What sort of story do I tell?" asked Eomer.
"The sort of story we like," said Theowyn.
"What sort is that?"
"Pirate stories!" said Beren eagerly.
"With Adar in them," added Theowyn.
"Yaya," said Turion, drooling.
Taking a deep breath, Eomer began: "Once upon a time—
"Uncle 'Mer, that is the beginning that Mama says only the worst
"Yes, and I have a few words to say to your Mama tomorrow. Very
well then: In a place not far from here, there were once, er, three
"No, four!" demanded Beren.
"Four, then, and they were all very good, and obeyed all their
relations when it was time to go to bed. Except for one, bad little—"
"Elessar!" suggested Theowyn.
Grinning at the idea of his friend's face if he could hear this,
Eomer continued: "All except for bad little Elessar. One night, after
he was told to go to bed, he didn't do as he was told, but snuck out of
the house and went down to the sea. Suddenly, though, a pirate ship
sailed up and captured him. The name of the pirate ship was—was—"
"Can't you think of a name?" asked Theowyn. "Mama always can."
"The name of the pirate ship was—the Red Sea—"
"Thkwiwewl!" said Turion triumphantly.
"Squirrel, Uncle 'Mer," translated Theowyn.
Eomer snorted. "The pirate ship cannot be called the Red Sea Squirrel!"
"Why not? I like it," said Beren.
"It's all right," admitted Theowyn.
"Fine," said Eomer. "The pirate ship the Red Sea Squirrel kidnapped bad
little Elessar, and were going to take him to Pelargir to sell to the
"...but Elessar's famous dad, Prince Faramir of Ithilien—"
"Wait!" said Theowyn. "If Adar is in this, then the bad little boy has
to be named Beren, not Elessar."
"Hey!" protested Beren. "That's not fair! Why not Elboron or Turion?"
"Excuse me, but I am the master storyteller, and I say that the
boy's name is Elessar," said Eomer, his pride somewhat damaged by all
"Well, it might be all right," said Theowyn, "if Elessar dies in the
end, because then he wouldn't be like a real brother."
Eomer choked, but regained himself, and continued: "And so Prince
Faramir snuck on board the pirate ship, and used his children to talk
all the pirates to death, and so rescued bad little Elessar and brought
him home, where he was never disobedient again. The End."
"It was not too bad," said Theowyn.
"Too short," said Beren.
"Like Unkky 'Mer" said Turion, reaching for the beard again.
"All right, that is all Uncle 'Mer is doing tonight. You have to go to
"Aww," they all whined, but did not disobey.
Eomer pulled up the covers for each one, planted a goodnight kiss
on each forehead, and then turned out the lights. Before leaving
though, he looked back tenderly, sighed not unhappily, and left them to
Rejoining Faramir, he said nothing at first.
"Well, how did it go?" asked Faramir.
"I rather enjoyed it," said Eomer. "However, my children do not have
nearly such an elaborate bedtime routine."
Faramir grinned rather mischievously. "It was all Eowyn's idea."
"Yet," said Eomer, grinning back. "My children do not have an
elaborate bedtime routine yet. However, when I go home again, I shall
directly inform Lothiriel to create one that only those with relatives
from Dol Amroth may perform. Then, I shall invite you to visit me in
Faramir eyed him suspiciously. "You would not. You said you enjoyed
"I said I rather enjoyed it. But I shall enjoy getting revenge none
the less." Eomer's eyes twinkled as he downed another glass of wine.