M.E.II Chapter 15: Ents, Ents, Ents!

"Aragorn, I wanna go with!" I whined, a clear demonstration that I hadnít gotten enough sleep the night before. It was already well into the afternoon, but even Katy and I had been kept busy throughout the preceding hoursÖ At least, we were busy for the half of the time we couldnít sneak away for naps.

"No, you should stay here and get some rest." Aragorn directed, clearly agreeing on the matter of my lack of sleep.

"ButÖEnts, Aragorn, Ents!" I insisted, "Thereís no way Iím going all the way to Rohan without seeing Fangorn." Katy was at my side, sleepily agreeing to everything I said.

"Youíre clearly tired," Aragorn insisted, "rest for now, perhaps you can see Fangorn another time."

"No we canít!" I insisted, "Aragorn, I wanna see the Eeeeeennttsssss!"

Aragorn rolled his eyes, "We have important business to settle with Saruman, we canít have two tired maidens running around."

"But Iím not tired!" I insisted although anyone around me could easily tell that this was a lie, "If you donít let me go with you, IíllÖ Gandalf!" I stopped mid-threat upon seeing the elderly wizard and decided to address him instead.

"Gandalf, Iím really worried about Merry and Pippin," I said, "they were being brought to Saruman, last I saw, are you sure theyíre alright?"

Gandalf smiled down at me, "Merry and Pippin are perfectly safe," he assured me.

"Have you seen them? How can we be sure?" I demanded, playing perfectly the role of the worried friend.

"We are preparing to ride to Isengard now," Gandalf informed me, "if you feel you can make the ride, you may accompany us and see for yourselves."

"Really?" I asked, "Gee, thanks! I canít wait to see them! Come on, Katy, letís go!"

Katy mumbled a half-hearted word of protest before following me onto our horse. I couldnít help but give Aragorn a smug look.

"Are you sure it is wise to bring them?" Aragorn asked Gandalf, "They were all but dead with exhaustion when Legolas found them, and that was little more than an hour past."

"If they feel they are up to the trip I do not see why we should prevent them," Gandalf replied, "the very fact that theyíve come this far is great merit to their ability. We underestimated them initially, Legolas told me they took down over fifty orcs, isnít that enough to convince you of their strength?"

"I suppose you are right, Mithrandir," Aragorn said with a defeated sigh, "you usually are on these matters."

"Besides," Gandalf added with a mischievous glint in his eye, "they want to see Fangorn, I doubt theyíll ever have such a chance as this again."

If anything my smug look became smugger and I exchanged grins with Katy who finally seemed to have decided it was time to wake up. The preceding days we had learned the hard way it was not wise to fall asleep on a horse.

With that said and done we, along with the rest of the Rohirrim company, followed Gandalf into the small forest that had gathered in the valley during the end of the preceding battle. It didnít take long before we emerged on the other side and the ride through it was almost excruciatingly silent as all the men rode cautiously through the woods, watchful eyes on the trees. That is, all except Legolas who seemed to quite enjoy the view.

When we had emerged on the other side, Legolas even wanted to go back. And thatís about the time when three large figures emerged behind us. My eyes lit up in excitement as I immediately knew what they were and a broad grin crossed my face. A quick look at Katy showed she looked about the same.

"Katy, look, Ents!" I said in a hushed voice even though she was already looking at them.

"I can see that, Rachel," Katy said, not taking her eyes from the tree-like figures, "I wonder what theyíre doing here."

"Well, someone had to keep this forest under control, didnít they?" I asked, "I would guess theyíre the ones that brought it here."

As if in response to my comment, the Ents raised their long hands to their mouths and let out the strangest cry I had ever heard. Katy and I exchanged quick glances before looking back at the Ents.

"That is so cool," I whispered, my eyes glued upon the image in front of me.

"Lady Rachel, Katy, come along," we both grudgingly turned our heads away from the Ents to see Aragorn looking at us with a slight annoyance and realized the rest of the host was already moving on.

We gave a last, longing glance back at the three figures before coaxing our horse forward to follow the ranger. Aragorn quickly moved off as well, guiding his horse closer to the front of the company once he was sure we were going to follow.

"Ents, Ents, Ents, Ents, Entsó"

"Rachel, will you knock that off? Itís really annoying!" Katy exclaimed, breaking into my happy chanting.

"ButÖ Weíre going to see the Ents," I said, "chanting is all part of the experience. Ents, Ents, Entsó"

"If you donít stop Iíll personally make sure you never lay eyes on an Ent," Aragorn interrupted, casting me an irritated look.

I glared at him then sighed, "You people are so boring! How long does it take to get to a stupid forest anyway?"

I didnít get an answer, but the looks I received were enough to convince me to remain mostly silent for a while. We rode on through the now dark night as the moon slowly rose to provide us with a pale, silver light. As our excitement wore down, Katy and I quickly began to grow tired again.

It was some four hours after our encounter with the three Ents that we reached the Fords of Isen. I was vaguely aware of some excitement as we paused, but being now in about the middle of the host and very tired I didnít see much or hear much besides the mutterings the men around me exchanged and we soon started on once more.

It was several more hours of increasingly fast riding when we finally stopped for the night. We were riding beside some road which I had managed to notice sometime during the last few hours and were nearing the mountains.

Katy and I stumbled most ungracefully off our horse and the idea of sleep was infinitely more welcomed by now than any silly old Ent. "NightKaty." I managed to mumble.

"Gínight." Was Katyís slurred response before we both fell to sleep, not noticing the hard ground beneath us.

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