Spring Morning

The early spring air streamed into the window, gentle sunlight falling on the intricately carved bed. Uilossiel stirred and rolled over, looking over the edge of the bed toward the window. Early morning light filled the arched glass window, coloring the room with a delicate pale gold hue. Beside her bed stood a small carved table, and an ornate candelabra. Half-empty bookshelves lined the walls, and tapestries  embroidered with silver and gold hung upon the walls. Uilossiel smiled contentedly, then propped herself up on her elbow. Another spring day in the Golden Wood had begun.

Below the windowsill, seven balls of fur stirred and  shifted in a straw-lined basket. Míril's gray and white head was the first to appear from the basket, followed by the bright-eyed faces of six inquisitive baby rabbits. They climbed all over their indulgent mother, scrambling up the sides of the basket and romping in the straw. Uilossiel smiled fondly, whistling gently at Míril.

"Good morning, my dear. How are your little ones this morning?" She slid out of bed and shuffled into her slippers. Throwing on a light dressing-gown, Uilossiel padded over to the basket, kneeling to lavish Míril and her babies with affection. Cooing softly to the rabbits, she stroked their velvety fur gently, captivated by the twitching of their button noses. The babies were hardly four weeks old, and had been a surprise - though Uilossiel supposed she should have guessed when Míril started spending more time out of doors in the company of a wild Lórien rabbit. She laughed to herself. Míril was not the only one who had found a mate in the last year. Limthir's squirrel Lotheg often ran away to pay court to a white woodland squirrel, much to the lad's consternation.

She would have to come up with names for Míril's brood soon. So far, they had been staying in her room, but once they began to hop about the house ... Uilossiel put one hand to her forehead and groaned. Having six unnamed rabbits wandering around the house would be a headache. Tying a sash around her robe, she took up a hairbrush and began brushing out her hair, letting it fall down past her shoulders. Braiding some of her hair, she pinned it up and let the rest hang loosely down her back. Gone were the days when she had to maneuver her hair into complicated styles with precisely patterned braids and too many hairpins to count. There were some advantages to being released from her duties to the library in Imladris, Uilossiel mused with a laugh. She set down her brush and settled on the rug, watching the baby rabbits tumble about on the floor around her.

A small white rabbit climbed onto her lap, nosing inquisitively along the folds of her robe. Uilossiel smiled fondly, petting it softly with one hand. Two grey-and-white rabbits, two grey rabbits, and one black rabbit scampered around her feet, while Míril lay in her basket, watching with all the detachment of an over-worked mother. Uilossiel reached over to scratch Míril behind the ears, sighing contentedly as six little bundles of fur surrounded her. As the morning light brightened, she remained seated on the floor, humming to herself. For now, she was content to savor the moment, despite the trials that lay behind and the challenges that would undoubtedly lie ahead.