(Iorek considered going, but decided ultimately that heatstroke was not beneficial to his dignity.)
I got concerned about Lyra's safety on the other side of the fence, though--there was an incident with a belligerent squirrel who took Lyra's sandwich (Purple Arwen packs them lunches) that turned ugly when Lyra started throwing pebbles to get it back. I mean, I didn't know that squirrels have a mean overhand throw, so I can hardly blame Lyra for not knowing. To make a long story short, there's now a squirrel behind my house with a tail piercing and an Ithilien archer with a lifelong nemesis. The problem (I mean, besides Lyra getting her ass kicked by a squirrel) is that both the guys were able to leap to her long-range defense with their bows, but Serafina was too busy trying to break off a flying branch to go on the attack. What she took from all this is that she needed her bow, and she needed it now.
"Oh man, out here in the woods? You gotta have a bow. Swords are no good out here. By the time your beasts and your orcs and such get close enough for swordwork FRRROWR! it is way too late," Legolas enthused, but of course Faramir had been dragging his feet on that little project like a cat going to a bath. "Now this, this is Galadhrim work, this is heirloom quality, but there's nothing wrong with a good Mirkwood bow. I'll fix you right up."
Faramir facepalmed just telling me about it: "I nearly died of irony."
Tonner Edward overheard because he was "browsing books" again, a convenient cover for stalking The Littlest Bella (and you know he had to be dedicated if he was willing to risk a thorough fawning by the Ellowynes, who were trying to oh-so-casually recommend love poetry to him, although I do not believe for a second that Ellowyne Two has ever read John Donne. Ellowyne One, maybe). Of course he knew all about the Serafina situation--no one had told him, but then, no one had to, given his powers. He mostly just found the whole thing entertaining. But he did offer to hunt the squirrel down for Faramir, which made me wonder if he was trying to redeem himself in the eyes of The Shelf a bit--he may have begun to imagine what Bella would hear if she tried to ask about him.
(Faramir sighed. "Well, if I'm not around... just make sure it doesn't go after Lyra again, if you would.")
So that's what Tonner Edward did, mostly--read and hunt and brood--but he does occupy himself, so I'm not too concerned about it. As you'll recall, The Littlest Edward had been going a little nuts without specific tasks to accomplish, but now he has his beloved ponies to take care of (he's very self-motivated once you give him a vocation). The real problem, then, is when you have someone who has nothing to do and no interests to speak of. And bitches about being bored all the time. You know. Like Bella.
"Come on, I know you like Austen--"
"I've read all those," she snipped.
"No, I mean all of those. Everything there."
"YOU HAVE NOT READ THE CAT WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS."
"Well, no. But I've read all the books that aren't stupid."
Yeah. Like that.
I racked my brain--what are her interests in the source material? And here, in terms of things she likes that do not have anything to do with Edward Cullen,* is what I came up with over the course of 1600 pages: the works of Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, a couple of bands, Debussy, cooking for her dad, the color brown. SERIOUSLY, THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO WORK WITH. I'M DYING OUT HERE. She's a picky bitch and I'm not getting any Linkin Park for her, thanks, and even if I get her a tiny iPod full of Muse, that's still not something for her to do. And judging by her reaction to the boys, the whole Zomg Edward Cullen Thing isn't going so well at the moment.
* Things she likes that do involve Edward Cullen: Edward's voice, Edward's hair, Edward's eyes, yellow topaz (which is the color of his eyes), Edward's musical compositions, Edward watching her sleep all night, kissing Edward, trying to seduce Edward, Edward carrying her around piggyback, Edward with his shirt off, sparkling.
And going back to the books isn't going to be any help. Bella Swan is largely defined there by what she doesn't like: rain, cold weather, greenery, sports, dancing, proms, parties, birthdays, presents, getting engaged, people knowing that she's engaged, weddings, people paying attention to her, driving too fast, the smell of blood, jewelry, dressing up in anything more formal than a khaki skirt, boys who are not Edward Cullen, girls who are not Alice Cullen, any mundane who tries to be the least bit friendly to her, etc. And in the movie we get the additional character trait of her being a vegetarian--or, to put it another way, she doesn't like meat, either.
... Hm. Cooking. Well, there's that?
Somehow, I had not imagined that the furniture could be too small for her.
"You have got to be kidding me."
"Uh... well... maybe you can make petit fours in it?"
She gave me a look of scornful incredulity.
"Look, I'll get you something better eventually. Work with me for the moment."
"Who am I cooking for?"
She stared at me as if this were an alien concept.
"You know... whatever you want. Be artistic with your foodstuffs."
"What am I supposed to do with this?"
"It's a GIANT STRAWBERRY, I KNOW. What am I supposed to DO WITH IT? IT'S BIGGER THAN MY HEAD."
"Well... that's for you to figure out. That's half the fun." Something frantic caught my eye ("So, uh, yeah--I'll check in on you later, have fun with that--") so I cut our kitchen orientation session short, because The Littlest Edward was practically dancing with panic in the doorway.
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