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Author's Chapter Notes:
I'm a fan of the works by Mary and Mal, and when they were writing 'Mary Goes to Mirkwood', there was some discussion regarding the 'squirrel girl'. One thing led to another, and I went from simply writing the Ballad of the Girl of the Squirrels for them to being drawn right into the story myself.

Knowing the story 'Mary Goes to Mirkwood' is probably helpful, but not entirely necessary.

The basis of these stories is that there are four elven lords and one messenger who, when they want to have some 'play time', go out into Middle-earth masked and perform as part of the musical group 'Birds of a Feather'. Farfetched, slightly, but fun. There are some songs in this story that I wrote, and some that are spoofs of other songs.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ Part One ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

As I strummed my lute, I realized it was times like these that I was happy to be mysterious, hiding behind my yellow-feathered mask. The crowd was rowdy and I could tell that something distracted my partner, but there was no time to find out what was diverting his attention as my pointed ears picked up a call from one man at the bar.

"Sing us the ballad of the girl of the squirrels!" The crowd erupted into similar cheers for the song, and I did not need to look to the masked elf next to me to know that was our next selection.

We had begun the evening with a Sindarin song of love lost and the perils of the sea calling. The next few tunes were happier ones, prompting a few of the visitors to hum or clap along. Eventually we had a few dancers out on the floor, but our purpose was to have everyone dance, so as to tire them and cause them to thirst, thereby giving the innkeeper more business and us a greater gratuity in return. Then again, we were hardly in it for the money.

The ballad was a duet and a bit of a round, for though we began to play together, the harper and I, my companion began the chorus one line after I did and would continue to sing the chorus throughout the song as I sang the verses in a louder voice as I strummed my lute:

"Let us sing you the ballad of the girl of the squirrels,
No long bushy tail, instead hair with curls,
And across all the branches you can see her pitter patter,
Listen in the forest you will hear her chitter chatter!"

"Into Mirkwood forest, she came one day.
Came to see the King, but not long did she stay,
Back into the woods, to the warden she did reach,
And the rootless mallorn went up into the tall beech."

As we recalled the chorus, much clamor arose as some patrons joined us in song. What caught my attention were not the rowdy dancers, nor the jovial singers, but a small group devoid of clapping, stomping, or singing. One lady was trying her best to discreetly slip beneath the table while the other feigned innocence – I knew the look well – as she looked with extreme interest to the ceiling. I thought little more of it as I continued the

"Back to Mirkwood and back to the King,
Many times she did dance but he didn't make her sing,
Her reverence was perfect, her Elvish was divine,
And such a lovely backside – The perfect concubine!"

I heard an abrupt cough across the room from the table, and though I could not see the cause, both women were now sitting straight in their seats. Most of the inn was in a fury of dance and laughter, while the tone was quite the opposite at just that one table. I doubled my efforts as I began the third verse, determined to have everyone in a joyous mood:

"If you need to calm her, offer her a nut.
She was raised by squirrels –"

I stopped my strumming briefly, as did my partner when he asked:
"Did we mention her fine butt?"

"She used to dig holes and bury things and live in a tree,
Now she comes when called and curtseys for his majesty.

Let us sing you the ballad of the girl of the squirrels,
No long bushy tail, instead hair with curls.
And across all the branches you can see her pitter patter,
Listen in the forest you will hear her chitter chatter!

Now you know of the ballad of the girl of the squirrels,
Don't follow bushy tails, just hair full of curls,
No longer does she climb trees or go chitter chatter,
'Tis her charm and magnificent behind that really matter!"

We finished with a flourish and to the sound of coins dropping into a hat on the floor, and we bowed in turn to our audience. A simple touch on my arm told me we were to decline further song for the time, and we left our instruments in their spots. Scooping up the coins, I placed the hat upon my head while minding my mask as we strolled up to the front of the inn to refresh our voices with a mug from the bar.
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