The words barely had left Birdcatcher’s lips when Newt jumped forward and hurried to run over to the old tree they had decided to be the goal. Little Newt had to push himself hard to focus on the tree, his translucent blue eyes narrowed.
Birdcatcher could have easily passed him with his long, slender legs, but he held back. It was heart-warming how hard his little brother tried to win and he couldn’t take this away from him, so he slowed his long gait a bit to give his youngest brother a chance.
Newt’s short legs flew over the uneven ground and now and then the older elf winced when he thought the frail ankles would give way, and he had to explain to his parents and most of all to Glint why he had to carry Newt back to the den. But Newt wasn’t that breakable and as his little hands touched the trunk of the old tree first Birdcatcher smiled.
He arrived one or two heartbeats later and pretended to be out of breath. “That was close, but you bet me by a hair’s breadth,” he praised.
Pushing back his blond hair he huffed and looked down at the white-haired cub with affection. But his smile faded a bit as he noticed Newt’s posture.
The small lad stood there his arms crossed, his lips curled into a pout and his little foot tapping on the ground. “You let me win,” he accused.
Birdcatcher lifted his hands in defence. “What makes you think that?” he asked innocently.
Newt huffed and put his hands on his hips. “Don’t try to fool me. I know you did so,” he said again. “Your legs are so much longer than mine and you can run much faster, I know that.” He stretched his arms so Birdcatcher could see how much longer his legs were compared to the ones of his brother. “That’s not fair!”
The blond elf gave a sigh and sat down beside his little brother, ruffling his hair affectionately. “Ah, I see I can’t fool you, Newt. Your legs may be short but your mind is swifter than it should be.” He smiled. “And don’t worry so much. Your legs will grow as well and then you can beat me.”
“I didn’t mean it like that.” Newt shook his head. “I mean it’s not fair that you let me win.”
Birdcatcher was a bit at a loss and raised an inquiring eyebrow.
“I don’t mind losing if everyone gives his best,” the lad insisted, huffy. “I gave my best to win, but you didn’t. That’s not fair.”
Birdcatcher gave a sigh but nodded with a smile, pulling his little brother on his lap. “You know what? You are so right. That is not fair and very disrespectful, as well. I’m sorry, Newt.” He gave in. The hunter knew his little brother was right but he frankly hadn’t thought of it like that.
Till today he had looked at Newt as a cub with a cub’s view of the world. He often had let him win and Newt never had complained, till now. Birdchatcher had to accept that his youngest brother was growing up now. He had experienced the same with Glint, but Newt was very early.
“Next time I’ll give my best, as well,” he added as he saw the suspicious look in Newt’s uniquely-coloured eyes.
“Promise?” the cub asked with a frown.
“Promise.” Birdcather nodded. “And then, sooner than we both realize, you will pass me by and win all on your own.”