Miss Merriweather quickly had enough of Merilwen's behavior and sent her to bed for a nap, thinking perhaps the child was overtired. As Merilwen sobbed her frustrations into her pillow before finally sleeping....
Miss Merriweather went to visit Elrond and Celebrian. Together, they tried to sort out Merilwen's odd behavior."Miss Merriweather, I don't know what exactly is wrong with Merilwen, but I might hazard a guess. First of all, although she does like the other children, I think there are simply too many of them around too much of the time for Merilwen. She is half-Elven, and sometimes needs solitude...time to reflect....time to write poetry, or gaze at the stars....time alone. I suppose I should have thought of that...the other girls delight in constant chatter and company, but not Merilwen. The lack of reflection time has likely made her quite irritable."
"Second...Merilwen's behavior became much worse...when you left. I do believe she misses you."
"Misses ME! My dear Elrond, you know Merilwen holds a very special place in my heart and always will. But, sometimes her thirst for adventure gets the best of her judgement. For her own safety, there are times when I simply must keep a careful eye on her. You know Merilwen doesn't exactly like that."
"Not on the surface, no. But, deep down, she knows you love her and are only trying to keep her safe. I think she simply needs more attention...from one she really does love...and more time for herself. Not that she needs to be isolated from the others...certainly not. They enjoy her company and she theirs...just not all the time. Merilwen needs, not a governess or Headmistress, but more like a Nanny of her very own, as well as space of her own when she wants it."
"A Nanny....that is what I was to her when I first left the doll cabinet. Before I became Headmistress of the academy. Do you really think she misses...me?"
"Oh, I do indeed!" Elrond quickly replied. "I think she needs you more than you know."
"And perhaps," Celebrian gently added, "You need Merilwen more than you know."
Miss Merriweather's eyes became suspiciously moist. "Well...I think I know a solution to this dilemma."
When Merilwen woke from her nap, she found Miss Merriweather waiting for her. Refreshed from her sleep, Merilwen recollected her behavior the past day or so and suddently felt dreadfully ashamed.
She tried to apologize to Miss Merriweather, but found her apology cut off when Miss Merriweather hugged her tightly....
Miss Merriweather and Merilwen talked for a long time. It seems that Merilwen was feeling quite different from the other girls. She wondered what was wrong with her, when everyone else seemed so happy with the new, boisterous house full of little girls. She tried very hard to be happy with the constant noise and activity, but found herself desperately needing a bit of quiet.
Then, Miss Merriweather left and poor Merilwen simply could not contain her frustration any longer. She went outside to seek some solitude, even though she knew she should not do so alone. But, all the adults in the house were so busy with the other children, there was really no one to ask to accompany her outside.
Miss Merriweather asked Merilwen how she would like to come live with us? Although she could certainly see the other children whenever she wished, Miss Merriweather would be Merilwen's very own Nanny, and she would have her very own space for solitude when she needed it.
Merilwen eagerly accepted Miss Merriweather's offer. She seems quite content again. She even helped Miss Hickory fix dinner, did her homework, and practiced her piano lesson without being reminded.
And at the end of the day, Merilwen and Nanny Merriweather delighted in each other's company before Merilwen quietly and willingly turned in for the night.
It would seem all is well again in our world!