No Picnic

by Varda

In the book, after the Council of Elrond, the hobbits have their own Council of Hobbits, in Bilbo's room. Pippin and Merry have kicked their heels all morning waiting for the great folk to finish talking and can't wait to hear what went on. They almost ignore the news that Frodo is going to Mordor when they hear that Sam is going too.

'That's not fair!' explodes Pippin. 'He eavesdropped and instead of being clapped in prison, Elrond rewards him by allowing him to go with you!' Sam hung his head and blushed.

'Reward?' says Frodo in bafflement. As if it was not bad enough just having made this terrible decision and undertaken this awful mission, now these silly young lads were arguing over going with him. He dearly wanted to leave them ALL behind. Oh why could he not stay here in Rivendell for ever?

'You don't know what you are talking about, Pippin!' he said in irritation. 'This is not a reward, it is punishment! condemned to go on a hopeless journey!' Sam straightened up and assumed a cocky look. Now it was Pippin who blushed. Merry came to his rescue.

'No that is not what Pippin meant, Frodo. We don't envy you, but Sam. It will be punishment to be left behind, even here in Rivendell, if you go on without us'.

'yes, that is what I meant' said Pippin regaining his confidence and shooting a grateful look at Merry. 'Us hobbits have to stick together'.

Frodo gave up. They did not understand. But he was afraid. Afraid of going on alone. There were others who would be going, but it was different to have hobbits with you, your own kind. Someone your own size, moving at your own speed, having your own type of appetite. Someone from the Shire who would miss it like you, who would know what you were talking about when you remembered it. Understand your jokes. Friends, not just allies. People who loved you because you were Frodo, not just because you had this great burden. People who loved you out of love not duty. He sighed. He had gone through all this before, at Crickhollow, and lost the argument then too. He could rely on Elrond to prevent them, but somehow he knew that even an Elf-lord would lose to these two. He would have to take them with him. His heart sank. The objects of his thoughts were oblivious to him now, Gandalf had appeared and they were arguing with him, badgering him for information about the outcome of the Council.

'What do you mean, nothing decided?' cried Pippin. Frodo looked at him; smaller than Merry, not yet even of age and even childish for his age. What would some great lord of men like Boromir think of having him along? Frodo winced. It wasn't a picnic! At night looking from his window Frodo could see a single star burning red in the heavens. Every night, brighter, in the south. Gazing at it Frodo was filled with foreboding of evil things to come, for all the world, but most of all for him. If he had to, he must shake them all off....

Pippin was looking defiantly at him. Frodo put his arm round his shoulders. 'Come on , Pip, let's see what Elrond says...'

Sorry, just daydreaming. Apologies to JRRT