Frodo Meets Posey

by Auntkimby

A sequel to the Firewood epilogue in which Sam brings Posey home from Lobelia’s grave.

Sam climbed the steps to the round green door of Bag End, Posey still cradled in his arms. He could smell supper cooking, and he saw Posey’s nostrils twitch delicately. Who knew how long it had been since the poor creature had eaten? Sam could feel her ribs through her fur, and he tenderly stroked her ears. “My Rose-wife will fix you up with a bit of something, lass. She was always takin’ in strays, an’ she’ll make quite a fuss over you, I reckon.” Sam shifted Posey to the crook of his left arm and called, “Rosie me dear, your Sam’s come home, an’ we’ve got company for supper.”

However, it was not Rose who opened the door, but Frodo. Sam turned bright red. “Beggin’ your pardon, Mr. Frodo, but I expected Rose to…”

Frodo chuckled. “Rose made a last minute trip to the marketplace, Sam; it seems we were an ingredient or two short for the stew. What company have you brought home?”

Posey poked her head out of Sam’s arm and studied Frodo out of round brown eyes.

“This is, er, Posey, Mr. Frodo, Mistress Lobelia’s little dog. I went up there to the graves to plant flowers on Pansy’s grave, as I’ve been doin’ ever since I learned of her sad story, an’ there was Posey, stretched out on the earth over Mistress Lobelia’s grave. I couldn’t just leave her there, Mr. Frodo…”

“Of course you couldn’t, Sam,” Frodo said kindly. He reached out and scratched Posey’s graying ears, and she whimpered and licked his hand.

“She likes you, sir,” Sam said with a pleased grin. “I received a much different greeting when first we met eight years ago.”

“Well, then, Sam, since Posey is my guest for dinner, why don’t you let me see to her refreshment and you get the fireplace going? It’s getting a bit chilly in here, and every time I try to do it myself, I smoke up the entire smial.”

“If you’re certain, Mr. Frodo, but you don’t have to fix the dog’s dinner.”

“I know that, my dear Sam, but I want to. Here, give her to me.”

Sam laid Posey in Frodo’s arms, and she began to tremble.

“It’s all right, Posey, I won’t drop you,” Frodo assured her. “I’ve held many little ones heavier and more wiggly than you and never dropped one. Well, except that one time when Pippin was three and he made a sudden lunge for a toy on the windowsill…” He carried her into the kitchen and Sam missed the rest of the sentence. He shrugged, smiled, and went outside to the wood box for kindling.

Posey stopped trembling and snuggled into Frodo’s warmth; she had only seen this hobbit once before, on the night her mistress died, and she had been too preoccupied with her mistress to pay him any mind then. She sensed now, though, that he was in need of comfort, for he seemed so very sad. She whimpered again and tilted her muzzle up to lick his cheek.

“You’re a sweet little thing,” Frodo murmured as he set her down on the kitchen floor. “I’m sure Rosie won’t mind if you have a bit of this broth, and a few of the beef cubes. She’s really an excellent cook, you’ll find.”

The smell of broth and of cooked meat made Posey’s stomach rumble, and her eyes brightened for the first time in many days. Frodo ladled some of the broth and meat into an old tin pie plate, blew on it a few times to cool it, and then set it down on the floor in front of the old dog. He sat down cross legged on the floor beside her and watched with a smile while she gobbled the food down with wolf like eagerness. She did not stop until she had emptied three more platefuls, and then lay down with a contented sigh in Frodo’s lap.

“Do you like your belly scratched?” he asked her. “Many years ago, when I was a lad at Brandy Hall, my Cousin Merry had a puppy who loved to have her belly scratched. She’d throw herself down on the floor at our feet and nearly tripped us, with all four paws up in the air, demanding to be petted.”

As he talked, Frodo started scratching her freckled pink belly, now round and hard from her dinner. Posey whimpered ecstatically and rolled over onto her back obligingly. Her tongue lolled out the side of her mouth from her upside down position, and she strained her head so she could look at Frodo. The effect was extraordinarily comical.

He laughed out loud, a real, genuine laugh such as not had been heard from him in many long months. Sam heard it, out in the living room, and his heart was filled with gladness.

“I knew I did right, bringin’ the lass home,” he said with satisfaction.