Howling

by Loverofhobbits

“Round the fire they sat, and those that were not on guard dozed uneasily. Poor Bill the pony trembled and sweated where he stood. The howling of the wolves was now all round them, sometimes nearer and sometimes further off.” FotR, A Journey in the Dark.

Young Pippin had never experienced anything like this and the wolves seemed to come closer all the while. Although he didn’t have to watch for everyone else’s safety, he couldn’t help staying awake. Gandalf, the greatest wizard Pippin ever knew, was there to protect them, but the howls were so frightening.

When he set out with Frodo, it seemed so long ago, he had no idea what he was in for. As if the danger they had already experienced was not enough, they had to endure this waiting. He thought, “We escaped those shadow black riders just to get eaten by wolves, this just won’t do. Why can’t Gandalf get them to go away?” He rolled over to see Merry was struggling to sleep as well.

“Merry, what are we going to do?” he whispered. “I just don’t think we’ll escape these wolves. And by the sound of those howls, they haven’t had food in a long time.”

“Pip, don’t worry. We have Gandalf, and Aragorn, do you think they would let some wolves get us? Go back to sleep, and don’t worry, they know how to keep us safe.”

Merry wondered why Pippin couldn’t just let the others work out the problem. They seemed to be very important at the council, and now they could just work together to save the Fellowship. Even with this reassurance, he couldn’t help shifting in his sleep. Though he tried to resist, Merry opened his eyes and looked around. He saw numerous eyes, peering through the darkness, with ravenous gazes.

The howls increased, and as if one warned the others, one great howl pierced the darkness. Gandalf stood and Merry thought, “Yes, you get ‘em Gandalf!”

“‘Listen, Hound of Sauron!’ he cried. ‘Gandalf is here. Fly, if you value your foul skin! I will shrivel you from tail to snout, if you come within this ring.’”