by Tori*Took

 Sam and his family sat on the banks of the river. Merry and Pippin and thier families were there with them, and they were having a picnic on the beautiful summer day.
They had just finished eating and the children were running around with sticks, each taking turns being the 'orc' as the other was pertending to be either Sam, Merry, Pippin, and even sometimes, when the girls did not want to be 'Gollum' or an 'orc' they would bring Frodo into thier games (though they did not all the time because it would make thier fathers...especially Sam...sad and quiet). Diamond, Estella, and Rosie were off across the river to the Hobbiton market to visit with other hobbit-lasses or to get special treats for thier children. The three male hobbits watched thier children(all except Merry of course, as he did not have any) run around pretending to be them. Other little Hobbit lads and lasses joined them after a while from other picknicking families. Sam's little daughter, Daisy, stayed by her father, as she did not feel old enough to play with the bigger kids. She played with a flower as she spoke to her dad.

"Papa? Tell me again what happened after you fought all those bad orc guys and you went to..." she pause. She had never been quite good at pronouncing 'Lothlorien'

Sam smiled. "Lothlorien?"
She grinned at him and nodded her head. "Yeah! tell me again!"

Once the other children had heard their father say "Lothlorien" they came over and sat down. Frodo, Rose, Merry, Pippin, Goldilocks, and young Hamfast (Elanor had gone with her mother as she was older than the others) . Little Faramir Took came over quitely and asked "Uncle Sam? Can I listen too?"

"Sure ya can my boy! Have a seat, lad and listen to my tale." And so Sam began as he had so many times before.

"We were devastated. Gandalf had fallen, right in front of our eyes, and we were still trying to escape the nasty orcs. We ran into this forest that seemed like any other forest we have here in the shire, but soon we began to notice that it slowly changed. The trees were silver and the leaves were golden. The sweet smells that were in Rivendell, we also noticed here, only stronger. But we could not enjoy it. The whole time, I had tears in my eyes and couldn't focus on anything. I didn't even notice the Elves untill the tip of an arrow was right in the middle of my nose." He pressed little Rosie's nose in. She giggled. "Though, I'm sure there was some Elvish magic we couldn't see."

Thain Peregrin took (hehe...well doesn't that work out nicely?) over for a while with the story. "We walked through sort of in a daze, not noticing alot untill we reached a stopping point and Aragorn and the Elf, Haldir started arguing in Elvish."

Sam nodded. "Well, I looked at Frodo and felt so much sympathy for him. He must have thought everything was his fault, and I just wanted to tell him that it wasn't, but I never have been good with words, and Boromir seemed to handle it pretty well."

"Well, that night, we spoke with the Lady Galadriel, who, was like the stars in the sky. She seemed to shine just like that! She almost spoke to you, with out movin her lips, and it was only to one else could hear."

Sam had noticed that other hobbit children from other families had come to listen. Merry started up with the story again. It seemed like he especially enjoyed telling the story...using big arm movements, and facial expressions that after a while scared the children...especially when he got to the part of the story where Galadriel freaked out on them. Sam stopped him short and started after he left off.
"Well, yes, she scared us pretty awfully. The songs the elves sang were beautiful. Though I didn't know how to speak the language, some how I understood. We slept so peacefully while in Lorien, resting to sound of the elves and the wind whistling through the silver trees. I wish we didn't have to go. I wish that we could have just stayed there, in peace, and forget about our task."

"Why didn't you?" Little Pippin pipped up.

Sam sat for a second, wondering himself. Finally he said, "Because of you."

"Me? I wa'n't even born yet!"

"No, but you never would have been born if we didn't finish the job. I wanted you to live, to breathe, and I wanted to be back home, in the safe Shire, with your ma, and with my friends."

Young Rosie hugged her father. "Thank you Daddy. And Uncle Merry and Pippin."

The children ran off to go play again, with Rosie pretending to be Galadriel, and the hobbit boys fighting over who was going to be Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin. The older hobbits smiled and over heard Faramir and Frodo talking.

"Our dads were really courageous, weren't they Frodo?"

"Yes, Faramir. The bravest of all Hobbits, and that's saying alot!"

"Your dad especially, Frodo. He should have a title, like 'Samwise the Brave'!"

Sam was stunned by what he heard. He felt a hand lay on his shoulder and looked up at Pippin, then at Merry. They gave each other a knowing look, then smiled. They continued to watch thier children play by the banks of the river on the beautiful summer afternoon.
"It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?....But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.......Because they were holding on to something.
What are we holding onto Sam?
That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for."