A 5-year-old Pippin Took woke up earlier than usual. His two front
teeth had been hurting him all night. He walked into his parents’ room,
wiggling his teeth. “Mum? Da? My teeth hurt.”
Eglantine groaned, but sat up. “Did you hit them on anything, dear?”
“Nope. They’re really wiggly.”
She looked at her son and smiled. “You’re about to lose those teeth. You are going to have grown-up teeth pretty soon.”
“Yes. Right now, your teeth are still baby teeth; they’re little. When you lose those teeth, new ones will grow in and then they will be bigger.”
“Oh. Will it hurt? Them growing back in, I mean.”
“Only a little.”
“How long will it be before I get my grown-up teeth?”
Eglantine laughed at her son’s inquisitiveness. “It might take a while. You should go back to sleep now, sweetie.”
Pippin shrugged. “Alright.” He walked back to his room, still wiggling his two teeth.
Pippin woke up a little while later. He was late for first breakfast; his 2 oldest sisters were already done. He sat down next to Pervinca and tried taking a bite out of his apple. “Ow!” he said and quickly pulled his mouth away. He hadn’t lost his tooth yet, but it was bleeding. “Oh no…” he said and put his apple down. He rushed to the sink and stood there, not knowing what to do. “-Er-inca?” he said, not being able to talk straight, “Can you hel- ee?”
She giggled and came over. She wet a rag and put it up to his mouth.
“Thank you,” Pippin mumbled through the rag. He looked longingly after his apple. His mother came in and he put down the rag. His tooth had stopped bleeding, but now he didn’t know what he could eat.
“Mum, I’m hungry.”
She looked down at his apple. It had blood on the tiny teeth marks. She sighed. “I’ll make you some porridge.”
He was almost done with his porridge when Pervinca ran in and told him, “Pippin! Merry’s here.” Pippin ran out the door and right into Merry.
“Hey Pippers!” Merry tussled his younger cousin’s curly top.
“My teeth are wiggly! See?” he wiggled his two teeth and smiled.
It was a beautiful September day and Merry took Pippin down to the nearest creek to play and wade in the water. “I’ll race you to the water’s edge!” he called out, and he started running.
Pippin, with a look of determination on his face, took off after his cousin, running as fast as he could. He almost got ahead of his cousin when…
Pippin tripped over a tree root and fell flat on his face.
Merry whipped around and saw his cousin, mouth bleeding profusely, and tears streaming down his face. He helped Pippin up and led him to the water, where he could rinse out his mouth. Pippin spit out the water and extra blood and two small, white teeth also came out. “My teeth! I lotht my teeth!” he exclaimed and tried retrieving his teeth which were steadily flowing down the stream. Merry held him back.
“Let me see!” Pippin smiled wide, and sure enough, he had a big hole where his two front teeth should have been. “Come on! Let’th go thow my thithter!” Pippin now had a terrible lisp. He and Merry walked back to the hole and Pippin ran inside yelling, “I lotht my teeth! I lotht my teeth! Thee?” He smiled again, showing his sister’s his empty space, where his teeth should have been. He stuck his tongue through the hole and giggled. “Wait till mother theeth thith!”
He didn’t have to wait long. His mother came into the room, demanding to know what all to commotion was about. Peregrin ran up to her and smiled. “Oh! You lost your tooth! That’s wonderful!”
“I know! I can’t wait till we get to thee Frodo, tho I can thow him too! When’th the nextht time we can vithit him?”
“Next week, dear. It’s his and Old Bilbo’s birthday.”
Next week came sooner than Pippin expected. They arrived at the party tree early in the afternoon.
“Frodo! I lotht my tooth, thee?” He grinned. Frodo laughed and hugged Pippin. “Yes, I do see that. And it’s good to see you again little Took.”
Pippin saw Sam sitting down at one of the tables and he ran over to him. “Hi, Tham!” he wrinkled his eyebrows and tried again, slower this time, “Hi, Th-am.” He growled a little at himself, the said, “Thsthtshhshtshthtthth” trying to get the sound out. Sam laughed.
Pippin let out a sigh, then explained, “You thee, Tham, I lotht my two teeth, tho now I have a terrible lithp, and can’t thay my etheth…my ethhhhheth…my…” Sam stopped him and chuckled again. “Your ‘s’s?” Pippin nodded, and smiled.
The Party began with one of Bilbo’s famous speeches. Pippin, of course, was completely restless as he sat next to Merry and Fatty Bolger.
“Pippin! Look!” Merry exclaimed, pointing excitedly over to where Frodo was sitting.
“What? What are you…Oh! Ith that…?”
“Yes, I think it is!” Merry grinned mischievously. “That’s Gandalf!”
“Wow! Thso doesth that mean he’th real??”
“Of course he’s real! He was in Bilbo’s stories wasn’t he?”
It suddenly became very loud and the party began, as Bilbo was now finished with his speech. Frodo and Bilbo came over and sat down next to Merry, Pippin, and Fatty. Gandalf followed after them. Fatty looked slightly nervous being around Gandalf, but Pippin was curious. “Ith your beard real?”
Gandalf laughed. “Yes, it is. Have a tug and see.”
Pippin reached up and grabbed Gandalf’s beard in both his little fists. Gandalf stood up straight and Pippin was lifted a foot off the ground. Gandalf chuckled and said, “Do you happen to be young Peregrin Took? The one I have heard so much about?”
“Yeth, but you can call me Pippin. I’m gonna be Thain one day.”
Gandalf picked Pippin off of his beard and held him out in front of him. “Yes, I can see the old Took in you.”
“Guethss what? I lotht my tooth!” Pippin grinned wide for the old wizard to see. Gandalf set him down. “Do you want to see something?”
“Sthure! What ith it?”
Merry had a twinkle in his eye. “Is it your fireworks, Gandalf??”
He laughed. “Yes, Master Brandybuck. Come see!”
The young hobbits left to have their first look at Gandalf’s famous fireworks.