Hobbits and Horehound
a Pippin inklet for Aunt
Merry was swatting at the annoying midges and hadn't even noticed that
I'd fallen into the water. My foot had slipped in the slimey mud, and
though I had thrown both arms forward to catch myself, my hands sank
deep and I was soaked. I pushed myself up and shook the water from my
Merry turned around then, and I could see he was trying not to laugh.
"Pip! Here's my hand, ol' boy. Up you get! Are you all right?"
"Yes, Merry. I just slipped." I shook my hands and tried to wring out
my coat, but it did little good. "Let's keep moving. I don't want to
We walked on, and as the afternoon faded we came to slightly firmer
ground. Here our guide paused, motioning for us to wait while he went
on ahead and looked around. I gratefully slid my pack off of my
shoulders. My coat and scarf were still wet, and I felt the chill of
the wind as I removed them and tried to wring out the swampwater. I got
my cloak out of my pack-- mercifully the contents were still dry-- and
wrapped it around myself.
My stomach was growling at me, but I wasn't thinking of food, for once.
I looked at my friends faces; Merry was weary, and so was Sam. Frodo
looked worried and tired enough to sleep where he was sitting. I felt
like I should say something, something witty or silly or stupid, to
make them laugh and forget for a moment our troubles, but when I opened
my mouth to speak, I was taken instead in a great sneeze. I groped in
my pocket for a handkerchief, damp but clean, and sneezed again.
Frodo looked at me with concern. "Pippin, are you all right? How did
you get all wet?"
"I was trying to escape from the midges," I answered cheekily,
shivering a little. "It worked too! Appearantly they don't care for
Frodo smiled, then removed his own coat and draped it around my
shoulders. I wanted to refuse, but it was so nice and warm. "You wear
this for now, Pip. I've a cloak, too, and I'm not all wet."
Sam removed his own pack and fished around in its crowded pockets,
finally bringing out what looked like a bag. "Here, Mr Pippin. You can
wear my hat if you want. It'll keep your ears warm, at least."
Merry chuckled as I put on the felt hat. My face flushed. I could feel
the heat run down my collar. "Thanks, Sam," I mumbled, "just until I
Strider came back then, and he urged us to follow him again. Luckily,
he had found a path that led a winding course through the murky pools,
so we stayed dry, even if there were plagues of midges hovering over
the paths like little thunderclouds. By evening we had made our way
almost out of the marshes. Strider brought us to a little dell to camp,
where we built a fire and huddled gratefully around its warmth.
The cold had me in a good grip by then. I tried to hide it from the
others, but there is not much you can hide from your friends, who know
you so well that they can tell how you feel by what you don't say more
than by what you do say. Sam brought me heated soup, Frodo insisted
that I keep his coat on even after mine had dried, and Merry gave me
half of his supper, saying that he was full and didn't want it to go to
I pulled the collar of Frodo's coat up more snuggly around my ears,
grateful for the darkness that concealed my tears. We weren't even to
Rivendell yet, and I was already sick. How was I going to help Frodo? I
couldn't even take care of myself!
The others had fallen asleep, but I was awake still, shivering a little
in spite of the warmth of the fire on my face. I muffled a cough in my
hands, and when I looked up, Strider was sitting next to me.
"Here, eat this," he said, handing me something small and slightly
I held it up and looked at it by the firelight. It was about the size
of the tip of my finger, yellowish, and smooth. It smelled strangely
fragrant. "What is it?" I asked warily.
"It is a kind of resin-candy made from herbs. The Rangers use them when
traveling, to stave off chills and sickness. Let it melt on your
tongue, if you can bear the flavour. They don't taste very good, but it
will ease your throat and make you feel better."
Hesitantly, I placed the thing on my tongue. It tasted like a raw
tealeaf, bitter and pungent. I nearly coughed it out, but very quickly
I felt relief from my stuffy head and nose. I could breathe easier!
Strider nodded at me, then wrapped his thick, wax-treated cloak around
me and bade me lay down. The bitter candy melted away and before sleep
covered me, I looked again toward where he sat, watching over us
through the night.
Frodo had been right. Strider wasn't so bad as he looked.
A Spring Inkling
The delicate teacup was grasped in strong, worn hands. The aroma of
freshly brewed tea filled the hobbit hole, while outside rain fell in
It was a warm spring rain, one that would make the crops grow well, and
would ornament every newly furled leaf with jewelled drops that would
sparkle once the sun reappeared, he thought to himself. Smiling a
little, he sipped the hot tea thoughtfully. What a delightful day! So
perfect for being indoors, and having a cup of tea. And a few teacakes,
he thought suddenly. Nodding to himself, he rose from the table, and
moved across to the pantry, where he rummaged around looking for
victuals. "Just to fill up the corners", he murmured.
Emerging from the pantry, he was moving past the kitchen window, when a
sudden sound stopped him. Leaning on the window sill, he looked out.
There, on the path outside the garden, several young hobbits danced in
the rain, shrieking with delight, and performing a wild variation of
the Springle-ring. They slipped and skidded in the mud, trying
valiantly to stay upright, until finally one of them slipped, and
tripped up the whole lot of them. Wild confusion followed, and in a
trice, the Springle-ring transformed into a mud fight, which threatened
to spill over into the very garden itself.
All at once, one of the urchins happened to look up, and he yelped,
skidding off down the road. The others jerked around, and seeing
something that obviously filled them with dismay, they, too, fled after
their companion. A moment later, old Gaffer Gamgee came clumping around
the corner, frustration etched on his face. He surveyed the
mud-spattered garden in an annoyed fashion, then turning toward the
window, he took his cap off, and spoke.
"Well, Mister Bilbo, those young 'uns have made a mess, and no mistake.
Begging your pardon, seeing as 'ow young Mister Frodo was one of them,
but they really ought to be talked to! My Sam will hear of it, you can
Bilbo's face crinkled into an amused smile. "Don't mind them at all,
Master Gamgee! I must say, I was enjoying watching the young scamps.
Don't worry about the garden - it's much to wet to be bothering about
it right now, anyways. I'm sure you'll have no problem repairing the
damage after it stops raining. Go ahead and go home for the day, if you
The Gaffer wiped his rain spattered face. "Well, sir, I must say I
don't mind if I do. A cup of tea sounds like just the thing on a day
Bilbo smiled to himself as the solid figure of Gaffer Gamgee
disappeared down the lane. He almost felt like finding those "young
scamps" and joining in on the fun himself. Then he looked down,
realizing he was still holding a plate of teacakes. On second thought,
tea and teacakes might be a better way to spend the afternoon..
Merry came running when Pippin had sent for him.
"What's wrong, Pip?" Merry asked a bit out of breath as he entered
Pippin's front door, "it sounded like you're desperate!"
Stopping short at the sound of a baby crying, Merry called out, "Do you
have a baby in here?"
"What do you think?" Pippin asked appearing while carrying a very
unhappy baby, "yes, I have a baby in here! I've tried everything I know
to try and she won't stop!"
"Let me have her," Merry said, "Elanor likes her Uncle Merry."
"Well," Pippin said a bit grumpy and frazzled, "she usually likes her
Uncle Pippin too, but, she doesn't seem happy tonight."
"Where's Sam and Rosie?" Merry asked while pacing around the room
rocking Elanor in his arms.
"They needed a bit of a break to go on a date and so I said I would
watch her, but,. then she started crying and wouldn't quit," Pippin
Merry started looking a bit frazzled himself as Elanor continued
crying, right beside his ear.
Both Hobbits looked a bit startled as Elanor let out a burb that would
have made any adult male Hobbit proud.
Immediately she quit crying and started laughing. Looking at each
other, Merry and Pippin joined in with her laughter.
At that moment, Sam and Rosie stepped in the front door.
Seeing the three of them laughing, Sam and Rosie quit worrying about
how Pippin was getting along with Elanor.
Collecting the now happy Elanor, Sam and Rosie left behind Merry and
Pippin who were still chuckling.
- Silivren Ithildin
An Elvish Prank
"What on Middle-earth is going on around here?" Pippin asked coming
to a stop in front of Merry. "Everyone is acting strange today. As I
was walking here whenever I would pass someone they would point at me
and laugh. Do I have green teeth or something?"
"Well, I don't see green teeth," Merry replied trying to quietly
snicker, "but, I think I might know what is going on."
"Ok, so, what is it?" Pippin asked growing quite grumpy.
"This is something I think you have to see," Merry answered.
Looking at his reflection, Pippin shrieked, "That sneaky Elf! When I
get ahold of him I'm going to clobber him!"
"Now, now, Pippin," Merry tried to calm Pippin, "I'm sure he didn't
mean any harm."
"Didn't mean any harm?" Pippin gasped, "have you looked at my hair?"
"Well, I know it is different from how you usually wear it, but it
isn't bad," Merry replied trying to see the positive in the situation.
"Not bad?!" Pippin said, "well considering I look like I have thousands
of worms all over my head, I think it actually does look bad! How on
Middle-earth can an Elf with such large hands braid hair in such tiny
"That is an excellent question," Merry said, vaguely in awe of Legolas'
braiding expertise, "but, haven't we had a talk before where I warned
you not to fall asleep while you were near him?"
"Well," Pippin mumbled, "yeah, I remember. But, even so, when I find
him he is going to have to undo each and every tiny braid he put in my
"Well," Merry warned, "make sure you have a bucket of water at hand,
for when he gets done taking them out, your hair is going to look
fluffier than the long-haired sheep right before they are ready to
Pippin just groaned turning around to find a bucket and an Elf, in that
- Silivren Ithildin
'.....Bilbo stood amazed at the array (for array it was, the sun
glancing rainbows and prisms from the jewelled mass before him)of
greens like the very First Forest, reds the colour (he imagined) of a
dragon's undercrackers, yellows like daisies in Spring......and, atop,
a vast whiteness, like Caradhras in winter buried deep.
Well he knew (Bilbo's Yoda impression) he'd not wish to share this
bounty with Frodo, and well he knew that share it he *would*.
With great care, he decanted one of each of the sweetly shaking squares
into two tall goblets.
They *had* just eaten.
Frodo's eyes met his. "Uncle. They say......."
".......there's always room for jello. Yes, lad....."
"Yes, dear boy?"
"Don't bogart the Redi-Whip."
The Final Time
Reaching up feeling his hair, Frodo grinned. So,
he hadn't been dreaming after all. Legolas really had braided his hair!
Getting ready, Frodo ran down to breakfast to show his braids off.
Walking into the Great Hall he was amused to see the stunned looks on
the faces of the other Hobbits.
Spying Legolas Frodo hurried over to talk with him.
"I wasn't sure if I had dreamed talking with you last night while you
were braiding my hair or not until I woke up this morning and ran my
hands through my hair," Frodo said quietly.
"Well," Legolas said just as quietly, "I wanted to braid your hair
too, but, you have been through so much I wasn't sure you would want me
to so I decided I would ask you first."
"I appreciate that," Frodo responded, "having it done makes me feel
like I'm a bit closer again to the other Fellowship members. We have
all needed this little bit of fun. Thank you!"
"You are most welcome," Legolas replied.
"You do know however," Frodo said mock-sternly, loudly enough to be
heard, "you are going to have to undo all of these braids!"
"Of course," Legolas said with a bow.
Running over to the Hobbits, Frodo said, "Can you believe he got me?
But, don't worry, I got after him!"
"Good for you, Mister Frodo!" Sam said not entirely sure Frodo was
all that upset, "I'll help you find a bucket to dunk your head in after
he gets them all out."
"Thank you, Sam," Frodo said, "we'll go get it after I finish
So, for the final time, the bucket was located and then the Elf.
- Silivren Ithildin
The Cast Offs
When Aragorn joined the Fellowship at the gate, he immediately noticed
that all he could see was poor Bill the Pony’s trembling legs from
under the huge heavy pack on his back.
“Gentlemen I thought I had made myself perfectly clear that we must
travel light,” he said in a no nonsense tone of voice as he pulled off
the tarp which revealed nine large crates of mushrooms.
“We didn’t think a light snack on the road would hurt,” Pippin said
as he and the other hobbits watched sadly, as their “snack” was stacked
off to one side.
Next under the crates, Aragorn discovered a tall stack of magazines
featuring pictures of little hairy women in bikinis cavorting in
various bodies of water, which Gimli quickly snatched from his hands
and hid behind his back.
“Let me guess that was your idea of some light reading for along
the way,” Aragorn said with a smile as he teased the dwarf whose face
was now a bright shade of red in embarrassment.
“I didn’t know dwarves could read,” Legolas said softly to the dwarf
which made Gimli turn even redder now with anger.
Meanwhile the next thing that Aragorn discovered on Bill was a
large box of autographed pictures of Boromir striking a kingly pose.
“Aren’t you wasting you money on these things?” Aragorn said as he
handed the box to the disappointed man from Gondor. “We both know that
the script calls for you to kick the bucket later on and for me to
“Well I just thought that if I left hints along the way for the
writers that they would change their minds,” Boromir replied. Then he
looked at the picture on top and smiled. “My but I’m dashing in that
pose!” he muttered to himself as he began to hand them out to the elves
who had gathered to see the Fellowship off.
“Definitely delusional,” Legolas whispered to Gandalf who nodded
back knowingly. “A chip off the old fruitcake block,” Gandalf whispered
After that, Aragorn took off Bill a square package wrapped in brown
paper. Quickly Gandalf snatched this out of his hands before he
proceeded to stuff it into a large pocket in his voluminous grey robes.
However, Legolas’ keen eyesight had seen through a rip in the paper the
word “Depends”. Instantly the Elf knew what it was the Wizard was
trying to hide but he knew better then to say anything for he did not
want to become something unnatural permanently.
“Here now the Elf here must have hid something on Bill too since
everyone else had!” Gimli demanded.
“I’m afraid not Gimli,” Aragorn said. “What’s left on Bill is all that
Now this did not set well with the Dwarf who grumbled that elves could
not be trusted.
“You may think that now Master Dwarf. However, I have a strong
hunch you will think otherwise when the situation is most dire,”
Gandalf said to which Gimli only gave a snort of disbelief.
Then the Fellowship was on their way with Legolas bringing up the
rear with Bill. It was at that moment when the elf slipped his elvish
toiletries kit unseen in amongst the items left in the pony’s pack and
hid it in such a way that it would remain undiscovered.
“Elves can be trusted Bill,” he said softly to the pony while he
rubbed its neck in a friendly manner. “We just prefer to not be so obvious with some of our actions.”
To this, Bill gave the elf a conspiratorial wink and from that, moment
on the pair kept their secret to themselves.
Lords of the Dance
For Linaewen and Sir Ada and whomever loves the men of Gondor
“Come, little brother. Let us show these poor excuses for dancers how
this is supposed to be done!”
With that he grabbed Faramir’s forearm and hauled him to his feet.
Faramir grinned. Both men drew their swords from their scabbards and
placed them on the ground. Suddenly, stillness filled the night air.
The stars themselves seemed to pause in their flight. The tension was
palpable. Everyone knew this was a contest, for, though great was the
love brother for brother, great also was the love of competition. The
men started singing, accompanied by a slow steady clapping; they knew
they were in for a treat. The brothers smiled and started circling
their swords and each other. Slowly, they moved to the dance. The men’s
clapping grew faster. The brothers’ feet flew, hands held high in the
air one moment, then reaching for their swords in the next. The
clapping spurred both brothers’ feet into faster movement. Laughter was
warm upon Faramir’s face, but Boromir’s, though a smile covered it,
showed deep concentration. Faramir danced much better Boromir knew, but
at speed, none could match him. As the clapping got faster and
stronger, shouts roared from men caught up in the excitement that was
before them. Suddenly, Faramir stumbled and fell backwards. Hoots of
laughter went up from the men, but a look of consternation covered
Boromir’s face. He growled at the men who immediately ceased their
taunting. Faramir started to get up, but Boromir was quickly at his
side with his arm outstretched.
“Forgive me, brother. I should have stopped moments ago.”
Faramir smiled and clapped Boromir on the shoulder as he was pulled
upright. “That was fun. You always did best me when the dance raised
its speed, though perhaps…”
“None dance as gracefully as you, little brother,” Boromir interrupted.
“Any great brute can move his feet quickly. It takes skills to move
them well. I am sorry!” He hugged him fiercely and with great pride.
The men strode forward and pounded them both on their backs
But then silence shattered the moment. The men quickly parted and
Denethor stood before them. An embarrassed smile spread across
Boromir’s face as he moved forward to greet his father.
“So, I send you on patrol and what do I find?” The scowl hid the
twinkle in his eye. “You won, of course?”
“Only because I tripped Faramir!” Boromir grinned.
Nazgul in the Library
Nine nervous Nazgûl stood hesitantly before the librarian's desk,
a charred and mouldering tome laying before them.
"We're sorry...." whispered the first one, "we really thought it had
The librarian pushed her glasses up on her nose and took a long look at
the offendingly overdue item. "Where has this been? Didn't your mothers
ever teach you to wrap your books in a bag before going out in the
rain? Or was it read in the bathtub, perhaps? For shame! And what are
these marks? Reading too near the fire?"
"Errr....something like that," dithered the second one. "We lent it to
a, er, friend...."
"You should never lend out your library books, they don't belong to
you," she said with a stern shake of her head that made her tight bun
of hair bob from side to side. "Next time, you need to return it and
let them check it out themselves."
"But, he can't..." said the third.
"Why not? Hasn't he a library card?"
"No, he hasn't any... hands..."
She flipped through a small stack of cards. "This was checked out in
the last Age - I'm afraid I'll have to charge you not only for it being
overdue, but for the damage to the book. That will be ten golden rings,
"Uh....what did you say? Rings?"
"Ten golden rings. All currency was converted to the Golden Ring
standard fifty years ago. You should know that."
"But, we only have nine...." they hoarsely chorused together.
"Well, you'll just have to come back when you have enough to pay your
fine. I can't let you check out anything else until then, I'm sorry."
"Not even...." they chorused, each pointing to a different murder
mystery on the nearby rack of New Arrivals.
"No, not even that. Good-day."
Gandalf turned to the hobbits. "Well, here at
last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our
fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say do not weep;
for not all tears are... OOOF! ow ow
ow ow ow."
Eight eager Elves
elbowed past like a rugby team, knocking the old
wizard down and
trampling his white robes as they jostled onto the waiting ship.
Frodo laughed down at him, extending a hand to help him to his knees.
"They're going with us?"
"The grace and delicacy of Elves is highly overrated," grumbled
Gandalf, dusting himself off. "Especially when they're near the sea.
It's not unlike a cat in a patch of catnip, something I always intended
to study but never got around to it. Now, what was I saying?"
"Ow ow ow ow ow," offered Pippin helpfully.