Young Frodo

by Overlithe

1368~*~ The Passage of Time                    part11

            Winter quickly passed with out incident in the Shire that year it had been cold but the snows had been light.  Trees threatened to burst forth early and the heavy rains foretold of a beautiful flowering spring to come.  Primula had always loved the out doors and being of both Brandybuck and Took lineage she was unusually adventuresome for a lass.  As soon as the weather turned for the better she was outside with Frodo.  Drogo rarely joined her on such trips to the great out doors he was not of an adventuresome nature. He preferred to read about such things rather than to experience them.  The only thing he truly enjoyed was a walk in the warm summer evenings.  Primula had bee trying to peak his interest in boats.   The slow stable kind used by the Brandybucks but he resisted.  As most Hobbits he could not swim and avoided prolonged contact with water and taking chances.  The most daring he got was the Ferry and that was still enough of an adventure for his taste.

            It was early April and the cold March winds had died giving way to warmer breezes and showers.  Frodo being 7 months old was just starting to try to stand and so was a bit of a handful to care for out of doors.  Primula laughed at him as he would pull his feet up and cry or sit down to avoid the cold grass.  She feared her son may have a bit too much Baggins blood and would be content to stay indoors like his Father.  But she continued to try and eventually little Frodo grew accustomed to the new sensations assailing his little feet.

            Hobbits though they were considered children far into their teens and tweens comparatively walked and talked at a young age. And so it was that Frodo took his first tentative steps.  Primula laughed with joy as he stood on his proportionately large feet and balanced himself and took two steps and sat down hard on the grassy hill.  He pouted for a moment and then took note of the grass and flowers before him.  Primula just watched him explore the area around himself in wonder.  He pulled tiny pieces of grass out and stared at them and tasted them making a sour face.  He grasped a handful of soil and tasted that too.  Primula was surprised but did not stop him. Frodo very seldom showed and interest in eating she wondered what on earth he was thinking.  He sputtered at the dirt and grass on his tongue and shook his head.  HE tried to stand again and fell onto his hands and gave up for the moment and crawled over to his mum.  Chanting quietly Mum, Mum, Mum….

            Mum, it was his favorite word and he used it often.  Drogo had been a bit put out that the child would not say Da.  He comforted himself by noting that Frodo called all lasses Mum.  He had laughed at Primula’s indignation at the comment.  It was true Frodo did call others Mum as well but only Lasses that cared for him.  To Frodo Mum meant comfort, food and peace.

Primula looked at her child.  The love she felt for him was endless. Her son, her child the only one she’d likely ever have.  Time was passing so quickly already the days of quiet feedings by the fire were gone and the peaceful frequent naps of infancy were fading.  Frodo was awake most of the day now which both delighted her and drove her to distraction.  So eager and curious to learn was he that she could not turn her back on him.  He would crawl off and explore as soon as he was free from her arms.  She worried about him at times.  Since his initial dislike of the out doors Frodo had learned to love “outside”.  He learned a new word and he used it….  “OUT”, he would call to whoever would listen.  He always wanted out.

Hobbits in general are very relaxed parents but something nagged at Primula.  She harbored a secret fear for Frodo.  It was a fear she could not give reason to and so she tried to ignore it.  Whether it was due to the circumstances of his birth or the illness he had early on she did not know. But Primula Baggins remained afraid for the safety of her beloved son.

 Only the passage of time would tell what lay ahead for the child.

 

1368~   Not all Cousins are created Equal                 part 12

            Late in April Drogo Baggins received a message that caused him to pale and put immediately in a foul mood.  Primula wondered what in middle earth had put her normally placid husband in such a disagreeable state.  After two days of asking he simply handed her the letter.  Primula didn’t quite understand his dismay and read the letter. It seemed that Drogo’s cousins were coming for a short visit to Buckland.  They had announced themselves by letter with little notice.

            My dearest Drogo,

                        We have heard of your wonderful success in Buckland and although folks there are a bit queer we have decided to come for a short visit.  It is high time that our boys being close cousins meet each other.  My dear wife and sweet child and I will arrive promptly in 4 days hence.  Please make appropriate lodging arrangements for us as well as for our four year old.  It would be helpful if you and your wife could show us a good time while we are there and we hope you will plan accordingly.

                                    You’re Cousin, Otho Sackville-Baggins

 

PS. Lobelia and Lotho are looking forward to seeing you again.

PSS. Please do not inform Bilbo that we are visiting I do not want to insult him as we have no intention of stopping by Bag End or Hobbiton.


By the time Primula had finished reading she too was annoyed and agitated. “The nerve, some people what does he mean by just writing and showing up. And then expecting to be housed and entertained?”  She new that Drogo was not on good terms with the Sackville-Bagginses.  In fact she didn’t know anyone who was on good terms with them.  They were coat tail relatives as Bilbo described them.  They only bothered to BE family if there was potential gain for themselves.  Primula wondered what they thought the gain would be to visit them in Buckland.

Frodo toddled into the parlor and stood unsteadily watching his Mum gesture and speak to his Da.  Unbidden fear crept into his little head his lower lip began to quiver and tears filled his eyes.  He had never heard his Mum raise her voice and he was frightened.  He suddenly began to wail.  A loud cry broke from his throat surprising both of his parents.

Primula turned quickly to see Frodo standing in the doorway.  He was crying and shaking arms upraised to her.  He then cried Mum, Mum, Mum….  Primula almost broke into tears herself and scooped up her precious baby and held him close.  She spoke softly to him know that it had been her harsh words that had upset him so.  Drogo joined her and they huddled close together drawing comfort and support from each other.  Frodo quieted and relaxed then struggled to be set free.

“Drogo what are we going to do they are not even here yet and already there is trouble,” Primula asked?

“We, my dear are going to make the beat of it for Frodo’s sake.”  He hugged his sweet wife tight and reassured her again.


Fours days passed and right on time Otho and Lobelia Sackville Baggins arrived with their four year old Lotho in tow.  Drogo surmised that perhaps they felt Frodo a threat to Lotho’s standing in the family and so he was going to prove whose child was indeed the best Baggins.  Primula watched as the cousins made every attempt to look like well to do hobbits.  They were in fact not poor but they’re envy of Bilbo and Drogo was so obvious that none could miss it.  They continually spouted the virtues of the south farthing and its superiority. Not a particularly good idea while visiting Buckland they were immediately disdained.  They were tolerated only because of Primula’s family connections had her brother not been the present Master of Buckland they would have been ousted on arrival.


The parents were intolerable enough but it was all Drogo and Primula could do not to retaliate when young Lotho began pushing Frodo and beating him.  They simply removed Frodo from harms way and glared at the spoiled obnoxious 4 year old.  How would they ever make it through a week of THIS! Primula thought she might have to box young Lotho’s ears if he laid another hand on dear sweet Frodo.  Frodo in his innocence thought it was a game and laughed when he was knocked over.  He was a sweet child and did not understand the jealousy and dislike directed at him.

Finally they were gone. They had asserted they’re dominance and thought they had shown who were the better Hobbits.  In fact they had for there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Frodo was at least twice the Hobbit of Lotho Sackville-Baggins.

Primula’s mind wandered as she had the first peace in a week.  How her husband could be related in any way to THAT family, how could Frodo bear the same blood as Lotho?  It was a strange twist of fate and genetics…Bilbo was kind and beloved and yet they…..It was obvious ~All cousins are not created equal~.