They had disappeared into the night like a fog as the sun warms the
earth. Frodo looked for them and they were gone. Off
together and things would never be the same again. He wasn't sure
if it was a good thing or not but he was a bit concerned. He
loved both of them but would they have time for him now?
He sulked around Brandyhall for an entire week before his mum chose to
speak with him. He was lonely and worried and he missed his two
As much as Frodo loved them they were great fun to pester and
joke with. Esme never quite understood how much of the things
that happened around Saradoc and herself were contrived by Frodo.
To her he was a sweet precocious child not capable of planning and
initiating these plans. But Saradoc suspected and Frodo knew it.
It was a game they played, Frodo acted innocent and Saradoc feigned
ignorance and turned his head whenever Frodo was involved in the
mischief around the hall. Many times some of the older lads took
the blame for some little thing Frodo had managed to pull off.
It was the 12th day since the wedding and Primula woke Frodo
early. He rubbed his normally bright eyes now dim with
sleepiness. He looked at his Mum and wondered what could be
wrong. She whispered to him and he smiled, his toothless grin
lighting the room as bright as daylight. He rushed to dress in
the clothing his Mum had laid out for him fumbling with the buttons on
his breeches and the bracers already connected. Frodo rushed to
the kitchen and sat in his spot. "When are we going Mum?" He
asked excitedly. Primula smiled at her son he was himself again,
he had been down since the wedding and she knew he missed Saradoc and
Esmeralda. "We will go as soon as we finish here luv." She
answered him. "What are we going to do there?" This was her
Frodo the inquisitive lad she loved her heart warmed at the sound of
his cheerful voice.
"We are going to help get Saradoc's new rooms ready." She answered
simply. "They will be home in a few days." Frodo's face was
glowing, "they are coming back!" I thought they moved away
forever." The hope was apparent and Primula's heart almost broke
realizing what had been bothering her son. It was more than just
missing them he thought they had left him.
"Oh Frodo lad of course they are coming back this is Saradoc's
home. He will be the master of Buckland someday soon he has to
live here." "Ohhhhh", the understanding was slow to come
but when Frodo finally understood he could no longer sit still.
"Come lad lets us finish our chores and we will go."
They arrived at the series of rooms in Brandyhall that were to be
Saradoc's and his brides. All ready their things had been moved
in but nothing was unpacked. The couple had stopped here long
enough only to drop off a few things and then had headed for the little
house in crickhollow. Only Primula and a few others knew where
the couple was spending their first weeks of life together. They
thought it best that Frodo not know, as he would be sure to try to
visit them. He was too young to completely understand and be
expected to stay away. Shire tradition held that the new couples
spend at least 2 weeks alone. It was a wise tradition one that no
one objected to.
Primula had done her best to explain Saradoc and Esme's absence but she
found it difficult to explain. So she had said little not
realizing that little Frodo had thought he had lost his best
"Now Frodo we are going to put some things away so that when Esme comes
here she will feel like she is home." Frodo nodded
enthusiastically he would do most anything for Esme. They began
by arranging the furniture similar to Esme's home in Tuck
borough. They then began placing things about in a pleasant
hobbitty way. When the two were done the hole looked lived in and
comfortable. Primula then took Frodo with her to the market and
selected some groceries for the new couple. Most meals in Brandy hall
were in the common dining area but most everyone had a few meals in
their own rooms.
It was late afternoon by the time everything was put in its
place. "There you go Frodo luv, it is all ready for them to come
home." They will be back in a day or two and then you may
visit. Frodo fairly bounced with joy at the thought. He had
never been separated from Saradoc for so long and he could hardly wait
to see them both.
"Mum, What does married mean?" Primula and Drogo were caught off guard
again. So frequently Frodo surprised them with his precocious
ways that they forgot he was so young. "Well luv it means they
are to be together now forever, like us." Drogo commented. "All
the time, even at night?"
"Yes Frodo even at night time too." Frodo smiled, he thought it
sounded nice to have someone to be with all the time and never be
lonely or frightened at night again.
"Will they have babies?" Primula looked at Drogo who shrugged so she
sighed and looked at her son. "Perhaps someday Frodo most married
folks have little ones eventually." "Good I want a merry lad to
play with some day." Some day…. Little Frodo closed his eyes he
could almost see him. A happy little lad with dark golden curls
and a happy face they would play together someday. He opened his
eyes his Mum was staring at him concerned calling to him. "Frodo,
wake up lad, eat your supper." He smiled like a ray of sunshine
and finished his meal. All the while thinking a merry lad, merry
lad, Merry. He knew someday he would know him his cousin would be
called Merry and he would give him the name.
The next days passed slowly for Primula and most definitely for
Frodo. Her son was driving her to distraction. Frodo was normally
a child that occupied himself and rarely needed to be redirected. Since
learning that Saradoc and Esme would soon be home the child was a
bundle of energy. He could not sit still or concentrate as she
usually did when problems arose with Frodo she found herself thinking
of Uncle Bilbo. Bilbo had a way with the boy there was something
between them that neither she nor Drogo had with him. They would
watch him for hours with Bilbo he was a different hobbit with him. He
glowed whenever Bilbo spoke of traveling and of elves and distant
lands. Sometimes he would get a dazed distant look in his eyes and
Primula feared that Frodo would one day take after her ancestors and
travel. She had called on Bilbo before and she had done it again
he was sure to arrive soon. Bilbo would keep Frodo occupied for
the next 24 hours until the newlyweds got back.
The knock at the door startled her for a moment as she had become lost
in thought. "Frodo, get the door luv". Frodo jumped
up and ran for the door and opened it. "Bilbo"!!! He leapt in his
arms giving him a warm hug and hanging on. "Mum its Bilbo!"
Bilbo did his job; it was one of his favorite things to do.
Primula always apologized for bothering him and of course to keep up
his image as the grumpy bachelor he grumbled over it. But Bilbo
could not think of another Hobbit child or adult that he would rather
spend time with then Frodo Baggins. He often pondered his wisdom
at declaring bachelorhood so young. He had never any desire to be bound
in marriage. He was bound to his life of travels and excitement there
was no room for settling down.
Yet Frodo made him question his decision. Every time he was with the
lad he wished he had a son like Frodo. It was as it had been at his
birth, it always would be He and the lad had connected. Frodo had
always been his child deep in his heart it was so no matter who his
genetic parents were. Frodo was his kindred spirit and they would
always be somehow connected. Still Bilbo yearned for the lads'
presence he was incomplete with out him. He visited Buckland more
now than he had his entire life and when Primula asked for help he
He and Frodo had spent the morning walking near the river. Frodo
loved the river, Bilbo still found this odd in a Baggins yet he is a
Brandybuck also he reminded himself. Skipping rocks was of great
interest and Frodo spent time doing just that. It was a mindless
activity and it was somehow relaxing. Bilbo told him his tales as
he wandered in search of the perfect smooth rock to bounce.
Bilbo had just recounted a tale from his travels. The elves of
Rivendel are a wondrous folk he had said. Suddenly Frodo sat down
and began to stare and listen intently. Bilbo smiled at him the
lad surely loved the elves. "Rivendell is the most perfect place
in the whole of Middle Earth, Frodo. His voice took on a chanting
quality with a soothing tone. Perfect whether you like eating or
sleeping or singing or just sitting and thinking or a little of all of
these. Time has no meaning there and you could spend a lifetime
learning the ways of the elves and still know no more than a fraction
there is to know." He looked at Frodo his eyes gleamed with tears
in them and he stared off. Bilbo looked closer and the lad was
barely breathing just light gasps escaped him as he stared past him
looking at nothing.
"Frodo are you all right?" He called to his young nephew, "Frodo!"
"What" he shook his head and focused on Bilbo.
"Are you alright lad?"
"Yes, yes I'm fine my shoulder pains me just a bit, really Bilbo now what was it you were saying?"
Bilbo stared mouth agape wondering what he had just witnessed. It
was Frodo who had spoken but his voice had not been that of a child. It
had been the voice of an adult hobbit and it spoke of command and of
worries and of fear. And pain? He looked into Frodo's
eyes again and the moment had passed he was again a carefree lad in the
"Tell me more about the elves Bilbo!"
And so he did.
The unease that Bilbo felt did not fade it nagged at him and bothered
him though he could not imagine what he had seen or why it was
distressing. Clearly Frodo had no recollection at least he did not
mention it. Bilbo hid the anxiety and filed away the information
for future use. And as typical of Hobbits eventually forgot about
He and Frodo whiled away the day and finally it was time for bath and
bed. Bilbo sat in the great hall by the fire reading and relaxing
and waiting. Frodo had promised to come to him to say goodnight after
his bath. And it was for this that Bilbo waited.
He heard him before he saw him singing of key and bounding into the
room. His skin flushed from the hot water and the scrubbing. Clad
in a night shirt wet dark hair clinging to his skin he came running to
Bilbo and jumped into his lap shivering, "Its cold out here" He
said. Bilbo rubbed his arms up and down now lad not by the fire
it isn't. Bilbo pulled the throw off the chair and wrapped the
lad in it and sat him on his lap. "One more story Bilbo
please." He looked up at his Uncle with pleading blue eyes and
laughed he knew he would have his tale and anything else he asked
for. Bilbo was far too easy a target. Frodo never asked too
much though he knew somehow that Bilbo loved him much as his Da
did. And as much fun as it was he did not wish to take from Bilbo
he only wanted to give. So in payment for the tale he snuggled
under Bilbo's chin in the crook of his arm and told him. "I love
you Bilbo". And the story began.