Young Frodo

by Overlithe

Chapter 35

Frodo awoke it was the morning of September 22, 1380.  It was his birthday; he lay awake looking up at the rich beamed ceilings of HIS room.  His own room in Bag End; he found he needed to repeat it over and over to believe it was indeed true.  It was a dream yet one that felt right.  He knew that Bag End was not his home, at least not now but he wondered if one day he would spend more than just birthdays and a few days a year in this place. 

The lad looked around the room again.  It was thoughtfully and lovingly arranged, Bilbo must have spent hours he thought.  It was just past dawn and he could hear the stirrings of the adults.  They no doubt were preparing breakfast and would be expecting him soon.  Esme would be checking to be sure he was up any moment. 

They had arrived while he was in the bath the previous night.  He heard them speaking in the room down the hall.  They spoke in hushed tones yet Frodo's keen ears had heard them.  They were concerned for him; their worry was a shadow over him.  He did not like to think that they would worry over him all day today.  And yet there was reason to worry he was sure of it.  If he were left to sit and sulk he would no doubt fall into despair.  It was after all his first birthday with out … 'them'.  It also angered him, a feeling he was unaccustomed to until this summer.  It angered him that he would not be 'allowed' to spend the day as he saw fit.  Was it not his right to grieve his parents?  He knew the answer already Saradoc had pointed it out to him, the difference between nostalgic remembrance and self-pity.  He struggled with it the understanding of it was difficult but he tried.  He knew his parents would not want him to sink into despair.

Daily he was reminded of the love that surrounded him.  It was not a replacement for his parents love for it had existed before they were gone.  It was simply the gentle reminder that he required that he was not alone nor would he be ever.

Frodo sighed and smiled to himself.  He tried to live and enjoy each day.  "But its so hard sometimes Mother", he spoke his thoughts aloud.  He closed his eyes against the burning that had begun there.  Most everyday began this way it was rather a ritual for him he would remember his loss then place it aside and go on.  It was more difficult today but he would do it as he did yesterday and would do again tomorrow.

He sat up and pulled his knees up to his chest and looked at his surroundings again.  He was glad for the loving touches, the mixture of memories mingled with the promises of the future.  They spoke of his life and whispered excitement and learning and adventure.  Indeed he would find it hard to be sad this day.  His parents would understand and he knew they would have it no other way.  His mum had never been happier than when he was joyous. 
Frodo suddenly sat very straight as if he had been prodded in his back. The thought occurred to him that he should indeed be prepared to give his parents a gift for his birthday.  His smile reached to his eyes and his face lit with an inner light.  He would give his Mum the greatest gift of all; he would be completely joyful all day.  It would be his gift to her and his Da.  He hugged his knees in closely and laughed.  Such a joy had indeed entered his heart he could not contain it.  The giggle echoed through Bag End a sound of pure mirth and unconcealed happiness.  Frodo hopped out of bed and grabbed his dressing gown and headed off to wash.  He sprang down the hall ready for the day to begin. 

Esme and Bilbo had heard the sounds from Frodo's room and at first had thought the worst.  " The lad will have troubles today" they thought.  They had discussed it the previous night but they could come to no real way to prevent it.  They in the end just decided to keep him as busy as possible.  Moments later they heard him.  The distinct sound of Frodo laughing it was not just a chuckle but a full rich sound.  The two looked at each other and wondered.  They listened further and looked to the door to the kitchen as Saradoc entered.  No one spoke they knew by his face he heard it also they sat down and listened no greater gift could Frodo have given any of them.  The high clear voice they heard from the washroom sang a familiar tune.  It was full of happiness and joy.  They heard snatches of the words, but they did not need to hear to know that the singer was a very happy hobbit Lad.  Bilbo shrugged and poured the tea and sat down across from Esmeralda and Saradoc.  Esme closed her eyes and listened.

    *~~~~Hey, ho to the bottle I go…
    To heal my heart and drown my woes…~~~~*

Esmeralda laughed as she realized that Frodo was singing the old drinking song that his Da used to sing in the Hall.  The tune was common but Drogo Baggins love to make up words and this was a particular favorite.  She had no idea Frodo knew it and it sounded odd coming from his clear high voice.  Bilbo and Saradoc looked at her and joined her in her laughter.

The tune continued sometime and then got louder as Frodo returned to his room.  He had stopped singing by the time he reached the kitchen but he hummed and was beaming. 

"Good Morning Frodo, and Happy Birthday!"  Bilbo greeted him.  Esme ushered him to a seat with a gentle hand and a kiss on his cheek.  She placed his breakfast before him.  He was still grinning as he devoured his meal.  Another gift for his Mum and for Esme…they all loved it when he ate well.  The day was planned out ahead of him and it had begun beautifully.  He wondered if he would see the little Gamgee Lad today.  He hoped so the little lad with the dirty hands was so…He found he was at a loss to describe what he felt.  He shrugged to himself and thought about the day ahead.  The music began again…he hummed a little tune as he finished eating.  Surprised at the quiet in the room and he looked at the adults who sat staring raptly at him smiling.  Frodo favored them with his crooked grin, a smirk that threatening to break into a laugh.  "What"? He asked giggling anew.

"Nothing lad, nothing. I guess we'd best get the day started then." Bilbo said. Esme and Saradoc were up and off to run some errands the fears they had earlier erased. 

Bilbo and Frodo had plans; it was after all their birthday.

Chapter 36

Frodo found himself in the garden, again.  It seemed he ended up there whenever he visited BagEnd.  The two days following his birthday had been unseasonably hot and the moist gardens on the hill were cool and inviting.  He sat and watched the Gaffer weeding and planting bulbs for hours.  He was fascinated by the things required to keep the place so perfect so beautiful.  He supposed it was such with all things; things that lasted and that were beautiful took work.  The Shire was simply peaceful and wondrous and the inhabitants all did their parts to keep their own little portions picture perfect.  Frodo sighed and rolled over onto his back looking up at the bright blue of the sky.  He blinked back a few tears of sadness.  His Mum and Da had both loved gardens and sitting looking at the beauty for so long reminded him of them.  It was, however; a good reminder happy summer days and lovely picnics came to mind and he grinned as he blinked in the warm sun. 

"What in tarnation"!  Frodo was startled by the Gaffers sudden outburst.  "Samwise what are you up to now?"  Frodo at first thought the Gaffer angry but as he sought out his face he saw he looked amused, perhaps proud.   Frodo turned to his left where the gaffer looked and there sat little Samwise.  He was covered in soil as he sat in the middle of a flowerbed.  Frodo chuckled and wondered if the child was ever clean.  He certainly had never seen him not covered in dirt. He wondered what the lad was up to and watched for a moment before he realized.

He stared in amazement as it sank in what it was that the toddler was doing.  He watched as this small lad who could not even yet speak and barely walk was pulling up plants in the garden.  Not just any plants he was selecting only the weeds that had managed to escape his gaffer's eye.  He did not touch a single blooming plant.  The gaffer knelt beside him speaking quietly to him. Frodo heard the pride and praise in his voice as Sam's Da instilled into him the love of all things green and good and the joy of a hard days work and a job well done.  "One day Samwise my Lad all of this will be yours to tend."

It was true… he knew it to be so.  Indeed it should be no surprise Sam would most likely follow his Da in his work.  But it seemed so right so perfect. Frodo saw it to be true in a sudden vision.  He saw Sam working the Gardens at BagEnd for a very long time…a very long time.  He rose and went to stand nearer the Gaffer and Sam.  Sam looked up and smiled a silly grimy grin and Frodo smiled and looked deeply into his eyes.  Yes, he thought, yes.  He closed his eyes frowning his brow creased in concentration.  But the feeling was gone for a moment he thought he could see himself and Sam and a connection between them.  It was gone but a strange feeling stayed with him and ever after he knew Sam would be someone whom he could trust in.

Frodo shook himself from his thoughts the Gaffer was speaking to him again.  "He will be a fine gardener someday Master Baggins, all the best gardeners love to play in the dirt."  Then he laughed.  Frodo nodded smiling at the lad as he continued his task.  He sat down to watch him for a while longer until finally the Gaffer collected him and took him back to his home across the field and down the hill.

Frodo looked at the sun westering and wondered where the time had gone.  He had missed at least one meal perhaps 3.  He was ravenous and as if in response he heard Bilbo call to him "Frodo… Come on lad it's supper."  Frodo hopped up and headed for the door it was his last night at Bag End and he and Bilbo had some lessons to do before bed.  But for now the delectable smell of mushrooms wafted through the air.  He ran he couldn't wait to get started.

This is the end of  "Frodo"  ~~1380 One Summer~~  so ends the recounting of the passing of Primula and Drogo Baggins.   The Frodo tales are TBC however a new year and a new slant….Frodo 1382  A long awaited friend…