Young Frodo

by Overlithe

Part 9  Surviving Parenthood

            Master Beriac Brandybuck was the best healer in Buckland. He had cared for all the most prominent hobbits in the area and Drogo trusted him.  The two rushed into and through Brandyhall.  They did not slow as they came through the door but Drogo froze as he entered and saw his wife sitting cradling Frodo.  The child hung limply from her arms his breathing shallow and rapid.  His skin was flushed in his face and his chest but his arms and legs were a blotchy odd color.  Primula had tears in her eyes and looked to the healer pleadingly.  “I..I don’t know what to do for him, please help him Beriac!”

            He took the child from her arms and quickly placed him on the bed to examine him.  After a few moments he turned Drogo and Primula, “his fever is very high!  I’ll need a basin of very warm water first of all we must get this fever down.  Drogo get the water. Primula you will tell me exactly what happened.”

            Primula gathered he wits and sat on the bed stroking Frodo’s hair.  “He awoke screaming as if in pain.  He is always so quiet we knew something was amiss.  I picked him up and noticed the fever.  I tried to feed him to calm him and then he vomited.  After Drogo left he kept crying then all of a sudden he tensed up his whole body was rigid.  He stopped crying after that but his skin was even warmer and he has been limp and lifeless since.”  With those final words she began to cry.  “What is wrong with him doctor?”

            “Now Primula, He is quite ill but it is probably naught than a cold with a high fever.  A high fever can cause all the things you have said.” Beriac patted her on the shoulder.

Drogo returned with the basin, “Why do we want hot water if he has a fever?”

Beriac began to lightly sponge down Frodo as he patiently answered the worried parents’ questions.  The water feels hot to you and I but to little Frodo here whose body is very hot it would feel like being dropped into a bucket of cold water.  We want to cool him with out causing him to shiver.  If he shivers his fever will get higher.”

Drogo nodded in understanding it made perfect sense.  “I’m sorry for asking so many questions”, he said. And shrugged his shoulders I guess we are a bit excitable over Frodo.

“How long has the child had this rash?”  Beriac asked in alarm.  Primula leaned closer, “What rash!” she asked. “Here on his back and under his arms?”  “It’s new, it was not there when I bathed him and put him to bed tonight.” Primula was sure of this she always paid close attention to Frodo’s skin it was so sensitive she needed to keep and eye on him for irritations.  His skin had been its beautiful flawless, milky white earlier.

“Perhaps he has the pox then the rash oft shows up as the fever comes on.”  Beriac was thinking aloud more than speaking to anyone.

“POX, oh no! What is pox?”

 “It is usually a fever and an itchy rash and about 2 weeks of quarantine.  I am sorry but none of you can leave your rooms until I am sure what exactly this is.”

“But will Frodo be alright?” Primula looked at her son as he lay now on the bed.  He had come too while he was being sponged and now was lying quietly looking at the stranger who was touching him.  Primula couldn’t help but smile at him he looked quite bedraggled flushed yet he smiled and cooed at his mum.

“Aye, Prim he’ll be fine the high fever lasts a few days then it just the rash.  Mind you’ll have to keep the fever down with these frequent sponge baths and keep him from a chill but he’ll be fine in no time at all.”

Primula released a breath she didn’t realize she had been holding and looked at Drogo.  She wondered how she would ever survive parenthood.  Drogo Baggins remained in the corner of the room where he had backed himself for support.  He shook his head to clear it. Had he heard correctly? Frodo would be fine?  It did not seem that it was possible a deep sense of foreboding remained in his mind.  He had seen a thing he could not explain. A waking dream it felt to be.  As he had stood looking at his sons pale form on the bed he had seen him a full grown hobbit.  It was obviously his beautiful son; there was no other like him.  He lay on a great bed with carved headboard and he was near death.  The vision passed and he tried to dismiss the uneasiness but tears crept from his unblinking eyes.  His son would survive for now.


part 10 Scandalous News


            Little Frodo recovered with out incident from his first illness. With in a week of the frightful night the fever was gone and after three weeks no trace of the ailment remained.  Frodo was again his glowing and playful self and in his parent’s eyes perfect.

The Yule had come and gone whilst the little family was confined to their home.  Pox was not a dangerous disease but no one desired to cause an epidemic.  Several other youngsters in Brandyhall had also come down with the uncomfortable disease but a wide spread outbreak had been averted.

It was a cold winter and most of the inhabitants of Buckland remained inside the hall.  It was one of the truly wonderful things about living in Brandyhall.  The community was enclosed but the quarters were large.  One could move about freely meeting with others in the common room and yet retreat to the quiet when need be.  Of course it was also a hot bed for gossip and everyone usually knew each other’s business.

Primula had been out with Frodo when she heard the rumors and though she was pleased it was a bit of a surprise.  Her dear cousin Esmeralda Took was in pursuit of a husband.  She was about to come of age and evidently she had her eyes set on a specific lad.  Primula was not surprised at all to know that her cousin intended on finding a husband.  Esmeralda was a vibrant and commanding lass and she would be a fine wife.  The news was scandalous however for she had set her sights on the Master of Buckland’s eldest son Saradoc Brandybuck.  Saradoc was all of 28 years old and her own nephew.

Primula was decidedly upset to learn that she was being blamed for the match.  She tried to recall Esme’s last visit it was before Frodo had been ill.  Before that she had visited for the funeral and stayed on to help with Frodo.  They had discussed many things during that time including the unimportance of age in a marriage.  She had thought they were discussing her own marriage as Drogo was 18 years her senior.  She hadn’t realized she was giving information on how to snare a younger lad.  Primula shook her head, “What is that lass up too.”

Primula arrived back at her rooms and sat down by the hearth in the rocker.  Frodo was hungry and was beginning to fuss.  She had ignored his earlier attempts to get her attention but there was no ignoring the hungry Baggins any longer. She smiled down at her lovely child his big blue eyes staring at her.  His arms waved around as he struggled to gain control of his limbs and touch his Mum. Primula captured his little fingers between her lips and made funny noises prompting a laugh from Frodo.  She released his hand and arranged herself for his feeding.  Then there was no sound but Frodo’s soft rhythmic breathing and the contented noises he made as he nursed.

Primula was left to contemplate the rumors and found that she hoped they were true.  Saradoc and Esmeralda would be a perfect match.  Also it would be nice to have another Took about the place and Esme was a wonderful friend.  Really there could be no better match she thought but she was sure she would soon be hearing from her brother the present master of the Hall.  Primula chuckled aloud shaking her head wondering how she had gotten stuck in the middle of the two most powerful people in the Shire.  Her laugh disturbed Frodo and she watched as he frowned his eyes closed he was nearly asleep yet again.  “Well my little Baggins things are about to get interesting around here. Just you wait and see.”  She stroked his soft short curls and bent to kiss his nose.  And he slept.