Bucklebury's LotR Parody

An ongoing role-play parody by various fans on Bucklebury.net

Shortcut to Mushrooms

Frodo was pleased that they had conquered the challenge of the Road.   Feeling confident that he could face down any other challenges that might come his way with just as much ease and aplomb, he shouldered his light pack and set off across the fields again with Sam puffing along behind him.
 "What's that?" Sam asked, pointing to a sign nailed to a tree they were passing.
 Frodo paused to glance at it.  "I'm not sure. It says...hm...."NO HUNTIN, NO TRESPASSIN, I HAVE DOGS"
 "Dogs?" Sam looked a bit puzzled.
Frodo considered it as they started walking again. "Beats me.  Why would someone put up a sign on a tree in the middle of nowhere telling people they have a dog?  Unless this is...."
 He stopped so suddenly Sam crashed into the back of him, making them both stagger for balance.
 "Farmer Maggot's land!"

One of Cerberus's three heads suddenly caught a strange scent on the breeze and came to attention. One of his other heads was gnawing a bone while the remaining head was taking a snooze and polluting the air with his snores. The thinking head growled low in his throat, trying to make heads or tails of the strange smell which was so faint he almost didn't notice it. 

It smelled like hobbit, but mingled with it was a strange sort of smell, rather like burning asphalt, as if a hobbit had been dragged along the road a good ways. 
Farmer Maggot looked up from sharpening his scythe and saw Cerberus's nose wriggling and his brow wrinkled in confusion. "Eh, Fluffy, wachoo goin' on about then? You smell sumpin funny?"

Sam was terrified. He turned straight around and started running. Frodo was following close behind. They soon came to the road again so they turned around and went slightly north this time. As they ran through the tall corn stalks, they decided that they were safe
for a while. Frodo had gotton ahead of Sam, and he had a hard time trying to find his master. "Mr. Frodo? Mr. Frodo? Where are you??"
He heard some giggling and he quickly turned his head around. The stalks rustled and the giggling continued. It sounded like two voices.
One of the voices stopped and said in a very freightening and possessed-like tone,
"They are coming for you, Sam....Those big dogs...and their teeth." The voices cackled, and Sam fled. He ran into a very confused Frodo...

"Sam, watch where you're going!  I feel so confused right now... which way do we run?  And why are we running, again? And what was that that Gandalf told you right before we left?"
 "Er...not to ever lose you."
 "Oh right - that was it."
 "How did you know?"
 "I eavesdropped."
 "You eavesdropped?"
 "Yeah. So, the point is....."
 "When did you eavesdrop?" asked Sam, with a strange expression on his face.
 "When I was outside the parlor window, when you and Gandalf were packing up to go."
 "You were under the window."

"Yeah.  I was just scattering some cutlery on the verge for Lobelia, to keep her happy while we were gone, you know.  Anyway, the point is..."
 "You were under the window, eavesdropping?"

"YES! Why do you keep repeating that? As I was saying, we shouldn't need to panic like this.  We're perfectly safe, right? There's no dogs here right now, and I mean, we're still in the Shire so what could possibly happen to us?"

Somewhere in the Wild...

Aragorn had gotten completely lost in the trees for two days now and was relieved when he finally emerged into the sunlight.  He pulled twigs out of his tangled hair and looked around. Noting a river nearby, the thought of juicy fish occurred to him as a good idea for dinner.  
He headed down to the edge of the river and cast about for a good stick that would serve as a pole.  A large willow stood near, partially shading the riverbank, and it looked like a likely place to get a good supple stick. He reached up to a likely looking one to break it off...

Aragorn selected a nice branch of willow to use as a fishing pole and tried to snap it off.  He was quite surprised when the branches suddenly whipped around him and propelled him towards the trunk of the tree!   The tree opened up before him, it's long barky tongue wabbling about as it tasted his lanky hair.  It suddenly shuddered with revulsion and tipped him into the river.

Gasping and spitting, he floundered over to the other side and clambered out on the bank.  The tree, across the water now, was desperately wiping it's mouth with wads of grass, like it was trying to get rid of a bad taste.

He picked up another likely looking stick that was already laying by itself and went off to find some worms for bait.

Back in the Field...

 Sam and Frodo stood where they were, catching their breath and looking around at the peaceful, quiet cornfield.
 "I said - What could possibly happen?!" repeated Frodo, looking very expectant about something.
 The corn rustled.

In the distance they could hear the sound of a dog barking - or maybe it was three dogs.  Or maybe it was one dog with three heads.
He turned to Sam. "You think we're the only ones in this field?"

"No sir, beggin your pardon though, sir, I think your cousins are up to something." The sound of two very disgruntled hobbits was heard...it went something like this: "Ah! He knows....Shhh! not if we're quiet!....Of course he knows, Pip....No he doesn't!....yes he does!....shut up! they can hear us!....."
More rustling of leaves was heard and then silence. Frodo gave Sam a look then walked in the direction of the sounds. He pulled the corn stalks apart and saw.....a three-headed dog? Frodo started running and grabbed Sam with him. As they ran, they ran into none other than Merry and Pippin, who also had been running....
On the borders of the Shire...

After way too many detours the Nine had finally breached the Shire. However, they had yet to find their quarry. 
Witch King:  Ok everyone, its about time to admit it, we're lost. 

Enquea (petting Fluffy): Well, that hobbit back there was about to give us directions til big scary guy over there got all uppity with that dog.
Neyla:  Hey! I'm just naturally scary.  At least I didn't go cut the nice old one's head off
Cantea: He was looking at me funny!  Besides, I needed the practice.  

Witch King: Enough you three! Because you can't get along with the group, you get to take point. I thought I smelled something up the road a piece. Stunk like hobbit and a really nasty dog. 
 Enquea: Why me!  I didn't get us lost!
 Attea:  Haven't you figured it out, we don't want you around.
 Otsea:  Yeah, we're supposed to be big, scary, and manly.  You're just scary. 
 (The other eight chuckle)
 Neyla:  Face it,  I mean,  your room in Minas Morgrul, oh please.  
 Witch King:  Sauron's scared you might get that place looking down right homely.  
 Toldea: And the bows in the horse...
 Enquea: But Fluffy likes pink!
 Witch King:  Whatever, just go get that hobbit.  
 Enquea slinks in the saddle and rides off half crying.

In Farmer Maggot's corn field...

Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin all went down in one huge tangle of legs, arms, backpacks, cheese, bread, sausages, vegetables and good fresh corn, creating a nice afternoon tableau that reminded them all of a good hot stew and made them hungry when they thought back on it later.

But for now Frodo lay stunned with the breath a bit knocked out of him wishing Pippin wasn't quite so heavy.
What in the world were his cousins doing out here?  He wasn't even to the Ferry much less Buckland!

Mephistopholes the black poodle raced up to the edge of the bank and stared at the hobbits in a pile far below as they tried to disentangle themselves from their packs, sausages, and each other's arms and legs. He had tried to catch up with the running bunch but was delayed avoiding Farmer Maggot's wild scythe waving.   Sometimes the old hobbit got a bit carried away with the cranky curmudgeon "Get out of my yard" bit.

Mephistopholes sighed. He had intended to catch up to the hobbit with the Ring and offer to do a deal with him in exchange for his soul, but he muttered, "Oh well, perhaps half-size hobbit souls wouldn't do me that much good anyway."
Hearing hoofbeats in the distance, he decided perhaps he'd just hitch a ride with one of the Nazgul. He had an appointment to keep with Dr. Faustus anyway.

Pippin groaned and said
"Honestly Sam Gamgee you have all the sense of humour of a Sandyman sometimes. Why'd ye push me down a hill just on account of the old "children of the corn" joke? I mean we weren't in any danger, just busy lifting a few spare corncobs. 
The heads of Farmer Maggot 's oversized hound get confusedif there's enough people to chase and usually it ends up with Maggott up
a tree."
He got up and dusted himself off, "Oh look Mushrooms!"

In Isengard...

Gandalf finally arrived at The Wizard's Vale and stopped.  He climbed off his horse and began searching in his saddlebag. "Ahh," he said as he grabbed the currycomb and brushed down what he could get to of the horse without removing the saddle. Then he grabbed one of the "elfbrushes" that Galadriel had given him years ago and applied it to his robes. As he moved the brush over his robes the travel stains disappeared. Then he slid the other brush over his hair, which became clean and tangle-free.
It is not good to visit the head of the Wizard order in disarray. He did realize there was a good chance of getting dirty again between here and The Tower, but at least the grime of the trip from Hobbiton to here would be gone. He looked at his clean robes as he put away the brushes and smiled. Galadriel's brushes have come in handy in many occasions before now, but Gandalf felt that this meeting was going to be a very important one - he had to look his best. 
He mounted his trusty and tired steed and looked down into the Vale. By going straight through the Vale, angling south he should be able to get to the gates in the ring-wall faster and then across the treed courtyard of Isengard he should reach Orthanc in short order.  He set the horse in motion and they started off moving quickly into a gallop.

Below Maggot's field...

Frodo slowly sat up and tried to regain his breath.  He looked over at the mushrooms warily.
"I don't know, Pip....with Farmer Maggot living around here, my bet is those mushrooms are booby-trapped in some way. I bet they explode when you touch them, or have a bear-trap hidden under them or something.  Watch for any trip-wires!"

Sam hadn't payed any attention to what Frodo said. He was bent on getting to those mushrooms before that rascal. When mushrooms were involved, you didn't want to mess with Sam Gamgee, master gardener.
He scampered to the mushrooms and plucked one out of the ground. Immediately a net scooped him up and tied him up onto the tree branch just above.
"Help....somebody?" Sam felt very silly, and as the other three hobbits stared up at him in his little bundle, Merry and Pippin snickered and giggled at him. Frodo tried to figure out what to do...

Pippin giggled.
"Thanks Sam!"  and leaving Frodo & Merry who are obviously more interested in getting him out of the net first to get on with it, attends to the more important things in a hobbits life and bags up the rest of the shrooms!

Sam shot a resentful glare at Pippin from his spot in the net. He took a bite of the mushroom he managed to get. Merry, at the moment, was on Frodo's shoulders, trying to reach Sam, but not succeeding too well. Sam was just too high for those too hobbits to reach.  He let out a sigh. "Pippin!!!"

 "Eh?! Oh... I see (sigh) hang on a second"   Putting the bag of shrooms down a goodly ways away from where it is likely Sam would fall, he trotted back to begin climbing with Frodo and Merry.
"Hang on Sam, won't be long now... he, he, he, do you get it? 'Hang on..? He he, ... oh well"  and began tugging at the knots.

Frodo began to stagger under their combined weight. 
"Hurry up!" he groaned, and went back to trying to hold his breath as Merry's foot was none to savory and was right by his face.
The knots were nearly undone when he suddenly thought of something.  "Wait! If you just undo the knots, won't Sam fall? And what about those dogs? I can still hear them."
 He shifted their weight again.
 "Sam, can you climb down us, like a ladder? And hurry?"
 In his pocket, the Ring squeaked happily.  Frodo considered what might make the Ring happy. It was not a pleasant thought.
 "Uh, guys we may need to....I think there may be a...well, let me just say that maybe we should hide sometime soon..."  

Just as Sam began to climb down over Pippin and Merry, Frodo's legs suddenly gave way and they all tumbled to the ground, dangerously near the Road which was flowing along rapidly enough to be foaming with mud at the edges.

Farmer Maggot growled as yet another cornstalk slapped him in the face as he struggled through the field to see what his dogs were fussing about.
"Trespassers left and right ... no respect for property any more ... young rascals ... need a good thrashing ..." Farmer Maggot grumbled.  He reached the lane that ran through the field but there was no one in sight.  
Fluffy of the three heads kept up with the chase as long as he could but the mental strain was finally too much for him. He fell behind in a slobbering pile as his heads began to chase each other. Mephistopheles seemed to have given up the chase, and Fang was still cowering in the corner of the house shaking from his brief encounter with that strange black rider asking directions to the Shire. Only Grip was left with him now, and Grip seemed more interested in rolling in something smelly on the ground than chasing trespassers. "Worthless dog," Maggot grumbled. "Oughta feed you to the next troll that wanders into the Marish."
 He decided he'd better head on over towards his secret mushroom stash near the road. He needed a refreshing snack after that long fruitless chase. There was no safer place to grow mushrooms than by the roadside -- travellers got a tempting whif as they were swept along the road but there was no danger of them being stolen unless someone found his secret path down the steep slope from his cornfield. "He he he," he muttered, "not much chance of that." Poor Farmer Maggot talked to himself a lot. He spent most of his time in the fields with no one to hear him but the scarecrow and his dogs, and the scarecrow didn't usually talk back.
"Now I know that path is around here somewhere," he said as he reached the end of the field and poked around in the bushes. Just then he heard the unmistakable whiz, whang, and holler of a hobbit being snapped up in a trap. Farmer Maggot broke into a run. "Young varmint's done got into my 'shrooms! I knew there was funny bidness goin' on! Haven't had a mushroom robbery since that Baggins brat left with that weird uncle of his for Hobbiton." 

Farmer Maggot stopped suddenly, remembering that that Black Rider had been asking about Baggins. Hmmm, maybe there was something more going on than a simple mushroom  nabbing. Maggot got a tighter grip on his scythe and headed down the path ...

Frodo heard someone coming and began to panic.  Who was it and where could he hide?  He looked around frantically. 
"Get on the Road!" he cried to his cousins as a scythe came bobbing over the edge of the slope above them.
He dived onto the Road, and was swept along even more rapidly than he had expected as he struggled to the other side of it.  He was whipped around a light bend and finally managed to lunge at a treebranch that extended out far enough to grab, hauling himself back off on the other side.  The tree was partly eroded away, so he slipped down into it's hollow just to be extra safe. He could hear the cries of the others but wasn't sure if they were the cries of approaching hobbits on the Road or cries of victims of a deranged mushroom farmer!

Back in Isengard...

Gandalf made good time to the base of Orthanc Tower.   He had continued up the main path through the trees as he saw no one to greet him at the gates. As he rode up and dismounted from the horse in one fluid movement  then patted the horse's neck and gave him the apple he had grabbed of the tree as he passed it a moment ago. He looked about, still not seeing anyone he called for "Saruman!" 

As he continued to call Saruman's name he mounted the steps meaning to knock on the door He was surprised Saruman rarely leaves Isengard.
'He knew I was coming,' the wizard thought.  'Perhaps he's out back, knocking is only courteous before traipsing thru the backcourtyards. Of course I'd hate to drag him out of the bath or disrupt a spell.' 
That last, thought made the grey robed man pause. A disrupted spell could create a disaster... Gandalf sat on the on the second highest step, just before the landing for the door, pondering what to do. Saruman had asked him to come, but where was he?
Beside the Road on the edge of Maggot's land...

Farmer Maggot arrived at the end of the path just in time to witness Frodo's outburst of paranoia. "Why, it IS that fatheaded Baggins squirt," he exclaimed. "I knew he was afraid of my dogs, but this is a bit much." Rather miffed that he should be snubbed by an old neighbor, Maggot watched Frodo disappearing around the bend.

For a moment, a bit of nostalgia got in Maggot's eye and made it water as remembered the merry chases he and Frodo had enjoyed when he was a lad (well, Maggot had enjoyed them -- Frodo's opinion of the episodes was open for debate, but his recent behavior indicated that his memories of Farmer Maggot were less than fond). 
"Wait, come back!" Maggot hollered after Frodo. "Let's have another race across the field, just for old time's sake!"   

Grip the rat terrier and Killer the vicious miniature dachshund were meanwhile scratching an ear and drooling with mouth open and glazed look, respectively, but after a prompting from Farmer Maggot's foot, they directed a snarl at the other hobbits who reacted too slowly to follow Frodo's lead.

Frodo scrunched down into the rotting wood of the hollow tree, and hoped his friends were not being torn to shreds by Maggot and his dogs.  He has almost given up hope of ever seeing them again when he remembered - 
Sam carried sausages!  

Perhaps they had a way of bribing their way out of it after all.  The Ring squeeped like a tribble.  He smacked it and told it to shut up, then realized he was talking to a piece of jewelry.  But still...you'd think it was trying to give away his position or something!
Sam, Merry, and Pippin were backed into a corner....or, rather, against a very large tree. Sam was very nervous, as Grip was staring at him, and licking his lips. "What do I do? How will I get out of this?"
 "Well, where are you at?"
Sam was startled, but then realized it was Bill. "Oh, hello Bill. I'm right next to the road, being looked at by hungry dogs and an angry farmer with a pitchfork....very much like Barliman I might add..."
 "Oh, ok...by the road you say? Do you have food?"
 "Well, yes, I have some sausage here."
 "Throw one onto the road."
 "WHAT?! That's my food! My sausage!  My own! My precious!"
 "Do you want to be Grip's food, sausage, or precious??"
Sam sighed. He threw a piece of sausage out onto the road, and immediately, the dogs chased it...and of course, Farmer Maggot didn't want to lose his dogs, so he dived after them, sending the whole group winding down the road.
 Merry and Pippin stared at Sam. "How'd you think of doing that??"   Sam just shrugged and Merry and Pippin grinned. "I think we may have another accomplice!" 

They walked down to where Frodo had stopped, and they jumped across the road. (Sam had an easier time here, as the road was thinner).
 "Ahem....I'm waiting."
It was Bill.
 "Oh, um, yeah, thanks Bill."
 "No Problem!"

Frodo cringed as he heard the most unholy racket approaching - it was an indescribable blend of howling, snarling and cursing, and there were some other sounds there too, like slobbering and chewing!
It was drawing closer...and closer!  And.....
zipping past into the distance.
Small bits of dirt and treebark hit him on the nose as a movement above him revealed....

Merry and Pippin, and then Sam!  After all the building up of dread and imagining the worst, he was so astonished all he could do was gape at them for a moment. Then the Ring burbled again, and a sense of forboding grew that somehow, even with the sound of the dogs diminishing into the distance it still would be prudent to hide.  
 "Get down here!" he hissed at them, " Quick!" As they scrambled down under the roots with him he added, "And what happened up there anyway? Where did Farmer Maggot go? Are you all right?"

In the Wild...

Aragorn was, by now, covered from head to toe with dirt. Not that that was unusual for him, but it was new dirt seeing as most of it had been washed off in the river before.
At long last, he triumphantly stuck his hand in the hole he had been digging in the bank and grabbed a worm. It was getting a little bit late and in the shadow of the trees, he couldn't actually see the worm.  He just trusted that there would be at least one there somewhere.
Taking it out into the sunlight, he held it up and shook off the dirt to examine it. His face wrinkled up in disgust. It was surely the most puny earthworm he had ever seen. He threw it away and went back to digging again.

A short while later, at another hole a little further from the river, he again looked over his handful of worms. They were reasonable, but the fact that there were more of them and that they were fatter and bigger here led him to try even a little further in that same direction. 

...plus the fact that at the moment the trees were none too agreeable about him having hacked through some of their roots to get at the ground, and he was tired of being pelted with twigs.  He moved away from the river and dug once more. Sure enough, the worm he pulled up was bigger and fatter again.  He repeated this a couple more times, then paused and calculated in his head.  At the rate the worms were getting bigger, the Mother of All Bait must be some distance off...that way. and it was gonna be a whopper! 
And so he journeyed Northward, or at least what he guessed to be Northward. He wasn't quite sure.
Under a log...

Frodo waved his hand in front of the faces of the others.  "Uh...guys?  Hello?"

He was about to continue in his efforts to get them to say something when he remembered that he was the one who had told them to get down and hide in the first place. Duh!
They crouched under the log and snarfed down some of the sandwiches that Sam had brought topped off with the fresh veggies from Maggot's field. Then they froze, mouths still stuffed with food and listened as a sound approached.  It sounded like something on the Road - something....noisy and strange!
A heavy sense of foreboding and oppression was suddenly accompanied by the most awful noise they had ever heard.  If they had been from our modern era they would have recognized it as the sound of a fast moving subway screeching its brakes in a tunnel. It rapidly grew closer and closer!...
Frodo looked up just in time to see a dark horse and rider whipping past on the Road. "Hi!" called the horse in cheerful greeting as it was swept past them.  The rider on it's back seemed to be the source of all that terrible screeching, but before Frodo could decide what to do about it or even whether or not to reply to the horse, it was shooting around the bend and receding into the distance.
"What was that?" Merry asked him, round-eyed. 
"I'm not sure, but let's get out of here before it comes back!"

They headed rapidly away from the main Road, following Merry who was more familiar with this neck of the woods. The day was getting late and they hadn't even reached Buckland -  would their food supplies hold out?