Cookies, the Doom of Men

by Linaewen


Mr. Lin sat upon the kitchen chair and cupped his chin in his hands, staring hungrily at the cookie sheet upon which sat a small number of cookies. All the cookies that had been eaten since Linaewen had left the kitchen were passing through his mind, and he recalled and pondered everything that he could remember of Linaewen's words about "don't eat all the cookies before I get back, I want to save some for sack lunches."

Suddenly he awoke from his thoughts: a strange feeling came to him that something was behind him, that hungry eyes were upon the tray of cookies. He sprang up, putting a hand out to shield the cookies; but all that he saw to his surprise was Boromir, looking very hungry.

"I was afraid," Boromir said, coming forward. "Linaewen said I could have a cookie, but I was afraid I had come too late, and they would all be eaten."

"Aren't you supposed to be dead?" asked Mr. Lin.

Boromir ignored the comment, since this was a common remark from Mr. Lin whenever the subject of the Son of Gondor came up in Linaewen's conversation.

"I see there are a few cookies left," Boromir said casually. "May I have one or two? It would comfort me. Where there are cookies on the sheet, all abstinence becomes hunger without end. But there are enough cookies here for the both of us."

"You speak truly," answered Mr. Lin, since he was also hungry. "Take one, but no more, for I do not think we should eat any more of these cookies, or Linaewen will be angry with us. She wants to save them for sack lunches."

Mr. Lin sighed heavily as he watched Boromir eat his cookie with great relish.

"Have one yourself," suggested Boromir, but Mr. Lin shook his head.

"I know I should not eat any more, but they are so tempting!" he cried. "I know what I should do, but I am too hungry to do it, Boromir: too hungry!"

Boromir looked thoughtfully and hungrily at the diminished number of cookies on the sheet. One cookie had only served to whet his appetite. After a moment, he came and sat beside Mr. Lin.

"Are you sure that you do not suffer needlessly?" he said. "I wish to help you. You need counsel in your hard choice. Will you not take mine?"

"I think I know already what counsel you would give, Boromir," said Mr. Lin. "And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning of Linaewen."

"Warning?" said Boromir sharply. "Warning against what?"

"Against gluttony. Against eating all the cookies without thinking, in my hunger. Against refusal to listen to the words Linaewen said to me before she left the kitchen, that she wished to save some cookies for sack lunches."

"And yet are not cookies made to be eaten while they are fresh -- or even before they are baked? Raw cookie dough is even better than cookies, in my opinion."

"I agree! And I do not doubt the edible nature of cookies," replied Mr. Lin. "But it is probably wise to save some and not eat them all in one sitting. Yet -- it is hard, with them just sitting there, cooling on the tray... My will power is strong, but not strong enough! If I fail, what then?"

"Then we shall fill our stomachs valiantly, in spite of the lecture from Linaewen that will follow. Yet there is still hope that Linaewen may make more cookies."

"No hope while these cookies last..."

Mr. Lin and Boromir gazed mournfully upon the remaining cookies on the cookie sheet.

"Is it not a strange fate," sighed Boromir, "that we should suffer so much hunger for so few cookies? Surely you see it, my friend?"

Boromir turned now suddenly to Mr. Lin again. "You say that you are hungry. But is it not really your good sense that revolts? If we eat all these cookies, then Linaewen will have to make more!"

Mr. Lin stared at Boromir, startled.

"This is true," he said cautiously. "Though if she cannot do it today, then there will be no cookies left for sack lunches..."

Boromir shrugged.

"As you wish, I care not," he said. "Yet these cookies are no longer fresh; have they not been sitting out for some time? Perhaps it would be better if they were eaten..."

Suddenly, Linaewen swept into the kitchen; seeing the two men standing there hovering over the tray, she stepped between them and grabbed up the remaining cookies before they could stop her.

"Now, now! What did I say about not eating all the cookies?" she scolded. "You didn't even save any for Son of Lin -- he'll be hungry when he gets home from school and there are hardly any cookies left!"

Both Boromir and Mr. Lin looked at her forlornly and hungrily, and her resolve was shaken.

"Oh, all right!" she sighed, as she divided up the rest of the cookies between them, making sure she got a fair share. "I'll make another batch!"