The Fellowship of the Toys

by Peregrine

Chapter 5: The Wild

The street ended and a long hill of crumbling concrete and mud and dirt sloped away into a small field that, in turn, melted away into a scruffy little woodland. Aravan easily made the jump, flying and gliding down to the fairly level ground. Dirk bounced and bounded after. The snow here was very deep, but very hard and so they could stand right on top of it. Brego came next, slipping and sliding down the muddy and snowy bank and crunching across the glittering snow towards where Dirk and Aravan stood. Treebeard just slid down upon his big root-like feet and managed to keep from tripping when he hit the bottom.

Camel was another story. He found the whole idea of going into the wild quite stupid and he did NOT want to be walking around in the cold with crazy Elves and Men. What did he look like--a donkey? No! He was a camel and he would not be degraded so. So, snorting and growling, he turned and started walking back towards home.

"Wha--where are you going?" Legolas cried.

Camel did not answer but only trotted all the faster.

"Well, stop!" Aragorn hollared, yanking at Camel's reins. Camel growled and ran faster.

"Oh, you stupid, stubborn camel!" Legolas swore. And he yanked hard on the reins and hauled the angry camel to a stop. Camel spit and growled and made some very crude remarks about Elves and how they were always a pain in the--

"Now that was uncalled for!" Legolas shouted, fed up with the camel by now. Camel sneered. "Well, bad attitude or not, you are turning around this instant and going down that hill. NOW!"

Why should he? Camel snorted and refused to move.

"This camel is stupider than I feared." Aragorn sighed. "Maybe he's really a donkey or something."

Camel looked back at him in horror. A donkey! Didn't he just SAY he wasn't? Well, he show this stupid plastic human who was a donkey and who was a CAMEL. And with a grunt and a snort, Camel turned around and galloped towards the end of the road. He leaped and slid down and ran into Treebeard. The miny Ent toppled forward and *crunch!* landed in the snow. Camel grunted and sneered back at the two upon his back as if to say, See? Who's the donkey now?

"Well, it's about time you two got down here." Frodo said. "The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can go home."

"Why are you coming anyway?" Aragorn on Brego asked. "I mean, you are not having much fun."

Frodo looked at him in horror.

"YOU MADE ME!"

"Oh. Right. Anyway, let's go."

Frodo's jaw dropped, but he said nothing.

The little caravan of Dragons and a camel and a horse and a . . . Tree-Man . . . thing . . . walked across the hard-packed snow towards the scruffy trees. No one noticed the dark hawk glaring down at them from above. And no one saw it take flight and follow them along their path.

* * *

The trees seemed very, very far away and didn't seem to get any closer, though they seemed to have been walking for hours. Brego and Aragorn had taken the lead, with Treebeard following. Aravan flew above them and Dirk bounded along beside them. Camel grumbled to himself and plodded after.

Legolas started to whistle. It was just a simple Elvish tune, but it was a happy one. And the others seemed to perk up a bit. But it wasn't long before Legolas's voice turned to a piercing shriek.

"Jeeze, Legolas!" Aragorn cried from behind him. "Where did you learn to do THAT!?"

"That wasn't me!" he protested.

"Don't blame us!" Legolases chimed from above.

"Well...it sounded like.......a......"

*skree!*

"HAWK!!!!" Frodo cried in horror, pointing up at the dark shape swooping down at them. Aravan dove out of the way as the feathered missle slashed passed. Dirk bounded away, twisting and twirling to keep out of range. But the hawk was not interested in Hobbits or horses or camels or Men. He wanted that flying lizard and the little Elves on its back.

****.