The Fellowship of the Toys

by Peregrine

Chapter 8: The More the Merrier

Frodo yawned and stretched. It was Christmas day--or so the Big Ones had mentioned--and now the house was empty. Well, nearly so. The hounds were locked up far below, so the Big Ones would be back before the next day. Which meant no big adventures any time soon.

Good.

Frodo paced back and forth atop his books. Dirk slept beside him, with the Legolases standing just below upon the shelf. Aravan dozed upon his table across the room, while Camel growled absently above them upon his little shelf.

And though the day was lazy and quiet, there was an air of couriosity as well. Peregrine had come in earlier, her arms near to over-flowing with gifts. She had been talking to herself, again, while setting something upon Camel's high shelf. Frodo had only caught snippets of her conversation:

"...sure to love you three. Sam, too. Sooner or later, I'll introduce you."

And then she had left. The house had grown quiet not soon after and now Frodo found himself wondering who the "Three" were. Well, it had been long enough. He wanted to find out.

"Hey, Legolases, are you awake?" he called down. Both Legolases looked up at the same time.

"Yes." They said.

"Good." Frodo said. Then, taking a deep breath, he shouted, "Who's up there?"

Dirk started awake and Aravan leapt into the air, circling once before settling down again. Camel growled angrily. The Legolases, though startled, made no move.

"Up where?" a tiny voice answered from Camele's shelf.

"Up there. On Camel's shelf!" Frodo hollared.

"Us." a second tiny voice answered, this one slightly gruffer than the first.

"Who's us?"

"Why don't you come up here and find out yourself?" the second voice snapped. Frodo smiled. If he didn't know better, he would have thought Camel suddenly learned how to talk.

"Very well!" Frodo answered. He looked down at Legolases, but they nodded before he could say a word.

"We will take you up, for we would see as well." Legolases said. They both whistled as one and moments later Aravan flew down. One of the Legolases, the one with the shield skateboard, kicked off the shield and helped Frodo down. Holding him still, he jumped down to Aravan's back where first Legolas already waited. As soon as they were seated, Aravan took off. He flew once about the room before landing carefully on the shelf, for with Camel and the model ship, the Interceptor, it was quite crowded. Landing there, the Legolases and Frodo dismounted. Aravan retreated to the bed across the room so he did not add to the crowd atop the shelf.

Standing atop the flat platform, Frodo and Legolases looked around for the newcomer. They spotted them quickly, and Frodo's mouth fell open in shock.

It was a FOURTH Legolas--and Gimli, as well! And they were mounted atop Legolas's white steed, Arod, the horse, in turn, standing atop a plastic-grass stand to keep him upright when in a running pose. But they--the horse included--were SMALLER THAN FRODO! Indeed, Gimli couldn't have been more than an inch tall, Legolas just slightly taller than he. Arod barely came passed Frodo's waist, not even for the taller Legolases.

"What the . . . you're tiny!" Frodo cried in astonishment. Camel, towering behind them, uttered a sound like a laugh. Gimli, mounted behind Legolas, waved his tooth-pick ax.

"Who are you calling tiny?" he roared--his gruff voice sounding small and distant though he was but a few inches away.

"Well, you!" Frodo gaped. "I mean, I'm a Hobbit and I'M taller than you!"

Gimli growled and jumped off of Arod's back. Standing upon his own two feet, Gimli barely came passed Frodo's knee--if he was even that tall. His plastic beared bristled angrily and he swung his ax in a threatening manner. But before he could do anything--though Frodo had doubts that he could have done any real harm--Tiny Legolas leaped from Arod's back and jumped in front of Gimli, halting his steps. Arod came up behind them, leaving his plastic-grass stand behind.

"Hold, Gimli!" he said, his voice even higher-pitched than Gimli's. "They are friends. See, there behind him are my taller kin."

Legolases raised their bows in greeting and Legolas raised his Rohan sword in turn.

Gimli growled--sounding like a tiny Camel--and glared at Frodo.

"But this pip-squeak called my TINY!" he accused, jutting his ax in Frodo's direction.

"Pip-squeak?" Frodo cried. "Who are you calling pip-squeak? I could kick you half way across the room!"

"I dare you to try!" Gimli growled. Frodo looked like he would have liked to, but just then a voice from below halted all of them.

"Mr. Frodo?"

Frodo gasped and ran to the edge of the shelf, looking down towards the open door. And there, standing in the doorway and dressed in orc armor just like himself was--

"Sam!" Frodo cried in joy. He whistled and Aravan flew up to bring him back down to the ground. When Frodo was upon the carpet, he flew back up for the others.

"Sam!" Frodo cried again and he ran for the other Hobbit. The two embraced and Sam grinned like an idiot.

"Oh, Mr. Frodo, I thought I'd lost you!" Sam said. "But when I asked Aragorns and Legolas and Treebeard where you'd gone, they said you were here. And here you are, bless me!"

Frodo laughed and hugged Sam again.

Aravan landed behind Frodo and Legolases with Tiny Legolas and Gimli--Arod, too--stepped down to the ground and ran up to see Sam. Sam hugged Legolases, but when he saw the others, his eyes flew wide.

"Bless me, but you're--"

"Don't say it, lad." Gimli warned, thumbing his ax. Sam clamped his mouth shut.

Well, we are nearly all here!" Frodo said. "We have Aragorns, Legolaseses, Gimli, you, me . . . all we need now are Merry, Pippin, Gandalf and Boromir and we have the Fellowship--not to mention Treebeard!"

"Yes, that's wonderful, Mr. Frodo." Sam grinned. "And like I've always said, the more, the merrier!"