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Dreamflower's Dribs and Drabs  by Dreamflower

My first attempt at a dribble.
AUTHOR'S NOTE:This was written for hobbit_ficathon on LJ. I had to incorporate the following elements:
a fire
a king
something remembered
the number five

THE LAST OF THE NINE REMEMBER

The two elderly hobbits stood in front of the hearth
drawing the welcome warmth into cold and aging bones,
the fire dispelling the chill of white stone.
A door opens, and a king enters,
quietly placing a comforting hand on
curly heads shot with grey.
Dwarf, Elf, enter now,
joining the others.
They five
Remember.

 

 25 RETHE, S.R. 1422: THE THREE TRAVELLERS REMEMBER

In the world of Men it’s called the New Reckoning:
The day the whole world was saved from darkness;
The day the Ring went into the Fire;
The day the Enemy was cast down;
The day the Shadow finally lost.
Men celebrate the day with
Pomp and songs and
Feasts and ceremonies
All to
Remember.

Remember
Frodo Baggins
Friend and cousin,
Who gave his all
His heart and his self,
And his spirit and his finger.
Who lost himself to pain and guilt--
The day the Ring went into the fire;
The day the whole world was saved from darkness.
In the Shire it’s just another fine day in spring.

(This first song traditionally is sung at Brandy Hall after the Feast of First Yule, though it is known in other parts of the Shire as well.)

BUCKLAND YULETIDE ("NO SHORTER NOW WILL GROW THE DAYS")

No shorter now will grow the days--
May the Yule log brightly blaze!

Fill the Hall with pine and holly--
Let us all be bright and jolly!

To the New Year let us raise
Songs of joy and songs of praise!

Though the nights be cold and drear
Within these walls, we’re full of cheer!

Hearts and hands, we’re all together,
Heedless of the winter weather!

Our children all are snug and warm,
Safe from want and safe from harm!

Let joy and laughter loudly ring
To the roof-beams as we sing!

Ever longer grow the days--
May the Yule log brightly blaze!

(This next song is popular throughout the Shire, and is traditionally sung as a three-part round, with the male voices beginning the first two lines, joined then by the females, and finally by the children.)

IT IS THE TURNING OF THE YEAR 

It is the turning of the year,
In the mid-winter, bleak and blear--
While the weather is dark and drear
When we find joy and good cheer!
For friends and kin from far and near
Gather with all that they hold dear.
Away with sorrow, away with fear:
And with good song, good food, good beer,
Welcome the turning of the year!

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I imagine the first song as more or less scanning to the carol "Good Christian Men Rejoice" and the second one more or less scanning to "O Come, O Come Emanuel".  These were written as part of my upcoming Marigold's Challenge 24 story.]

[AUTHOR'S FURTHER NOTE: The wonderful and talented Lindelea has composed a tune for the second one, "It Is the Turning of the Year", and it can be found at:

http://www.thedanamark.net/lj/Barbara-Turning2.mid

And now she has composed one for the first one, "Buckland Yuletide"

 http://www.thedanamark.net/lj/Barbara-Yule.mid

My thanks to Lindelea for making the tunes, and to Dana, for hosting them on her website! You guys are awesome!]


FOR ARDA

There is a world where joy is sharp as swords ,
And where pain is as beautiful as the sunrise.
And where tears and laughter fall together mingled.
In such a world we may celebrate
the quality of pure mercy transformed
Into a weapon so potent
And so mysterious that
Evil cannot stand,
By endurance
Overcome.

Arda.
Where we
Who are transfixed
By its sheer beauty,
May explore its outer boundaries
Untrammeled by the mundane and bitter
Cares of the life some call real.
There we find nobility, joy, devotion and pity
Honored and not mocked by the worldly and cynical.
We who love her pay homage to the master storyteller.

 AUTHOR: Dreamflower
RATING: G
CATEGORY: General
SUMMARY: A well-known encounter, cast into verse
AUTHOR’S NOTES: [1] Marigold’s prompt included earth, air, fire and water, and time for a task. [2] Italics indicate quotations from The Fellowship of the Ring Book I, Chapters V, VI, and VII “The Old Forest”, “In the House of Tom Bombadil” and “Fog on the Barrow-Downs”.
DISCLAIMER: Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the Tolkien Estate. I own none of them. Some of them, however, seem to own me.

TOM BOMBADIL AND THE FOUR TRAVELLERS

“Buckland has a number of traditional songs about the mysterious Tom Bombadil, who was rumored to dwell in the Old Forest by the Withywindle. This particular version did not become popular until the Fourth Age, and this is one that was widely believed to have been written by the Master of Buckland, Master Meriadoc the Magnificent, himself. There is no doubt that there are some gaffers still living, who can claim to have heard the song sung from the lips of Thain Peregrin I.” From Legends and Tales of Buckland and the Marish by Hibiscus Brandybuck-Gardner

Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow
Bright blue his jacket was, and his boots were yellow,

In the Old Forest up along the Withywindle,
Under shade and sunlight, in the dell and dingle,
By oak, ash and thorn, by earth, air, fire and water,
Tom dwelt in joy with the River-woman’s daughter,
In Tom’s house of stone, his pretty lady Goldberry,
Fair as a lily bloom, and her heart was merry.

Tom went down to riverside, each year as days grew shorter
There to fetch for his lady, lilies by the water
Lilies white and leaves of green, he brought them for her pleasure,
Time it was to do that task, to bring her such a treasure.

There he spoke with badger folk, and swans upon the water,
Teasing the kingfishers there, spying on the otter,
Plucking forth the flowers there, and as the day grew warmer
He spied across the water then his old friend, a farmer.

“Hi-Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadil-o!
News I have to bring to you, now, you merry fellow!
Through the Old Forest now hobbits are a-wandering,
Though what it all may mean, I’ve no time for pondering.”

“Why, old Maggot! This is a jolly meeting!
Thanks for the news and for the cheery greeting.
But I’ve no time for chatting, my task it cannot wait--
For my fair Goldberry, Tom would not be late!”

Now Tom turned about, his arms with flowers laden,
And turned his face to home, to the bank a-wading.
About his ruddy cheeks a gentle wind was wafted.
“Tell her I am coming” said he to the breeze with laughter,

Tom went to hurry on, lest the lilies they be wilting,
When a fair voice he heard, a lovely and a lilting.

“Ho, now!” Tom cried, “Now here is one of the Fair Folk,
Sitting up overhead, making free with branch of oak!
Making the leaves to shake, and the acorns falling!
Why have you come here, old Tom a-calling?”

“O Tom Bombadil! O oldest and fatherless!
Iarwain Ben-adar, I bring news most grievous--
Hobbits are fleeing, pursued by fell and fearsome foe,
Wraiths are coming after them, bringing weal and woe!”

“Hey-ho!” said Bombadil, “thank you for your warning!
Wraiths cannot come here, nor Tom’s lands be harming.
Tom is the Master here, and their evil cannot enter.
But now I must hurry on! My task will not be hindered!”

Tom hurried on, then, for flowers he was bringing
To his lady Goldberry, and Tom he was a-singing:

O slender as a willow-wand! O clearer than clear water!
O reed by the living pool! Fair River-daughter!
O spring-time and summer-time and spring again after!
O wind on the waterfall, and the leave’s laughter!”

Through the forest Tom did haste along the waterside,
Where the river reeds did sing and the haughty swans glide,
Home to his Goldberry, she who waited there
In his stone house under hill, in a dingle fair.
On he went a-hurrying, past birch and beech and alder
When a voice crying out did cause his steps to falter.

“Help! Help!” it called loud and clear and full of fright.
Round the river bend Tom saw a hobbit come in sight.
Fair he was for hobbit kind, his face was marred with fear,
But Tom kept on a-singing, and his voice was firm and clear.

And now another hobbit came a-running with an outcry of his own,
With their hands stretched out in plea, they made a grievous moan.

“Whoa! Whoa! Steady there! Now my little fellows,
Where be you a-going to, puffing like a bellows?
What’s the matter here then? Do you know who I am?”
They stared at Tom astonished, their eyes with tears swam.
“Tell me what’s your trouble--don’t you crush my lilies!”
“My friends are caught in the willow-tree!”
The hobbit cried. “Master Merry’s squeezed in a crack,”

Said the other, and then quickly stepping back.

For there in the forest deep, close against the river-bank
There grew an ancient Willow tree, its branches dark and lank.
Old Man Willow, whose heart was black and rotten,
Grew in his malice there, old insults not forgotten.
Once he had been the master of the forest, thick and tangled,
And he had sought to put his power forth, the legged ones to strangle.
The trees were brought by his dark power to attack the Hedge,
Moving close against it putting branches over the edge--
Crowding up and growing up, ever and ever higher.
Until hobbits put an end to it by bringing in a fire.

And now he had his victims, caught fast within his trap:
A Took and a Brandybuck, lulled into a deadly nap--
His singing had bespelled them, and they found an unwise pillow,
Cradling their heads against the Old Man Willow.

“What?” shouted Bombadil, “Old Man Willow?”
Angrily, Tom put his burden down, and began to bellow.
“Old grey Willow-man! I’ll freeze his marrow cold if he don’t behave…
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away!”

Bending down to the crack, old Tom began a-singing
All within that hollow heart his voice it was ringing,
Showing who was Master, he brought forth all his power
And Old Man Willow before old Tom did cower.
Tom smote the tree and said “You let them out again,
Old Man Willow! What be you a thinking of? You should not be waking!”

Tom, he was angry now, and his voice was quaking.
“Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Go to sleep!
Bombadil is talking!”
and he seized the hobbit’s feet.

Old Man Willow gave a groan, a mighty crack a-splitting,
And both hobbits shot forth, as though the tree was a-spitting.

The hobbits thanked old Tom, a-bowing and a-grinning.
Tom laughed, said “Enough of jawing and a-chinning!
Come home with me and have white bread and butter,
Yellow cream and honeycomb and good things for supper!
Time enough for questions around the supper table.
You follow after me, as soon as you are able!”

The hobbits followed after Tom, puffing and a-blowing,
But Tom hurried on before, never was he slowing.
Tom had his task to do, and the flowers for to carry,
All to take home to his beautiful Goldberry.
But Tom led them on with his capering and singing--
Though they lost sight of him, his voice was a-ringing!
With many a “Hey now!” and a jolly “derry dol!”
Tom led them on to a green and grassy knoll.

And so hungry and weary, to Old Tom’s house they came,
And he met them there and greeted them, and called them by name.

And there they saw her, lovely as the heather,
Fair as the lily-bloom, lively as the weather,
Eyes as deep as pools and sparkling as the water,
Fair Lady Goldberry, the River-woman’s daughter.

And Tom stood beside her, and together they were singing,
There they welcomed their guests, in voices that were ringing:

“Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather.”

And warm was the welcome, and glad was the greeting,
And happy were the travellers to find a merry meeting.
And danger stayed without the door while all within was cheer.
Within was light and life and love, and naught was there to fear.
Only food and song and laughter, on the hearth a cheery fire,
And clear water and soft beds, for when they began to tire.

A night, a day, another night, with Bombadil they stayed,
Until their errand beckoned them, and their fright did fade.
With hearts all filled with gratitude they bid their hosts farewell--
And yet ‘tis not the end, for there is something more to tell--
How once again Tom Bombadil put them right when they’d gone wrong.
But that is for another day and for yet another song!
The Old Forest is a perilous place where hobbit-kind are strangers,
But old Tom may there be found, to rescue them from dangers!

Old Tom Bombadil, he is a merry fellow!
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow!
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom he is the master;
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

He leaps along the hill-tops, he looks into the earth
Where badgers dwell. The forest creatures know his worth.
He dances down the wooded path, the breeze carries his laughter,
As home he goes to his own hearth and a cheery fire after.
Tom bides in the forest yet, beside the flowing water,
With his lovely Goldberry, the River-woman’s daughter.

“There has been speculation that Master Meriadoc wrote a second song, or that there is a longer version of this one, relating events occurring after this concerning Tom Bombadil, and dealing with the Matter of the Ring. However, no written evidence of this has yet been discovered.”

The other day in LiveJournal, Mumstheword requested some nice clean limericks with a Lord of the Rings theme. So here are my efforts to please:

CRICKHOLLOW

There is a small house called Crickhollow 
Frodo bought with a tale none could swallow.
He said he was broke,
But they thought it a joke!
No wonder his cousins did follow!

_________________________________

TOM BOMBADIL

There is an old fellow named Tom--
Nobody knows where he’s from.
His attitude’s mellow,
His songs he does bellow,
With many a hey-derry-dom!

__________________________________

STRIDER

There was a mysterious stranger
Who spent all his time as a ranger.
They called him Strider;
He feared no Black Rider,
And laughed in the face of all danger.

__________________________________

GANDALF AT THE BRIDGE

There once was a wizard named Gandalf.
With a Balrog he managed a stand-off:
Into the abyss
They fell with a hiss,
And he gave to the beast quite a send-off!

___________________________________

MERRY AND PIPPIN

There were two hobbits called Merry and Pip
Who from Ent-draught did manage to sip.
They grew overnight,
Their pants were too tight,
And no needles to sew up the rip!

____________________________________

THE CHIEF

There was a hobbit named Lotho Pimple
Whose ambitions were fairly simple:
He just did aspire
To run all the Shire,
And have lasses to admire his dimple.

______________________________________

LOBELIA’S STAND

There once was an old hobbit dame--
Lobelia S.-B. by name.
She took her umbrella
To a rather large fella,
And thus won a good deal of fame!

(A traditional song of Buckland, and a favorite of Berilac Brandybuck.)

ON THE BANKS OF THE BRANDYWINE 

When I was a lad so free
I had no cares to worry me,
Save what to drink and when to dine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
Save what to drink and when to dine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

Once I spied a lass so fair,
Plaiting violets in her hair,
Her eyes so bright, her cheeks so fine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
Her eyes so bright, her cheeks so fine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

I asked her could I sit a while,
And she gave to me a winning smile,
Her heart was true, her heart was kind,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
Her heart was true, her heart was kind,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

I looked at her and then I said
If she thought we two could wed,
She told me that she would be mine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
She told me that she would be mine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

We sealed our troth with a kiss!
Her two lips, ah! They were bliss!
I never knew true love I’d find,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
I never knew true love I’d find,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

I asked her father for her hand,
And on the shore we did stand--
And I was hers and she was mine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
And I was hers and she was mine,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

And now we are a happy three,
My sweet wife, my fauntling and me
In our smial with roses entwined,
On the banks of the Brandywine!
On the banks of the Brandywine!
In our smial with roses entwined,
On the banks of the Brandywine!

This was written for the "Remix the Drabble" community on LiveJournal.  Each participant was assigned another author, and was to write a drabble based on one of theirs.

(You might want to read the original drabble first.)

Summary: “The widest was more than seven feet across, and it was long before Pippin could summon enough courage to leap over the dreadful gap.” (FOTR, Book II, Chapter IV, “A Journey in the Dark”)

Original story: Finding Courage by Dana, 100 words.
Remix author:
Dreamflower

Kindling Courage (The Finding Courage Remix)

Holding his staff high, Gandalf looks beyond the reach of its pale glow, and at the blackness across the abyss. Only Legolas and Aragorn remain with Pippin on the other side. In the purple shadows, the hobbit’s face is white, his eyes glitter like stars. The wizard looks at the wide gap, hears the rushing water below. It is a terrifying leap for the youngest hobbit, but it is one he must take, for there is no going back. Bending his thought to Narya, and his heart to Pippin, he sees the courage kindle as the hobbit makes the leap.

THE COURTSHIP OF MERRY AND ESTELLA 

(A song written by Peregrin Took, for the occasion of the marriage of his cousins Meriadoc Brandybuck and Estella Bolger.)

Come sit by me, love, I will tell you a tale,
To move your hard heart without fail:
I’ll tell you a tell of far foreign lands
Of forests and mountains and white sea strands.

Oh no, my dear, no!
No such place would I go!
But tell me a story do,
Tell me one true.

Come sit by me, love, I will tell you a tale,
To move your hard heart without fail:
I’ll tell you of doom and of sorrow,
And of those who had no tomorrow!

Oh no, my dear, no!
No sad tale of woe!
But tell me a story do,
Tell me one true.

Come sit by me, love, I will tell you a tale,
To move your hard heart without fail:
I’ll tell you of battles and warriors bold,
Who were the great heroes in days of old!

Oh no, my dear, no!
No hero from long ago!
But tell me a story do,
Tell me one true.

Come sit by me, love, I will tell you a tale,
To move your hard heart without fail:
I’ll tell you of those who have found their true love,
Whose hope was as constant as the stars above!

Oh yes, my dear, yes!
Such stories are best!
Tell me a story do,
Tell me one true.

Come sit by me, love, I will tell you a tale,
To move your sweet heart without fail:
I’ll tell you of my deep love for you,
And how I shall always be true!

Oh yes, my dear, yes!
That story’s the best!
Tell me that story, do,
And we shall make it true!

SUMMARY: A premature celebration…(a drabble)
DISCLAIMER: Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the Tolkien Estate. I own none of them. Some of them, however, seem to own me.

A PREMATURE CELEBRATION

MIDSUMMER, S.R. 1419

The Men threw the small tables and chairs into the pile, and stood back, laughing.

"Krag!" called one, "that's the last of the rat-sized stuff!"

Krag grinned. "We'll give'em a Bonfire to remember!" He eyed the hobbits herded up, forced to watch. The Men had looted what remained of the inn, dragging out the furniture, and stealing what was left of the ale and spirits for themselves.

As the bonfire blazed, Krag lifted the bottle in his hand: "To good days, lads, and better days coming!"

Better days for them, thought old Tom Cotton, watching, means worse days for us.

This drabble set was written for RabidSamFan. 

Summary: Regarding something every hobbit needs to learn...
(Rated G)

Bounty

“But Dad, why do we need to go looking for greens? There’s a-plenty in the garden!”

The Gaffer shook his head. “O’ course there’s plenty in the garden. But what if summat happened to the garden? You ask old Mr. Bilbo sometime about the Fell Winter, if you want to know why you should learn how to forage! Now, lookit here, my lad! What’s that?”

Sam bent down to examine the plant in question; he sniffed, and then pinched off a bit of one of the leaves. “Why--it’s onion, Dad!” He stood up and glanced around, hoping for something more…

****

After his exchange with Gollum, Sam sighed. He would have to keep the fire in sight, but plain boiled coney would barely fill the belly. He gave a sniff, looking about the edges of the clearing--there was a clean, green smell here, that spoke of a bounty of forage.

Aha! Wild garlic. And a little searching brought him wild thyme as well as a handy bay-tree, though no sage. But there was rampion, and wild carrot--though the roots of both might be a bit woody--and young dandelion, rosemary…

Well, there’d be summat more than coney in the stew now.

****

Frodo-lad hurried to keep up with his father’s stride. It was an early spring day, and he wondered why they were not in the garden. There was a mort of work to be done this time of year. “But Sam-dad! Why do we need to go looking for greens?”

________________________

Author's Note:  This was inspired by the book The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer.

Did you know that what we call Queen Anne's Lace is actually wild carrot?

 Author: Dreamflower
Title: A Decent and Respectable Hobbit
Rating: G
Genre: Drabble series (Fourteen drabbles)
Theme: Father’s Day
Elements: This quotation: “But be that as it may, Mr. Frodo is as nice a young hobbit as you could wish to meet. Very much like Mr. Bilbo, and in more than looks. After all, his father was a Baggins. A decent and respectable hobbit was Mr. Drogo Baggins; there was never much to tell of him, till he was drowned.” (FotR, Bk. I, Ch. I, “A Long-Expected Party”)
Summary: Drogo Baggins, a decent, respectable hobbit; there was never much to tell of him…or was there?
Word Count: 1,400

A Decent and Respectable Hobbit


I.

Bilbo looked down at his new pupil with a reassuring smile. Young Drogo smiled back at him, his expression one of frank and open curiousity, rather than the usual expression of sullen dread common to most young students.

“Your father tells me that you like to read?” Fosco had asked Bilbo only last week if he could begin to tutor Drogo: “The lad’s full of questions, more than I’ve time for; I thought it would be as well to bring him to you.”

The lad nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, sir!”

“Well, then, Drogo, I think that we shall get on famously!”

II.

“ ‘Morning, Master Drogo. Mr. Bilbo’s just come back from market. He’s up at t’ hole.” The gardener gestured in the direction of Bag End.

“Thank you, Master Holman. And who’s this?”

The old gardener grinned. “My first cousin Roper’s lad, Hamfast Gamgee, come to be my ‘prentice.”

Drogo bowed slightly. “Drogo Baggins at your service, Master Hamfast.”

Hamfast blushed, abashed. “Likewise, sir.”

“Well, Hamfast, if you listen to your cousin, you will be a fine gardener indeed!”

They watched him walk away.

“He seems a kindly sort, Cousin Holman.”

“He’s a decent and respectable young gentlehobbit, and no mistake.”

III.

Otho glared across the crowd at Drogo and Bilbo laughing together. Cousin Drogo always stayed on Cousin Bilbo’s good side. Otho had lasted only seven months before Bilbo told his father it was hopeless.

Otho hadn’t said so then, but he agreed. Cousin Bilbo was altogether too boring and respectable-- probably why he got on so well with boring and respectable Drogo.

He realized he wasn’t the only one staring. “Miss Bracegirdle, may I fetch you some punch?”

Lobelia flushed. “Yes, please, Mr. Baggins.”

Sackville-Baggins.”

“Of course, how silly of me.”

But he noticed her eyes were still on Drogo.

IV.

The tween-aged lasses giggled as they watched the portly hobbit attempting to disembark from the ferry at Bucklebury. He looked miserable and fearful, and his complexion had a greenish cast to it.

“Who is he, Primula?” asked her Took cousin Primrose.

She grinned. “I believe he’s a Baggins connexion of Cousin Bilbo’s. Mum doesn’t know, but I overheard her talking with Menegilda Goold. He’s trying to escape from some lass in Hobbiton who’s set her cap for him .”

Her other cousin, Peridot, grinned. “There’s no accounting for taste! He looks a bit boring.”

“I don’t know--he has kind eyes.”

V.

“Papa! They’re having Bilbo declared dead! Why?”

“Drogo, Bilbo’s been gone nearly a year! There’s no Head of the Family! The Bagginses can’t go on like this!”

“When he comes back there’ll be trouble!”

“Son, I know you were always fond of Bilbo. But he went without a word to any of the Family--with Dwarves and that pestiferous wizard! No word from him since! If he were alive he would have written!”

“It’s wrong! It’s just an excuse for Longo’s son Otho to get Bilbo’s property!”

“That’s as may be. What’s done is done.”

“You’ll see when he comes back!”

VI.

“I’m sorry Dinny. I’ve no interest whatsoever in your friend Bandigard North-took.” Primula took up her knitting, ignoring her brother’s indignant spluttering.

“Primmy! He’s a *North-took!* There are dozens of lasses who’d give their eye-teeth to have him as their escort to Yule First Night!”

She shrugged. “Then let him ask one of them. I’ve other fish to fry.”

“If you are referring to Drogo Baggins, he’s far too old for you! He thinks you’re just a child. And he never pokes his nose out of the library when he is here anyway!”

She gave a small smile. “We’ll see.”

VII.

Dora noticed changes in her brother since he’d been visiting Buckland: easily distracted, less interested in the doings of family and friends. He often went to visit Bilbo--Bilbo might be the Head of the Family, but he was scarcely respectable anymore since his return from his…journey. She made a face as the word “adventure” intruded into her thoughts.

One thing could account for Drogo’s interest in the wilds of Buckland.
She suspected a lass had caught her brother’s regard--a decent and respectable lass, she hoped.

“Brother, would you mind if I joined you in your visit to Buckland this time?”

VIII.

Primula looked at Drogo, as he proffered the small box. “Happy birthday.” Her thirty-second birthday would fall on the morrow, so she was receiving her gifts the day before, as was proper.

She opened it. Yellow hair ribbons! A traditional gift from a lad who wished to court a lass. She stared at him, speechless.

“I asked your father’s permission to court you, and he said yes. You’ll be of age in a year--” His expression was fearful. “I thought perhaps you might return my regard?”

He always did the respectable thing.

“Oh, Drogo! I thought you would never ask!”

IX.

Drogo held his wife close as she wept, though his own eyes were dry and burning. For the second time, they had lost a little one before its time. He knew how Primula’s heart ached, how her arms felt empty--for his own heart ached, his own arms yearned for a child of their own.

Would it ever happen? Or would they spend their married lives remembering an empty cradle, and little clothes made hopefully, and never used? Should they just quit hoping?

Somehow, though, he knew in his heart that one day they would have a little one to love.

X.

Bilbo guided three-year-old Frodo into the room, as his parents watched. The faunt grinned, hands behind his back: face shiny; hair on head and feet damp; clothes askew; traces of mud on his breeches.

"For my birfday, Mama!" He thrust out his right hand: in it, a ragged bouquet, equal parts fall garden flowers and weeds. Primula took them, hugging her lad. Bilbo saw her tears of pride.

Frodo held out his left hand--a small stone, round and shiny, striated brown, black and white. "For you, Papa!"

Drogo took it, embracing his son. "It will be precious to me always."

XI.

Frodo stood at the door, hesitant. He'd never been allowed in Papa's study before. But Drogo smiled.

"Come in, Frodo." Pushing his chair away from his desk, he patted his knee. Frodo raced onto his father's lap, and gazed at him, curious.

"Frodo, you're seven now. Your Mama tells me you know your letters and numbers."

Frodo nodded.

"So it's time for you to come to me for lessons. We'll have them mornings between second breakfast and elevenses."

"Oh, Papa!" Frodo exclaimed in delight.

"We'll start with this book. Uncle Bilbo made it for me when I was your age..."

XII.

Bilbo ran his tongue over dry lips, drawing a deep breath. His arm firmly around young Frodo, who leaned into his side, dazed. Some had thought the lad too young and distraught to be at his parents‘ funeral, even drugged. But Bilbo wouldn’t have it. The child deserved to be there.

“I speak of my cousin, Drogo Baggins. Many knew him as quiet and solid, a decent, respectable hobbit who kept to himself. But I remember him as a wide-eyed youngster, eager for knowledge; I remember his love and devotion for his wife and child. I shall miss him always.”

XIII.

“Master Elrond called me ‘Frodo son of Drogo’, not ‘Frodo Baggins‘.” Frodo felt numb now that the Council had ended.

Bilbo nodded. “That’s the way of Elves and Men.”

“I can’t help but wonder what my father would have thought of all this. It is scarcely respectable hobbit behaviour.”

“I think,” said Bilbo, “that he would have been appalled at the danger you are in. But I also think he would have been very proud of you as well--you are doing what needs to be done after all. And a Baggins always does his duty.”

“I miss him.”

“I know.”

XIV.

Frodo walked the sea-strand, his toes feeling the softness of the Sun-warmed sand. The waves’ susurration and the gulls’ low cries were like Elven music.

Frodo had gone, as he often did, to the Tower where the Stone of Elostirion was kept. But now he had seen Merry and Pippin content in their retirement to Gondor, he did not think that he would go again. Soon enough, he and Sam would follow Bilbo.

Just then he spied something small and dark: a stone, round, striated with black, brown and white. He picked it up, smiling.

“I’ll see you soon, Papa."

(The first of six dribbles written for the LJ Community Spooky Arda's "Six Days of Spooky" Challenge.) 

OLD MAN WILLOW

Heavy, heavy, the air in its stillness oppressive and dreary;
Pippin’s mind is sluggish, he cannot think for weariness.
He hears an insistent whisper-- or does he?
The heat burdens him, stealing his breath;
to stop, to rest, to sleep
here in the enticing shade
against the old willow,
leaning into sleep
into dreams…
Snick.

(The second dribble of six. Merry goes out for a sniff air in Bree, and finds more than he bargained for.)

BLACK BREATH IN BREE

You see that shade among the shadows, beyond the lamplight,
and you have to follow, you have to know,
drawn on, in spite of your mind screaming.
‘Perhaps I’ll learn something useful,’ you think,
but that’s not what you believe.
Mist is in your eyes
of tears and weariness.
What is hope?
Deep water
waits…

(The third dribble of six written for the Spooky Arda "Six Days of Spooky" Challenge.)


THE RUMOUR OF HIM

"Be careful! They say there is a new terror abroad,
a ghost that drinks blood. No, I mean it;
my neighbour told me that her husband found
a nest upon the ground, fledglings drained.
Last night a slinking figure was
spied creeping through the village.
Where is the baby?"
"In her cradle
Under the
window"…

A/N: Inspired by the following passage regarding Gollum, in “The Shadow of the Past”: “The Wood-elves tracked him first, an easy task for them, for his trail was still fresh then. Through Mirkwood and back again it led them, thought they never caught him. The wood was full of the rumour of him, dreadful tales even among beasts and birds. The Woodmen said that there was some new terror abroad, a ghost that drank blood. It climbed trees to find nests; it crept into holes to find the young; it slipped through windows to find cradles…”

 Title: A Stumble in the Dead Marshes
Author: Dreamflower
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: Middle Earth and all its people belong to the Tolkien Estate. I do not own any of them. Some of them, however, seem to own me.
Rating: PG (for creepiness)
Warnings: N/A
Characters/Pairing: Sam
Summary: The fourth dribble of six. Sam’s horror in the Dead Marshes explained.

A STUMBLE IN THE DEAD MARSHES

Sam felt his hands sinking into the filthy, stinking ooze
nearly to his elbows, he gagged at the stench.
He blinked his stinging eyes and then stared:
like looking down through a dirty window,
faces-- ghastly, gruesome, green and grinning,
Dead! All of them dead!
And one of them
had looked like
his dear
Master.

 (The fifth dribble of six written for the Spooky Arda "Six Days of Spooky" Challenge) 


OLDER AND FOULER THINGS

Boromir berated himself; he should never have thrown that stone.
Far beneath, in the pool’s cold and darksome depths,
something stirred, and ripples bubbled to the surface.
Awakened, malice sent a thread of thought
questing to the distant murky surface.
A token of power beckons,
calling, calling: “take me!”
moving slowly upwards
tentacles writhe…
There!

( The sixth dribble of six, a double dribble this time, written for the "Six Days of Spooky" Challenge for the Spooky Arda Community.)

BOUND

Pain! If the Morgul-blade had seemed a dagger of ice,
this was a stiletto of fire, burning through him.
Like lightning it coursed all through his veins;
he felt as though he were aflame.
He could hear his heart pounding.
It thundered louder and louder
and then it slowed.
His vision faded,
his hearing
didn’t.

Dark;
He found
he couldn’t move.
Sam’s voice, Sam’s tears--
Am I dead? He wondered.
No, no-- not dead, not dead!
Dead he would be beyond this agony!
Yet why then could he feel nothing? Nothing!
Imprisoned, unmoving in these bonds, unblinking without tears, alone--
rough orcish voices! Sam, save yourself! All is lost, lost!

 (Taken from my story "Supper's Over, Breakfast's Cooking")

THE HOBBIT'S TEA SONG (TEA, GLORIOUS TEA)

Tea, tea, glorious tea!
Come put your feet up and have some with me!
Some bread and some butter
‘Twixt lunchtime and supper
There’s naught like a cuppa
Tea, glorious tea!

Tea, tea, glorious tea!
Now won’t you have a nice sitdown with me?
Just a wee little drop?
Oh, the kettle is hot
And I have a full pot
Of tea, glorious tea!

Tea, tea, glorious tea!
I know you’re longing to gossip with me!
I’ve managed to bake
Some biscuits and cake.
Oh come and partake
Of tea, glorious tea!*

_________________________

*Sung to the tune of "The Hippotamus Song(Mud, Glorious Mud)" by Flanders and Swann

(Author's Notes: I just re-discovered this drabble which I wrote all the way back in 2005, for hobbit_ficathon.  I did not post it here at the time, as it contained a slight spoiler for "The Road to Edoras". Then I forgot all about it.)

BERILAC BRANDYBUCK MEETS THE ENTS

So.

Those are Ents. Merry and Pippin told me, but I have to confess I only half-believed. On the one hand was the evidence of my own eyes. Pippin might have had a late growth spurt--although at twenty-nine that’s very late indeed. But Merry? At thirty-seven?

It was their descriptions of “tree shepherds”, that I never quite believed--living near the Old Forest, I could accept trees moving. But walking and talking? Yet there they are, and glad enough to greet us as kindred and friends of Merry and Pippin.

But I don’t think I shall accept any drinks from them.

(Originally written for the LJ Wee Hobbits community.)

Rating: G
Summary: Frodo fixes wee!Pippin's boo-boo, and gives him a little comfort (a tribble--300 words)


Just Looking

“Pippin. What are you doing?”

The faunt gave a guilty start at the sound of Frodo’s voice, and jumped down from his precarious perch on the second shelf of the bookcase. He stared at Frodo out of wide eyes and bit his lower lip.

“Nothing.” He stuck his index finger in his mouth.

Frodo arched an eyebrow. Pippin was supposed to be in his parents’ guest room taking a nap. The rest of the family was in the parlour talking to Bilbo, and Frodo had gone to check on his little cousin, only to find him in Bilbo’s study instead.

“Nothing?” Frodo asked.

The little one gave a sniff, and held up the finger. “Just looking. But I hurt me.”

Frodo was instantly all concern. In a few strides, he was at Pippin’s side.

“Let me see! Oh, it’s only a nasty splinter.” He took Pippin up, and crossed to sit in Bilbo’s comfortable old armchair with the child in his lap. He took Pippin’s chubby little finger, and squeezed it lightly, and then quickly nipped the splinter between his fingers and drew it out. Then he held up the finger to his lips and gave it a kiss. “There, now is it all better?”

Pippin gave a nod. “Thank you, Frodo.” He snuggled more closely into his older cousin’s comforting arms. “I was looking for stories.”

Frodo smiled. Suddenly, he had the feeling that this one was always going to be looking for stories. “Well, perhaps you’ve found one after all, Pip. Why don’t I tell you one?”

Pippin grinned. “Uh-huh.”

“Well, let’s see. Ah, I know! Once there were two little hobbits named Tip and Tulip. They were brother and sister, and they lived in a cozy little smial with their mama and their papa and their auntie…

 

Here's a birthday dribble for Mews1945, inspired by the first story of hers that I read, "In Frodo's Hands":

(In Minas Tirith, Pippin observes Frodo and remembers.)

Remembering Frodo's Hands

I watch him sleep, now, exhausted by all the celebrations.
Sam, protective as ever, slumbers soundly by his side.
Merry has gone to protect someone else dear,
Théoden's place of rest in the hallows.
So now I watch my Frodo,
tracing the lines of sorrow;
remembering his gentle hands
guiding my own
childish ones
carefully.

(Written for Dana's birthday!) 

Missing Her

 Pippin stood on the front step of the little house, his hands jammed into his pockets, leaning against the doorjamb as he watched the posthobbit go off with his letter. He missed her. Diamond only been gone a day, and he already missed her. Her visit had been all too short.

He knew she had to get back to the Great Smials. An apprentice's time was not her own, especially a healer's apprentice. The sooner she finished her apprenticeship, the sooner they could announce their betrothal, and plan their wedding.

Well, at least they wouldn't have to wait forty years.

Theme: "Out on a limb"
Elements: A type of tree: rowan
Author's Notes:
The information found here was invaluable to me in both inspiration and information. It's part of an online poetry anthology by The Wondering Minstrels. Several of JRRT's poems are to be found there.
Word Count: 300 ( a "tribble" or triple drabble )

_________________________________

O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimírië!
O rowan fair, upon your hair how white the blossom lay!
O rowan mine, I saw you shine upon a summer's day,
Your rind so bright, your leaves so light, your voice so cool and soft:
Upon your head how golden-red the crown you bore aloft!
O rowan dead, upon your head your hair is dry and grey;
Your crown is spilled, your voice is stilled for ever and a day.
O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimírië!

(LotR: The Two Towers, Book III, Chapter IV, "Treebeard")
___________________________

O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimírië!

I had heard the voice of the smaller hobbit softly singing along with me under his breath. But now he too snores softly alongside his elder kinsman. What a wonder they are to me! I have not seen a new thing since I was very young and green. So small they are, but their hearts are large. Their eyes are filled with wonder and with questions, and their tongues speed along hastily and as pleasantly as bird song. They are so trusting in us, a people altogether strange to them and so much larger. It will be an honour to aid these small people in their trouble.

I know the other Ents consider me even hastier than usual in this matter; why should we go out on a limb to help those who have never been of any help to us? But bararumambarumbara-hoom-ha-harba-hrum-loving Saruman in his cold stone tower, with his axe wielding orcs and his fires and steams, is our enemy, and I say that the enemies of my enemy are my friends. If no others will help, I will go with them myself alone. It is better to die trying than to fade away or to take root in the deep places of the forest, hiding from the truth.

Oh my home! The leaves a soft silver ceiling as grey as morning rain, the berries in autumn red as jewels. There against the mountainside, I had joy in the company of my rowans. They had come to have voices, perhaps in time they would have wakened for me. I would have been no longer alone.

I would I had tears, such as Men and Elves may shed in their pain and sorrow.

But I have only anger and song!

O Orofarnë, Lassemista, Carnimírië!

(Written for Claudia's birthday.)

 Fealty

I sit by the door, smoking, listening to their soft breathing. There will be danger tonight, but I think we shall be safe. Why did I do it? What impulse moved my heart? I could have aided them without an oath. I know my destiny-- if I succeed, I will owe fealty to no one. Yet I offered it to one with no rank, feckless, careless, ignorant of the world. "If by life or death I can save you, I will." Now I am bound to him by oath. Yet I do not regret it. It was meant to be.

 Rating: G
Summary: In Rivendell, Bilbo gets reaquainted with four young hobbits he'd never thought to see again. (Four double-drabbles-- 800 words.

Getting Reacquainted

Bilbo kept a gentle hold on the cold white hand as he sat next to Frodo, leaning in exhaustion against the pillows. He glanced at the foot of the large bed, where an exhausted Samwise had fallen asleep at his Master's feet, and then turned to look at Frodo's face, as pale and still as if carved of marble. He felt a wave of fear and grief well up, and forced it down-- he'd not give up hope yet. But he could not tamp down the guilt. What a sorry inheritance he had left to the best hobbit in the Shire! That wretched Ring!

He could no longer hold back his tears. "Oh, my Frodo!" he sobbed.

A large and gentle hand descended on his shoulder. "Be of hope, my friend. We shall do our best for your child."

It was only his long-ingrained habit, that of hobbits to be precise about relationships, that led him to protest. "He's not..."

"He is. He is not the son of your body, but he is your child. By blood and by love, he is your son."

Bilbo looked up at Elrond, and suddenly realised that he of all people, would understand.
_____________________________

Bilbo nearly tripped over Meriadoc as he left the room. Merry sprang up instantly.

"Is there news?" His voice was steady, but Bilbo saw panic in the grey eyes, red-rimmed and shadowed.

"No, Merry-lad. I'm sorry; nothing's changed; Elrond sent me to rest."

Merry took in a deep breath, and heaved it out, shuddering. "I'm sorry, Bilbo. I don't know what to do-- I sent Pippin to rest also, but I..." He leaned against the wall, shaking his head in confusion. "I'm sorry Bilbo. I couldn't keep him safe." His voice fell to a whisper.

Bilbo drew him into an embrace. "Ah, Merry!" He didn't say more than that, but remembered the last time he'd seen Merry-- a lanky teen on the cusp of tweenhood, filled with Tookish mischief and Brandybuck determination and utter devotion to Frodo.

He knew, though he was sure Merry did not realise he knew, how hurt he had been when Bilbo had taken Frodo away to Hobbiton to live. Bilbo had not been surprised by Merry's presence in Rivendell. He remembered a letter in a childish scrawl. "Take good care of my Frodo, or give him back to me."

"Ah, Merry, it's not your fault."
_________________________________________

What a difference a day makes! They woke to news that Frodo was out of danger, that dreadful shard removed. They'd been allowed to see him briefly: his face faintly flushed with color, his breathing steady. He would wake sometime this day.

The other hobbits, Bilbo included, had been ordered to their own rest. Bilbo was restless, and made his way to the dining hall, looking for food and company.

He heard the merry sound of Elven laughter, and a familiar Tookish voice. "and we could still hear Lotho's shouting as he banged and kicked the door to the privy. He never did find out who'd jammed the door."

Clearly Pippin had been unable to sleep as well. He sat amid a group of Elves, who were plying him with food and drink, regaling them with tales of childhood mischief. Bilbo chuckled. Pippin had been so young when he left, it seemed strange to see him now, a tween on the cusp of adulthood. He was as full of joy and energy as ever. Yet he had managed to bear his part in getting here, through fear and danger.

Bilbo felt a swell of Tookish pride in his young cousin.
_______________________________________

Now the Council had ended. Bilbo watched as Elrond, Aragorn and Gandalf led Frodo off. It was clear that this time, Sam wouldn't be able to slip along unobserved. He studied Sam's face, noted the anxiety there as Frodo went out of his sight. Bilbo nodded. It was only right and fair that Sam be included in this mission of Frodo's. Bilbo trusted Aragorn and Gandalf to care for Frodo, and not just because he was carrying-- It. But they weren't hobbits.

Bilbo remembered the little lad with sandy curls, who listened with rapt attention to tales of Elves. In this young hobbit, he could still see traces of that child. He remembered Sam's determination and intelligence in learning, once Bilbo had persuaded the Gaffer to allow it. He had grown up as sturdy and reliable as Bilbo had always suspected, but that spark of interest in things beyond the common hobbit's ken still glittered in the brown eyes.

He stood and put a hand on Sam's shoulder.

Sam gave a start. "Mr. Bilbo, sir! I hope you don't think I overstepped my place, listening in on all this?"

"Your place? Your place, as ever, is at Frodo's side, Sam."

________________________

 
Wordcount: 1,000 (five double drabbles)
Characters: Bilbo, other canon hobbits
Prompt: Five things Bilbo did with the treasure he brought home from his Adventure...

The Pale Enchanted Gold

1. S.R. 1342

"That's the last of it, then, Uncle Bingo?"

Bingo Baggins nodded curtly to his nephew. "Yes, Bilbo. I don't care for how this business was carried out. I think your father would have been disappointed."

Bilbo took a pouch out of his pocket, and slid it across the desk. "I don't think I would have been the one to disappoint, if I may be honest, Uncle Bingo. Uncle Longo resented my father for many years. He passed that on to his son Otho. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so impulsive when I left last year, but Uncle Longo and Cousin Otho shouldn't have been so quick to declare me dead."

Bingo took up the pouch, and emptied it, eyes widening in surprise. He counted out several of the coins, putting them in a separate pile. The silence stretched. Finally, he said "This is far too much to cover your things that I purchased back from Longo and his family." He shoved the other pile back.

Bilbo shook his head. "I may be Family Head, Uncle Bingo, but I believe that the other Bagginses trust you more. Put the rest of it to good use for the benefit of the Family."


2. S.R. 1351

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Grubb."

"It is always a pleasure to do business for you, Mr. Baggins."

Bilbo led the lawyer into his study, where tea awaited.

"My condolences on the death of your Uncle Longo, Mr. Baggins."

"It's no secret that my Uncle and I didn't get along, Mr. Grubb, though it is always sad to lose family. It is on that account that I have summoned you. I have heard some disturbing things about my cousin Otho since his father died."

Mr. Grubb inclined his head in response. "Your cousin has been making investments."

"I'm talking about a rumour I've heard concerning a property in Bywater. He wishes to buy the farm the Cotton family is leasing. If he does so, it will go hard for them, for he has other tenants in mind."

"What do you wish to do about it, Mr. Baggins?"

"I'd like you to arrange for the Cottons to purchase that farm themselves." He reached into a drawer of his desk and lifted out a small bag that seemed heavy for its size. It gave a satisfying "clink" when he put it down. "I do not wish to appear in the matter myself."


3. S.R. 1362


Bilbo bid good-afternoon to the Widow Goodchild as she showed him into Number 3 Bagshot Row. She was there for propriety's sake as the young couple sat for their gifts. Bilbo found himself amused as she babbled at him, welcoming him. Hamfast and Bell sat stiffly on either side of the hearth to receive their wedding gifts before the wedding, as was only proper.

"M-Mr. Bilbo!" Hamfast stammered and rose. "I didn't expect to see you here!"

"I couldn't let my gardener wed without a gift, after all, Master Hamfast!"

"But-- you could've sent it down the Hill by post!"

Bilbo chuckled. "And miss a chance to meet the bride?" He smiled at Bell. She wasn't a beauty, but she handsome. She returned his smile, her face transformed. It was easy to see why Hamfast had been smitten with her.

Bilbo reached into his pocket, and took out a pouch. It was heavier than its size would indicate. Bell stood up and came to his side. Their eyes grew huge as they opened it.

Hamfast's mouth opened, then shut. A hobbit never refuses a gift. But--gold!

Bilbo smiled. It was little enough, but it would give them a good start.


4. S.R. 1392


It had been a long night. Awakened before dawn by the clanging of the Shirriff's bell, Bilbo and Frodo had worked through the bitter cold, passing buckets with the other hobbits, as they sought to douse the blazing Number 5 Bagshot Row. Now all was embers, smoke and ash. Mrs. Rumble's sobbing in the embrace of Bell Gamgee was the only sound, as the Sun broke low through a grey sky.

Bilbo looked at Frodo's ashen face, and placed an arm about his shoulders. This was hard for Frodo, but he was very proud of the way that the lad had kept his head, and worked alongside the adults without flagging.

The Shirriff approached him. "Seems Mr. Rumble fell asleep with his pipe a-burning, Mr. Bilbo. 'Twas good fortune his missus had gone down the Hill to help her neice with the new babe. I don't rightly know as what she'll do now, with him gone."

It was hard. The Rumbles had never been blessed with children, and now she was a widow alone in the world.

Bilbo nodded, as he recalled the strongbox at Bag End, and the dwindling legacy of Smaug.

"She will not be left in want."


5. S.R. 1419


Bilbo looked at it: it was the last of the dragon treasure. He'd taken what was left with him when he left Bag End to Frodo. Frodo had plenty of wealth without it, from the Baggins investments and the inheritances of his own parents. Aside from what he'd used to set his affairs back in order when he returned to the Shire, Bilbo had never spent it on himself. It was stolen gold, brooded on by a dragon. It seemed to him the way to lift the curse was to share it freely. He'd used it to buy gifts, or as a gift when coin would be more useful than a trinket. He'd used it to help those who had misfortune befall them. And when time came for him to leave the Shire, he'd taken it along for expenses. He'd used far less of it than he'd thought he would need, and now, he would have no more expenses here in Rivendell.

The younger hobbits thought he had not understood their tales of what had happened, but he'd understood enough. Enough to know to whom he owed Frodo's life.

"Mr. Bilbo, Mr. Frodo said as you wanted to see me...

 

A pair of drabbles, written for the Silmarillion Writer's Guild's "Back to Middle-earth Month" Week Three Challenge.

 Challenge:What are defining traits in a friend? Intelligence? Good humor? Integrity? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where a new friendship is built or old friends meet after a long time.

 
 
Surprise Visit, S.R. 1349


Balin stood outside the round green door with Gandalf. Bilbo's expression when he saw them standing there was delighful. Surprise, wonder, joy at seeing them were all mirrored on his honest round face. Balin smiled at the sight of the colourful waistcoat with its bright golden buttons-- much rounder than last he had seen it. Clearly Bilbo had prospered in the last seven years.

"Come in! Welcome!" Bilbo gestured them, took Gandalf's hat, Balin's scarlet hood. How different than that day they had first met, when Bilbo Baggins' only expression had been consternation.

What a difference sharing an adventure made!

___________________

Bilbo stared at the two on his doorstep-- Gandalf! and Balin! What a wonderful surprise to see them again! He smiled in delight: Gandalf, not changed at all; Balin's beard longer and whiter, his scarlet hood now trimmed with sable, his belt of golden plaques set with gems of every hue-- clearly Balin had prospered under the Mountain!

"Come in! Welcome!" Bilbo took Gandalf's hat and Balin's hood, hanging them by the door. How glad he was to see them! He remembered that day he'd met the Dwarf-- how flustered he'd been.

What a difference sharing an adventure made!

_______________________
 
Author's Notes: From The Hobbit, Chapter XIX, "The Last Stage":
"Come in! Come in!" said Bilbo, and soon they were settled in chairs by the fire. If Balin noticed that Mr. Baggins' waistcoat was more extensive (and had real gold buttons), Bilbo also noticed that Balin's beard was several inches longer and his jewelled belt of great magnificence.

(Written for LOTR Community's "Pairs" challenge in 2010)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: There and Back Again
Rating: G
Theme: Pairs (drabbles)
Elements: beginning, end
Summary: Bilbo ponders Adventure.
Word Count: 100

There and Back Again


In the beginning, Adventure didn’t seem so bad. Riding his sturdy little pony behind the Dwarves and Gandalf, he enjoyed the unfamiliar hillsides and farms, sunshine, birdsong, the freshening breeze of early spring, and a merry old inn.

Then came the trolls.

He put that behind him in Rivendell, but goblins, Gollum, wolves, spiders --most of all, the Dragon and the battle afterward made him eager to see home once more.

Then he returned to the Shire. Telling of his time away, he found painted a brighter picture with his words. Adventure didn’t seem so bad at journey’s end.

 

(Written for the great_tales 55 word challenge.) 

Grey Havens 

There is a reason they call it the Sundering Sea.
Standing at the quay, heart cords are stretching, breaking—
To  sounds of surf and cry of gulls,
As sails vanish into a westering sun
Beneath the cold stars of heaven.
One last smile to remember,
One last kiss farewell.
Sam, Merry, Pippin
Turn now,
Homeward.

(Written for the great_tales 55 word challenge)

Fandom: The Hobbit
Character(s): Bilbo Baggins
Summary: On his way home from Adventure, Bilbo tries to distract himself with a bit of versifying…
Word Count: 55
Author's Notes: Another dribble. I could not resist.  I am imagining Bilbo sitting in the dark listening to Gandalf snore and thinking it is taking entirely too long to get home.  The parts in italics are from "Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red", from FotR, Book I, Chapter III, "Three's Company".

Composition

Upon the hearth the fire is warm…no, not right.
The fire is red …   that will do,  I’m sure.
Red, head, dead.  No, no don’t think that!
Red, lead, bed. Of course that’s it!
A bed, clean, soft and dry…
beneath the roof, so safe…
Wish I was there,
so I do…
Bag End,
home…

 

Upwind

Legolas exchanged a look of amusement with his fellow hunters Aragorn and Gimli. The three of them had chased their quarry across many leagues, intent on rescuing them, only to find that Merry and Pippin not only managed to rescue themselves, but found allies who managed to defeat the traitor Saruman. Now they played host, chattering away, offering food and drink and – pipe-weed?

He listened in dismay to talk of Longbottom Leaf and the sharing of pipes.

”Well, I am going back into the open air, to see what the wind and sky are doing!” And, he hoped, stand upwind.

 

(Written for Celeritas, at her request.)
Visiting Bag End


The good thing about visiting Bag End was because it was so far away that each visit lasted a good long time. Elfstan loved the way Bag End was so different from Undertowers, filled with aunts and uncles and cousins. Uncle Robin and Uncle Tolman were just Rob and Tom; they were not so much older that they couldn’t have splendid romps, but older enough that they were trusted to watch him. And Gamma Rose was always in the kitchen cooking wonderful things. Rob and Tom would put Elfstan up to begging for treats, for Gamma Rose would give them to him every time, but she would tell them to wait until the next meal.

And there was Gaffer Sam. He would sit in Gaffer Sam's lap, and he would hear him tell the great tales of Uncle Frodo and their journey, and they sounded so different when he told them. Mama told him those stories, but when she told them they sounded like stories. When Gaffer Sam told them, they sounded just like things that happened.

The bad thing about visiting Bag End was, when the visits were finally over, it would be a long time until another one.

 

(goldvermilion87  asked for a drabble about "the stranger from Michel Delving" who was in the chapter "A Long-Expected Party"; as our mysterious visitor had no name, I took the liberty of giving him one.)
Gossip at the Ivy Bush
 

Bosco Sandheaver listened to the talk of old “Mad Baggins”. He’d heard the tales. Who in the Shire hadn’t heard of the hobbit who’d run off into the Wild with the Old Took’s wizard and a troupe of Dwarves, then come back from the dead? But these folks knew the old fellow!

Now this party. Bosco wondered could he stretch Mr. Brownlock’s business in Hobbiton enough to attend? Just a few more days, then when he got home, they’d buy him many a pint to tell of it. Who knew; mayhap gold or jools might just be laying about there…

 

 (Written by request for Cathleen: "Here's my request: Eglantine's thoughts as she holds the newborn son she thought she'd never have."

Worth It All*


So much effort she had put into delaying this moment, to holding back, in hopes that the babe could grow larger and stronger first. Then, finally, giving in and giving birth. She was exhausted, but here he was, so very tiny.

His cries were weak. He was red and wrinkled. But here he was, curls as soft and fine as downfeathers on head and feet. Mistress Poppy cut the cord, and now she brought the blanket wrapped bundle to place in Eglantine’s arms.

Would he thrive? She looked at him and lost her heart. At last, her lad, her Peregrin…

(* A/N: The title came from what my mother said when my brother was born: "It was worth it all.")

 This is for claudia603 and lindahoyland, who both asked for Frodo and Aragorn friendship. Since it's for two people, it's 200 words!

Respect


The Council finally dispersed, and Aragorn turned to leave.

“M-my Lord?”

Aragorn turned, surprised at the hesitant diffidence in Frodo’s voice. The hobbit stood before him, head bowed, eyes downcast.

“Frodo? Why are you so formal with me? I had thought we were friends enough that such titles were unnecessary.”

Frodo looked up, his eyes troubled. “But I didn’t know who you were! You are Isildur’s heir; you should be King.”

“But I am not King, and may never be so. For now I am Strider the Ranger.” He knelt down on one knee, so that he would be at Frodo’s eye level, placing a hand on Frodo’s shoulder. “Please, my friend, call me Aragorn, or even Strider as you first knew me.”

“We were so disrespectful to you! If we had even known you were friends with Bilbo, it might’ve made a difference.”

“Perhaps. But I never speak of Bilbo when I am outside this valley. His safety was at stake.”

“Oh.” Frodo bit his lower lip, and then smiled. “I hope that one day I you will think of me as being as good a friend to you as Bilbo is.”

“I already do, Frodo,” he smiled back.


 A drabble written for Shirebound, who said:

"Yay, I'd love a drabble! If it can be done without sadness, what did Merry and/or Pippin think of the Sea when they got to the Grey Havens?"
Pippin and the Sea

It stretched as far as he could see. Grey water: ceaseless motion, undulating lines of white foam marking the waves and holding the gaze. How far across the Sundering Sea? Pippin wondered. How long would Frodo’s journey take?

He stood between Merry and Sam, watching as the sky slowly deepened, grey to purple to indigo, and the yellow water-path the Sun made faded, the water darkening. He drank in the sight, never knowing if he’d ever see it again.

And when at last he saw Eärendil, Star of Hope, shining above, he tugged his friends’ shoulders and aimed them homewards.

 Pearl Took asked for a Pippin drabble.  This one turned out to be a drabble-and-a-half (150 words)

First Breakfast

Pippin tied the belt of his dressing gown. It was faded and worn and it was too short now, although he thought that probably that was an advantage when it came to the sleeves—they’d been too long, and he’d had to roll them up, but now his arms were free, and he needn’t worry about dragging a sleeve through the fire, or the dishpan either.

He padded into the kitchen and built up the fire in the stove, and then took the kettle to the pump and filled it up and put it on. Then into the larder—there was the bread they had brought from the Hall, the eggs, some sausages, rashers of bacon, potatoes and butter and honey. Some toast and a nice fry up, that would do the trick.

Whistling cheerily he set to work. Wouldn’t Merry be surprised with their first first breakfast at Crickhollow?

For lilybaggins :
 "I'd love to see a Frodo h/c drabble, with Aragorn caring for a feverish Frodo."

Fever!

Three pairs of eyes watched anxiously, as Strider gently lifted Frodo down from Bill. He cradled Frodo in his arms, and felt his brow. Merry had been right to call a halt; Frodo was burning up, save his left arm, which remained icy cold. He had no more athelas to deal with the wound, but he had prepared a flask with willow-bark tea before they set out. He roused Frodo slightly, to get him to take some of the bitter brew; then, looking at Frodo’s worried friends said, “We cannot stop. But I will carry him until the fever abates.”

For baranduin:
I'd like some Elanor with Sam, after Rose's death but before Sam leaves.

(Takes place just a couple of days after Rose's funeral...)

Knowing

He seemed smaller than Elanor ever remembered his being, shrunken in upon himself, a weariness about him that sleep would not cure.

She’d followed him before the sun had properly risen; seen him with the rose cuttings he’d taken. He was taking them to the top of the Hill, she knew, to plant by the newly made grave. It was fitting that her mother rest there. Sam looked up at Elanor when she approached him.

“They were her favourites.” He patted the earth in place around the tender roots.

“You will not sleep beside her though,” she said with certainty.

 

Author: Dreamflower
Title: No Regrets
Rating: G
Theme: Lion and Lamb
Elements: impetuous/cautious
Summary: Merry looks back on his decisions…
Word Count: 100 (drabble)

No Regrets

All his life, Merry had known: Pippin was “the impetuous one”; he was “the cautious one”. He had been for as long as he could remember, recalling his parents’ funny stories of his plans to steal from his bed to Frodo’s as a faunt, the teasing when he packed early for a trip, or spent hours studying maps. For the most part, caution worked, plans bore fruit. Once only, he’d been impetuous. Once only, he’d thrown caution away and acted out of the passion of the moment.

But he’d never regret the instant he’d decided Éowyn should not die alone.

 

Author : Dreamflower
Title: Sestina for Pippin
Rating: G
Theme: Poetry
Elements: verb: fight
Author's Notes: My first attempt at a rhyming sestina! A sestina is a form of poetry in which the same six words are used at the end of the lines in every stanza, with each verse using the words in a different order.
Summary: Pippin on the Quest
Word Count: 376

Sestina for Pippin

To even join the journey was a scarcely-won fight.
yet you knew that you could help to keep the burden light,
and hoped they would trust in friendship rather than might.
When you won the chance to go, you knew it was your right,
though how you would be tried and tested was beyond your sight,
ever you sought to keep your hope bright.

You learned how to sleep when the sun was still bright.
You learned how to wield a sword in a fight;
and how to walk for hours with only the stars for light.
You learned that size was not the only measure of might,
nor of compassion, nor of what was right.
But you already knew how to keep loved ones in sight.

The Wide World was filled with sight after sight,
some of them dreadful, and some of them bright.
And soon enough you saw Death in a fight,
How hard was it then to keep your heart light?
You owed your life to a strong Man's might;
would the world ever again come right?

You knew your curiousity was not right,
but foolish you were when the new was in sight.
Like a jackdaw you were drawn to the shiny and bright,
pulled down into temptation you could not fight,
caught in the maelstrom of the dark light--
set your heart, not your head, against the Enemy's might!

On your own you sought to do what you might
to pay a life-debt and to set things right,
lowly though you were in the Steward's sight.
You brought with you hope, and a spirit so bright.
You knew a life couldn't be surrendered without a fight,
And brought the White Wizard to fight fire with light.

And at siege's end you took your own light,
and marched away to what only might
be hope. But you knew it was right
whether a fool's hope or no. But what a sad sight--
a sword, a cloak, and armour so bright.
And in despair you fought your fight!

And what a fight! Your slain enemy's might
came down to crush breath and light. Darkness filled your sight!
But your spirit stayed bright, and the fool's hope came right!

June 2011 Challenge

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Dream a Little Dream of Me
Rating: G
Theme: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Elements: This quote from the play: "And yet to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays." Bottom, Act III, Scene I
Author's Notes: I thought I'd try using the three key words in the quotation, truth, reason and love in each drabble.
Summary: Three drabbles; Bungo/Belladonna
Word Count: 300

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Bungo blinked. The dream seemed so real that he felt confused on waking to find himself in his own bed, at night, and alone, when an instant before he'd been walking hand-in-hand with Belladonna though a springtime forest, the trees a-bloom, pale petals raining down up them, her laughter like music.

But his dream was ashes. She'd thrown him over. His family was relieved. His brother Longo had never liked her; it was to be expected, he'd said. Tooks were wild and unpredictable, it was all for the best.

But the truth was, he still loved her beyond all reason.

*******

Belladonna eased herself out of bed, careful not to wake her sisters, and padded over to their window. It had been so hard to waken from so sweet a dream: she and Bungo, side-by-side on a comfortable settee in front of a cheery hearth in a cosy hole, his strong arm about her shoulder, her head leaning on his.

Her sisters were unsurprised when she had called their courtship off: Bagginses were so prim, staid and respectable. Frankly, Mirabella had said, Bungo was boring.

The truth was she had thrown away the love of her life for no good reason.

*******

Of course they came together once more. They could no more have remained apart than they could have stopped breathing. Why punish themselves over something trivial?

In the golden years to come they'd recall those months apart with the wry amusement of hindsight. The truth was they could barely remember their quarrel in the first place. It had, like most such quarrels of the young, been over something quite inconsequential. There were walks in the woods and evenings by the fire until they were old and wise.

Reason won out in the end. Their love made their dreams come true.

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Eucatastrophe: Summer Respite
Rating: G
Theme: Summertime Blues
Elements: 315 words
Author's Notes: This story takes place in my “Eucatastrophe AU” in S.R. 1452. In this AU, the Three Elven Rings did not fade after the destruction of the One, but instead were freed, and gained even more power. Frodo was able to find healing and remain in Middle-earth, and Gandalf and the Elves were allowed to make return journeys to Middle-earth. (I know, I know…if only…)*
In this story, Frodo, at the age of 83, has retired to Minas Anor, where he hopes to finish his definitive book on the languages of Men and Elves. Merry’s son Peridoc, Pippin’s son Faramir, and two of Sam’s sons--Merry-lad and Pippin-lad--have accompanied him, for they are to spend two years studying at the Court of the High King. The four lads live with their Uncle Frodo and Gandalf in the same guesthouse where the Fellowship stayed after the War. This story takes place in the summer of their second year.]
Frodo: 84 (about 53 in Man-years)
Fam (Faramir) Took: 22 ( 14 in Man-years)
Perry (Peridoc) Brandybuck: 27 (17 in Man-years)
Merry-lad Gamgee: 25 (16 in Man-years)
Pippin-lad Gamgee: 23 ( 14½ in Man-years)]
Summary: Just a little summertime vignette in Fourth Age Ithilien…
Word Count: 315

Eucatastrophe: Summer Respite

Frodo sat next to his host on the grassy sward that led to the stony beach surrounding the cove, watching the children splashing and playing in the water beneath a brilliant blue sky.

"This reminds me of the cove off the Brandywine, where the Brandybuck fry learn to swim. Only it is much warmer here." He tipped his face to catch a stray breeze.

"Not so warm as the city," said Faramir.

"No, Minas Anor is sweltering this time of year," Frodo admitted. "Thank you for inviting us to visit. I'm afraid we hobbits were wilting."

"Not so rough!" Faramir shouted. His sons Elboron and Elemir were playing catch with his namesake, flinging young Faramir Took back and forth. The hobbit lad shrieked with laughter, and the lads' dog Billie barked, swimming back and forth in an effort to join the game. Perry Brandybuck was shouting "My turn, Fam!" Meanwhile, the Gamgee brothers Merry-lad and Pippin-lad seemed content to dive for the stones that Faramir's daughter Morwen was throwing into the water. She had been swimming with the lads earlier, but now stood upon the shore, wrapped in a towel.

"I am sorry that Mithrandir did not accept our invitation as well," Faramir said. "We would have been pleased to see him again also."

Frodo laughed. "I think Gandalf was looking forward to the peace and quiet of having the house to himself for a while. He loves the lads dearly, but four rambunctious hobbit tweens and a dog the size of a small pony make a good deal of commotion." He smiled. "Did you ever imagine a day like this, all those years ago when we parted —Sam and I on our way to Mount Doom, you bound for Minas Tirith and war?"

The Prince of Ithilien shook his head. "I can truly say, such an idea would have been beyond my wildest imagining!"

  HOBBITS

How we love them!
Our small heroes:
Burglar, Ringbearers, Knights of Gondor and Rohan,
Banishing the dark with their bright spirits and brave hearts.
It doesn't bear
Thinking about a world without them,
So dear to our hearts!
__________________

Happy Birthday, Bilbo and Frodo! AND
Happy World Hobbit Day!

Thank you, Professor, for writing down these words: "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit."

A little double drabble written for Piplover:

Teaching a Lesson 

The King looked down at the young unconscious guardsman, and then at the small figure standing beside him, wearing a woeful expression.

"I'm sorry, sire," Pippin said ruefully. "He gave me no choice."

There were several voices from the rest of the onlookers, all raised in support of Pippin's statement.

Aragorn shook his head. "What happened?"

"We were sparring, but he grew angry when I started getting the better of him." Pippin looked up with an expression of hurt. "He was really trying to injure me…or well…he was serious."

"He might have killed Sir Peregrin!" said one of the other guardsmen, and there were murmurs of assent.

"How did you best him, then, Pippin?" the King asked.

"When I realised he was truly angry, I ducked beneath his legs and tripped him from behind. Then I used the hilt of my sword to knock him out. I had to hit him pretty hard since he had a helm on. I hope he isn't injured too badly."

There was a pitiful moan from the prone figure. "I do not think that he is, Pippin. However, he may be wishing you had killed him by the time I get through with him."

I only just realized that I never posted the limericks here that I wrote in 2011 for Great Tale's limerick challenge!

So, here they are:

The Shire

There is a place called the Shire.
It's a wonderful spot to retire--
The hills are as green
as any you've seen,
And scenery you've got to admire!

Off to Find the Dragon

Thirteen dwarves and a hobbit did slog
Over mountain, through forest and fog;
Dealt with goblins and trolls,
Escaped Elf-king's holes--
All to visit a dragon called Smaug.

Bilbo

There once was a hobbit named Baggins
Who had some experience with dragons.
He went for to roam,
But when he came home,
He set all the tongues to a-wagging.

Gollum

There once was a critter called Sméagol,
Who murdered his cousin called Déagol
For a shiny new ring,
A precious little thing.
But homicide still is illegal.

Shortcut

A Took and a Brandybuck
Were known for pushing their luck.
It finally turned bad
When they made Maggot mad,
As into his crops they snuck.*

*Okay, I confess this one is movie-verse!

(I will not be posting the scavenger hunt quote results with my entries; since I participated in creating the prompts it would not be fair.)

B2MeM Challenge: March 5, coronation; March 6, dark
Format: Drabble
Genre: Narrative
Rating: G
Character(s): Aragorn, the city of Minas Tirith
Summary: Minas Tirith rejoices in the light.
Quote: "But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him."

"It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter."


From Dark to Light

The White City had gone down into darkness, had hovered on the brink of despair. Blood and ruin, fire and despair, had engulfed her people. There had been no end to the night, no break of morning, no hope.
Then hope had come on a fresh wind from the South, blowing away the dark clouds of the East: a great jeweled standard heralding the return long unlooked for was unfurled; and strong was the arm of a warrior, and gentle was the hand of healing.

Now hope is crowned, and the light has returned, and the darkness has been banished.

  (I will not be posting the scavenger hunt quote results with my entries; since I participated in creating the prompts it would not be fair.)

B2MeM Challenge: March 7, Ents
Format: Double drabble
Genre: Black humor
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Character death
Character(s): OC Orc, Beechbone
Summary: Working for Isenguard, an Orc can't win for losing.
Quote:
“Now let thy children beware! For there shall walk a power in the forests whose wrath they will arouse at their peril.”

Mandatory Overtime

Grekh looked uneasily at the trees looming over him, and glanced out onto the plain, where he saw his companions dragging away the night's harvest. Uglúk had been angry with him because he had not felled his quota of wood to stoke the fires of Isengard; he'd been ordered to stay behind until he had felled at least three more trees--they would return to drag them back on the morrow.

Somehow those trees seemed much larger than they had when the others had been by him. And three trees would take nearly all the rest of the night to finish cutting. It would be daylight before he was done; he was no Uruk-hai and he did not like the idea of going back to Isengard under the Sun. But of course it would have been foolish indeed to dispute Uglúk's orders. Uglúk had a quick temper and a sword. Might as well get on with it.

Grekh raised his ax. It vanished from his hands. He looked up and screamed at the tree monster, a scream cut off as the woody foot descended.

Beechbone looked with disgust at the bottom of his foot. "Hoom-hah! Orcs! Brm, hoom! Foul burárum!

B2MeM Challenge: March 20, 2013
Format: Fixed-length-ficlet (111 words)
Genre: Gapfiller
Rating: G
Warnings:
Character(s): Lotho Sackville-Baggins
Author's Note: This was to have been a drabble, but when I finished it, I found the word count to be so fortuitous that I decided to leave it as it was and make it an FLF: 111 words for Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday.
Summary: Lotho's thoughts as he leaves The Party…
Quote: Third Age: "There was a specially large pavilion, so big that the tree that grew in the field was right inside it, and stood proudly near one end, at the head of the chief table. Lanterns were hung on all its branches. More promising still (to the hobbits' mind): an enormous open-air kitchen was erected in the north corner of the field." (Fellowship of the Ring, "An Unexpected Party")
Theme: Pride

Setting Goals

Lotho glared venomously at the field behind him at the festive party-goers singing and dancing and feasting and drinking, heedless of the fact that his dreams and those of his family had just been ruthlessly crushed and all that should have been theirs given over to an interloper from the wrong side of the River.

His parents had already reached their carriage, but Lotho had attended separately. He found his pony by the picket that had been provided for those party-goers who had ridden to the party.

Pride reared its head. He would not accept this defeat. One of these days he'd turn this spot into the site of his victory.

 

B2MeM Challenge: March 22, 2013
Format: Double drabble (200 words)
Genre: Gapfiller
Rating: G
Character(s): Bilbo, Elrond
Summary: On their way home from the Adventure, Gandalf and Bilbo stopped once more in Rivendell.
Quote: : "His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley."(The Hobbit, "A Short Rest")

Tra-la-lally! Come Back to the Valley!

Bilbo looked around once more at this place. He had fallen in love at first sight with Rivendell. "I thank you once more for your hospitality, Master Elrond. I have felt quite at home here."

"You are most welcome, Mr. Baggins. Do not forget that we have agreed to correspond. Gandalf has already said he will be glad to bring me your letters, and to carry mine."

"I do appreciate it, though I hope the accounts of our small doings in the Shire won't bore you." Bilbo looked up at his host shyly. "I hope you don't think me too bold when I say I hope to return some day."

For just an instant, Elrond found himself seeing Bilbo, aged and venerable, here in this place, comfortable and settled. He smiled at the vision.

"Not at all, my small friend." He placed a hand upon the hobbit's shoulder. "We would be most pleased to host you once more."

"Come along, Bilbo!" called an impatient voice from the foot of the steps.

"Gandalf awaits you. Go in peace and safety to your Shire."

Bilbo hurried down the steps, then turned and waved. Would he really be back one day, he wondered? 

B2MeM Challenge: March 9, 2013
Format: Fixed-length Ficlet (300 words, tribble)
Genre: Vignette
Rating: PG
Warnings: Discussion of canon death
Character(s): Legolas, Gimli (Merry, Pippin implied)
Summary: Legolas and Gimli grieve.
Quote:  “Death is their fate, the gift of Ilúvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy.” (The Silmarillion)

The Gift of Friendship

The stone was of great comfort to Gimli, son of Gloin. He ran his hand over the granite likeness of Meriadoc, and his eyes filled as he gazed at the likeness of Peregrin, their greatness of heart and courage now memorialized for the future generations of Men, to remember how it was the smallest who had saved them all. But stone was no comfort to his companion, who turned on his heel and fled.

He did not pursue right away. He could not have kept up. But he knew where to find his friend. He made his way to the Court of the White Tree, where Legolas stood before it.

He stood beside the Elf silently; they were united in grief, and yet divided by it as well.

After what seemed a long time, Legolas spoke. "How do you stand it, Gimli? It is different to lose someone in battle--but this swift march of years stealing my friends from me one by one, while I am left standing behind with no way to reach them any longer is more difficult than I ever thought it would be."

Gimli shook his head. "The march of years is slow to me; mortals share that march together, growing older, sharing the pains and ills of age with one another, sharing the joys of watching young ones grow, until we have the fullness of our lives. We do grieve to see others go before us, but most of the time we know they are ready and that we will be ready one day ourselves."

"But you do not know to where you go nor if you will be reunited."

"We do not need to know, only to believe. It is the way of things."

"It is a Gift at least, not to grieve forever."

 

(Written for the LOTR GFIC Comm April 2013 Poetry Challenge)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Fellowship Clerihews
Rating: G
Theme: Poetry
Elements: "And he yearned for the mirth of the populous earth." (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil "The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon") Just because I wanted to write something funny.
Author's Notes: These poems are a specific type of humorous verse- Clerihew: A humorous format contained in a single quatrain and composed of two rhyming couplets. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b with lines of uneven length. Clerihews are usually written as pseudo-biographical pieces about a famous personage. The name of the subject ends the first, or occasionally the second line and the humor is light and whimsical instead of satirical. Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) created the format to avoid boredom in school. (Information from Inkspot dot c o m)
Summary: A collection of nine short humorous verses about the members of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Word Count: 208

Fellowship Clerihews

Frodo Baggins of Bag End
inherited a pretty little Ring.
He went off on a trip with his best friends
to get rid of that pesky little thing.

They called him Gandalf the Grey,
for his clothes were not all that bright;
but after the Balrog he went away,
and then came back all dressed in white!

There was a gardener whose name was Sam;
he stuck to his boss like glue.
He was handy with a frying pan,
and pretty good at exterminating large arachnids, too!

Meriadoc Brandybuck
had a little sword.
The Witch-King of Angmar ran plumb out of luck
when with it Merry scored.

Bold young Peregrin Took
was a hobbit most curious;
when he just had to take a look,
he made everyone else quite understandably furious.

Aragorn, Estel, Longshanks, Strider, Thorongil,
and Wingfoot, Elessar Telcontar, too;
he collected names willy-nill,
which is why he had quite a few.

Good old Boromir, son of Denethor,
lost his way and lost his horse.
But he finally found the Imladris he was looking for,
of course.

Gimli the Dwarf
is sharpening his ax,
the better to take Orc heads orf
with a minimum of whacks!

Legolas Thranduilion
sits in a tree,
avoiding a million
ladies chasing after he.

 

(Written for the LOTR GFIC Comm April 2013 Poetry Challenge)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Not All Who Wander Are Lost: The Grey Pilgrim
Rating: G
Theme: Poetry
Elements: "Not all who wander are lost."
Author's Notes: A sonnet: 14 lines, 3 quatrains and a couplet, Shakespearian rhyme scheme
(I'd originally hoped to do some other Fellowship sonnets, using the same quote, but only had time for one.)
Summary: A sonnet about Gandalf
Word Count: 121

Not All Who Wander Are Lost: The Grey Pilgrim

He went forth clad in raiment worn and grey
A messenger of hope to Elves and Men;
His wisdom made them heed what he would say,
His Pity made them think of him as friend.

Pilgrim he was; no home to call his own,
Yet those who loved him gave him hearth and rest.
His duties called him evermore to roam,
He was sometimes scorned, sometimes welcomed guest.

He put his faith in folly, not despair,
And he sacrificed himself, but not in vain.
One sent him back his duties again to bear,
To put an end to terror and its reign.

Within his hand he kindled hearts grown cold,
Gave hope to grief and made the timid bold.

(Written June 2013, for Father's Day)

Title: A Father's Fears
Rating: G
Summary: A six drabble set on what it was like to be the father of Peregrin Took. (600 words)

A Father's Fears

I.

Paladin sat by the cradle staring at the tiny face, red and wrinkled: the tiniest baby Paladin had ever seen. His heart clinched. Peregrin had come early, and the birthing had been long and difficult, exhausting for both mother and child. Indeed, for a terrifying while, Paladin feared he'd lose them both. Now he had a son. He would have loved another daughter just as much, but something in him knew it would be different with this child. He loved him fiercely already, but there was a tinge of fear in his heart, fear that he might lose this longed-for son.

II.

Paladin sat by the bed, gazing at Pippin, listening to the high-pitched wheeze that accompanied each hard-won breath. At seven, he was a daring child, trying to follow in the footsteps of those much older and larger than he. But races and jumping and the rough-and-tumble of lads often brought this on, the difficulty in breathing, the rattle in the thin little chest, then illness and fever and time abed. Yet the child would never admit that he couldn't do everything the others did. Would his stubbornness and persistence one day carry him off where his father could not follow?

III.

Paladin stood across the room from the bed,staying out of the way of the healer's desperate efforts to save his son. Fury rose up, fury at his son for jeopardizing his young life for a foolish dare; fury at those who had made the dare. The others had played Peregrin like a hooked fish-using his son's curiosity and wish to seem older than he was to push him into drinking himself into a stupor. His son had to learn how to lead, not to just blindly follow. Paladin's fear had tied him in knots. Would his son survive this night?*

IV.

Paladin stared out the window into the darkest night of his life. He glanced guiltily at the bed he had abandoned; would the pounding of his heart waken his wife? Perhaps not, if his terrified gasp as he awakened did not cause her to stir. He tried to hope it was a nightmare brought on by these terrible times of trouble-but he knew it was a vision. "Night oft brings news to near kin." Somewhere in the world, far from home and those who loved him, his son had gasped out his life beneath a crushing weight. Pippin was dead.**

V.

Paladin came into his son's room at the sound of his cries. The nightmares that troubled his child troubled him. So much his son had seen and done that no hobbit should ever have to see and do; he had not understood at first. He had tried to punish his son for leaving him to worry, to deal with terror and grief and anger, when Pippin had done the only thing he could in leaving. But now he was ashamed of his old fear. He moved to the bed, and ran his hand gently through Pippin's curls, soothing his dreams.

VI.

Paladin sat by the hearth watching his grandchildren, three bonnie lasses and one lad on his father's knee, enthralled by Pippin's tale. "...and that, my lambs, is why you should always pay attention to Uncle Merry!' Now give Papa and Grandfather a kiss and off to bed with you!"

Bending forward, Paladin accepted three kisses on his cheek and one that landed on his nose, and watched them scamper after Diamond as she led them to the nursery.

"I fear I'll never be as good a father as you were," said Pippin.

Paladin squeezed his hand. "No fear of that."

~~~~~~~~

Author's Notes:
*A reference to my story "The Dare"

**This refers to the idea in my fanon that Paladin had declared Pippin dead during the year he was gone, and attempts to explain why his father lost hope so quickly and thoroughly.

(Written June 2013, for Father's Day)

Title: Fathers by Choice
Rating: G
Author's Notes: I have always been struck by the fact that both Elrond and Bilbo had adoptive sons on the Quest, and thought that might be something that would draw them together.
Summary: Elrond and Bilbo worry about the sons of their hearts. A double drabble (200 words)

February 26, T.A. 3018
Breaking of the Fellowship. Death of Boromir; his horn is heard in Minas Tirith. Meriadoc and Peregrin captured. Frodo and Samwise enter the Easter Emyn Muil. Aragorn sets out in pursuit of the Orcs at evening. Éomer hears of the descent of the Orc-band from Emyn Muil. (From Appendix B, "The Tale of Years, The Great Years")

Fathers by Choice

Elrond found his old friend there, where he had spent most of the day, each and every day, for the last ninety-one days: on the balcony that faced South and East. The tray of food placed beside him on the bench was only half-eaten, but Bilbo had a cup of tea in his hands, more for warmth, Elrond suspected, than any other reason.

"A hobbit who does not eat is a worrisome thing."

Bilbo gave a mirthless chuckle. "I am old; not some ravenous tween."

"I have never known your appetite to be affected by your years until quite recently."

The hobbit shrugged. "I think you know why."

The Master of Rivendell pushed the tray to one side, sitting down next to his friend.

"I have reason to believe our children have gone their separate ways."

There was a sharp intake of breath. "What's happened?"

"That which was necessary. Yet my heart tells me that both are still hale, if not safe."

"I wish I could know as you do, Elrond."

"Foresight is as much a grief as it is a blessing to a father's heart, Bilbo."

The two fathers leaned together for comfort as they watched the evening fall. 

 

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Joy Like Swords
Rating: G
Theme: Time in a Bottle: moments to keep forever
Elements: 261 words
Author's Notes: I've written this moment from Pippin's POV, but never from Merry's.
Summary: A moment Merry will keep in his memory forever.
Word Count: 261

Joy Like Swords

 

Merry could scarcely bring himself to believe it was real. So long his heart had felt constrained, caged and beating vainly to be free again from fear, fear of darkness, fear of defeat, fear of being alone again; alone forever, bereft of those he loved, cut off from his dearest friends. Could he have borne to live himself, if as he had feared, Pippin, Frodo and Sam had all died achieving victory? He could never have returned to the Shire alone, the only survivor of a doomed journey.

But now, now he knew: they all four would go home together. None of them would be left behind in a far-off foreign land; they all would return victorious to the Shire. He could feel his heart swelling fit to burst, swelling with pride and joy and with freedom and with awe and wonder at how such a miracle had been achieved.

He sat before Éothain on his great bay stallion, the only mounted ones amid the éored, gathered together in ranks before them. He could see from the great horse's back over the heads of the Rohirrim.

There they came, Frodo and Sam, led by Gandalf, looking rather lost amid the vast host. The shout went up, spears were shaken: "Long live the Halflings! Praise them with great praise!"

He watched them led up to meet the High King amid the songs and shouts, and he saw Aragorn greet them and gather them in his arms.

This moment, this shining moment, would live in his heart for the rest of his life.

  (Written for the September 2013 LOTR GFIC Recipe!Fic Challenge)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: The Tart Taste of Summer
Rating: G
Theme: Special Celebrations (recipe!fic)
Elements: My prompt was a tart; for this story I decided to use the other adjectival meaning of "tart".
Author's Notes: I decided to make this a five-drabble set. It takes place during the months just before and just after the events of "An Unexpected Party".
Summary: When Bilbo passes through Rivendell after leaving the Shire for the last time, he brings Elrond an unusual gift.
Word Count: 500 (a five drabble set)
The Tart Taste of Summer

29 Afterlithe, S.R. 1401

Sam set the basket down on the kitchen table. "Mr. Bilbo, we've got a mort of them little tomatoes this year! They're too small to put up; it'd be more work than it was worth to skin 'em."

Bilbo looked at the basket. For days they'd been treated to the sweet little tomatoes which yielded better this year than the larger ones. But the season was nearly ended and still so many of them...

Suddenly, he grinned. He took down the box of family receipts and thumbed through them. "Aha! Frodo, fetch up my mother's canning crocks from the cellar!"


21 Halimath, S.R. 1401

Bilbo sat in the kitchen, ticking off the last few tasks on his list. Add his brushes to his pack; gather paperwork for Frodo; finish that last letter; check tags on the gifts to be left in the entry hall; make sure the Dwarves picked up all his boxes; a last word with Frodo in the morning; gift for Master Elrond...what could he give him? It had to be something different, something hobbity.

As he ran through the possibilities, his eye lit on the dish in front of him, and he popped a morsel into his mouth. Of course!


7 Winterfilth, S.R. 1401

"We will be pleased to store your things until your journey to Erebor is complete," said Master Elrond. "The trip is perilous, and you would not wish to risk losing something important." He gestured to the Elves behind them carrying crates and bundles. Then he flung open the door to an empty storeroom. "We shall just put them in here, shall we?"

"Oh! Just a moment!" said Bilbo. He grabbed a smaller crate. "This is for you! A gift for your hospitality! It needs to go into the kitchen, into a cold cellar."

Master Elrond took it. "Thank you, Bilbo!"


Later that same day...

The cook opened the crate; nestled in a bed of straw were four canning crocks, sealed tight with a bale of wire. He had been directed to put them into the cold cellar, but he was not about to do so unless he knew what had been brought into his kitchen. He lifted the wire hook that would release the pressure on the lid, and then lifted it. The smell was strong but not unpleasant, the colour was vibrant. He took a small spoon and lifted one out and inspected it more closely. Ah, these would be a treat indeed!


15 Winterfilth, S.R. 1401

Bilbo and the Dwarves were to leave the next day, to depart for the Lonely Mountain, the occasion marked by a feast of farewell.

The hobbit sat at Elrond's right side, his face a study in delight as he beheld the bowls and platters set before them; venison and pheasant were on the table; there were breads and cheeses; roasted root vegetables. But there in a crystal bowl was a mound of tiny bright red fruits--miniature tomatoes!

"Ah! Master Elrond, they have served my gift! Do try some!"

Elrond took one and bit into the tart taste of summer. Amazing!


Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

About 4 to 5 cups of fresh cherry tomatoes
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups filtered water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
4-8 garlic cloves, sliced
(Optional: a few peppercorns, some coriander)

Wash tomatoes and remove the stems.

Poke 2-3 holes through tomatoes with a skewer. This allows the brine to seep in. Place the tomatoes in a sterilized jar (simply boil the jar or run through the dishasher with no soap).

Put vinegar, water, salt, sugar and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour the brine into your jars over the tomatoes. It’s enough for about maybe 4 pints depending on how much evaporated and how many tomatoes are stuffed into your jar.

Cover the jar with a sterilized lid and screw your ring on. Put them in the refrigerator and let them sit for at least 24 hours to soak up the goodness. They will last a long time refrigerated, a few months.

(Author's Notes on the recipe: This is not an original recipe. I found it Here on the web, and changed the formatting a little to suit myself. These are astounding, if you like sour!

Of course hobbits would not have modern canning jars with disposable lids and bands; they would have used ceramic or glass crocks for preserving and pickling, the kind which had the lids held in place by a wire bale that latched the lid firmly to the jar. And there were no refrigerators, but I am assuming that both Bag End and Rivendell would have had a cold cellar--not quite as cold as a modern fridge, but plenty cold enough to keep something pickled fresh for a long time.)


(Written for the great_tales Challenge 209: drabbles about fame; tied for third place.)

Title: Fangirls
Author(s):Dreamflower
Rating: G
Fandom: LotR
Character(s): Gimli; unnamed OCs
Summary: In post-Quest Minas Tirith, Gimli runs interference for the hobbits against a new kind of danger.
Author's Notes: This was really hard to keep to 100 words! This is about a little incident briefly mentioned in my story "Chance Encounter", but you don't need to read that to get this.

Fangirls

Gimli heard the giggles: four of them at the Citadel's side entrance. He blew out a puff of smoke from his pipe, and glanced at the Guardsman beside the door. He'd not moved from his position of attention, but bore a pinched look upon his face.

"I'll see this lot off, then," Gimli said.

The oldest might have been sixteen; "W-we have messages for the pheriannath!"

"Do you, then?"

They blushed.

He glanced at their slipper-clad feet. "You've no chance with them, lassies, not without furry feet. Can you grow beards? No? You might try the Elf, then."

They fled.

(Written for the October 2013 LOTR GFIC "Lost and Found" Challenge)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Cast Away
Rating: G
Theme: Lost and Found
Elements: My element was the emotion "regret".
Author's Notes: This double drabble takes place in The Two Towers The first part is set in the "Treebeard" chapter, when Merry and Pippin spend the night at the Ent's home in Fangorn; the second part is set immediately after the end of "Flotsam and Jetsam" and before "The Voice of Saruman".
Summary: Pippin regrets a foolish action, only to learn it's not so foolish after all.
Word Count:200


Cast Away

Safe and warm in their green herb-scented nest in Wellinghall, Merry was about to drop off to sleep when he heard Pippin heave a sigh.

"What's wrong, Pip?"

"I was missing my brooch, the one the Lady gave me when we left Lothlorien." He clutched at the neck of his cloak.

"I'd been meaning to ask about it, Pip; did the Orcs steal it?"

"No. I was just a fool of a Took. I threw it away on the march, a clue for Strider if he was looking for us. Just a stupid thing to do, and I regret it."


~~~~~~~~


Merry and Pippin were gathering up the remains of their picnic with their newly reunited friends. Pippin paused to grin at the brooch in his hand; he'd never expected to ever see it again, and he couldn't believe it had come back to him. He polished it on his sleeve and fastened it back at the neck of his cloak. He grinned. "I won't have to keep holding my cloak on now!"

"Good old Strider!" said Merry. "You were right about Aragorn following us!"

Pippin nodded. "I was, wasn't I?"

"Not so foolish now?"

"I don't regret it after all."

(Written for the 2013 Great Tales Fic Exchange, for goldvermilion87.)

Title: Translator
Author(s): Dreamflower
Rating: G
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings
Character(s): (See end notes)
Summary: JRR Tolkien undertakes a very interesting task.
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: goldvermilion87's request was--"1. Can you write a complete AU in 100 words? 2. Add a historical character into a fandom." The answer to the first question is, no, but I could do it in 250. So this is a double drabble and a half, the maximum word allowance. And I believe I fulfilled the second request. The reader may judge.

Translator

Ronald smiled at the figure seated across from him. "Well, Lord Roland, do you find it satisfactory?"

Roland Tucker-Hill looked up from the last page of the sheaf of papers, and smiled. He was child-sized, but no child. Yet Ronald had never seen him appear discomfited by his stature. After the work they had undertaken together over the years, he understood why. "I am most pleased. You have clearly captured the essence of the family legends, teasing out many events that were lost in the mists of time. It makes a compelling story as well." He straightened the stack of papers in his hands and passed them back over the desk to the professor.

In return, Ronald passed back to him a thick and worn volume, the leather cover faded and worn, though perhaps at some long ago time it might have been red. "It's going to take a long while, however, for me to work it into some semblance of fiction. And then there will be the matter of finding a publisher?" He looked past Lord Roland to the other three guests, whom he'd met for the first time today.

Mrs. Goldenwood, a woman of stunning beauty, said softly, "It will happen. But it will change your life."

Mr. Elwin added, "The most important thing is to keep hidden that which must remain hidden."

"Yes," said the old man called Mr. Pilgrim. "It must wait until the fullness of time to reveal that the Three still have their Power."

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

(A/N: I'm sure most of the readers understood the inferences, but here are the characters for the sake of completeness: The historical character, is, of course, JRR Tolkien himself, who was referred to as Ronald by his family. Roland Tucker-Hill is an OC, but clearly meant to be a direct descendant of certain hobbits. "Mrs. Goldenwood" is Galadriel; "Mr. Elwin" is Elrond; "Mr. Pilgrim" is, of course, Gandalf.)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Five Wizards Went Over the Sea
Rating: G
Theme: Laugh! (Humorous Poetry)
Elements: mendacity/veracity
Author's Notes: Originally just one limerick about Saruman. It grew.
Summary: The story of the Istari in limerick form.
Word Count: 191

  Five Wizards Went Over the Sea  

Five wizards went over the Sea,
old men they did seem to be.
Sent off on a chore
to make Sauron no more,
but on how, they could never agree.

A wizard called Gandalf the Grey
wished to sit blowing smoke-rings all day.
But he was kept busy,
his thoughts in a tizzy:
Sauron's Ring gave him no time to play.

A wizard named Saruman the White
was known for his speech-making might.
But his lack of veracity
revealed his mendacity,
and so all his words lost their bite.

A wizard named Radagast the Brown
was sometimes thought to be just a clown
since he preferred solitude.
His feathered friends were multitude,
So he always knew what was going down.

Alatar and Pallando were Blue;
Not sad--'t was simply their hue.
Their fates were a mystery,
they vanished from history
And left behind not a clue.

Five wizards went over the Sea;
only one made it back, all agree.
He finished his task,
And now he can bask,
blowing smoke-rings by the Sea.


(For those who are not familiar with "my" Shire-universe, in S.R. 1433, the year after Merry becomes Master of Brandy Hall, Buckland suffers a devastating flood. I first described it in a drabble, "Lesson Learned: Spring Flood S.R. 1433" and later on, after Hurricane Katrina struck my hometown I expanded on the event in "Hobbit Aid" In this set of vignettes, various characters affected by the flood find strength in thinking of those who are absent.)

Written for the 2010 Back to Middle-earth Month Challenge, Week Three:

Challenge: Earthquakes, starvation, natural catastrophes. Do these happen in Middle-earth? Write a story, poem or create an artwork where the characters have to deal with any natural catastrophe.

When the Storms of Life are Raging (Stand by Me)

Merry:

How the wind howls, the trees creak and groan, and the water roars. Outside the windows of the Hall, the night is black and the lightning illuminates in brief flashes sheets of water pouring down, and debris floating by. The noises remind me of nothing so much as that long night at Isengard, you and I huddling together on a pile of rock, like islands in a river's current as the Ents wreaked their destruction of Isengard. Oh Pippin! You are halfway across the Shire, and there's a raging River between us. But I know if you were here, you'd lift my spirits with your own, and cheer my heart with your hope.

Esmeralda:

Saradoc my love! How I wish you were with me now! You'd be so proud of our Merry, so strong, so determined. He reminds me so much of you. You taught him well, my dear! I know it would break your heart to see what's become of Buckland on this bleak grey morning. But I can see you, standing behind him, guiding him in the care of our people. I know you are watching over him, over me, somehow.

Pippin

Is this what it's going to be like? I see Merry's face, as white as the cold marble statues in the Citadel. He's carrying the burden of all Buckland on his shoulders, and it's weighing him down. It won't be long before I'll have the same responsibility for all the Shire: I have to face that. I have to start now with Merry. I have to help him, to help Buckland. But I know where to start: Strider. He's taught me what it means to lead, and he'll help us now, in our time of trouble. I can always trust my King to know what's right.

Sam:

Mr. Frodo, I'm glad you don't have to see what's become of the place where you grew up. I'm glad you don't have to see how much poor Merry's hurting, nor how much Pippin's hurting for him. But I wish you was here for them. I'll do my best- to my way of thinking, you left me your cares and duties as well as your properties, and I know as you'd be trying ever so hard to take care of your cousins in a time like this. They're my friends as well, I want to help. But I'm only filling in for you- it's you as they need. I'll just have to try and think, "what would Mr. Frodo do?" And then, I guess, I'll go and do it

(Written for the January 2014 Potluck Challenge)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: A Simple Answer
Rating: G
Theme: Potluck
Elements: November's theme: gratitude
Author's Notes: "Giving gifts: was a personal matter, not limited to kinship. It was a form of 'thanksgiving, and taken as a recognition of services, benefits and friendship show, especially in the last year." (Letters, #214)
Summary: In Minas Tirith, Pippin and his friend Menelcar, have a conversation about hobbit customs.
Word Count: 200


"I have always been curious, Pippin, about the curious custom hobbits have of giving gifts to others on their birthdays. You must know it seems quite backwards to the rest of the world." Menelcar puffed on his pipe, and then sent up a smoke ring.

Pippin leaned back against the garden wall where he and the Court Minstrel sat, and produced a somewhat larger and rounder one, and then gave his friend a cheeky grin.
"To us, the rest of the world seems backwards. We do give gifts to the byrdings, but not on their birthdays. Usually we give them the day before, but if we miss doing that, then we must wait for afterwards. The actual birthday is especially for the byrdings to give gifts."

"But why?"

Pippin looked at him closely. He wondered at Men sometimes. Why couldn't they see the obvious. "You really don't know? It's because the day you are born is the day you should show thanks for having been given life. So of course you give out gifts to those family and friends who have made your life better all that year!"

Menelcar blinked. Of course. When put that way it was so simple.

(Written for the 2015 July Fixed-Length-Ficlet Challenge for the GFic Community.)

Author: Dreamflower
Title: What He Could Recall
Rating: G
Theme: Arrivals and Departures
Elements: 333
Author's Notes:
Summary: Three times Frodo arrived someplace new, and then departed.
Word Count: 333

What He Could Recall

He couldn't recall arriving in Rivendell; his last memory was his sword suddenly breaking in his hand as he shouted defiance across the Ford. He had been carried in by someone, he knew not who. He had wakened to the welcome sight of Gandalf at his side, the memory of several days absent from his mind.

Then came the Council and his rash claiming of a Quest he was certain would be the death of him. When he left Rivendell he would have twice as many companions as he had come with.

So after a time of recovery was departure: he simply walked out of Rivendell of his own free will.

-oo000oo-

He remembered his arrival in the Black Land. Sick from captivity, spider poison, burdened by orc armour, he and Sam simply walked into Mordor of their own free wills.

Step by step, time went by and he remembered less and less of that trek, until Gollum appeared on the side of Mount Doom. To his everlasting shame, he could vividly remember his claiming of the Ring. Yet it was destroyed in spite of him.

Of his departure from Mordor, he recalled nothing. He was carried away by Eagles, they told him. He wakened to the incredible sight of Gandalf at his side, the memory of several days absent from his mind.

-oo000oo-

He arrived at the Grey Havens fully aware of where he was. Once more he was fleeing—this time from a life he could never have. The smell of the Sea was almost familiar, though he had never been there before. But he was arriving only to depart once more.

He spoke his farewells to those he loved, and turned away to the Grey Ship.

Once they were upon the Straight Path, his memories of the journey grew dim and faint, but he remembered very well his arrival at the Blessed Isle.

He walked down the gangplank, the comforting presence of Gandalf at his side, as he began his new life.

Written in 2010 for RabidSamFan's birthday. I did not realize it had never percolated over here from my LiveJournal.
    
A Study in Hobbits

"What are you reading, Sam?" Merry had not seen Sam so absorbed in reading since they'd arrived in Minas Tirith.

"Oh, Mr. Merry! 'Tis a broadsheet given me by a footman up at the Citadel. It's a story about a nobleman who lives in the City with his healer friend! He's a clever one, and whenever anything goes missing or stolen or suchlike, folks come to him to figure it out. There's lots of stories about him, so Gelmir says. Here, I finished this one, about a gentleman gone missing in broad daylight…"

**********

"Merry, what are you reading?" asked Frodo.

Author: Dreamflower
Title: Ode to the Shire: Arising from quiet fields...
Rating: G
Theme: Poetry--Ode to Arda
Elements: kind/find
Author's Notes: I decided to intersperse the quotations that inspired this poem at the end of each verse.
The first quotation is Elrond, near the end of the chapter "The Council of Elrond", and the other two are from Matthew 5:5 and 5:7.
Summary: A poem in praise of the Shire, for bringing forth heroes meek yet mighty.
Word Count: 237

Ode to the Shire: Arising from quiet fields...

To the East of the Sundering Sea,
To the West of the Northern Wilds,
there is a land green and free,
where the Halfling folk reside.

This is the hour

For nearly half an Age,
they quietly tilled and plowed;
innocent and sage,
with blessings were endowed.

of the Shire-folk...

From where the Baranduin flows,
through fragrant, fertile fields,
where verdant bounty grows,
to the Western boundary hills.

when they arise from their quiet fields...

Home to a people of mercy and grace,
humble, hard-working, thankful and kind;
yet when danger threatens they are ready to face
whatever ill-fortune they find.

to shake the towers and counsels of the Great.

Unseen, unappreciated and unknown
save by only one of the Wise,
in hard times taking care of their own
until the day came when some would rise.

Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it?

Cared for by the tender heart of their land,
their own tender hearts reached out.
And leaving her protection behind
They ventured into fear and doubt.

Or, if they are wise, why should they expect to know it,

And while they were gone from home,
home was struck by fear and sorrow,
for they were a folk not meant to roam,
nor built to worry for tomorrow.

until the hour has struck?

But day by day and foot by foot,
the wanderers continued on;
not faltering with backwards look
from the task they agreed upon.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Then they were drawn back home,
to free their land from peril and woe,
to come once more to claim their own,
and their worth to all would show.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.





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