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Beregond proudly placed the squalling babe into Pippin’s arms. The hobbit seemed surprised by the size of the infant, but soon had soothed the plaintive cries to whimpers.
“Are you going to call him Peregrin or Pippin?” Merry asked.
“Peregrin, I think,” Beregond said. “It’s a noble name.”
“I’m going to call him Pippin,” Bergil asserted.
Pippin nodded in approval. “You should do that,” he said. “Then it will be his special name, just from you. And Peregrin is a noble name, isn’t it?”
Legolas peered into the child’s face. “It is indeed,” he said. “It will suit him well.”
“Look at you!” Pippin cried, lifting up the crawling babe. “Look at how big you are!” The baby laughed and grabbed Pippin’s nose. His uncle jiggled and swung the baby until he squealed with delight and Pippin finally sat, babe upon his knee.
“That’s two for me, Merry!” he crowed. “But don’t worry, someone will name a baby after you. Someday. Eventually.”
Merry glowered, but little Pippin laughed again.
“See, I told you someone would name a baby after you, if you were only patient,” Pippin said. “Maybe someday, you’ll even have two babies named for you. Though not everyone can hope for such riches.”
“Mr. Merry, don’t you mind him,” Sam began, but Merry cut him off.
“Not Mr. Merry, not ever again, Sam,” he said. “I tried to do away with that years ago; now you have named a son for me, I won’t have you calling me mister ever again.”
“Aye,” Sam sighed.
Pippin grabbed the letter. “A lass,” he said as he read. “Meridwyn, for you and Éowyn. That’s nice, Merry.” Then he kept reading, and his eyes grew wide. He began to laugh, and soon was bent over double.
“What?” said Merry crossly, and snatched the letter back. His eyes went wide and he groaned. “Oh, no.”
“Twins!” Pippin gasped. “A lad -- Peregond.” He fell over and kicked his feet against the floor. “ Three !”
“Four what?” Elanor asked.
“Four children named after me,” Pippin replied. “There is Peregrin, Beregond’s son, and my sister’s Pippin, and Faramir’s Peregond, and now your brother.”
“How many children are named after you?” Frodo-lad asked Merry.
“Just the two,” Merry muttered, Merry-lad on his knee.
“You can tell how important a hobbit is by how many children are named for him,” Pippin began, but Elanor interrupted with, “Mummie says not to believe everything you say, especially when you use that voice.”
“Mummie said that?” Pippin asked. “Well, Mummie is right again.”
Merry cleared his throat. “I had thought to name him Saradoc,” he said, “but I’m sorry, Mum, I don’t think I can. To hear it all the time . . .”
The baby whimpered, and Esmie dropped her gaze from her son to her grandson. “That’s all right,” she soothed them both. “Let’s see, love, what do you look like?” She rocked and thought, then declared, “Periadoc!”
Merry let out a short laugh. “For me and Pip?” he said. “That is wonderful.”
“Aye,” she answered. “But that is five, and he will crow about it.”
“You love my father,” Faramir protested.
“And he’s got more lads named for him than is decent,” she came back. “His head doesn’t need any more swelling. Besides, I let you name the first one Boromir.”
“All right, then, you name him,” her husband said. Moments later, he placed the newborn in his grandfather’s arms.
“Named for you,” he said proudly.
“It suits him,” said grandfather number two, leaning over to look. “And it’s about time you had a namesake. Hullo, then, Samwise.”
Sam simply pressed his lips to the baby’s head.
(NOTES: Periadoc is not accounted for by the family trees, and Marigold and Llinos came up with the name. Marigold also named Faramir and Éowyn’s twins, Meridwyn and Peregond, for, respectively, Merry and Éowyn, and Pippin and Beregond. Tolkien did not provide us with the names of Faramir and Goldilocks’ children, but what could their oldest son be named but Boromir? And lucky for Sam, Goldilocks wouldn’t hear of naming the second one Peregrin.)
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