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Scribblings  by Baylor

I take a moment for quiet thought, a moment for reflection, a moment for grief, here in this small lane, away from the frightened, grieving crowds and the flash of armor far across the plain. In another moment, I will rise and take my tasks back up, but for this moment, I will sit and breathe and remember two small brothers in Gondorian finery, playing with wooden swords in a green courtyard.

The near-silent patter of hobbit feet recalls me too soon, and without looking I know that Peregrin hovers uncertainly, fretfully, near my elbow. He now wears one of those very same small suits of Gondorian finery, though his sword is not made of wood. No, it is all too real.

I sigh and stir slightly, so Peregrin takes it as invitation, and presses himself quickly up against me, his face buried in my shoulder and his arms encircling my neck. I reach out automatically to pat his back in reassurance. He is lonely, and frightened, I know, here in this cold, strange city of stone without his cousins. He is so very young.

“Gandalf,” he says in that sweet, piping voice that echoes to me of many old friends, “is there still a fool’s hope?”

Surprise at the question makes me laugh, and now I look down at large green eyes that know no guile. “Yes,” I say, “there are some brave fools who would hold out hope, even now.”

He smiles, chubby face glowing with delight at having made me laugh. “I do not mind being a fool,” he says softly, and now I cannot laugh at the sincerity of those words.

“You have had much practice,” I answer, and then rest my head atop his curly one. “As have I. No, Pippin, I do not mind being a fool either.”

Then taking his small hand, I lead us back to our duties, small and large.

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