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Sisters  by Grey Wonderer

For some reason, another chapter of this one reared its ugly head this evening and I was forced to add it to the story.† I now have a sneaking suspicion that there will be at least two more chapters of this.† One called Nell and one called Pearl.† I may be wrong, but I am afraid that this is where this one is going to go.† So, if you are up for more of this, here it is.

Pervinca

My sister Pervinca is wise beyond her years. I know this because she has proven it to me on many occasions. Knowledge that seems to escape my notice, never gets past her! If there is something important that a hobbit ought to know, then she knows it. I have no idea how she obtains all of this information, but I suspect that she gets most of it from Pimpernell and Pearl.

Pervinca has an advantage over me in that department. She can go among our older sisters and their friends more easily than I can. I think that although she is the youngest of my older sisters, she is the most clever. She hears them talk and collects information that she would not otherwise be told. They are older and think that they have their secrets about the world of older lasses, but they donít have any secrets from Pervinca. I doubt that they realize just how much she hears and I know they donít suspect how much of it she tells me.

Pervinca will often share some of her knowledge with her less informed, younger brother if only to prove to me just how hopeless clueless I am. She will scoff at how little I know, laugh at my mistakes, and then give forth with her vast information. It is very embarrassing to be shown up for the naive hobbit-lad that I am, and yet if I am able to get beyond the shame of my ignorance, I do learn things. If I can stand her pitying looks and her smug expression then I am rewarded with some piece of information that I am too young to have.

One time, when I was eight, my thirteen-year-old sister decided to tell me where hobbit babies come from. She says she did this to keep me from embarrassing the entire family with my stupidity, but I rather think that she did this just to shock me and to show me how much she already knew about grown-up matters. I was very shocked indeed and did not take the news well at all. I had to have every detail of it confirmed by my older cousin, Merry before I would believe that such things go on among adults. Have I mentioned that I am a slow learner?

Pervinca is also very strong. I think I mentioned this before, but if I didnít then I should have done so. All of our childhood, she has been able to get the better of me. When I was five and she was ten I could understand the problem. I didnít enjoy it when she would sit on me and tickle me until I cried, but I understood how she was managing it. The trouble is that now that I am taller than she is and have done quite a bit of growing, she can still sit on me and tickle me until I am begging for mercy. I try not to cry anymore as I am sixteen now, but it is still very frustrating. I live for the day when I can escape from her clutches and turn the tables on her, though I suspect that when that day finally comes, we will both be too old for such nonsense.

I hate to admit it, but Pervinca is also quite pretty, for an older sister that is. She has dark brown hair nearly as dark as cousin Frodoís and grey eyes that can stare straight through you. It always makes me cry when she cries. It is just one more thing that she can do to me that I have no control over. If anyone makes Pervinca cry, then I cry too. I have since I was old enough to notice things. I even cry when I am the one who has upset her. Sometimes I have caught my cousin Merry crying along with Vince. I believe it is her eyes and the deep down sadness that comes into them whenever anyone hurts her. You canít see that in someone you love and not respond.

When I first arrived in our family, I am told by my sister Pearl that Pervinca didnít much care for me, though of course, I donít remember this. Pearl says that Vince was jealous because she was no longer the baby of the family and that she had to be reassured that she was still, at least, the familyís baby lass. I donít understand how anyone as smart as Vince could want to be the baby of this family. I have always wanted to be older than someone. Anyone would do, really. When you are the youngest, no one takes anything you say seriously. At least I take her seriously even when the others donít. After all, she is older than I am and she does know things.

Sometimes, when the others are being very condescending toward her, Vince will seek me out for comfort because she knows I understand. Even though I feel sorry for her because she is being left out, I do like it when she is because then I have company. I am always being left out of things.

"Pippin, youíll understand when you are older," they say.

"Pippin, be a good lad and go play. This doesnít concern you, dear," they say.

"Pippin, why donít you go find something to do? You are too young to be hearing this," they say. Then they shoo me from the room and shut me out of their conversations.

Sometimes, Pervinca gets to stay and other times she is forced to go with me. She hates it when they treat her like a child, maybe even more than I do. I guess she is not used to it the way that I am. Also, she is very proud.

Pervinca does not take being treated like a child well at all. When she was a small lass, she would throw quite a fit, I am told. She would fall to the floor and kick and scream and she would get all red in the face. Now, she pouts. She folds her arms across her chest and stomps out of the room. Then she will appear later and sit and sigh a lot. She will refuse to look at those that have offended her dignity, but she will place herself in their view so that they may watch her glorious impersonation of a wounded victim. Our older sisters laugh at this, but they always apologize to her sooner or later.

Pervinca never apologizes. It is beneath her. I donít expect it of her. I can tell if she is sorry and that is enough for me. Somehow, I like her strong will and even admire it. I am always running around like a hopeless idiot, begging those that I have offended to forgive me. I canít stand when anyone is angry at me. Vince has honor. She wonít be held accountable and yet she is always welcomed back into our circle with open arms.

Pervinca is also talented. She knows things about clothes and about colors. Pearl and Nell ask her opinion on what they should wear to dances or to parties. Pervinca can tell just by looking at a person what color they should have on and why. She says that her own†best colors are yellow and red because of her dark hair. Pearl should wear blues and violets because of her lighter hair and blue eyes. Nell is the lucky one who looks good in most all colors and I am green because of my eyes and because Pervinca says that I am.

She can also sew better than either Pearl or Nell. She makes most of their special dresses and she makes all of her own things. She has done this since she was about fifteen. Our mum is a fine seamstress, but she says that Vince has a better eye, whatever that might mean. Pervinca is also a fairly good cook. I pretend not to like her cooking just to annoy her, but she really isnít too bad. I just tease her about that because I canít tease her about what she is really bad at doing. Mum says itís not polite and that it isnít something that I should do.

Pervinca canít sing. Most hobbits can sing somewhat and quite a few are even good. I have been told that I am very good at singing, but then, others may just be trying to be kind to me. With Pervinca, though, it is painfully obvious that she can not sing at all. Even worse, is the fact that she doesnít realize that she canít sing. Mum says we arenít to tease her or to tell her that she canít sing, but I think she needs to know this. I have seen other make jokes about her voice and heard them laugh behind her back. I think it would be better if we told her, but then, what do I know?

Once, when we several older lads were laughing at Pervinca during a party while she was trying to sing something, I got into trouble for hitting one of them. He insulted her and said that her voice would cause the paint to peel right off of the walls and so I hit him. He was bigger but I managed to give him a black eye,† which I was very proud of having done, as I was only thirteen at the time. He did best me and give me a bloody nose, but I still felt I had done my best to defend our family honor. Pervinca didnít see it that way at all. She thought I was causing a row during her singing just to make her angry and I couldnít explain without hurting her feelings.

Later, when my nose had stopped bleeding and I was holding cold cloths on it to try and make the swelling go down a bit, Vince came into my room and kissed me on the top of my head and then left. I think someone told her what I had been trying to do. I am not much of a protector for my older sisters, but I do try and so it is nice when it is appreciated.

I guess the most important thing about Pervinca Took is that she stands her ground and that she looks out for those of us that she loves, even me. She would defend me against all comers no matter what ridiculous thing I had done. I almost have to feel sorry for anyone that she goes up against.††Her challengers never have a chance. †It is very good to have her on my side.





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