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This and That  by Lindelea

The One that (Almost) Got Away
Gandalf's observations of the hobbits along the way, not long after leaving Rivendell...

First published a little while ago at Marigold's Challenge 21

Title: The One that (Almost) Got Away
Author: Lindelea
Rating: G
Main Characters: Gandalf, Frodo, Merry, Pippin
Disclaimer: The characters arenít mine, but I sometimes sneak out with them for a cup of tea and a biscuit or two, or sit and watch them sleep.
Brief synopsis: Gandalf's observations of the hobbits along the way, not long after leaving Rivendell.

The One that (Almost) Got Away

So, Merry, are you going to tell me what happened, or do I have to guess?

Pippin at his most patient is... well, let us just say that "Pippin" and "patience" do not belong, spoken together in the same breath. O I have no doubt that the lad will learn patience in time. He shows a remarkable potential for patience, say, when under an old wizard's direct gaze.

But let that wizard take his eye off the lad, now...

'Nothing happened, cousin,' Merry answered, and Frodo hid a grin.

'Nothing!' Pippin echoed, throwing his hands up in astonishment. 'You're head-to-toe in mud!'

'Nothing,' Merry muttered again, digging in his pack for some dry clothing. 'Legolas and I were teaching Gimli to tickle trout...'

'Looks as if the trout won the contest,' Pippin observed, arms crossed upon his chest. 'You look half-drowned!'

'I am not half-drowned,' Merry said between his teeth, shooting a glance at Frodo.

Pippin took the hint and sobered. It is better not to mention "drowning" in my young friend's hearing. Ah, Frodo, he puts on a good face, but much goes on beneath that determinedly cheery countenance that is never spoken, though Merry seems to have an instinct for the feelings that run deep.

'I slipped, coming up the bank, and...'

'And dropped our dinner!' Frodo said, slapping Merry on the back. He then gave a comical grimace, looking at the mud on his hand.

'Dropped our dinner!' Pippin cried in horror.

Frodo let him suffer on but for a moment; the poor tween is invariably hungry. Back in the Shire, he'd've been eating every hour or so, and hearty meals...

Seeing Frodo's smile dim, Merry said hastily, 'Not to worry; Legolas scooped them up almost before they left my hand. We'll soon have a fine fry of fish and all the trimmings...' For Sam had packed ground meal and dried dill amongst the supplies, as if he'd anticipated that a good many of their meals would be fresh-caught fish, at least while they were still near Rivendell in living land of tumbling streams.

I think it is a good thing that I persuaded Elrond to send the younger cousins along. There is something to the bond between the hobbits, something, I think, that might sustain our Ring-bearer all the way to the borders of the Dark Land, and perhaps beyond...

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