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Title: The Manner of Dreams
THE MANNER OF DREAMS…
Bilbo gave a worried look across the table at his young cousin. “Frodo-lad, you’re scarcely paying attention to your breakfast. Is something troubling you?”
Frodo gave a start out of his brown study. “I’m sorry Uncle Bilbo. It’s not so much troubling me, as puzzling. I had the oddest dream last night.”
“Do you remember it? Perhaps it would help to tell me about it.”
“It was very strange. I seemed to be grown up. I had gone on a walking party, with Sam and Merry and another hobbit, whom I do not know, though in the dream I seemed to know him well, and I am quite sure he was a Took. It was very odd, as Sam and Merry were grown up too, and seemed to be the same age as I was. I didn’t find it at all peculiar then, but after all, they are so very much younger than I.”
“Well, Frodo, it’s the manner of dreams, you know, to mix such things up.”
“I suppose. At any rate, we were going along pleasantly enough at first, in the Shire, but then suddenly I knew we must be in a terrible danger. I tried to make them go away, so they would not be in danger as well, but they refused to leave me, and they insisted they would protect *me*!”
Bilbo nodded, and encouraged, Frodo continued.
“Something dreadful was chasing us, and suddenly Sam was hustling me out of harm’s way, while Merry and the Took tried to distract whatever it was. I was so frightened for all of them, but they would not listen to me at all. And then I woke up, and my heart was beating ever so fast, and I was all in a cold sweat. It was horrible.” Frodo had gone pale as he finished.
Bilbo reached over and placed a comforting hand on Frodo’s. “Lad, I think it is just that you know how much they love you, and enjoy your companionship. You do all you can to protect and teach those little ones, and the day may come when they will repay your love and effort with trying to help and protect you. But hopefully you will never encounter anything horrible here in the Shire. And I think you may be a bit homesick for little Merry.”
“Do you think so, Bilbo?”
“I’m quite sure, my lad. Here, have another scone and some more bacon.”
Reassured, Frodo tackled his breakfast with renewed appetite. It was just a dream, after all.
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