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Antane's Anthology  by Antane

Bedtime Story

A/N: The Red Book will be briefly quoted from. As the first person would have been used in the original text when Frodo was speaking of himself, I am going to be using that.

Sam sat down and opened the Red Book as his children gathered around his chair and leaned over. Little Pippin crawled into his father’s lap and put his small hands down on the pages. This was their favorite part of the day, just before they went to sleep and their Sam-dad read about his and Uncle Frodo’s adventures and those of everyone else.

“What part should we read from tonight?” Sam asked and there were a chorus of different answers, all speaking at once.

“What part is your favorite, Sam-dad?” Elanor asked.

Sam smiled. “Oh, Ellie-lass, I’ve got a lot of those. All the times Mr. Frodo was so fearfully brave and kept on going even when he was so weak and in pain. All the times I saw his light growing ever brighter and he more fair. The time I saw the Star. The times I saw the Elves and the Lady of the Wood. The time when I saw the oliphaunt and remembered playing with your uncles and when I married your mum. I couldn’t possibly read you all my favorites because then I’d be reading the whole thing!”

“Is there really such things as oliphaunts?” Merry-lad wondered.

“Of course there is,” Elanor said, quite authoritatively, before Sam could even open his mouth. “It’s in the book, isn’t it, and Uncle Frodo and Sam-dad wouldn’t lie.”

“Do you think we’ll ever seen one in the Shire?”

“I don’t think so,” Frodo-lad said, sounding almost as certain as his sister. “They aren’t from these parts, are they, dad?”

“No,” Sam answered. “They came from far, far away, farther than any hobbit has been.”

“Even farther than you and Uncle Frodo went?” Merry asked. “I don’t think anyone had gone farther than that!”

“We certainly went a tidy distance,” Sam acknowledged, “but I don’t know how many miles it would be to where the oliphaunts were from. Much farther than I would want to go.”

“Maybe we could hear about when you and Uncle Frodo were at the Fire and when the eagles came and took you away?” Frodo-lad asked.

Sam smiled again. He looked around at the others and they all nodded, though Merry-lad looked a little disappointed that he couldn’t hear about his uncle and the Rohirrim again.

Sam saw that and promised him that they would do that next time. Then he began to read and his voice was tender and full of love.

“I am glad that you are here with me,” I said. “Here at the end of all things, Sam.”

“Yes, I am with you, Master,” said Sam, laying my wounded hand gently to his breast. “And you’re with me. And the journey’s finished. But after coming all that way I don’t want to give up yet. It’s not like me, somehow, if you understand.”

Sam read on a little while more, and his children hung onto every word, even though they had heard it many times before and the eldest even had parts of it known by heart and had used the Book to teach their younger siblings how to read. Even little Pippin was silent and listening. There was no story they liked better and no voice they loved more than to hear it from.


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