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EUCATASTROPHE: FIVE YEARS AFTER
Merry handed Sam an ale, and draped an arm around his shoulders, as he gestured to the scene under the Party Tree. “Well, Sam, five years ago today, did you ever expect you’d see such a sight?”
Sam smiled, as he watched Frodo, seated on the ground surrounded by faunts and young children, and Pippin on a branch above him, his leg dangling above Frodo’s head. “No, Mr.--I mean, Merry, no I didn’t much expect to ever see Bag End again once we left. I wasn’t sure we’d ever even make it back to Buckland once we left Crickhollow, but I knew that Bag End belonged to Missus Lobelia and Mr. Lotho, and I didn’t never think Mr.--I mean, Frodo, would ever get it back.”
“It’s so good to see Frodo happy.” Merry laughed. “He was nearly bursting with pride when you and Rose named your lad for him.”
“If I’d known how much trouble it would be--” Sam chuckled. Frodo had agreed to the naming with conditions: no more “Mr.” Frodo. And of course, Merry and Pippin had chimed in, and said if he wasn’t “mistering” Frodo, he could not “mister” them any more, either. Sam had given in, but putting a curb on his tongue had been harder, and the “Mr.” just *would* slip out from time to time.
“You’d still have named the lad after him. He knew that.”
“He always does seem to know that sort of thing. He knew Elanor’d be a lass, though he’d said nothing to us aforehand.”
Merry chuckled, and pointed to the two faunts who had claimed Frodo’s lap. “He told Pimpernel about the twins. He says it’s because he spent so much time with Elves. But we spent just as much time with them as he did.”
“It’s more than that, Merry,” said Sam. “He earned that foresight of his, he did.”
“So he did, Sam.”
Just then Rose came up. “Merry, Estella is asking for you.”
Merry’s eyes grew wide. “Is everything all right? It’s not?” His voice trailed off anxiously.
Rose laughed. “She’s just fine. The bairn’s not due for another month.”
“I was just worried, what with the trip here from Crickhollow…”
Rose shook her head. “She just wants a bit of attention from her husband.”
Sam and Rose watched him scurry back to Bag End, where several of the female guests, including Estella and Merry’s mother and Pippin’s betrothed, Diamond North-took, were ensconced. Sam shook his head, amused.
“Sam Gamgee,” said Rose, “you were every bit as bad when I was expecting.”
“I suppose I was, Rose-wife, but it’s a mite more entertaining when it’s someone else.”
They both glanced once more at the Party Tree. Pippin had come down from the Tree, and now he and Frodo were leading the children in song:
The Man in the Moon had silver shoon,
“Uncle Frodo! Uncle Pip!” Flora Took, aged seven, interrupted by tugging on Frodo’s weskit. “What are ‘shoon’?”
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