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Another Moment of your Time  by Larner

Written for the LOTR Community FLF "Picnic" challenge.  For Dreamflower for her birthday.

Reference to "Honor Avenged"    http://www.storiesofarda.com/chapterview.asp?sid=3966&cid=26533

The Ringbearer’s Share

 

            As the procession crossed the Isen, Aragorn paused, his attention fixed on what appeared to be stones used in building the mound that rose over the grave of Theodred.

            “What do you see?” asked Pippin.

            The King’s lip twitched as he murmured softly, “Mushrooms.”

            It took a moment for the Hobbit to discern them, for they were the same color as the stones against which they grew.  He didn’t turn his head as he glanced toward Frodo and Sam, whose ponies were scrabbling up the far bank.  “He’ll not expect extras if you’re the one who found them,” he returned, also quietly.  “We’d all get an equal share.”

            “Would we indeed?”  Aragorn handed his reins to Pippin and carefully crossed the stream.  Using a large handkerchief, he began gathering the mushrooms.

            “You’re certain that they’re edible?” Pippin asked.

            The King gave a brief nod to his head.  “I learned of them from Thengel King,” he said.  “They’re called here plover’s eggs.  They have a rather sweet taste.”

 *******

            Twice more that day Aragorn lingered behind to gather more mushrooms.  That evening he begged the use of a pan from the cooks, and adding in some bacon and butter he cooked his finds.  He bade the Hobbits to eat with him and the Queen, and each had a share of the mushrooms.  Frodo’s eyes were closed with appreciation.  “Ah, but they are excellent, and excellently prepared.”

            Pippin wasn’t certain, but he suspected Aragorn hadn’t served all he’d gathered that day.

            After the Hobbits chose where they would sleep for the night and spread their bedrolls, one of the pages approached carrying a bowl and spoon.  He gave a bow and explained, “From our lord King, to the Ringbearer, with his compliments.”

            Frodo accepted the gift.  He glanced within and shook his head.  “The rascal!” he murmured.

            In the bowl lay a single mushroom and nothing more.

           





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