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Part One: We Three Together
Chapter One: Faramir the Great and Magnificent
Faramir, age 9 When I was a very little lad, my father would grab me up in his arms and call to his cousin, "Here, Merry, catch this!" Then he would swing me high in the air and toss me into Cousin Merry's waiting arms. I would shriek and pretend I was afraid I was going to fall, but I knew they would never drop me, and it was my favorite game in all the world.
I am bigger now, too big to be tossed about, but just last winter, my father let me ride on his back when it snowed very deep in Tuckborough, and as he walked he told me about trying to cross a mountain in a blizzarding snowstorm and how Lord Boromir carried him on his back when the snow was too deep. Father was great friends with Lord Boromir, but he died, and I am named for his brother.
Father doesn't tell very many stories about Boromir, just a few about him teaching Father and Cousin Merry to swordfight, but I know that he was killed because he was protecting Father and Cousin Merry. Frodo Gamgee told me this, and his father has told him almost everything that ever happened during the Great Years. I think that Lord Boromir must have loved Father very much to die trying to help him.
But Father has lots of other stories to tell. My favorite is about Treebeard and the Ents, which are sort of like talking trees. Everywhere we go, I look for the Entwives, but I haven't seen any yet, not even when Father took me way away to the North Farthing with him.
I also like all the stories about Cousin Bilbo, especially the one about the trolls that almost ate him and the dwarves, but Gandalf the Wizard saved them. Father does not tell many stories about Gandalf, either, even though Frodo says they traveled far together. Once I asked Cousin Merry why after Father told me he didn't have any more stories about Gandalf that he would tell me. Cousin Merry said Father misses Gandalf is all, because they traveled alone together a long way, and were together at the Siege of Gondor. Then he said those stories aren't any good for hobbit lads and lasses, anyway, as they are too scary for even grown-up hobbits. I never think about my father being scared of anything, but when I said that Cousin Merry laughed and said Father has been plenty scared in his lifetime.
I am always looking for adventures of my own, but they are hard to find in the Shire. I know that Father and Mayor Gamgee and Cousin Frodo once met Elves in the Green Hill Country, but I have never seen any when I ride through there with Father to Buckland. I asked Father if Elves ever come to the Shire anymore, and he said he had not seen any here since I was a baby. But at least that means they have still been here since the Great Years, because Mayor Gamgee says many of the Elves left then forever.
I also have tried to spy Tom Bombadil or Goldberry in the Old Forest, but it is difficult when one is just trying to peek through the cracks in the Brandybucks' gate. I snuck into the Old Forest last summer during Buckland's great Litheday festival, and Goldilocks Gamgee kept watch, but wouldn't you know that her brother Hamfast got scared and told on us, so Cousin Berilac nabbed me before I was more than 10 feet in. Father spanked me for it, which he doesn't do very often, but later when I was supposed to be asleep, I heard Cousin Merry laughing, and he said, "We always knew you would get yours someday, Pippin. That apple doesn't fall far from the tree." I think he meant that Father got into lots of trouble when he was a lad.
Goldilocks and I are going to go off on a great adventure as soon as we are old enough to travel to overnight places by ourselves. She says we can handle anything that comes up, because most of our relatives have come across every type of danger there is, and we know from their stories what to do about it. We would certainly never leave the Road in Mirkwood, and we would stay away from trolls at night, and we would never fall asleep in the Old Forest. And we will go to Fangorn and drink Entdraughts with Treebeard so that I will be as tall as Father. Goldilocks said she hopes her hair doesn't grow more from the Entdraught, because there really is a lot of it right now. This autumn she got caught by her hair in a bramble bush when we were hiding in her grandfather's fields and I had to cut a hunk out with my knife before she could get loose. Goldilocks is my best friend, but her hair can get in the way.
Father says he will take me traveling as soon as I am old enough, and we will go to Bree and Rivendell, and someday to Gondor, and I will see the High King again. He came to the Brandywine Bridge three years ago, and picked me right up, even though I was getting too old for that. Father says someday we will go to the White City, and he will show me where he stood on the wall and watched Gandalf save the Lord Faramir. Mamma's face gets all pinched when Father talks about traveling, but she doesn't say anything.
I don't tell Father, and Gondor would be splendid and all, but I would rather go to the Lonely Mountain and Long Lake and see the dwarves and the elves. I have only ever met one elf, and I was very little and barely remember him, but he sang me a song that I still remember all the words to. Dwarves come through the Shire a bit, so I have seen them, and I love the way they tramp and their deep voices when they sing. Every year on Cousin Bilbo's birthday, special toys from the Lonely Mountain come to Bag End, and Father and Cousin Merry and I go visit for birthday dinner. Cousin Bilbo went away long ago, of course, before I was born, even before Father and Mamma were married, but Mayor Gamgee says we will always have birthday dinner for him and Cousin Frodo, whose birthday is the same day, but he left the Shire before I was born, too.
After dinner, Goldilocks and I go outside and sit on the Hill and look up at the stars and the moon and make plans for when we will go on our adventure. If he's being good and not crying, we let Hamfast come with us. We shall be the most famous hobbits that ever lived, and they will call me Faramir the Great and Magnificent.
Goldilocks' brothers Merry and Pippin say we are silly and will never go further than Bree, and only that far if we are lucky, but Frodo says, "Don't listen to them! Maybe you will go further than any hobbits have gone before."
I think he is right.
(NOTE: The wonderful Marigold with her wonderful stickses once again acted as beta for this story, and I am deeply grateful, for who but a true friend could edit a story about true friendship? The title of Part One, “We When Were Very Young,” is taken from the title of a collection of poems by A.A. Milne, better known as the author of “Winnie-the-Pooh." This chapter has been posted previously as a stand-alone story.)
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