MOON LETTERS : TOOKISH TICKLERS
The Lord of the Wedding Ring, Part 1 - Sarah
Once there was a Hobbit, who lived in a Hobbit hole. His name was Frodo Baggins, and he had a very kind heart. Too kind, some said, for he made a very unwise decision. He was vacationing in Bree, when he met a cloaked woman.
"Marry me," the woman screeched.
"Well, I . . ." Frodo said hesitantly. He didn't want to hurt her feelings, but he just wasn't interested in getting married.
"Please," she shrieked. "No one else will."
"Oh. Well. Alright." So it came that Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire, was married to the Captain of the Nazgûl. (Who is really a woman!)
But it was a huge mistake. Frodo's only respite from her incessant nagging and screeching was when she was visiting her brother in Mordor, a greatly feared defense attorney. On one such occasion, Frodo's solicitor, Gandalf, stopped by the house. Gandalf had been diligently researching a way to dissolve the marriage permanently, without making Frodo provide hefty alimony for the rest of his life.
"Frodo," he said, coming into the house. "Is it secret? Is it safe?"
"What are you talking about, Gandalf?" Frodo asked.
"The Ring, Frodo, the Wedding Ring!"
"I . . . put it away. I don't like to think about her when she's not here. How are the divorce papers coming along?"
"But that's it! That's what I'm trying to tell you! You must take the ring to Mordor, and throw it into Orodruin. Then the marriage will be dissolved!"
"You mean you've finally discovered a solution to my problem? I must set out immediately! I expect her back tomorrow!" So just like that, he left the Shire in search of freedom and independence. He asked his best friend Samwise Gamgee to accompany him, for moral support.
"Come along, Sam," Frodo bade his friend. Gandalf had gone to seek the guidance and knowledge of an associate.
"If I take one more step, it'll be the furthest away from home I've ever been . . ." Sam sniffed, " . . . sober."
"Come on, Sam, there's an inn in Bree with the best beer in the Southfarthing." Hesitantly, Sam put one foot forward.
Later Sam and Frodo were walking through a cornfield when Sam realized that they had been separated. "Frodo! Frodo!" he called. Frodo emerged from the corn.
"I thought I'd lost you," Sam said. "Gandalf said, 'Don't you let him talk to anyone without his lawyer, Samwise Gamgee,' and I don't mean to." Just then, both Hobbits were knocked off their feet by two other Hobbits -- Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took.
"Why, it's Frodo Baggins! Look, Merry, it's Frodo!"
"Hello, Frodo," said Merry.
"You've been at Farmer Maggot's crops again. We're all going to be indicted!" Sam was indignant. They could hear the sound of the farmer, heading towards them.
They tried to run away from him, not knowing that they were heading straight for a cliff. Sam was angry at Merry for endangering them all with his criminal activities, so he pushed him off the cliff, sending Frodo and Pip off as well. Then he ended up losing his footing and going down with them.
"Trust a Brandybuck, and a Took," Sam muttered.
"You're the one who pushed us off the cliff, Gamgee," Pippin said.
"Fellows, do you suppose we should get off the road?" Frodo asked leisurely. They all ignored him, too busy glaring at each other. Frodo had a nagging feeling that she was near.
"GET OFF THE ROAD!" Frodo yelled desperately.
"Fine," they all muttered, stomping behind a tree. A very familiar shriek echoed through the air, and then they heard the sound of horses galloping by. A robed figure dismounted, coming close to where they were hiding. Merry threw something out of Sam's pack, and the whatever-it-was ran after in. The Hobbits wasted no time in running away.
"That rider was looking for something , or someone. Frodo?" Merry wanted to know.
"It's my wife. The Nazgûl." His friends looked at him in amazement. All besides Sam, who already knew.
"What did you get married, Frodo?" Pip asked.
"Last month. So far, we've had a very miserable marriage."
"Oh. Are we going on a manly trip?" Merry asked. Frodo explained the quest to him.
"Ah! Can we come?"
"Sure!" said Frodo. "We're going to meet my solicitor in Bree."
So, they traveled on the road until they arrived in Bree.
"Hi, my name is Mr. Underhill. Where is Gandalf?" Frodo asked.
"You changed your name when you got married, Frodo?" Pip asked.
"Shhh! You never know where she might be!"
"Tall man? Gray hair? Beard? Pointy hat? He hasn't been in here for a while," answered the innkeeper.
"What do we do now?" Sam asked.
"He'll come Sam; he'll be here. And if he doesn't, I just won't pay him." They all decided to have a drink in the common room.
"What is that?" Pippin asked Merry.
"This my friend, is Guava juice."
"Guava juice? I'm getting' some."
"That man's done nothing but stare at you since we came in," Sam pointed out to Frodo.
"And?" Frodo asked impatiently. "Oh, well, I'll go over and talk to him." Frodo sat down next to the man, introducing himself as Mr. Underhill.
"Hello," said the man.
"What's your name?" Frodo asked.
"Good question. Which one would you like to hear?" Aragorn--that was his name--poured out is whole life story to Frodo, who nodded at all the right times.
"That's terrible! How are you going to regain the Kingship?" Aragorn was about to answer when they heard Pippin say, "Baggins? Sure I know a Baggins - Frodo Baggins, over there. He's my second cousin, once removed on his Mother's side."
Frodo ran toward him immediately. He had just checked his pocket to make sure the ring was still there--and he had it in his hand. He slipped on the way to the bar, throwing the ring up into the air. He tried to catch it, and it landed on his finger--causing him to disappear from sight completely. Everything seemed fuzzy around him--and then there was the Eye. It was a huge, red, lidless Eye, and there was a whispering. Frodo jerked the Ring off his finger.
"Oh, so you're the Ring-bearer," said Aragorn. "I was sent by Gandalf to lead you to Rivendell."
"Where? And, why?" Sam asked.
"To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, the home of Elrond. And because of the Nazgûl. They were once women. Great queens of women, but Sauron the Divorce Lawyer gave them nine rings of power, and, blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgûl, Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the ring, drawn to the power of the One. They will never stop hunting you."
"I thought they wanted Frodo because he's married to one," Merry said.
"It is true that the Captain of the Nazgûl wants Frodo for this reason. But they have also been instructed by Sauron to retrieve the One Ring, so that he may be the sole owner. It will give him power to rule all Middle-Earth.
Just then, the door swung open, slamming against the wall.
"Shreeeeeeeeeeek!" screamed the Queen of the Nazgul. Frodo swooned but was caught very deftly by Arargorn.
"Quick, upstairs!" he whispered to the other Hobbits. They all managed to make it up the stairs with out being caught.
"Bilbo," Frodo called weakly. "Where are you?" Bilbo, of course, was Frodo's dear Uncle. "
"Bilbo?" Aragorn perked up. "My dear friend Bilbo! It was he who penned the lyrics to, 'I Don't Have My Girl (But At Least My Boots Is Dry).' The song was number one on the Gondor top forty list for weeks!" "
"That old tune? Bilbo wrote it?" Merry's enormous respect for the old Hobbit grew to even loftier proportions. Pippin even began his own charming rendition of the song. In the spirit of Tolkein, I shall write it here.
"Being a Ranger ain't easy,
It's hard and lonely work.
But I try to keep rememberin',
Just what I'm striving for.
I think of that girl back home,
The one with sparklin' eyes.
I may not have her here with me,
But I got one for the guys . . .
Oh, I don't have my girl!
But at least my boots is dry.
One more day of riding wet,
Would make me want to cry.
Oh it's tough to be alone with all these
Rough and ready guys.
I wish I had a pretty girl,
But at least my boots is dry!"
There is another verse, but Pippin had to stop on account of Sam knocking on the head.
"Do you mind?" Sam complained. "Some of us are trying to sleep!"
Pip stopped, but he and Merry glared at him.
"Maybe I was just trying to cover up your snoring," Pip muttered.
"We must go from this place," Aragorn said a few minutes later. "The Ringwraiths will have left by now."
"How did they not find us when we were staying in the same Inn?"
Aragorn shrugged. "You must be very lucky." Frodo, Merry, and Pippin were ready to go very quickly, but Sam, however, had to be thrown out the window into the rain water barrel before he was properly awake.
Aragorn sent the Hobbits ahead, saying he had something to take care of and that he would catch up to them. Merry and Pip were just starting back in on the little song, (see above) but Sam, once again asked them to stop.
"Out of pity," he said.
"Why?" they asked.
"Because my boots aren't dry!" he yelled. Frodo whimpered slightly.
"Stop, please! I don't want HER to find me!" Luckily, Aragorn caught up to them at that moment, (before any major violence could take place.)
"Let's walk pretty quickly, alright?" he said. He ran to the front of the line, holding a pony by a rope.
"Where did you get that Pony?" Merry asked loudly.
"Shhh!" Aragorn told him. "Ask questions later."
"Where is he taking us?" Sam whispered.
"To Rivendell, Master Gamgee, the House of Elrond."
The Hobbits thought that was pretty cool, and that maybe it was a good idea to take a little break and eat a second breakfast.
"We do not stop until nightfall!" Aragorn yelled back at them. "You better hurry up or I'll leave you."
"Why is he in such a hurry?" Merry muttered.
Frodo whispered back,
"His girlfriend lives in Rivendell. He told me all about her last night, and I think she sounds really neat."