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The Bag-End Dragon War

This is I guess a continuation of that story I wrote where Pippin ran around saying “I kisshyou” and kissing everybody in sight. Remember that? Well, if not, read that first, and then read this. Because really, there’s nothing in the world cuter than one year old Pippin, eight year old Merry, ten year old Sam, and twenty two year old Frodo.

~~~

Pippin snuggled into the space between Merry and Frodo and inserted his thumb in his mouth. “Fwo, di you ha good day?”

“Yes, love, I did, thanks to you.”

“Ikisshyou.” He smushed his lips to Frodo’s collarbone.

“How long has he been doing that?” Sam asked, puffing up his pillow.

“Since he learned how to talk,” Merry sighed, nevertheless accepting the kiss Pippin slathered on his nose.

“He learned fast.”

“I go lotta say,” Pippin said, grabbing Sam’s face.

“Oh no…” the ten year old groaned.

“M-wha! I kisshyou.”

“Where do you and Pip go to school?” Frodo asked Merry as Sam wiped off his cheeks, fending off Pippin’s next kiss.

“We don’. My daddy teaches me. I can count to ten and I can say the alphabet, and I can trade in market and look after my own chicken,” Merry said proudly.

“Do you know how to read?”

“Uh-uh.”

“Oh, Merry,” Frodo said sympathectically.

“Can you teach me, Fro?” Merry cuddled his head against the crook of Pippin’s elbow.

“‘Course I can,” Frodo replied, ruffling his cousin’s hair. “I taught Sam, and now I’m going to teach you.” His face lit up as it always did when he got an idea.

“Sam, you can read?” Merry asked.

Sam nodded proudly. “I done read a whole book that were this thick.” He held out his hands an inch apart. “Didn’t I, Mr. Frodo?”

“Yes, dearest, you certainly did.” Frodo kissed him on his forehead. “But you really don’t have to call me Mister.”

“But my da works for you, and I’m gonna work for you someday, so I should call you it.”

“But you’re my brother, and I don’t want you to.”

Sam sighed. “My da’ll beat me if I don’t.”

“I won’t let him, love. I promise. Please? Please with mushrooms atop?”

Sam giggled.

“Fwo.” Pippin poked Frodo’s arm. “Fwo. Fwo. Fwo.”

“Yes, Pip?”

“I wanna beh-time shory. Pwees Fwo?”

“Yes, Frodo!” Merry said eagerly. “Tell us a story!”

“Alright, melmenya, but then you have to promise me you’ll go right to sleep.”

“I pwomish, Fwo.” Pippin grabbed Frodo’s arm and pulled it around himself. “If shory weal good, Ikisshyou.”

Frodo laughed. “Well, I’d better tell a good story then. Merry, do you promise to go right to sleep?”

“Yes, Frodo.”

“Sam?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Alright then.” Frodo wrapped his arms tighter around the three brothers of his heart. “Once upon a time, there lived four happy boys in the land of the Shire. The youngest was named Peregrine, but everyone called him Pippin the Kind, for his compassion was known of far and wide. He had an older cousin named Meriadoc, who everyone called Meriadoc the Magnifecent, because of how grand he looked riding atop his noble steed.”

“What’s a steed?” Merry asked.

“It’s the animal you ride, like a horse or a pony.”

“Oh. Can I have a white pony?”

“Certainly. Everyone called him Meriadoc the Magnificent because of how grand he looked riding atop his noble white steed. Then there was a loyal gardener called Samwise the Brave, who had courage to surpass the most renowned of warriors.”

“Did Samwise the Brave have him a sweetheart named Rosie?” Sam asked.

“Yes, Rosie the Fair.”

“I like this story,” Sam said.

“Who are you going to be, Frodo?” Merry asked.

“Fwo, Ikisshyou.” Pippin kissed Frodo’s arm. “‘Cau you may me Pi’in ta kind.”

“Then there was Fwo Ikisshyou…”

“No!” laughed Sam, Merry, and Pippin.

“You name not Fwo Ikisshyou,” said Pippin. “It Fwo da Beau’iful cau you got pwetty pwetty eye.”

“No, he should be Frodo the smart,” said Merry.

“Alright. Then there was Frodo the Smart, who was Samwise the Brave’s brother, and the others were his cousins.”

“But they felt more like his brothers, didn’t they?” asked Merry.

“Yes, dear Merry, they did. Frodo was the oldest, and he loved his friends very, very much. So much that he would go an entire month without anything to eat but bread if that was the only way to keep them safe.”

There was a collective gasp from the three young hobbits.

“Do you really love us that much?” Sam asked.

“Yes, that much and more,” said Frodo, kissing his head. “Frodo the Smart loved his cousins and his brother more than anything in the entire world. Then there was Bilbo the Author and Sir Gandalf of the Bushy Eyebrows -”

They all laughed.

” -Who was a wizard of great power. One day, a dragon swooped down upon the kingdom of the Shire and began to eat all the mushrooms. The four cousins settled down to devise a plan. They thought long and hard, then they decided that Meriaodc the Magnifecent would ride out to distract the dragon while Samwise the Brave put on his battle armor and prepared to fight it, with Gandalf of the Bushy Eyebrows to help him. Frodo the Smart would guide all the people to safety.”

“And whah Pi’in ta kine do?”

“You’ll see, sweetheart. Now, Meriadoc the Magnificent climbed atop his noble white steed and rode out to face the dragon. So splendid was he that the dragon was blinded for three days and three nights.”

“Wow Mer-Mer, you must be weal pwetty pwetty on youh po-y. Ikisshyou.”

“In that time, Samwise the Brave and Gandalf of the Bushy Eyebrows prepared for battle and rode out. When the dragon’s sight was regained, the first thing it saw was bold Samwise bearing a silver lance, with the powerful wizard behind him casting a spell of protection. “Then the dragon flew into the air and breathed fire down upon the warrior, who raised high his shield to hold off the flames. Then the dragon struck at him with its mighty talons, but it could not pierce the armor which Samwise the Brave wore. Seeing this, the monster prepared his last trick.”

“What happens if the dragon gets him?” Merry breathed.

“Then it shall drag him off to its lair and feast upon roast Samwise.”

The young hobbits sucked in their breath and drew closer to Frodo. “Am I going to die? I don’t want to be roast Samwise,” Sam exclaimed.

“Shh, love, it’s only a story” Frodo smoothed his curls. “Do you want me to keep telling?”

“Yes!” all three exclaimed.

“Alright. So the dragon played his last trick, and swiped its horrible tail    across, striking the brave hero, flying his legs out from beneath him. He fell back across the ground -”

“No!” cried Merry and Pippin.

“- but Gandalf of the Bushy Eyebrows cast a spell such that a cloud of moss appeared to protect the hero and break his fall. Frodo the Smart rushed forward and caught his brother in his arms as he fell, and wept, thinking him slain, only to find such was untrue. With joy he embraced him, and together they glanced up upon the still un-vanquished dragon.

“Then forth rode Pippin the Kind, and up to the dragon he cried that if only he might agree to never steal their crop again, they would gladly supply him with a monthly amount, for though he admired the courage of his cousins, he found that kindness might provide an unexpected end to their trouble.

“All their held their breath. Samwise the Brave looked up from the arms of Frodo, who gazed up upon their foe. Meriadoc the Magnificent held his breath, atop his noble white pony. Then suddenly the dragon laughed, and cried aloud, ‘done! The deal is made,’ and took to the sky. It was then that they realized that the beast had only wanted their fine mushrooms. Therefore the dragon came every month to collect his mushrooms. The cousins loved each other for all of eternity and they all lived happily ever after to the end of their days. The end.”

“Yay!” Pippin hugged Frodo. “That good shory, Fwo. So I kisshyou.” He kissed Frodo’s cheek. “M-wha!! I kisshyou.”

Sam looked up at Frodo, his eyes shining with wonder. “How did you make that? That was amazing!”

“I just told everything I know about the Shire, and you three, only a story.”

“Then… who was the dragon?”

Frodo smiled. “It was Ted Sandyman.”

They all laughed. Each hugged Frodo, then Merry and Pippin lay down, Pippin’s little body cocooned in Merry’s arms. “Nigh-nigh Mer-Mer. Nigh Sam. Hap bir-day Fwo.” He kissed Merry’s hand. “Ikisshyou.” Almost as soon as the words were spoken, he fell asleep. Merry closed his eyes and followed him into slumber.

Sam slipped his hands into Frodo’s. “That was a good story you told us, Mist – I mean, Frodo.”

“Thank you, dearest.” Frodo smiled and stroked Sam’s cheek. “It’s late, meldanya. You should go to sleep now.”

“Alright,” Sam mumbled, yawning sleepily. He smiled up at the elder hobbit. “I love you so much, Frodo!”

“Aw.” Frodo kissed Sam on the forehead. “I love you too, Sam dear.More than words can ever say.”

Sam smiled and snuggled down into the blankets. Frodo wrapped his arms around him and kissed the top of his head.

“Happy birthday,” Sam mumbled, drifting off. Frodo smiled, closed his eyes, and joined him in slumber.

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