After the Ball
© 2007 Patricia Meadway
He was smiling as he walked up the hill to BagEnd.
Behind him, in the PartyField, he heard the music and laughter and
chuckled. He opened the round green door, went inside, banked the fire
and lit the lamps. As he came into the Front Parlour, he looked up at
the portrait of Frodo over the mantel and made a little salute. He
unpinned the Star of Dunedain and locked it away before he hung up his
Mayoral robe. Next, he collected pipes and a box of Longbottom leaf and
a small firkin of ale and several mugs.
Proudly he recalled his fourteen children, Rose, Pippin and Diamond
under the Lady's great Mallorn, grown from a small seed in the box she
gave him so many years ago.
Elanor had married Fastred at Court, before the King and Queen, Frodo,
now named Gardner, was wed in Crickhollow at the request of his wife's
ailing mother and Rose had quietly become Jasper's wife at Brandy buck
Goldilocks and Faramir, however, wanted a large family wedding. No Took
was ignored, nor any resident of Hobbiton-indeed, of the Shire. How his
heart had sung to see them so happy and his friends so fond and willing
He looked up at Frodo's ever young face - "You would have enjoyed every
minute! Truly, Mr. Frodo, it was almost as great as Bilbo's last
Just then, The Took came quietly in. "Always enjoyed a party did Frodo!
- I really missed him today, Sam. I kept wishing Faramir had known him."
"He saw them all in his dreams, Pip. He described them to me before he went away so long ago!" A tear rolled down Sam's face.
There was a bang! --- and Merry came bouncing in, if a four foot Hobbit
can bounce --- In a trice he read their faces and grabbed a mug.
"A toast!" he cried. "Frodo, best of Hobbits!"
They raised their mugs.
"To the father of the lovely bride!" Sam beamed.
"To the father of the noble groom!" Pippin preened.
"To all fathers. I'm one myself!" and there in that small snug room,
four friends were together again, in spirit, under a cloud of fragrant
smoke and a cloak of happy memories.
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