'What Ifs' and 'If Onlys' - Chapter Two: Bilbo's Nonsense

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Uncle Bilbo's Nonsense


A curly head of dark brown curls mixed with the tall, luscious Shire grass. The sun was pulsating and bright, it's drowsing heat an enemy to the young day's diligence. Already one young Hobbit had fallen prey to the tempting beckon of lethargy. Snoring slightly, he rolled over onto one side, leaving the smallest imprint of his body on the soft grass. Grasshoppers buzzed hypnotically and the birds chirped sporadically. The field was empty except for...

"Frodo Baggins!"

The small Hobbit lad shot up. He was face to knee with the intruder. He looked up to see the figure of his father, silhouetted by the sun, peering down at him. Frodo grinned sheepishly, one lock of sepia falling abruptly into his eye. Drogo stared down at his son in amazement. The boy had talent, that much he would give him. He had the talent to avoid every ounce of work possible...and then some.

"Your mother's been looking for you, Frodo. Do you know what time it is?"

The twelve-year old blushed considerably as he watched the sun for some sort of a clue. It was fairly high; probably after noon...He jumped to his feet quickly and straightened his azure tunic hastily.

"Gee, Da, I'm really sorry, I...uh...lost track of time...again..." he finished quietly and looked down at the ground in exaggerated misery. His father watched him closely before finally grinning. He reached for his boy with a rough, calloused hand.

"Come `ere, you!"

He grabbed the boy in a Hobbit-size noogie and Frodo couldn't help but laugh. Hearing his only son's laughter, Drogo couldn't help but laugh along with him. Then, stooping to the lad's level, he looked him in the eye. Both pairs of sparkling blue grinned back at each other like mirrors. Frodo grinned carelessly, but his father's face calmed, reflecting the seriousness of paternity.

"Listen, m'boy," Frodo leaned in closer. "Those puppy eyes might work on your mother, but they don't work on me." The boy's grin disappeared. Drogo noticed his apprehension. "But..." Hopeful gems stared into sober ones. "...let's pretend like I never found you..." Young Frodo's face was split by an enormous grin. Drogo grinned back. "Go on." He gave his son a nudge. "Put those baby blues to work. Go find your mother."

Frodo set off in a dead run for home. Drogo grinned as he watched his son race off. He intended to follow after him as soon as the lad had had an adequate enough head start, but found his path obstructed by a small, square object.

"Hmmm...and what's this?" he murmured while bending to pick the book up. He sighed. There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins the cover read. The boy could never keep his head out of the clouds to begin with...needless to say; Uncle Bilbo was not helping at all. Drogo fingered through the book half-heartedly. Someday little Frodo was going to have to learn that Dragons and Trolls were not the life for him and the his place was in the Shire, raising a family of dozens and fattening up on the best Eastfarthing cheeses and meats available. Drogo pocketed the small book. That day would come too soon, so for now he would let his son enjoy the fantasy world. For now.

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