An Aussie in King Aragorn's Court ~ Part 22 - Too Much Kissin' Going On!

Too much kissin' Going On!


"Hey Coralie!" called out Pippin as he dodged past Haldir, who was busy scooping up Merry with one hand and Sam with the other. Frodo, seeing that Haldir had already cornered at least two of them, decided to hang back a little with Gimli.

Looking up from the grass where they lay, imagining shapes in the frothy white clouds that danced in the sky above them, Coralie and Támurile laughed uproariously at the sight of Haldir chasing Pippin around with two hobbits under his arms.

"Oh My God! I'm going to cry!" laughed Coralie falling to the ground again in a convulsing heap. Támurile joined her giggling and crying as well.

"No! Princess! Don't start to cry again! I couldn't stand it!" she laughed as they both fell into gales of laughter watching Haldir give chase to Pippin.

"I can't take anymore of this!" said Coralie standing up shaking with mirth. "I'm going to die of laughter, if I don't put a stop to this! Oy! Haldir isn't it? What's going on?" Both girls were now on their feet, trying to gain some sort of composure, as Haldir momentarily gave up the chase. He still had one Hobbit under each arm as he answered her.

"It would seem Lady, that these Hobbits here are determined to see you, no matter what," he replied laughing as he chased them around, now more in jest than previously.

"Well, bring them over then!" Coralie called out as she held Támurile's hand. "Ever met Hobbits before Támurile?" asked Coralie. The little girl shook her head in response. "Get ready!"

"I would if I could catch them Lady!" said Haldir with exasperation.

"No need!" shouted Pippin as he skirted once more around Haldir and ran for the girls.

"Stop!" shouted Coralie, holding up both hands at once as Pippin stopped dead in his tracks. In fact they all did for a moment, surprised by her outburst. Coralie pointed to a spot about 3 feet in the grass in front of Pippin.

"There's a lute there and you almost trod on it Pip!" she said, relieved at how quickly he had come to a halt.

"Oh, you play then?" responded Pippin completely unfazed. "Oy! She's got a lute here and she can play it!" he shouted over his shoulder.

"No need to shout Pippin. We're right here!" said Merry standing behind him. Haldir walked up with Sam, Frodo and Gimli who stood beaming at her.

"Hello Coralie! You look well. How are you today?" asked Frodo genuinely surprised to see her laughing with an Elven child in the middle of a meadow.

"She must be feeling better!" interrupted Pippin. "Look that bruise has faded a bit! It's a little yellow around the edges now!"

Coralie held up her hand before any could protest Pippins remarkable observation.

"If you tell me it brings out my eyes again, I'll give you one to match, and then a fine pair we will be!" she laughed as Pippin extended his forehead in her direction, eyes closed tight half expecting her to carry out her threat.

"Go on Coralie! I deserve it!" he grimaced. Instead Coralie bent down and kissed him. Pippin's eyes opened wide with joy.

"She kissed me! She kissed me! Tell me I'm the first Hobbit to win a kiss from the Lady!" he was tugging on Merry's jacket as he danced around.

"Yes you are the first!" sighed Merry. "Now get off me, or I'll plant that bruise on your forehead you so richly deserve!"

"And I'll give him one next," said Sam as well.

"Excuse me Lady. Is this too much mayhem for you at the moment? Would you like me to escort the hobbits to a safer distance?" asked Haldir with an amused smile on his features.

"No Haldir, But thanks mate. I think I can handle them," she laughed.

"Good Day to you Lady," said Gimli stepping up taking her hand in his. "The Hobbits and I have been on a merry chase all morning to find you," he gave a small sideways glance in Haldir's direction. "But we are indeed glad to find you well and refreshed, for if I'm not mistaken....I can smell strawberries!" his eyes twinkled merrily as he held her hand.

"We took a bath too!" cried Pippin. "Although we didn't have the luxury of strawberry soap such as yourself. I hope you can smell the difference!" he sniffed a bit under his arms as he said this.

"Pippin, where are your manners?" asked Merry with exasperation.

Coralie and Támurile giggled at Pippin's confession. "Yes, I can tell or rather, smell the difference Pippin. But where are my manners. This is Támurile, a new friend I have made here."

"Pleased to make your acquaintance Támurile," said Pippin bowing with all the grace he could muster as Sam kicked him in the pants.

"Hey!"

"Gentlemen, if you cannot behave in these ladies' presence, I will indeed escort you back to the pavilions," said Haldir looking sternly down at them.

"It's alright Haldir. Honestly!" laughed Coralie.

"So what are you doing with a lute then, Coralie? Can you really play it?" asked Merry.

"Well, I only picked it up today, Merry, but I do believe I can play a song or two on it with some practice," she replied.

"Then what are we waiting for Coralie?" said Merry, plonking himself down in the grass. "A song would be grand right now."

"Alright! But you will have to put up with plenty of mistakes, as I'm still learning how to play this lute. I'm more used to a guitar!" she said taking up the lute and sitting down.

"What about something from your homeland, Coralie. I would like to hear you sing something exclusively Australian!" suggested Pippin as the others, nodding in agreement, seated themselves in a circle on the ground.

Coralie strummed a few chords on the lute, as she considered this request. She looked up at Haldir, who was standing on the outside of the circle behind Gimli.

"Please Haldir. Won't you join us? That is if you have nothing better to do at the moment."

Haldir coughed. "Ahem, well actually..."

"Oh please do!" cried Támurile and Coralie together, which set them off a-giggling again.

"Well, I suppose I could join you all for a little while," he said slipping in between Gimli and Merry, who suddenly produced a bag of apples, he had been carrying around.

"Look! I brought food!" he shouted with glee.

"And I too!" cried Pippin producing some loaves of bread he had hidden on his person. "They're a bit squashed, but they're still edible," he said tearing off a piece and stuffing it into his mouth.

Coralie looked at Frodo. "Don't tell me, you brought cheese!"

"How did you know that?" he asked as two rounds of cheese magically appeared from out of his pack.

"And I too!" said Sam, not to be outdone by Frodo as he produced another round from his pack as well.

They all laughed again as Gimli then brought out a water-skin and some cups.

"Never let it be said that we Dwarves come unprepared."

Coralie was still strumming away on her lute, trying to decide what to play, and how the chord progression should proceed.

"So what are you going to play then?" asked Sam, impressed by her quick finger play upon the lute's neck.

"Um...let me see. Would you like to hear "Tie me Kangaroo Down Sport, Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees, or a song about a bird that laughs, ......?

"A bird that can laugh?" asked Pippin with a mouthful of bread, cheese and apple all at once.

"Pippin, say it don't spray it! Yes a bird that can laugh. In Australia we have birds that can laugh. They are called Kookaburras."

"Oh do go on Coralie! Birds that can laugh, called kookaburras? Now I've heard everything!" replied Pippin skeptically.

"No you haven't heard everything Pippin, for Australia has some of the most unusual creatures ever created. And I will tell you about them later. Now do you want a song or not?"

"Yes please!" the hobbits cried together.

"Okay. This is called Botany Bay. I think I will start you off at the beginning. As you know Australia was first founded by convicts," she said as she quickly worked out the chord progression.

"Don't worry Haldir, Coralie's descended from royalty, so she won't be taking the silver with her when she goes!" interrupted Pippin.

"See, I knew you were a princess!" said Támurile looking up at Coralie, who then shook her head, slightly annoyed at Pippin.

"Well, considering the fact that most of the convicts were transported for life to Australia, for stealing a loaf of bread, because they were hungry....You'd be a prime suspect to haul before the magistrate."

They all laughed as Pippin almost choked on the bread he was eating and put on his most innocent face.

"Okay Gang! Here we go. And don't forget to join in on the chorus!"

Botany Bay



Farewell to Old England forever
Farewell to my old pals as well
Farewell to me well known Old Bailey
Where I once used to look such a swell


Refrain

Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay


There's the captain as is our commander,
There's the bo'sun and all the ship's crew
There's first and the second class passengers,
Knows what we poor convicts goes through


Refrain

Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay



'Taint the leaving of Old England I cares about,
'Taint 'cos Imispells wot I knows
But becos all we light finger'd gentry
Hop's around with a log on our toes.

Refrain

Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay



And if had I the wings of a turtle-dove,
I'd soar on my pinions so high,
Right back to the arms of my Polly love,
And in her sweet arms I would lie

Refrain

Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay



So come all you young Dukies and you Duchesses,
Take a heeding from what I've to say,
Mind all is your own as you touch-es-es,
Or you'll find us in Botany Bay,

Refrain

Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay


Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ay,
Singing too-rall, li-oo-rall, li-ad-di-ty
Now we're bound for Botany Bay


 "That's a merry tune for a sad subject!" said Gimli impressed with the song.

"Not really Gimli. Otherwise, there'd be no Australia, and I may not even exist!" said Coralie. "Do you want to sing it again?"

"Yes!" The Hobbits chorused at once. So they sang the song again. Whether the magic that Coralie was able to wield when she sang, was as a result of her being transported to Middle Earth, or a hidden gift that she had always possessed was lost upon her, being unawares of the power her voice held in song. However, it was not lost on the others, who suddenly felt the swell of the ocean underneath them, as the sails billowed in answer to the rising breeze, the pervasive smell of salty air and even felt the misery of the convicts, torn from kith and kin, chained up below decks. When they insisted on a third rendition, Coralie turned to Haldir.

"I must warn you Haldir, that these Hobbits will sing the same song over and over again, until you can't take any more, so I'm going to change the tune and not give them the chance." He merely laughed, so taken was he by her song and the images she had brought to life, that he wouldn't have minded her singing it again. He looked at her with a new respect that he found surprising, for she was a mere mortal, and had not counted them to possess any gifts, such as were reserved for the Elves alone. Támurile gazed up at Coralie with innocent wonder, and then at Haldir, who then smiled secretly at her, confirming her thought, that Coralie was completely unaware of what transpired whenever she sang.

"Hey! That's not fair!" cried Pippin.

"Do you want to sing or not?" asked Coralie with her best `teacher's' tone she could muster. "Crikey!" she thought "They can be worse than the 4th grade sometimes."

"Now where were we? Oh yes. After the convicts, came the settlers, wanting to move to a new land. One of the main ways you could make a living was in wool growing. There is an old saying that "Australia rides on the sheep's back", because we are one of the primary producers of wool. This song is called `Click Go the Shears' and it's about shearing the sheep. A blue bellied `joe' is a sheep that has just been shorn. A `snagger' is a lucky bloke and a `ringer' is the champion shearer. That's all the translation I'm going to give you. You should pick up the chorus easily. Join in when you can."


Click Go the Shears

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

Out on the boards the old shearer stands
Grasping his shears in his thin bony hands
Fixed is his eye on the blue-bellied "joe"
And glory if he gets her, won't he make the ringer go

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

Out in the middle on his caned bottom chair
Sits the boss of the joint, with his eyes everywhere
He watches every fleece as it comes up to the screen
Pays particular attention if it's taken off clean

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

Well the tar boy is there and he's in great demand
With his blackened tar-pot in his tarry hand
He sees an old sheep with a cut upon her back
And this is what he's waiting for "Tar here Jack!"

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

Well the colonial-experience man he is there, of course
With his shiny leggin's like he just got off his horse
He casts his blummin eyes around just like a connoisseur
And you can hear him whistling "Ain't I the perfect lure!"

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"

Well the shearing is over, we've all had our pay
Pack up your swags boys and lets be on our way
The first pub we come to we'll all have a spree
With everybody shouting "Well have a drink with me!"

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and he's beaten by a blow
And curses the old snagger with the blue-bellied "joe"


"Now I suppose you Hobbits want that one again? Am I right?" The Hobbits all looked at her and nodded vigorously. Coralie rolled her eyes at them in mock frustration. "Okay then. How can I resist?"

"Shame there isn't a pub around here to drink to the shearing champions, Coralie!" said Sam with a laugh, relishing the images of hard, working men drowning their parched throats with cool draughts of beer. It reminded him very much of The Green Dragon, and he missed the warm camaraderie of familiar conversation over a drink, and songs with his `mates', as Coralie would put it.

"Well, somehow, I don't think that the lack of a pub would stop you Hobbits from trying anyway!" Coralie replied.

"Hey Haldir! Got any ale around here somewhere?" Haldir just laughed at Merry's request.

"Or how about a pair of shears? I reckon Pippin's hair needs a good cutting, and we could pretend he is a sheep!" cried Merry, terribly amused by the prospect of `shearing' Pippin's head.

"Stop that Merry!" admonished Coralie, as Merry tugged at Pippin's hair. Merry obliged by sitting as far away as possible from Pippin who had tried to return the gesture in kind. When you both have settled down, I will continue," the two hobbits then sat up straight -away, with the purest look of devotion written across their features. Sighing to herself, Coralie went on.

"Now I would be amiss, if I didn't sing to you Australia's most famous song of all, Waltzing Matilda. Waltzing Matilda is a song about an Australian hobo I guess you'd call him. He wanders through the bush land of Australia, and he takes all his meagre belongings wrapped up in an old blanket, which is strung across his shoulders with an old piece of twine, and this is called his swag. Hence the name swagman.

"What about Orcs and such? Does he have to worry about those?" asked Frodo.

"There are no Orcs that I know of In Australia, Frodo. I think his biggest worry would have been snakes," she replied.

"Snakes!" cried the Hobbits together.

"Australia has the ten deadliest snakes in the world, as well as the deadliest spider, and the deadliest marine stingers, and the deadliest creature in the world is the Blue Ringed Octopus! Of course it is found in Australia! One bite from that little beast and you will be dead within minutes....Oh we have the deadliest of everything......but don't worry. If you ever run across a snake...just give me a holler and I will protect you." She added with a wink before she went on.


"Now affectionately or otherwise the swagman refers to his swag as Matilda, it's like his only companion as he wanders through the bush tracks, he finds himself talking to it as if it's a real person. So the term Waltzing Matilda has nothing to do with dancing at all, it means in fact carrying this thing on your back through the long lonely stretches of the Australian bush. Couple of other terms quickly, pay attention because I will be asking questions afterwards about this. A billabong is a pool of deep water, a billy is a little tin can they boil the tea in, a jumbuck is a sheep, er tucker bag is a bag for carrying tucker. What else? The squatter is the big land owner, that's enough! Let's get on with the song."


 

Waltzing Matilda

Swagman
The Jolly Swagman
Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Down came a jumbuck to drink beside the billabong
Up jumped the swagman and seized him with glee
And he sang as he tucked jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Down came the stockman, riding on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three.
"Where's the jolly jumbuck you've got in your tuckerbag?
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Up jumped the swagman and plunged into the billabong,
"You'll never catch me alive," cried he
And his ghost may be heard as you ride beside the billabong,
You'll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda (Alternative Version)


"Coralie! "Why did that `swagman' kill himself rather than go quietly with the men who captured him?" asked Sam intrigued by the image of the swagman drowning himself.

"Australians love their freedom Sam. There is nothing worse for us than being locked up forever with the key thrown away," she replied.

"Really?" asked Merry, butting in. "You mean to say that he would rather die for a bit of food instead of going to gaol?"

"Well, wouldn't you? But of course, if they fed you well enough in gaol, Merry, you would probably go willingly, as long as the tucker were decent!"

They all laughed in agreement.

"But Coralie. Don't you think that killing oneself over a meal you don't want to give up is a bit extreme?" asked Frodo.

"Call it a race memory if you like, Frodo. Our convict heritage weighs heavy upon our souls, whether we are actually descended from them or not. We much prefer wide open spaces, and the freedom of traipsing through the bush, living off the land as we go," she replied. "The idea of being locked away over an injustice is anathema to us. He killed himself out of principle. Now, I don't need to ask you if you want another song, now do I?" They all looked up and nodded eagerly. "Oh Dear! I'm going to be at this all day!"

"Lady if you are tired, we can stop if you like," interjected Haldir.

"No it's alright. I've already decided to play just two more songs and then that's it!" she said staring the Hobbits down. They looked up at her with the most disappointed expressions on their faces. "See what I'm up against Haldir? Gimli? How can I possibly say no to such sweet little Hobbits?" They were all pouting now.

Gimli just looked at them and snorked! "Lady! I have learned to say no, and will say it for you if you like. They didn't spend that dreadful night with you in the tree, trying to save your life. Instead they were tucked away with Haldir here, and have no idea just how desperate our fight to save you was. And that was only three nights ago. But I was there, and took part, and know you must be tired. You only came back to us yesterday. If you have had enough, just say the word and I will chase them off for you," he said making to get up. Instead Coralie leaned over and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you Gimli, for saving my life. You are so sweet. But just two more please?"

The Dwarf went a bright red colour as Coralie kissed him and reluctantly agreed to let her sing two more songs. "Just two more Lady. That is all I will agree to."

Suddenly she looked over at Haldir. "Oh Dear! I'm forgetting someone." Quickly she passed the lute to Gimli and flung her arms around Haldir's neck and planted a kiss on his cheek as well. "Thank you Haldir, for helping me too!" The Elf also blushed as Támurile eyes opened wide at this unprecedented gesture.

"Whoever thought of kissing the March-Warden before?" she thought to herself. "No one has ever done that to my knowledge!"

Suddenly Merry leaned forward and stuck out his cheek. "What about me?" he asked mischievously.

Frodo pulled him back. "Get in line! If anyone else is getting a kiss around here, it's going to be me!"

"Coralie and Haldir sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes Love, Then comes........

"Hey! Cut that out!" cried Coralie to Pippin as the Hobbits all started laughing.

"Oy! What about this one? Coralie and Gimli sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First...." Gimli suddenly cut them off.

"I think we've had enough singing for one day!"

"No Gimli! Please!" begged Frodo. "We'll be good. Won't we lads?"
Again they all nodded vigorously.

Coralie laughed as she struck up the chords for the next tune.

"Right guys. No more silly rhymes from you. Second last tune, according to Gimli here, who has so graciously forgiven you for your childish behaviour. And I should think you are also lucky, that I'm not up to taking care of you myself!" she pointed out whilst giving them the best evil eye she could manage. They pretended to cringe under her withering glare. "Alright, you've convinced me you will be good. This is called Tie me Kangaroo Down Sport."

"What's a kangaroo?" asked Pippin and Merry together as they munched on some apples for dessert.

"If you save me an apple, and promise not to interrupt again, I will tell you all about Australian animals on the way back. But in the meantime, just to whet your appetite, a kangaroo is almost like a giant rabbit, that hops around and carries its baby in a pouch in its tummy! That's the shortest and best description I will give at the moment."

"A giant rabbit!" began Pippin.

"A pouch in its tummy?" added Merry.

"Uh! Uh! Uh!" said Coralie shaking her finger. "You promised not to interrupt now." Quickly they nodded an unspoken promise and held their fingers to their lips.

"Okay! Okay! This has a chorus you can join in on too!"

Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

There's an old Australian stockman, lying, dying,
And he gets himself up onto one elbow,
And he turns to his mates,
Who are gathered 'round him and he says
Watch me wallabies feed mate
Watch me wallabies feed
They're a dangerous breed mate
So watch me wallabies feed

Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.


Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl
Keep me cockatoo cool.
Don't go acting the fool, Curl
Just keep me cockatoo cool.

Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.


And take me koala back, Jack
Take me koala back.
He lives somewhere out on the track, Mac
So take me koala back.

Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.


And mind me platypus duck, Bill
Mind me platypus duck.
Don't let him go running amok, Bill
Just mind me platypus duck.
Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.


Play your didgeridoo, Blue
Play your didgeridoo.
Oh like keep playing 'til I shoot thro' Blue
Play your didgeridoo.


Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport                                                                         Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.


Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred
Tan me hide when I'm dead.
So we tanned his hide when he died Clyde
And that's it hanging on the shed.
Altogether now!

Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.
Tie me kangaroo down sport
Tie me kangaroo down.    
Kangaroo with Joey in PouchKangaroo with Joey in Pouch

"Hey! I could see a kangaroo!" shouted Merry.

"Yeah! Me too!" cried Pippin as well.

"Don't be ridiculous! If you blokes really want to see a Kangaroo, I have some images stored on my Clie here and will show you later."

"But I saw it too!" exclaimed Frodo. It was a big brown looking rabbit with soft fur! And it had a pouch on its tummy and a little head was sticking out!"

"Yeah! That's what I saw!" added Sam excitedly. "It had a long tail though, not like a rabbit's at all. And it hopped around on great big hind feet! Look! Like this!" And before anyone could stop him, Sam was doing his best imitation of a kangaroo as he hopped around the grass. Támurile giggled softly into her hand, as she took in the sight, and realized that Sam was doing a rather good impersonation of the creature she had just seen in her mind's eye.

Coralie looked at Sam and the others incredulously. "You lot are just making fun of me now, and you had promised to be good!" Quickly Sam rejoined the others in the circle a little breathless.

"We will be good! We promise. Look!" said Pippin as he folded his arms in expectation of the next song.

Coralie felt all her resistance dissolve as all of the Hobbits in turn folded their arms and sat up straight. "Really! You boys remind me of naughty little school children sometimes! What am I going to do with you?"

"Sing us another song please!" they all chorused at once. Shaking her head, Coralie picked up the lute one more time.

"Okay. I give in. I've saved the best for last. And I mean this is the very last song. This is not strictly a song about Australia, but it was sung by an Australian man, named Rolf Harris, and it is very funny. Are you sure you want to hear it, since it's not really Australian and all?" teased Coralie with a big grin on her face.

"Yes!" The Hobbits cried in unison. Coralie looked down at her new found friend. "What do you reckon Támurile? Do you think they deserve to hear another? Have they been good enough?"

Támurile looked up at her and winked slightly. "I don't know Princess. Seems they've been pretty rude, asking you for kisses and such." Seeing the deflated look on the Hobbits faces, she added. "But you can't really blame them. After all! They are Hobbits, and perhaps they were just a little bit too enthusiastic about your singing. I would give them a second chance!"

"Hear that boys? You just got your wish! This song is about our largest bird called the emu. It can't fly but it can run real fast. Join in when you can. But I warn you, the words may seem a little strange. gets faster as you go along!" The Hobbits smiled as Coralie struck up a note on the guitar.


  Old Man Emu

Let me tell you of an interview with an Old Man Emu
He's got a beak and feathers and things
But the poor old fella ain't got no wings

Aren't you jealous of the wedge-tailed eagle - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
While the eagle's flyin' round and round I keep my two feet firmly on the ground
Now I can't fly but I'm tellin' you, I can run the pants off a kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
He can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well he was the model for the fifty cents - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
The designer should have had more sense - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
If you take a look it'll prove to you (ha-ha-ha-ha), I ran the pants off that kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
Take a look, it'll prove to you, he ran the pants off the kangaroo

You can't loop the loop like a cockatoo - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Swoop and toss like an albatross - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
You silly gallah, I'm better by far, than a white cockatoo or a budgerigar
They squeak and squawk and try to talk, why me and them's like cheese and chalk
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
He can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well the last time I saw Old Man Emu - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
He was chasing a female he knew- Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
As he shot past I heard him say
Hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo
She can't fly but I'm tellin' you, she can run the pants off a kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, do-da-do-do, doo-doo
She can't fly but I'm tellin' you, she can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well there is a moral to this ditty - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Thrush can sing but he ain't pretty - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Duck can swim but he can't sing, nor can the eagle on the wing
Emu can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants of a kangaroo

Well the Kookaburra laughed and he said it's true - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Ha-ha-ha-hah, ha-ha-hoo, he can run the pants of a kangaroo
Ah-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, ooh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

 

Aragorn and Legolas, fresh from the river, and carrying Coralie's belongings, were now approaching the group as they sat upon the grass in the meadow. They had heard the strains of a strange song and couldn't help but note the fact that everyone was laughing out loud, especially the Hobbits who were rolling about on the grass.

"Oh my! I think I'm going to die! Quick Coralie! Kiss me before it's too late!" cried Pippin as he shook with laughter.

"No kiss me! I'm going to die first!" shouted Frodo.

"No! No! It's me who needs the kiss of life! Coralie! Kiss me please. Or I shall die!" groaned Sam, as another wave of laughter overtook him.

"Then I shall tell Rosie you've been asking girls for kisses!" cried Merry. "Coralie shall kiss me first!"

"What's all this about?" asked Aragorn striding up to them.

"And why are you all asking Coralie for a kiss?" queried Legolas next to him.

The hobbits wiped the tears of laughter from their eyes as they looked up at the two, who now loomed over them.

"Oh Coralie, just sang the funniest song I've ever heard," began Frodo.

"Yes! And we were laughing so much, we couldn't breathe," continued Sam.

"You should get her to sing it for you. Then you might need a kiss too!" contributed Merry.

"Yes after all. She has already given Gimli and Haldir a kiss today!" cried Pippin. "We just hoped we would be next!"

"You forgot to include yourself in that list, Pippin. Don't you remember she kissed you too!" laughed Frodo.

"Oops! You are right my fine friend! The lovely lady did indeed give me a kiss. Right here on my brow! See!" He was pointing to his forehead as if Aragorn and Legolas could see the imprint of a kiss there.

Aragorn and Legolas looked over at Haldir and Gimli as they sat together on the grass looking rather uncomfortable at the Hobbits' assertions.

"Oh sing the song again Coralie! Please!" cried the Hobbits.

"I don't know. Since you are spreading rumours about me to all and sundry," she replied quite flustered by their ridiculous antics.

"It's not a rumour! We saw you do it with our own eyes!" exclaimed Merry.

"Yes. Well there was a reason for that, and you jolly well know it you little imp!" she cried.

"Reason? What possible reason could the Lady have to kiss you both?" asked Legolas raising his eyebrows at Gimli and Haldir. He thought that Pippin was probably only jesting about his kiss, as was his wont. But to have kissed Haldir and Gimli? Well, that was entirely another matter.

Gimli coughed. "Ahem. Perhaps, we can sing that song again Lady?"

"What? And have them begging me to kiss them again?"

"This must have been quite a song Coralie, to have caused so much ado amongst the Hobbits," said Aragorn.

"I would call it much ado about nothing!" she replied.

"Nothing? You kissed them! Don't you deny it!" cried Pippin.

Aragorn sat himself down beside Coralie on the grass, obviously amused by all the carry on from the Hobbits. He was too delighted at finding Coralie apparently well enough to sing and laugh, to be upset with the Hobbits over their assertions that she had been kissing anyone. This was not the sort of behaviour he expected from a decent woman, and he only believed half of what they were saying anyway. "Perhaps, you can sing this song for me, so I can judge for myself what has caused all this fuss, and then you may like to explain why you kissed Haldir and Gimli afterwards," He nodded at Támurile who was trying to contain herself.

"Mae Govannen!" he smiled.

"Well I shall go one better, and just give you a kiss now!" and before Aragorn could answer, she quickly wrapped her arms about his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek. Aragorn scratched his head and looked at her as Legolas sat down beside the Hobbits.

"Now Lady. To what honour do I deserve the giving of this kiss?" he asked with a wry grin, as she smiled up at him. He caught his breath for a moment, so changed was she from the sad girl he had last encountered. The little circlet of flowers in her hair only added to the brightness of her smile.

"Why! Saving my life of course!" she laughed as she took his hand. "That's what all this is about, and I haven't had the chance to thank you properly yet. Thank you. And you too Legolas. I must also thank Boromir, but he's not here. The hobbits are just being silly about it. That's all!"

Aragorn laughed. "Is that what all this is about? No wonder they are carrying on so!"

"Yes! Can you blame us? We weren't there to help Coralie, and now we don't get a kiss!" pouted Merry.

"I got one!" said Pippin smugly. Legolas looked down at the little Hobbit beside him and raised one eyebrow.

"Really? And what did you do in order to obtain this kiss?"

Pippin looked up at Legolas, rather smugly. "Nothing! Nothing at all!" and gave him his broadest grin. "But what about Legolas?" cried Pippin not to be deterred by the Elf. "He saved your life too! Doesn't he deserve a kiss?"

"Perhaps, I shall give him a kiss later, and you shall receive a good thumping from me instead, for being so impertinent!"

"Coralie and Legolas, sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage......

Coralie put her head in her hands. "Aragorn! Make them stop! Please!"

Merry and Pippin stopped mid sentence all of a sudden, at the look that Aragorn shot them across the circle.

"Gentlemen, I think that is enough!"

"I should like to hear this song that has caused such an uproar," said Legolas with a bemused smile at Coralie.

"Hmmm! You smell good Legolas. Is that strawberries I can smell, or is it just my imagination?" asked Pippin.

"Lady. The song if you please?" asked Legolas as he rolled his eyes at Pippin. Coralie noted her pack beside him and smiled secretly to herself.

"Of course!" she replied and struck up the song again.

Old Man Emu

Let me tell you of an interview with an Old Man Emu
He's got a beak and feathers and things
But the poor old fella ain't got no wings

Aren't you jealous of the wedge-tailed eagle - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
While the eagle's flyin' round and round I keep my two feet firmly on the ground
Now I can't fly but I'm tellin' you, I can run the pants off a kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
He can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well he was the model for the fifty cents - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
The designer should have had more sense - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
If you take a look it'll prove to you (ha-ha-ha-ha), I ran the pants off that kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
Take a look, it'll prove to you, he ran the pants off the kangaroo

You can't loop the loop like a cockatoo - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Swoop and toss like an albatross - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
You silly gallah, I'm better by far, than a white cockatoo or a budgerigar
They squeak and squawk and try to talk, why me and them's like cheese and chalk
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, doo-da-do-do, doo-doo
He can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well the last time I saw Old Man Emu - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
He was chasing a female he knew- Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
As he shot past I heard him say
Hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo-ah-hoo-choo
She can't fly but I'm tellin' you, she can run the pants off a kangaroo
Ba-da-doo-doo, da-doo-doo-doo, do-da-do-do, doo-doo
She can't fly but I'm tellin' you, she can run the pants off a kangaroo

Well there is a moral to this ditty - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Thrush can sing but he ain't pretty - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Duck can swim but he can't sing, nor can the eagle on the wing
Emu can't fly but I'm tellin' you, he can run the pants of a kangaroo

Well the Kookaburra laughed and he said it's true - Um-ba-da-lip-ida-da-da
Ha-ha-ha-hah, ha-ha-hoo, he can run the pants of a kangaroo
Ah-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, ooh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

 

At the end, everyone was laughing again at the funny song. Coralie looked at Aragorn as he helped her up.

"Tell them," she said looking at the Hobbits who were again in hysterics. "That if they go on about my kissing anyone again, that the convict side of me will take over and I will probably throttle them while they sleep!

"You heard her Gentlemen! I think we have heard enough about this kissing business to last a lifetime. There will be no more of it. Do you understand me?"

They all looked up at him rather sheepishly and nodded.

"Now I shall carry the lute for the Lady, if Legolas will carry the pack?" Legolas inclined his head in agreement. Coralie turned to Támurile who was still giggling a little at the hobbits.

"Come Támurile. How about you walk with me a ways, so we can at least let them calm down a bit. Shall we?" She extended her hand to the child and the two of them skipped off together laughing. The Hobbits, not wanting to be left behind, quickly packed up their belongings and chased after the two girls. When they had gone some ways, Aragorn turned to the Elf and Dwarf, who were both desperately trying to look as calm, and disinterested as possible under his steady gaze.

"So, the lady kissed you both then?" asked Aragorn, as he looked Gimli and Haldir up and down, who then quickly nodded their assent. "I have heard the tale from the lady, and now I would like to hear it from you both."

"Yes. March -Warden of Lothólrien. I did not realise that your duties in regard to i titheniel, included the receiving of kisses. I too would like to hear this tale," said Legolas arching his eyebrows.

"Honestly Sirs. The lady just kissed us out of the blue! I didn't ask her for a kiss. As her kinsman, I must make my apologies to you, Aragorn," said Gimli giving a short bow at the waist.

"And I too must make amends," added Haldir. "It was most unexpected, and not solicited in any way."

"Really?" asked Legolas, slanting one eyebrow suspiciously. Haldir and Gimli, shuffled a little uneasily beneath his cool stare.

Suddenly, Aragorn clapped them both on the shoulders and laughed. "Gentlemen. Do not fear. My anger is not aroused. The lady was merely expressing her thanks, albeit in a most unusual manner. I know she was not being forward with either of you, and that the kiss came unlooked for. Neither of you are responsible for what has transpired. She is a most unusual maiden, and you would not be the first that she has taken surprise by some whimsy on her part. Do not let it trouble you any further. I shall speak to her myself when I feel the time is right and come to some sort of understanding. But at the moment, I am not vexed by her behaviour as she came so near to death, and rather I am just glad to see her former merry self has returned." He looked ahead of them for a moment to see the Hobbits chasing around Coralie and Támurile, far in the distance. "Come! Let us catch up, for I fear those Hobbits will tire the lady out before long."

"Hey! Coralie! You promised to tell us all about those Australian animals remember?" cried Pippin as he ran over with the others. They were now on the path under the trees that led back to the city of the Galadrim. Coralie had stopped skipping with Támurile long before they reached the edge of the woods. It seemed to her now, that her shoes had leaden soles, and each step was becoming more difficult the further along she went. The Hobbits had to run back to where she lagged behind, in order to badger her further about her promise about telling them more about Australia's unusual creatures.

"Alright. But I have worn myself out with skipping and singing, even though it was delightful, and must sit for a minute. I'll find you some pictures on my Clie." She sat down with weariness flooding her bones at the base of a tree with Támuríle beside her.

"Are you alright Coralie?" asked Frodo, noting her drawn features.

"Not really, I suddenly feel very tired. Here Frodo," she said passing the Clie over to him, "I've loaded the file on Australian animals for you. You know how to operate it, and I just can't at the moment."

"Princess. I don't think you are faring very well, at all. Let me run and fetch Aragorn," said Támurile.

"It's alright Támurile. I just need to rest for a moment."

"Oh Coralie. I am so sorry. Of all of us here, I should have known better and realised we were tiring you out. I know what it feels like to be stabbed," empathised Frodo as his hand momentarily crept to the young scar under his clothing. The other Hobbits looked rather remorseful, as they took in the weary set of Coralie's face as she sat under the tree, and suddenly felt quite guilty that they may have been the cause for her relapse.

"Frodo!" cried Coralie suddenly aroused by his remark. "Were you wounded too? I'm sorry I didn't know, and I gave you all such a hard time on the road here, from Moria."

"No! No! Coralie. This happened quite some time ago. Long before I even met you. I just know how it feels, and should have taken more care with you. That's all. I guess we were just so happy to see you laughing and singing again, that we couldn't help ourselves."

"It's alright Frodo," said Coralie from under weary eyelids. "I've just done too much today. Go on now and enjoy yourselves. I'm sure Aragorn and the others will be here soon enough. I just need a bit of a rest." Frodo hesitated for a moment. "Honestly, I'm fine. I will just close my eyes for a moment. That's all. Nothing could possibly happen to me here anyway."

"I will sit with the Princess until the others come," said Támurile. Nodding, Frodo reluctantly withdrew with the other Hobbits. As they walked away, Támurile could hear them oohing and aahing over the various pictures.

"That's the kangaroo I saw!" exclaimed Pippin.

"I saw the same one too!" cried Merry.

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