Frolijah – Part 5
A Short Obsession to Mushrooms
The next morning, I woke with an uncomfortably large lump in my back from a tree root. Groaning slightly, I sat up. It was early morning – an uncomfortable reminder of my schedule as a reporter – but already too warm for my comfort. Frolijah would love it, if he were awake.
Set out, presumably by the Elves, were the breads of last night. I looked on them hungrily for a moment before an unbidden thought came to my mind. Oh, yeah. I was on a diet. Fine, I said to myself, I’ll take a quick run and then eat. I forced myself to stand up. A slight wave of dizzy blackness swept through me, but a moment later I was jogging around. This is stupid, you’re going to be walking all day, I told myself, What is it? Eighteen miles? So it’ll be plenty of exercise . . .
Sam woke up a moment later. “Miss Alice, what are you doing?” He asked me, curiously.
“Trying to jog off some calories,” I answered. “Bread is full of them.” Sam gave me an incomprehensive look.
“So I can lose weight. That ought to be enough,” gratefully, I stopped. “Want some bread and fruit? the Elves left it!”
At the word `food’ Pippin started, and elbowed Merry into consciousness. “Where?” they asked at the same time. Then, seeing it, rushed over and began to help themselves. I smothered a laugh, but soon enough Sam and I joined them. It might have been just me, but turning into a hobbit seemed to have kicked up my food desire several knots . . .
Frolijah slept on, peacefully. Lazy boy, I thought.
Pippin, Merry, and I would have eaten all the food away had not Sam stopped it. “Leave some for Mr. Frodo!” he said, “He needs his strength just the same.” Uh, huh. Let actor boy starve, that fruit was good. Oh, well. I suppose I was full anyway.
Eventually, however, Frolijah did wake up, looking much more refreshed than I was. The Elves had left him on a soft place.
“They have left us fruit and drink, and bread,” Pippin told him. “Come and have your breakfast. I didn’t want to leave you any, but Sam insisted.”
Frolijah sat down by Pippin and Sam. “Where did all the Elves go?” he asked.
“They left, we haven’t seen them. What’s the plan for today?” answered Pippin.
“To keep walking,” answered Frolijah in the safest way. He looked a little disappointed. Probably to lose the hot elf chick.
“To Bucklebury, as quickly as possible,” I added. I sat down purposely across from Frolijah.
“Think we shall see anything of those Riders?” asked Pippin cheerfully. I nodded `yes’ to Frolijah with a grimace on my face.
“Er,” he said, “I suppose so. Hope not, though.”
“Did you find out anything about them from Gildor?”
“No, not really. Just riddle, you know. The Elves are real keen on those.” Frolijah answered, evasively. I noted his slang with distaste.
“Did you ask about the sniffing?”
“No! what is this, an interrogation??” Frolijah answered, with his mouth full. A little bit of fruit dribble down his chin. I sighed. The least he could do was learn some manners. Frolijah rubbed his sleeve across his chin. A confused look came to Frolijah’s face, and he rubbed his hand across his face, giving me a curious look, but keeping his mouth shut. “Leave me alone a bit, I want to think.”
“Good heavens!” said Pippin. “At breakfast?” He walked away towards the edge of the green.
Frolijah was silent for a moment, then said in a voice not-as-quiet-as-he-probably-thought: “I shouldn’t be here. Why can’t I just stay in the Shire, it’s nice enough here. At least I should get rid of the Hobbits.” Then in louder voice so Sam could here. “It’s going to be dangerous, Sam. We might not come back.” I could almost see him thinking not if I can help it.
But Sam wasn’t so easy to shake. “If you don’t come back, sir, then I shan’t, that’s certain,” said Sam. “Don’t you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon; and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they’ll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said. They laughed.
“Great.” Frolijah said, groaning slightly. “Who, Gandalf? What are you talking about?” then in an undertone: “I thought the line was: `Gandalf said: don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee, and I don’t mean to.'”
“No, sir, the Elves. They were so wonderful!”
“You still like them after seeing them?” Frolijah asked, his mind scrunched. Probably in memory of the she-elf . . .
“They seem a bit above my likes and dislikes, so to speak,” answered Sam slowly. “It don’t seem to matter what I think about them. They are quite different from what I expected – so old and young, and so gay and sad, as it were.”
“Gay?” he gave me a look, then, finally, understanding came into his sick mind. “Oh, yes I suppose so. Still want to leave them?”
“I’m coming with you, Mr Frodo. I understand that’s what Gandalf meant,” Sam gave Frolijah a firm look. “We’re goin’ together.” Frolijah sighed heavily as Pippin ran up.
“Ready to start?” I asked, “Cross-country style?”
“Across country??” said Frolijah, grimacing.
“To avoid the Riders. We could save a lot of distance that way.” I answered.
“Short cuts make long delays, Pippin argued. “Anyway, I want to stop by the Golden Perch. The best beer in the Eastfarthing, or so it used to be: it is a long time since I tasted it.”
Frolijah’s eyes lit up, but I said: “Short cuts make long delays, but inns longer. Let’s go,” with a surly look on his face, Frolijah followed me. The others were not long behind.
“Alice,” he said in a low voice. “What happened to my beard?”
“My beard, I was growing one . . .” Frolijah looked at me in confusion.
“Blockhead!” I said irritably, “You’re a hobbit now! Hobbits don’t even get peach fuzz unless they’re Stoors! Don’t you know anything?”
Frolijah looked at me, a little hurt. “I did read The Hobbit, you know,” he said. “And I was in the movie.”
“Great,” I snapped back, “So you know how to walk across New Zealand. Lot of help that’ll do us.”
“Why are you being like this, Alice?” he asked. “What did I do?”
“Hmm, let’s see: everything and nothing. That’s the point. I don’t care what you say, you’re going, buster.” Sam and Pippin were staring at us, and I realized I had been almost shouting. “Look,” I said softly, wishing I hadn’t been so harsh. “Just deal with it.”
Frolijah dropped back to talk with the other Hobbits. I felt incredibly guilty.
Hours, a Black Rider, and masses of humid heat later, we arrived at Farmer Maggot’s. Some things, I suppose, Frolijah can do right. He acted the part perfectly, down to even turning white in horror that someone (not including rabid Tolkien-fans) was tracking him. The only trouble came (after I had kicked him repeatedly for staring at Farmer Maggot’s daughters) with the mushrooms.
It is a well known fact that Hobbits have a craving for mushrooms that surpasses even the greatest desire of men. Including Frolijah . . .
More than five miles down the lane that Farmer Maggot had insisted on driving them after they had supped at his house, the Hobbits were met by Merry Brandybuck to make the final journey to Crickhollow.
Frolijah sprang out of the wagon to greet him with me just behind, prodding his back. “There you are at last!” said Merry. “I was beginning to wonder if you would turn up at all today, and I was just going back to supper. Where did you find them, Mr. Maggot? In your duck-pond?”
“No, I caught `em trespassing,” said the farmer. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d best be goin’ back home. Mrs. Maggot will be woriting with the night getting thick.”
He backed the wagon into the land and turned back. “Well, good night to you all,” he said. Then, suddenly, produced a large basket. “I was nearly forgetting,” he said. “Mrs. Maggot put this up for Mr. Baggins, with her compliments,” he handed it down, and waved goodnight, driving off into the darkness.
Frolijah opened it. “Mushrooms!” he exclaimed, then laughed, adding softly to me. “I hate the roots, but these smell good. I wonder why.” I rolled my eyes: they were fungus, not roots.
After we arrived, and the other hobbit’s had baths (I had to wait until afterward, being a girl, though Frolijah made plenty of racket to me about just how lucky I was, and that his privacy was being imposed on etc. etc.) Merry set out a second dinner.
“I don’t suppose none of you will want mushrooms again?” Fredegar asked without much hope.
“Yes we shall!” said Pippin.
“Get your greedy hands off them,” said Frolijah with an effort to comply with the line I had given him earlier. “They’re mine. Mrs. Maggot gave them to me, I’ll serve them.” Close enough, anyway.
But as soon as Frolijah got his hands on those mushrooms, he went a little crazy. He stuffed the fungi in his mouth as quickly as possible, eye bulging wide. He exclaimed even more loudly than Pippin about how good they were, etc. etc. I liked them also (a nice change from my human self) but I wasn’t obsessing! Frolijah was making me sick.
He started to grab my mushrooms; I slapped his hand and hissed: “Control yourself.” Frolijah’s eyes lit up in the mad desire for mushrooms.
“More!” he cried. “Mushrooms! Mushroom! Ahh . . . wonderful! Mushrooms!” his open mouth smacked in delight. He laughed maniacally. “More!! MORE!!!!!! Ahahahah! Hahahaha!! Hahahaha!! Ahahahaha!!!!! Yes!! Mushrooms!! I LOVE MUSHROOMS!!” I swear, if he starts singing . . .
“I love mushrooms, yes I do, I love mushrooms, how `bout you?!!”
Help. I half-dragged, half-sat on Frolijah to get him to stop. He went a little crazy. Luckily, I hope the other Hobbits were to busy eating to notice . . . Right.
Elijodo stared at the end credits of the Return of the King in shock. “You said these were written in a book?” he asked, choking over the words.
“Why, yes,” Lea answered. “The great JRR Tolkien. Why?”
“May I read it?”
“Certainly. Hey, this is your house, not mine.” Lea shrugged, seeing the dazed `actor’. “I’ll – uh – do my best to find them.”
“Thanks.” The screen went blank and started buzzing. Elijodo didn’t even notice. He was still too jarred by what he had just seen to even think clearly . . .
Mr. Wood still hasn’t answered me. So I am giving you the addresses of some of the movie Hobbits, so you can all send them copies, as they are friends. I figure, eventually, they’ll get around to answering. Please include in your letter whether or not it is alright for me to post their reply. They can contact me at Nienna_Telrunya@hotmail.com. Hee, hee.
These are the best addresses I can get:
c/o William Morris Agency
151 El Camino Drive
Beverly Hills, CA. 90212
c/o Dallas Smith
Peter Frasier & Dunlop
34-43 Russel Street
London WC2B 5HA