Narrator: Dodging the evil Black Riders of Mordor every step of the way, Frodo and his steadfast companions have reached the village of Bree. Exchanging a few uncomfortable words with the gatekeeper, Frodo moves on to the only inn in town (therefore a popular and well-frequented place)…the Prancing Pony!
Barliman: Would you like a room, Mr. Baggins?
Frodo: No — what? Bag – my name isn’t Baggins! What gave you that idea?
Frodo: I’m, uh…Mr….Underhill!
Barliman: Oh? Underhill, is it? Very well, you don’t want a room. How about you, Mr. Brandybuck, Mr. Took, Mr. Gamgee?
Merry: How did —
Frodo: No! We’ll just go into the common-room and drink ale and get something to eat, shall we?
Pippin: Oh boy.
Barliman: Well, if you change your mind, Mr. Baggins —
Barliman: If you change your mind, I’ll be around. Oh, and Mr. Baggins —
Barliman: I’d advise laying off the cheese, it’s been giving people gas.
Frodo: Thank you.
Barliman: No problem, Mr. Baggins.
(Frodo and his friends enter the common-room)
Frodo: Now, I realize you two are swigging away at pints of ale, but please don’t make yourselves too much at home. Don’t say my real name, and don’t mention the Ring. Got it?
Merry: Got it.
Pippin: Got it.
Sam: Don’t look now, Mr. Frodo, but there’s an unsavory fellow staring at us from the corner, smoking a pipe.
Frodo: When did he come in?
Sam: Remember about five minutes ago, when that awful smell of unwashed armpits drifted across the room?
Sam: Right about then, I’d say.
Pippin: You horrible-looking guys are looking for a Baggins? Boy, what luck! He’s right over there! He’s my cousin, by the way.
Frodo: Oh no! That stupid Took! Whoops!
Frodo: Omigosh! There’s a giant red Eye staring at me. I’d better take off the Ring. (does so) Whew! No one noticed.
Strider: Idiot! Twit! Moron! Dimwit!
Frodo: Yuck! Don’t you ever take a bath? And by the way, who exactly are you?
Strider: I can’t take a bath while I’m roaming the wild. Besides, I hate baths. I only take them when I’m about to enter Rivendell.
Pippin: You don’t like baths? I love them! SING HEY FOR BATH AT END OF DAY, THAT WASHES THE WEARY MUD AWAY, A LOON IS HE —
Strider: You’re already a loon. Come on, let’s go upstairs where we can talk in private.
Sam: In that case, I shall arm myself with this candle-holder. No false moves, now!
(Strider leads the Hobbits to an upstairs room)
Frodo: So, who exactly are you? And what exactly do you want?
Strider: I’m Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar, the Elfstone, heir of Isildur Elendil’s son, bearer of the sword that was Broken…..and I’m here to rescue you.
Frodo: Oh, thanks. I don’t need rescuing, but my friends here do. I’d be fine if it wasn’t for their stupidity.
Aragorn: To heck with them. The only reason I’m taking them along with us is so if the Ringwraiths get too close we’ll throw your friends at them, and the Ringwraiths will be distracted while they kill them so we can get away.
Frodo: Boy, you’re a good planner. All right, let’s go.
Narrator: The four Hobbits and one Ranger, along with the two ponies Frodo purchased to carry the luggage, are sloshing their merry way through the mosquito-infested…..Midgewater Marshes! Spirits are low, so Pippin attempts to cheer them all with song….
We’re treading through the marshes, the marshes, the marshes,
We’re treading through the marshes, oh what a grand fine day!
We’re swatting mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes,
We’re swatting mosquitoes as we march along the way!
We didn’t want to go this way, but Strider said “You must!”
We often want to stop and play, but it’s “Rivendell or Bust!”
Strider isn’t funny, he’s intolerant and rude,
It’d be easier to hate him if he wasn’t so cool a dude.
He can tell before it rains, he can tell before it snows,
He can tell if it’s about to freeze, or if the wind will blow.
He shoots deer, catches rabbits, smokes on his pipe,
He can always tell us if the fruit we want is ripe.
Yes, Aragorn’s a man of talent, even though he’s harsh,
But he was still dumb enough to lead us through this marsh!
Aragorn: No dinner tonight, Pippin.
Pippin: Help! I’m being repressed! My rights to free speech are being taken away!
Aragorn: I paid for the food. I own it. I make the rules.
Pippin: This is blackmail!
Aragorn: Living around Hobbits has taught me a very fundamental concept: You can always get to them through their stomachs.
to be continued….
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Tune in next week for part 5: ‘A Knife in the Dark’!