Pippin bent down in his mother’s garden. He was picking flowers to give to the little Long Cleeve girl named Diamond. His family had just returned from the funeral of Coral and Bimbidim Long Cleeve, Diamond’s mother and baby brother. Pippin had never seen anyone so sad. She stood there in her little black frock and cap, holding her father’s hand. She didn’t cry, but the look in her eyes was desolate. Pippin hoped that the flowers might cheer her up a little.
He tied the assorted group together with one of Vincy’s hair ribbons. He smiled at his work and went to find Diamond.
He found her sitting on a bench. Her little feet swung back and forth. Diamond was still wearing her black dress. She stared at her lap and looked utterly alone.
“Um, Diamond?” She looked up at him. Pippin could see the tears streaks on her face. “I brought you these.” He held out the boquet. She took it in her little hands.
“Thank you,” she whispered. Pippin sat down beside her.
“I’m sorry about your muma and brother.” She was silent for a moment and burst into tears.
“Please Diamond, don’t cry.” Pippin placed his arm around the lass.
“Mummy and Dad were so excited about the baby. They seemed to get happier as Mummy’s tummy grew bigger. Night before last Dad sent me away to Aunt Tulip’s and he said that when I came home there would be a new member in the family. Aunt Tulip told me that I was going to have a brother or sister very soon. I was so happy at the thought of a new playmate. Aunt Tulip seemed to ge worried after a long time. But she told me not to worry, that’s just what grown-ups do. When Dad came back, he was sad. He told me that Mummy and the baby had gone away. I wanted them back, but he said he couldn’t bring them back. They didn’t want me to see the baby but I did. He was so small. I wanted to hold him, but I was afraid I would hurt him. He and Mummy were asleep, and I couldn’t wake them up. They told me that Mummy and Bimbi were gone. Then they put them in boxes and put them in the ground. I don’t know why they do that. I miss them!”
Pippin hugged the little hobbit lass as she cried. He couldn’t imagine what she was going through. He started to think that bringing the flowers was a bad idea.
“Thank you for the flowers, Pippin. They’re pretty.”
“You’re welcome. They’re from my Muma’s garden.”
“Mummy had a garden too. We would plant flowers together.”
“Do you like flowers?”
“What’s your favorite?”
Pippin jumped up. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” He returned a few minutes later with two pansies. She giggled.
“Pippin you don’t cut pansies. Mummy said you put them in boxes and set them outside you window. I hope your mummy won’t be angry. But I think I like them like this better.”
“I like them like that too.”
“Thank you for the flowers, Pippin.”
“You’re welcome.” He started to leave, but then the lass did something unexpected. She leaned over and kissed his cheek. It felt a little awkward, but Pippin liked it. He saw that she was smiling and he smiled too.
“Look Pippin,” Diamond said. She opened a book and pulled out a fragile dried pansy. “Do you remember?” she asked her husband.
“I could not forget,” he said.
“You were special to me then and you are special to me now.” She gently kissed him. “Come let’s go see our son.”