Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

Gandalf and the Seahobbit  by PIppinfan1988

Note: I have used asterisks (****) to separate time periods/recollections. Anything else is only used to separate scenes. Also I have put an asterisk next to quotes I’ve taken directly from the book, but altered the structure of the sentence a tad. 

I'm really enjoying writing this story...but I've had computer problems, so I'm lagging a bit...  Hope you enjoy it (the story!)


Disclaimer: Hobbits do not belong to me, but to the great Professor, JRRT Tolkien.

Thank You to Pearl Took AND PipkinSweetgrass: For the Challenge. 

Special Thank You to Pearl Took: Who has encouraged me, and was/is my extra pair of eyes for this story. But should anything be amiss--blame me, not her!

Gandalf and the Seahobbit

Chapter One

Elladan tells me the others have arrived. I leave Frodo in the care of Elrond, as there is nothing further that we can do for him. The dear hobbit had been stabbed by a Morgul blade just days ago on Weathertop. It was nothing less than a marvel that Elrond was able to bring him back from the evil slumber that took him.

I take the passage past the Great Hall and find Glorfindel, Aragorn, and three young hobbits in another room used for welcoming visitors. I instantly recognize Samwise--I was the one who gave him this charge. To watch over Frodo along his Journey, or to be turned into something unnatural, as he put it. The next hobbit I see is Meriadoc Brandybuck. A young hobbit just out of his tweens yet has proven to be a very thoughtful and insightful lad. So far, I am commending Frodo on his choice of friends.

Meriadoc obscures the face of the third hobbit as he leans down and speaks something into his ear. There are scrapes and cuts on the unknown’s hands and knees as if he has fallen on sharp rocks. I am eager to discover the identity of this companion so I wait, engaging Aragorn and Glorfindel in conversation until Meriadoc can move from his position. He does not; he is still too close to the injured hobbit for me to observe, so I draw near to Meriadoc and inquire about whom he is speaking to.

The face is clear to me now; he is no longer ‘unknown’ to me. I have seen his face before. I do not commend Frodo on his choice of this friend. Who I see before me is a very young, and very irresponsible hobbit still in his tweens--considered little more than a boy by his own people. I have only met this rapscallion thrice before; the first time he was a young eleven-year-old boy and incessantly asked me if my rockets were enchanted and perhaps I would show him how to make one as well. The second time, I caught him playing truant along the road--and I presume that he was the invention behind Meriadoc’s involvement. The third--and thankfully the last time I saw him, he was not much older. It was by mere chance that he was staying with Frodo and Meriadoc at Bag End when I paid a visit to Frodo. The teen-aged hobbit had pinched my staff and was wielding it in the garden towards the daisies, making great effort to cast a spell on them to sing.

I instructed Frodo to select friends he can trust, but now I see that he erred in his judgment.

Aragorn tells me he is taking the hobbits to the guest quarters so he can tend to them. They have had very little sleep or food in the past couple of days. It is now that I see the exhaustion etched in their faces. Sam is quiet; looking wide eyed all about him at the various elves greeting them. Meriadoc and Peregrin repeatedly ask Aragorn about their cousin. All three hobbits are oblivious to their own wants and needs. Their collective concern is for Frodo. Is he alive? Where is he? They refuse any comforts offered until they are satisfied Frodo is in the hands of a healer and is safe.

Suddenly my eyes become riveted on Peregrin. I am captivated as if I am seeing him for the very first time. I notice his unkempt hair is the color of clover honey kissed by a warm summer’s sun, full of ringlets the size of a silver coin reaching down past his shirt collar. His clear, green eyes, though heavy and weary now, remind me of bright emerald gems. His nose, his lips...are all reminders of a friend who lived long ago....

* * * * * * * * *

The year was 2823. I was riding through the Shire on the East Road when I happened upon an old oak tree near the Three Farthing Stone. I spotted perched upon one of the lower branches a large, strange bird. I knew it was no bird, but a hobbit. Yet what I found even more strange was that he was not sitting, but actually standing upon the limb in the brusque autumn breeze. I stopped the cart underneath the tree and offered a greeting. “Good day, young fellow,” I said.

I sadly recall that my greeting was not expected. The poor hobbit was gazing in the other direction and was startled at the sound of my voice. I watched as he struggled to keep hold of the limb. His grasp slipped and he fell to the ground.

I had traveled through the Shire on many occasions before yet never stopped to engage any of the inhabitants in conversation. Most--if they saw me--would suddenly disappear into the underbrush, so I rarely had opportunity to study Hobbits thoroughly; yet they seemed most worthy of consideration. I hesitated to help the little fellow but soon realized my concern of interfering with their culture was unfounded.

I jumped from the cart and went over to the slumped figure on the leaf-ridden ground. I crouched down to roll him over onto his back. I began to chide myself for my abrupt greeting when the lad took in a rasping breath.

“You’re not an Elf,” he said slowly.

“No, I am not,” I replied. Lifting the hobbit up in my arms I carried him to the back of my cart, checking his limbs and head for any broken bones. Thankfully there were none--only a lump on his head. I take in a calm and easy breath. I watch him looking at me; looking at me through his emerald green eyes that were getting clearer by the minute. His hair was a head full of honey-brown curls that appeared not to have seen a comb in days. In countenance and stature he reminded me of a child I once knew in Rohan, yet he seemed not to be a child.

I returned his gaze with my own. He never turned away. What was he seeing?

“You’re an old, old Man,” he finally spoke.

“Yes, I am,” I say, not wanting this encounter to become too difficult for the little hobbit. “What is your name?”

“Gerontius Took,” he answered me. He sat up with some difficulty, brushing himself off.

“Well, Gerontius Took,” I said, “I will be taking you home to your father and mother before they become anxious.”

I puzzle at his hearty laughter, so I asked him, “Why are you laughing?”

“I’ll have you know I’m a respectable thirty-three year old hobbit,” he said, “I live in my own quarters now.”

“Thirty-three?” I query, “Then I take it you have a wife and three children?” I smile with satisfaction of my fairly accurate guess. But now I see the little hobbit is mortified.

“Married? How do you figure I’m married when I’ve just come of age two weeks ago?”

Just come of age? At thirty-three? I muse on this fact as I try to smooth things over with the young, hobbit. “Either way, Master Hobbit, whatever were you doing standing up in the tree anyhow?”

“I was Elf-watching I’ll have you know,” he answered. “They travel into these parts quite often and I wanted a closer look is all. Haven’t you ever seen an Elf?”

“Once or twice,” I answer, looking around at the surrounding woods and meadows. “Now where in the Shire do you live?”

My young charge glares at me, “You don’t know? I told you I’m a Took--Gerontius Took, at that.”

I do not admit that I have only studied the Shire from afar. I ask him, “and by your name alone I am supposed to know where you live?”

The hobbit seems exasperated with me. He rolls his eyes, “Yes--nearly all Brandybucks live in Buckland, the Bagginses in Hobbiton, and nearly all Tooks live in the Tookland, just south of here. I live in Great Smials near Tuckborough where my father is The Took and Thain of the Shire.”

I am discovering more about Hobbits during informal conversation with Gerontius than I have in my own studies over the past few hundred years. I had always been both curious and amused by their lodgings and simple living, but I also understand that there is more to these creatures than meets the eye. Together, Gerontius and I ride towards Great Smials. 

Chapter Two

Back at Rivendell, in Frodo’s room, Elrond still speaks to the injured hobbit healing words in the Elven tongue. Frodo’s sleep is restless, but he is sleeping nonetheless. Rest is now what he needs. Sam lies mournfully awake on his own cot watching the Elf apply ministrations to his master. He pays no heed to any advice of resting himself.

Once again, I stroll down the long hallway to another room where the other hobbit guests are resting. I open the door to a chamber lit only with a few small table candles. Both lads are breathing deeply and snoring softly. After a hot bath and a meager meal, they were asleep the minute their weary heads lay upon their pillows.

I cannot recall seeing either hobbit so...inactive. Their faces, etched with worry earlier, are now calm and serene. As I close the door I hear one of them stirring.

“Gandalf?” I hear a faint whisper from Peregrin’s direction.

I enter fully into the bedchamber and walk over to his bed to sit down in the chair beside it, giving the lad my attention.

“I...I can’t sleep,” he whispers softly so as not to waken his slumbering cousin. He looks away from my questioning eyes. “I worry about Frodo...and then,” he stops, unsure if he should continue. I raise my eyebrows for him to finish. “My legs ache, Gandalf,” he confesses. “I haven’t walked so much and so far in my whole life.”

Peregrin’s large and imploring eyes take me back again to fond memories of his great-great grandfather, Gerontius. Until the next words fall from his lips.

“Do you have any magic spell to help my aches?”

Only one word comes to my mind: Trouble.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Gerontius and I formed a warm friendship the first day we met. Thereafter, I visited him often, though not openly, due to the ridiculous notions of his kindred. It was only after his ascension party of becoming The Took and Thain that my visits became more overt. Gerontius taught me much of Hobbit life in the Shire, and in return I told him many stories of the Outlanders: Elves, Dwarves, Men, and even tales about evil beings such as Orcs.

Our friendship grew like his family. He and Adamanta Chubb had twelve children. I became familiar with each of them, as like their father, they loved tales of the outside world. I did not learn until much later that this was not ordinary for Hobbits. Tooks were special in this regard.

The youngest and most inquisitive of the lot was Isengar Took. As a child, he would often worm his way onto my lap as I told my tales to the group of children, and he hung on my every word, asking one question after the other until I cried for mercy. On more than one occasion I found the boy following me several miles from his home as I departing the Shire. This greatly worried me. What if I had not discovered his trail until it was too late to turn back?

I confided to Gerontius of Isengar’s misbehavior and was surprised at his response.

“The lad is a Took,” he said. “Let him get it out of his bones.”

Thereafter, whenever Isengar was near, trouble was not far behind. I had to watch him like a hawk or he would follow me until the horizon met the sky.

Chapter Three

The hobbits have been summoned to speak with Elrond this afternoon. I know that he means to name each member of the company, and so do they. I know that both Meriadoc and Peregrin will not be among the ones whom Elrond appoints; we have had long discussions over the past few days regarding the said Fellowship. He and I cannot agree if Meriadoc and Peregrin should accompany the Ring Bearer.

It pains me to watch Meriadoc pour over maps in effort to be among the chosen. He and Frodo together study the landscapes of the various countries and regions. They both appear quite haggard as they have been up since before dawn drinking mugs of tea and coffee to stay awake. All of us find mirth when Meriadoc grimaces at his first taste of coffee. He abides it only because it will become the primary drink of the Company once the provision of tea is gone. I look around the table; Peregrin’s chair is empty.

I find Peregrin sitting alone in his and Meriadoc’s room. He is quiet and downcast.

I enter and ask, “Why are you not reading maps with your cousins?”

It is a long minute before he replies, “I’m thinking.”

“What are you thinking about?”

He sighs deeply, “My mother...and my father. I never told them where I was going. I never said goodbye.”

I see Peregrin is aching for his family--his innocence betrays him. I begin to judge that maybe Master Elrond is correct in his theory.

I say, trying to comfort him, “Then perhaps you are ready to return home.”

His eyes widen and look in my direction. “Return home?” He shakes his head in dismay, “I can’t return home! Frodo and Sam are about to go on a long journey and probably never return. We won’t let them go alone! I won’t let them go alone!”

I find this very interesting in Peregrin; one minute he is a nearly grown hobbit in the sense of his love and loyalty, and then in the next he reverts back to his childhood. It was only yesterday that I reprimanded him for a foolish act. He was precariously standing upon one of the parapets while shouting into the open air. I have no doubt it was Peregrin who coerced poor Meriadoc into holding his feet so he wouldn’t plunge to his death. When I asked why he behaved so foolishly he replied to me, “I like hearing my voice echo.”

~ ~ ~

We are now in the Great Hall in the house of Elrond. He has made his choice for the Fellowship, expaining that the two younger hobbits do not understand the danger in the Quest. Once I make it clear that none of the hobbits understands the undertaking of such a journey, Elrond reluctantly names Meriadoc in the Fellowship. He goes on to say that his heart is against Peregrin being a part of the Company.

Peregrin steps forward. *“Then, Master Elrond, you will have to lock me in prison, or send me home tied in a sack. For otherwise I shall follow the Company.”

Elrond sees the earnest fire in Pippin’s eyes and relents. I close my eyes and worry for the lad. Did I speak rightly before this last outburst? Is Peregrin Took able to endure the Journey ahead? My heart has told me his love and loyalty will surpass any deed--or misdeed--he is capable of. I pray to the One that I am correct in my assumption.


* * * * * * * * *

A few years after Gondor is besieged by the Haradrim, there are a few Dunedain who are willing to aid Gondor in their battle. I will assist by leading them to the Grey Havens and arrange for Cirdan to sail them to Belfalas. It will be a long while before I will see my friend Gerontius Took again, so I pay him a brief visit before heading west to meet the Dunedain beyond the borders of the Shire.

Gerontius is no longer the youthful hobbit I encounter years ago. He is celebrating his 100th birthday this year. I have decided to give him a pair of diamond studs that will attach or release themselves upon the owner’s command. The poor old hobbit has difficulties with fastening buttons in his old age. This year I am also lighting off several fireworks special for him. One will write his name with fire as it shoots across the night sky. I find that I am not looking forward to my old friend departing this world, so I make every effort to make his birthdays a delightful experience for him.

~ ~ ~

A few days after the birthday party, I take my leave of Gerontius at Great Smials. My good friend nearly fills my cart with sacks of provisions for my long voyage.

Before departing, I inquire as to the whereabouts of young Isengar. He is the lad who has the tendency to follow me in my departures until I notice him running alongside the road in the underbrush. When that happens, I reprimand his behavior and return the willful youth directly to his father. On this particular occasion I cannot afford to discover him trailing me in my haste to the Tower Hills.

Gerontius does not know where his son is. Adamanta approaches and I ask her if she has seen Isengar.

“I just sent the lad to his room,” she answered me, slowly easing herself into her rocking chair. Then she went on, “He said my potato stew tasted horrible and it made him sick! I told him that if he was sick, then he could just march on to his room--and maybe I’ll serve him supper when he says he’s sorry!”

As unruly as Adamanta’s children were--none of them dared to cross their mother. If Adamanta sent her son to his room, then that is where he is. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing my journey will be unhindered.

I take up the reins in my cart and I hesitate. Yet in my mind I reason that Isengar is now twenty-eight-years old. Every one of his siblings began settling down at this age and perhaps he will do the same. I see now that I should have paid more attention to my instincts.

~ ~ ~

The following day, the Dunedain and I carried the provisions my generous friend gave me onto Cirdan’s ship for the long voyage at sea. The sacks were all filled with apples, potatoes, cheeses and salted meats. The leader of the this group of Dunedain, Darion, opened one sack that seemed to feel a bit strange.

“Hullo! What have we here?” He laughed, “I suppose everyone should keep an extra hobbit in his care!” He peeled away at the sack revealing more of it’s contents.

Standing there with a wide-eyed expression on his face was none other than Isengar Took. My jaw slackens to the point of my pipe clattering to the wooden deck.

I watch as a mischievous grin appears on the lad’s face. He knows that I am too far into this journey to take him back to the Shire. The young hobbit had tied himself into his own sack in order to gain passage on this trip. I reproach myself for speaking of this journey in his presence at Great Smials.

Isengar smiles--as he always does. I know he will not be able to contain himself now with the success of his own cunning. I believe he is actually smiling at my reaction. He steps out of the sack and approaches me.

“Hullo, Gandalf! Where’s bed and breakfast?”

Chapter Four

*“Get into a corner and have a sleep, my lad,” I say, “You want sleep, I expect. I cannot get a wink, so I may as well do the watching.” Then I mumble something about wanting a smoke as Pippin makes his way to his bedroll. I think about many things as I sit here and blow smoke rings that I cannot see in the dark. My mind eases in the tranquility of some of the finest leaf in the South Farthing.

Once again I find myself dwelling on the young lad I just sent to sleep. Was I wrong in supporting Peregrin in accompanying the Fellowship? It is our first night in Moria, and Peregrin has already managed to either slow down our journey or give our presence away to the foul creatures that live here in the deeps of the mountain.

We had to leap over a fissure at least seven feet across as it lay in our path. It took nearly an hour of Meriadoc whispering words of encouragement in his cousin’s ear before I finally told Peregrin we would have to leave him behind. Of course, it was merely an attempt to prompt the young fellow into a decision, but I will never forget the look of horror in Peregrin’s eyes. I instantly rue my words, and then Meriadoc gives me a stern look. I have lived hundreds of years in Middle Earth, and here I am being admonished by a thirty-six-year-old hobbit!

Boromir calls to Peregrin from across the gap. More words from Meriadoc as he takes Peregrin’s hand in his and holds it. I watch as Peregrin goes back a ways and takes a running start. Boromir is anchored by the rest of the Fellowship as he reaches out to catch the small hobbit--and I see that it is a good thing he does. I admire Meriadoc’s devotion to his younger cousin, as it seems to be a stronghold for the lad. Once again I am humbled by the pluck of a hobbit youth.

My mind focuses on the handholding. It is not something I have experienced outside of hobbit culture, and until now, I have not decided if this is a good thing or bad. I have concluded that there must be something in the touch of a friend when I saw the change in Peregrin’s countenance. Someone who loves and is attentive to another’s well being. I have experienced this handholding directly, and though it was not I who reached out, it was a feeling I will never forget.

* * * * *

It is the second day after setting out to sea from the Grey Havens. Prior to leaving I find a courier to take word back to the Shire to tell Gerontius his lad is with me. No good to upset my friend unnecessarily.

The first day, the sky was clear and the sea calm. With my...guidance, Isengar made himself useful by helping out with the daily tasks aboard the ship--allowing me to pursue my own. Naturally, it is the lad’s charm and wit that endears him to the Men and Elves that make up Cirdan’s crew. When the work is done, Isengar is laughing, dancing, and singing merrily to the amusement of everyone. He must think life is always this grand on board a sailing vessel. I know that his favorite crewmember is a Man named Mirgalond, son of Garlamund of Belfalas. Mirgalond is a simple Sailing man, though I gather that somewhere in or near Belfalas, he has a lad not much younger than Isengar. I observe as Mirgalond takes Isengar aside and teaches him how to tie knots and how the sails are handled. Isengar’s eyes are wide with delight as he is allowed to steer the helm.

Today though, the sea is rough and the sky is pelting rain upon the sturdy vessel--and myself. The ship rises high and falls low with every swell. I stand outside in the weather and watch the sea foam swirling past my feet as I keep a firm hold onto Isengar. It seems he is heaving up everything he has had to eat since yesterday. He lies limp in my arms as I carry him back down below the deck to wait out the storm. There are many offers from all around to care for the little fellow, but something within me turns them all down.

I find a bench off in a corner and set the sick lad up in my lap. I have never seen a hobbit so miserable. He opens his eyes to mere slits and takes my hand in his own, and begs, “Don’t leave me, Gandalf. Please.”

Still grasping the lad’s hand in my own, I smile and console him. “I will not leave you.”

Chapter Five

Men pass by swiftly inside the Golden Hall. They run to and fro, endeavoring to do as I bid and prepare for the return of Theoden, Eomer, and a small group of their men.

I sit on a bench smoking my pipe, thinking about all that has happened these past few hours. Fool of a Took! I close my eyes and shake my head in disappointment. All I think of is how close we came to Peregrin giving Frodo and us away to the ruin of all.

However, in his foolishness, he saved me from making an enormous blunder myself. What if I had been the first to look into the Palantír? Things would have taken a grievous turn. Only recently I have returned from such a contest by defeating an evil balrog on the mountainside of Moria. Deep in my spirit I am not yet ready to endure such a confrontation with the One Adversary of all.

I watch young Peregrin sleep in a corner, though by the way he tosses and turns, I presume he is not finding rest. My guess is that he is still disturbed by the horror of seeing the Enemy. Yet, sadly, I do not doubt that by the time we enter the stone city, Minas Tirith, the lad will have put most of it, if not all, in the back of his mind.

Yes, hobbits do have an amazing ability to recover from the most dire of situations quickly. This lad has seen more calamities in the last few weeks than most Men have seen in a lifetime. He has witnessed first-hand two deaths; myself in Moria and Boromir at Parth Galen. A sad tale from what he has told me. He has been a prisoner of war in the clutches of a brutal enemy, and has been a part of a victorious battle at Isengard. I ponder at what awaits this young hobbit in Minas Tirith.

I look again at the sleeping hobbit and then wonder if they are all resilient in this manner, or is it only those in the bloodline of the Tooks? This hobbit has more Took blood in him than either of his two cousins, and so I know deep in my heart there is more to Peregrin Took than what he has displayed so far. He only has to be tested.

After all, as Gerontius Took once said of his own lad long ago--it is in his bones.

* * * * * * * *

We are at anchorage in the bay of Belfalas. It took four days of sailing for Cirdan’s ship to arrive here. Cirdan, the Dúnedain , and I have gathered together and are busy making plans for their travel to Lebennin where the heat of the battle is. Once their plans are complete, Darion and his men will head down below the deck to gather their belongings.

Isengar has fully recovered from his sea-illness and is once again a hale and hearty lad running about the decks laughing and jesting with the crew. I casually draw close to listen as Mirgalond is teaching him a new song. I lean against the railing, looking out into the grey horizon and sadly shake my head. I can only imagine Adamanta taking her boy aside and washing his mouth out with soap after hearing one of his new sea-ditties. Isengar does not know his peril in learning these vulgar limericks.

I walk over to the other side of the ship that faces the town, and watch as they lower a large boat down into the water. Everything is now in place; it is time to go ashore. I go below and inform Darion.

Soon after, Darion and I are lowering their bags into the waiting boat that is tied alongside Cirdan’s ship. I peer over the edge of the railing and spy a certain someone standing inside the boat, speaking to Mirgalond in a low voice. Together they receive the lowered bags and situate them in the bow. I shout down at him, “Isengar Took!”

He folds his arms across his chest and says, “Yes, Gandalf?”

I know by the gleam in his eye that he means not to climb back up the rope ladder. As we are in haste, there is no time to argue with the stubborn little Took.

The last bag has been lowered. Cirdan bids us safe passage while Darion and I climb down the rope ladder and into the boat. Once there, I give the little hobbit a stern look. He takes cover behind Mirgalond as if he were an iron shield. Cirdan calls from above; I see he is holding in his hand a small glass-barrel¹. He shouts, “Something is amiss in Belfalas--go carefully!”

Before I can respond, the rowers cast off. I look at Isengar; he sits quietly next to Mirgalond, his face is resolute. My heart breaks within me as Belfalas does not now seem safe for anyone let alone a small hobbit lad. Mirgalond whispers into my ear that he will personally escort the youth to his own home on the outer rim of the town ‘watch’ as it were, over his wife and fifteen year old son. I nod in assent.

I hope in my heart that Isengar’s Took blood--that steadfast blood that Gerontius himself said was ‘in his bones’, will arise to the occasion.

¹Glass-barrel: an Elven prototype of a telescope (in my imagination).

Chapter Six

Isengar is the first to jump out of the boat as we approach the landing area, and Mirgalond is behind him. I watch Isengar expertly handle the lines as he ties the boat to the bollards on the landing-stage. I smile; Mirgalond has taught him well. Once everyone is disembarked, the bags are tossed onto the landing by our able Seaman and Seahobbit. Darion and his men take up their bags, and then move into the town square with great caution.

It is eerily silent as we are the only souls moving about. No merchants hawking their wares in the street, no children laughing and running in the square. Belfalas is a fairly large fishing town and is normally bustling with the activity of fishing boats arriving and departing, or unpretentious fishermen selling their fresh catch of the day.

Suddenly I hear a skirmish going on at the rear of our landing party. I discover two Harad soldiers had been cut down by Darion’s men. Then I see one small hobbit sitting in the doorway of the Cobbler’s shop with a bit of blood sprayed on his face. The lad stares with shock at the horror that lies near his feet. Sheltered all of his life within the Shire, Isengar has never before witnessed the killing of another sentient being.

Isengar struggles to stand up. He looks at me. I can see his lips move, but no sound is heard, “Gandalf?” Will this young Took recover?

* * * * * * *

It is March 15, 3019. I have spent nearly all day roaming from one bedchamber to another, here in the Houses of Healing. Three charges I have, but only two suffer gravely from the black breath of daring to smite the witch king. Of these two, my heart breaks most for the young perian, Meriadoc. I have vivid memories of this lad as a youngster visiting his cousin, Frodo, at Bag End. I can still hear their laughter over a shared jest, or eating his fill of Bilbo’s dumplings until he would burst.

All this day long, he lay abed nigh unto death’s door. His face ashen and his sleep filled with darkness; mumbling words and weeping at horrors he was seeing in his dreams. It was Ioreth who prompted my memory about the healing hands of the king. At once I sent for Aragorn, who has called Meriadoc back from the darkness that nearly consumed him.

He is now sleeping peacefully while his young cousin sits at his side. This time it is Peregrin who is holding Meriadoc’s hand. By the expression on Peregrin’s face, he is surrendering to fatigue and worry. Before he falls forward onto his sick cousin, I help Peregrin onto the bed and cover him with spare blankets. He does not request a magic spell, nor for one of my tales of Bilbo’s adventures. I am certain this young lad has had enough of adventures for a while.

In the span of a few days, this lad has sworn himself into service of Gondor and withstood the oppressive moods of his new lord. In spite of this estranged acquaintance, Peregrin went to great lengths to save Faramir from his despairing father. Though Faramir was rescued, Denethor set himself aflame. I knew Peregrin saw part of the Steward burning his own flesh, which is why I shut the door. But I was too late; Peregrin was already affected by the view.

As I smooth out the blankets around him, Peregrin almost immediately falls asleep. I smile at the young Took. Yes, I can see this hobbit has grown.

* * * * * * *

Mirgalond quickly snatches up young Isengar in his arms from the Cobbler’s doorway and slips his hand over his mouth before the lad can protest. Then in silence Mirgalond runs in the direction of his house, which I am told is just on the other side of the square. We wait for the return of the Seaman near the Inn to ensure his safety before moving on.

A short time later, we see Mirgalond running back in our direction without the little hobbit. He is quite earnest when he tells me, “The halfling is not happy, Mithrandir.” I can only envision that an audacious hobbit such as Isengar, being prevented from taking part in an adventure he has waited his whole life for, would be.

As we proceed onward toward the edge of the town, it is then we see the bodies of both Harad soldiers and townsfolk lying about. When we stop to inspect the sight further, we are ambushed by the enemy from the north side. The scuffle went on for nearly ten minutes, as our numbers and skill equaled that of the Harad. Soon, the proficiency of the Dúnedain outweighs that of our opponent, and the ambush turns into a rout for the Haradrim. When their flight becomes apparent to the remaining townsfolk, a few men venture out to aid their allies.

As the din travels further into the dark void beyond the town, a young boy emerges from a doorway. He is shouting for Mirgalond. The boy is alone; my blood runs cold. I follow Mirgalond and the boy towards a nearby house. Once inside, I observe the small figure of a hobbit lying in a puddle of his own blood.

Chapter Seven

I step up to the hobbit and quickly examine his wound. It is a deep slash in his right side, but the wound does not answer why the lad is unconscious. Next to the slumped lad, I also see the body of a Harad soldier lying beside him; a butcher’s knife embedded in his chest and an iron skillet on the floor next to his head. Looking at the boy, I ask what had happened.

The boy, obviously distressed, sat down to answer. “A wounded Harad came into the house and demanded mother to treat him, or he said he would kill the children. When he perceived mother too slow, he hit her. I jumped up, but the halfling was swifter. He picked up the rod from the fireplace and stabbed the soldier in the back of his leg. The soldier turned around in his pain and slashed the halfling there where you see. The soldier then cuffed him hard and left him for dead. Mother was also quick; grabbing the iron pan from the sideboard, she hit the soldier from behind. Then I ran into the kitchen and got the…the…,” The shaken boy faltered and couldn’t go on.

“Bring the child here onto the table,” the woman calls out, wiping it clear of small items with one sweep of her harm. I note there is a darkening bruise underneath her eye.

“The lad needs immediate care.” I lift Isengar into my arms and see his blood dripping upon her floor. “I must get him back to the ship.”

“I can treat him here, Mithrandir!” The woman takes up a needle and some strong thread and holds it up, “I have stitched up my own husband and son more times than I care to remember.”

Holding Isengar in my arms, I look to Mirgalond for confirmation. Fortunately, he nods and displays a neatly healed scar on his forearm. I reason that if I do not accept the woman’s offer, Isengar will not survive his return to the ship. I accept her offer. I take my young charge over to the table and gently lay him down upon it. The woman wastes no time in beginning her ministrations.

When she has made her first stitch, Isengar begins to stir. As she pierces him a second time, he struggles weakly. I hold him down firmly as he wakes up while she continues her stitching. I explain to him what is being done to his wound. He grits his teeth and purses his lips, but he does not cry out. Tears escape his eyes at each penetration of the needle through his skin. He reaches up and takes my hand in his, feeling him clench it tight with every prick.

I have seen lesser men swoon at such suffering. For all of the lad’s cheek and aggravation, I decide then and there, that young Isengar Took is the bravest hobbit I have ever laid eyes upon.

* * * * * * *


The voice is Peregrin’s. He is waking up from an elixir-induced sleep. He lifts his head and wearily looks around, but is too weak to do much more than that. He closes his eyes, laying his head back onto his pillow and says nothing more, seeming to have fallen back to sleep.

“Do you know where you are, Peregrin?” I ask.

The young hobbit puzzles at my question. His countenance conveys the ache in his head remains.

“No,” he whispers.

Three days ago, after the last battle, it was Gimli who discovered a hobbit’s foot underneath a heap of bodies. The foot belonged to Peregrin. Gimli thought for sure he was returning to camp with a dead hobbit in his arms, but it was Aragorn who deemed the lad was still breathing, though faintly. His broken body was taken at once to the tent where other healers were comforting the injured.

Presently, I take a cloth from a warm bowl of water mixed with king’s foil and wring out the excess water. I lightly wipe his face with the cloth, endeavoring to let the fragrance fill his nostrils. He takes in a deep breath, but then grimaces at the pain.

“Once more, Peregrin.”

“No.” His eyes are still closed.

I dip the cloth again and repeat what I had just done.

I coax him along as I place the cloth directly under his nose. “Take just a small breath, Peregrin--a little at a time.”

Little by little, each breath the lad takes is a joyful sign that the healing is progressing. I seek to comfort Peregrin a bit more by telling him his cousin Meriadoc should arrive sometime around nightfall. Legolas has been dispatched to bring him here from Minas Tirith.

Peregrin lies quietly, making no answer, but I can see that his face brightens at the mention of Meriadoc.

“Drink this, my lad.” I have concocted a tincture to put him at ease, and hopefully put him to sleep again. He drinks most of what is in the cup as I hold it to his lips.

As I set the cup aside, I feel the touch of his cool fingers upon my hand. His green eyes, clouded with pain, are now filled with tears. I cannot imagine the bodily suffering of this young hobbit, crushed beneath the weight of an enormous troll and dead bodies of soldiers and orcs.

He whispers, “Don’t leave me, Gandalf…please.”

I take his bandaged hand and gently clasp both of my hands around his. I smile warmly, running my hand through his thick curls, “I will not leave you, Peregrin Took.”

My brave hobbit…Ernil i Pheriannath.

Note: Some folks believe that Isengar Took “went to sea as a youth” and then never returned. How I see it, is unlike Hildifons, the Took Family Tree never says that Isengar never returns. In fact, it not only gives a year of birth, it also gives a year of death. The Tooks wouldn’t know the year of his death unless he was in the Shire when he died--at least that’s my reasoning. It does specifically state that Hildifons went on an adventure and ‘never returned’, and omitted the year of his death.

However, everyone is entitled to their own imagination, and mine says that he did return, and as only hobbits can do, he spun the wildest tales!

Chapter Eight

Young Isengar is receiving round the clock care, as his father would put it, and he has done little more than sleep these past couple of days. The evening of the first day he acquired a dreadful fever, however, through a bit of ‘elvish medicine’, the fever has left him this morning, though he is still weak and sore. At least two times a day his soiled bandages are removed, his wound cleaned, and then wrapped again in clean bandages.

Today he has tried to sit up, but decided he was not quite ready for that, so he lies propped up on four pillows while listening to stories told by the sympathetic crew. I believe just about everyone, Men and Elves alike, have stopped by to greet and pay respects to the valiant Took. In return, Isengar tells his tale of obtaining his wound…though the tale has grown in the telling. The Harad soldier is now a large cave troll--of the sort that I have told him about many times in my own stories. Mirgalond’s wife is now the Queen of Belfalas, and the hearth rod he used is now a famous sword secretly forged by Cirdan himself.

Cirdan is now visiting the young story-teller and encourages the lad with a few words. I made the error of telling Isengar that he will need to eat heartily in order to gain back his strength. He is feeble, though hale enough to tell Cirdan that he will now need (in addition to the ‘normal’ hobbit meals) Third Breakfast, First Tea, Second Tea, and an added supper as well. Also, a handy supply of apples would not be turned away, neither.

As the Shipwright leaves, he walks past me and smiles, his long beard wagging as he shakes his head. I stand in the doorway, closing my eyes and shaking my head at the drivel as well. I deem it will not be long before young Isengar is back to his typically annoying, inquisitive ways. I muse on what sort of tales the young rascal will be weaving for his own family upon his return. As I turn to leave the sleeping area, Mirgalond walks past me with a small basket of apples; compliments of Cirdan! I clearly see that the lad has successfully wrapped the hearts of this hardened, salty crew around his small hobbit fingers.

I let out a long sigh, shaking my head again as I make my way towards the galley. The poor lad must be starving.

* * * * * * *


My thoughts are interrupted as the soft voice of a frail young hobbit breaks the silence of the tent. It is close to noon as he wakes up after a most difficult night. There seemed to be nothing that Aragorn could do to abate the pain in the lad’s aching limbs. In one final attempt, Aragorn took a vial and slipped half of its contents into the hobbit’s broth. The vial contained a sleeping potion that Peregrin detested and the broth was Aragorn’s last hope.

Poor Meriadoc. He continues to sleep soundly upon a cot situated near the bed. He has been so attentive to the comforts and needs of his dear friend ever since he arrived six days ago; I almost feel terrible.

He was out of the tent obtaining fresh water for his cousin when Aragorn put the potion into Peregrin’s broth. Apparently, Meriadoc was hungry and asked if he could have a bit of the broth as well. What were we expected to say? No, lad, the broth is now an elixir? In fact, the inadvertent ruse worked to our advantage. When Peregrin ate the broth he was no more the wiser, and now the both of them have gotten much needed rest.

I smile at Peregrin, “How are you feeling, my lad?”

There is a pause as Peregrin considers my question. “I’m hungry,” he finally answers, “but no more broth--I want solid food, if you please.”

I am pleased to hear the lad is asking for food. He has not eaten very well since his injury, so I am quite content to bring in a large tray laden with meat, bread, and two bowls of stew. As I presumed, upon my return Meriadoc is now awake and sitting up on his cot rubbing his sleep-bleary eyes. He thanks me for the provisions, but then he insists that I sample the stew before he will eat any. Again, his younger cousin takes his cue.

Satisfied that each bowl is potion-free, I watch as both young hobbits fall to “business” as they call it, like greedy little children. They both glance in my direction every now and then to make certain I remain awake.

Peregrin is first to finish his stew. He carefully eases back onto his pillows and asks me what I was thinking about when he woke up.

“Just someone from long ago,” I reply, leaning back in my chair.


I hesitate before I answer, unsure if the lad is up to the hearing of tales. “Your Uncle Isengar.” I watch as a smile widens on Peregrin’s face.

“You knew him?”

I nod. “We…traveled together at one time.”

“My father has told me many tales of Isengar’s adventure,” Peregrin says. “Isengar told my father that he built his own ship and went sailing with a crew made up of Elves and lords of Men.” Peregrin rolls his eyes and states matter-of-factly, “Even I didn’t believe that. But my father said that Isengar told him first-hand that he was in a huge battle.” Peregrin becomes enthusiastic as he relates his father’s tales, “and that he wielded a huge elven sword and felled a Man who stood over seven feet tall!” He catches Meriadoc rolling his eyes just as he did a few moments ago. “What? You don’t believe my father?”

“Of course I believe your father,” replies Meriadoc, “I just don’t believe your uncle.”

“Well, he’s your uncle, too!”

“Lads, lads,” I interrupt. I look at Peregrin and respond further, “Do not believe everything Isengar has told your father.” Then I continue on, looking at Meriadoc this time, “Although there is some truth to certain parts of it as well.”

As I fondly recall the story of the young, brave Seahobbit from years gone by, I find that I miss Isengar’s impish smiles and spontaneous laughter. Then I look at Peregrin. They are so much alike…and yet so different.

Both Peregrin and Meriadoc sit in rapt attention as I relate the story of their uncle’s tale. Probably because it is the absolute truth this time.

Chapter Nine

It took us four days of travel to reach the Grey Havens from Belfalas. The day after Isengar’s injury, we received word of Darion’s plan to join in Gondor’s aid at Dol Amroth. They would remain as long as they were needed, and would send word to Cirdan himself when they were ready to return north, unless they found sturdy horses that could bear them the long distance. Then we were at sea again, sailing back to the Grey Havens. It was just yesterday morning that we berthed at the Elven harbor. Amid many partings, both sad and tearful--for the crew and Isengar, we soon depart for the Shire.

Today, I am deep in thought as the rhythm of the pony’s gait make a droning noise as he plods along the road. I hold the reins loosely in one hand, letting the pony take the lead for a bit as I light my pipe. Tendrils of smoke trail behind me as I breathe out a long sigh, trying to imagine the welcome my young companion will receive when we reach Great Smials. Will they be delighted to see him, or will they reject him for behaving… unnatural? I’ve known for many years that my visits have been tolerated among the general population, and Gerontius is looked upon as being peculiar by taking up with a Wizard.

I glance at the young lad sitting next to me. He sits upon a small cushion that Cirdan gave him before our departure. It helps to absorb the bouncing of the cart as we ride over the ruts in the road. He also uses his arms to support the wound area whenever the jostling gets to be too much for him. I can see the long ride is making him drowsy, but the anticipation of his return home keeps his eyes from rolling closed--and I know the reunion has been weighing on his mind as well.

“What are you thinking about, lad?”

I can hear a long sigh as he deliberates on his answer. “My brothers.”

“Your brothers?” I would have thought his biggest fear would be his mother, the formidable Adamanta.

He looks at me with his sparkling green eyes. “Do you think that so odd?”

I answer him, “I believe it was your mother, not your brothers, that you disobeyed as I was departing Great Smials. Are you not fretting over her retribution?”

“No!” Isengar emphatically added, “Well, yes…well….no, I don’t think so. I mean, yes I will have to pay for my…disobedience when mother calms down, but it is my brothers Isengrim and Isumbras that have been looking after me. It’s them that I’m worried about.”


“The last time I got into trouble,” He explains, then gives me a sideways glance. Seeing my critical look in return, he corrects himself, “I mean, the last time I was in serious trouble, my father tried to take me over his knee, but…I outran him, Gandalf. I outran my father--at the age of eighty-five he simply couldn’t catch me. It was Isengrim who caught me hiding in the larder and…did the deed. It’s been like that ever since. My father has been getting more and more feeble over the past ten years, and for a long while now, it’s been Isengrim and Isumbras keeping me in order.”

I am concerned over this revelation. The thought of Gerontius being too aged to keep after his children did not occur to me.

Isengar gazes out over the golden heather in the meadow we pass. So much worry etched into his young face. Perhaps his brothers might be a bit easier on him if there were a guest about. “Would you feel more comfortable if I stayed a couple days?”

Even through the soreness of his wound, Isengar smiles. “Would you--please?”

“I will indeed,” I answer before ordering him to the back of the cart to lie down for the remainder of the trip.

It is nearly supper for the hobbits as we drive up to the stables at Great Smials. I help Isengar out of the back and give him a moment to find the strength in his legs. He holds firmly onto my hand as we slowly walk up towards the great entrance. I can feel him pulling on my one arm as his weight shifts with each arduous step.

I ask him, “Can you walk to the door, Isengar?” He nods. I resist the impulse to pick up the lad and carry him.

I notice two young boys running towards us as we trudge up the lane shouting and waving. The lads are Fortinbras and Adalgrim Took; Isengar’s nephews.

Isengar turns and smiles at them. “Hullo!”

Adalgrim was the first to run up to his uncle and throw his arms around Isengar’s waist. Isengar gasps, and his face goes white before doubling over in pain. Adalgrim is frightened as he backs away from his uncle. It is then that I lift Isengar into my arms and direct the boys to open the door.

Both children run ahead towards the main hallway calling for anyone who could hear them. I gently lay Isengar onto the couch in the parlor and wait for others to arrive.

~ ~ ~

Isengar’s fears were unfounded as his family was actually quite thrilled to have him back safe and sound--unlike one unnamed brother. A sad tale that I will not relate here, nor ever tell his family about.

As I said, everyone was happy to see the young fellow, patting him on the shoulders or tousling his hair. And yes, it was Isengrim who carried his hurting brother to his bedroom and then sent for the Smials’ healers. I offer Isumbras the flagon with Isengar’s medicine in it. I inform him to give the lad three sips, twice per day until the stitching is removed. Isumbras takes the cork off and grimaces at the smell of garlic and brandy. Once Isumbras recovers his senses, he thanks me.

It is not long before the young Took is tucked into his bed and surrounded by the familiar faces of his friends, nephews, and nieces. Adalgrim and his younger sisters are hanging on their uncle’s every word as he relates yet another embellished account of his adventure. All the children gasp and lean in for a closer look when Isengar lifts up his nightshirt to show off his stitches. Fortinbras cautiously touches the unsightly scar.

Everyone becomes silent as Gerontious and Adamanta enter Isengar’s bedroom. Isengar is still dramatically telling the lads and lasses about the large horse that he rode while leading the Dú nedain into battle when he sees his parents enter. The group of children run back to their mothers and fathers as the final reunion takes place.

Gone is the impudent rascal who stowed away on my cart the week before. Gone is the little warrior who so valiantly defended the life of a woman--nearly at the cost of his own. What I see before me is a young hobbit-tween, who is now feeling safe and sound in the arms of his weeping mother.


* * * * *

*”And not only Sam and Frodo here,” said Gimli, “but you too, Pippin. I love you , if only because of the pains you cost me, which I shall never forget.”

I had stood up and bid the young hobbits to bed, but the it seems the Dwarf misunderstood me. I was speaking of Peregrin as well. He, too, sustained injuries that will give him grief for a while yet. But he so desired to wait upon his king today in gratitude of his health and well being. I can only surmise that he also wanted to surprise Frodo and Samwise with just how much he has grown…both in stature and understanding. And knowing Peregrin as I do, I am certain he wanted them to see him in his new livery…as a Knight of Gondor. Hobbits!

I walk slowly towards the tents so that the recuperating hobbits can keep up. I feel like a mother hen with her chicks gathered safely underneath her wings. I have to watch where I step to avoid injury to the furry feet pattering nearby. I can tell by the way Peregrin is walking that he is in pain again. He has over done himself today. The other hobbits, Meriadoc and Samwise, prattle away while Frodo walks silently beside me, hands in his pockets.

We all come to a stop in front of Frodo and Sam’s tent. No one speaks for a long minute. Peregrin continues to lean from one swollen foot to the other in his discomfort.

Baffled at the inactivity of the group, I inquire as to why they stopped walking.

Peregrin speaks up, “I was waiting for Frodo here. I wanted to make sure he got into his bed all right.”

Frodo smiles at Peregrin, “And I was waiting for you, little cousin--for the same reason.”

Peregrin states firmly, “I’m not ‘little’ anymore, Frodo. I’m taller than you!”

“You may be taller, Pippin, but I am afraid you’ll always be little to me.” Frodo takes his hands out of his pockets as Peregrin embraces him.

Meriadoc and Sam exchange looks. “You take yours, and I’ll take mine, Sam.” Meriadoc briefly joins in the embrace with his cousins and then helps Peregrin towards their own tent.

I say goodnight to Frodo and Samwise and then start towards Peregrin and Meriadoc’s tent. I discover Meriadoc in the midst of rubbing his cousins swollen limbs.

“Peregrin, you really ought stay in bed tomorrow,” I advise. To my utter amazement I receive no protesting from the lad. I take the small bottle from the table and pour a bit of the medicine into his cup and offer it to him. Peregrin makes a sour face as he swallows the draught.

“I am sorry--not everything can taste like the beer at the Green Dragon,” I tell him.

Peregrin wipes his mouth as he lays back against his pillow. I sit nearby until I see his eyelids slowly blink for the last time and falls into a deep slumber. His aches forgotten until he overdoes himself again...probably tomorrow. Then I realize there is complete silence in the tent. I look over to Meriadoc. He is slumped alongside the foot of his cousin’s bed. It has been a long day for both young hobbits. I locate Meriadoc’s blanket on his cot and cover him with it, as there will surely be a chill in the early spring breeze this night.

Before I leave the tent, I gaze one last time at the sleeping hobbits. I know my time with them, with all hobbits, is coming to an end soon, and I am not looking forward to that day.

Chapter Ten

I lean upon the clean, white railing of the ship Cirdan has built and silently watch the shore shrink away until it is a thin, waving line in the distance. One of my companions stands at my side, peering in the same direction as he stands upon a low wooden crate, dark curls blowing in the swift breeze. Cirdan built this ship for just this purpose; to sail the First Born, and others accorded a special place, back home. My thoughts are on our last farewell.

I lay a kiss of farewell upon each hobbit’s head, whispering a blessing that shall remain between myself and he alone. After the kisses and blessings I hear the music of Peregrin laughing, though he is yet weeping. He tells Frodo that I am the one who gave away his plans this time.

It is amid his laughter and tears I reply, *”Yes, for it will be better to ride back three together than one alone.” I smile, knowing that this will not be the final time we see one another. Then I say, “Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

I continue to smile, knowing that I shall see each of these courageous souls again, but not on this side of the Grey Curtain. I cannot convey this to them, as they surely will not understand.

Then as I turn to walk aboard the ship, I hear my name called out from behind me. I turn around and there is Peregrin; he runs up and catches me around my waist. He is nearly thirty-one now--a grown hobbit by some standards. It has been a long time since one of these little hobbits has done this. It is but a mere second that I recall my memory and respond accordingly. I lean down a bit and gently wrap my arms about him. I whisper words to the lad that will encourage him when he feels most alone and vulnerable, and then I wipe the tears from his cheek. It is in doing this that I fondly remember the other hobbit of long ago; one of many of whom I will greet on the other side of the Curtain.

Farewell, Ernil i Pheriannath.

* * * * * * *

Gerontius and I sit in the north gardens, smoking our pipes and blowing smoke rings up into the blue sky. “One doesn’t need to look farther than Isengar if there’s trouble about!”

“Surely you don’t think that of your own flesh and blood.”

“Well…no, Gandalf,” he replies, “but he is full of mischief--like all young hobbits his age.” Gerontius absently blows three smoke rings through my one large smoke ring, then says, “He’s my last, you know. Born on my seventy-second birthday.”

“Yes, I know.” Then I fashion one of my favorites smoke rings; a sailing ship much like the one his youngest son had the recent pleasure of traveling on. “He loves you, Gerontius. And his mother, and his brothers.” I empty my pipe to make ready to leave. “Tell me, dear friend, is this another Took trait, or do all hobbits behave in like manner?”

The gleam in his old, green eyes tells me another hobbit lesson is forthcoming. “This behavior can be found amongst most hobbit families, but of the Tooks, this is a gift. Our love is deep and abiding. No Hobbit, Elf, or Big Folk shall ever come between me and my kin--or a dear friend.” He puts his hand on my knee; I see there is a fire in his eyes that I have not seen in years. Apparently, to him I am accounted as a friend, and it renders me speechless. I am moved by the fierce love of this halfling.

~ ~ ~

I have said my farewell to Gerontius this morning after our smoke in the garden. As I approach the stables, my pony is being readied by none other than Isengar Took. Part of his punishment it to assist the stable workers for the rest of the summer. Not difficult work in the least, but enough to keep the lad busy and out of trouble…or so they think.

I gaze down at the young Seahobbit who is handing me the reins as I climb into my cart. He then goes around to the back and tethers a pony to my cart. After that, he walks up to passenger’s seat and carefully climbs up. He is still healing a bit, but since his stitches were removed yesterday, he is once again a rambunctious tween.

He humbly returns my inquiring gaze, “I asked Isengrim if I could ride with you for a bit. Do you mind?”

My countenance eases and I smile my reply. Isengar smiles in return. I lightly flick the reins, then the pony starts us down the path towards the road. As we travel along the lane I notice the lad is unusually quiet.

“Your father tells me that you have taught your young nephews how to tie various knots.”

A slight smile plays along his face. “Adal’s a bright lad; I never would have thought to tie my sisters together with their own apron sashes.”

He sees my stern look and then relents. “I mean, I’ll have to give the boy a serious talking-to when I get back.”

“Too late for that. He has already received a serious reprimand--and more--from his father.”

Isengar winces at the bit of information. “I’m sorry, Gandalf. Perhaps I should’ve waited until he was older--like Fortinbras.”

I perceive Isengar is genuinely apologetic. “There is nothing wrong with sharing your knowledge of the outside world, Isengar…when it is appropriate. This is something you will have to learn for the most part on your own. You will have to decide who you divulge your understanding to, and when.” I refrain from telling the young hobbit that knowledge is like power.

“I never thought of it like that,” he replies. “I shall be more careful.”

“Let us hope so. But I am not leaving the Shire for good, lad. I will return when I can, and do not forget that I have friends here in the north that know your every deed.” Of course, it’s only a half-truth, but I feel that someone must keep this lad in complete order now. The remnant of the Dúnedain will help to keep an especially close eye on him in my absence.

Isengar warily looks around in all directions and answers, “I suppose I must learn to be on my best behavior.” I smile at my own ingenuity. The rest of the ride to the East Road is filled with Isengar’s smiles and laugher. He is a fine traveling companion.

Just before we reach the town of Waymoot I bring the cart to a halt. “I believe this is where you and your brother agreed you will return from.”

Isengar’s face is now downcast. “Yes, sir.”

Something within me tries to bring back a smile to his usually jovial face. “Perhaps in another five or six years, when you are of age and are a more responsible hobbit, you may come with me to visit the Elves.”

The lad does perk up a bit, but merely grins. “You mean, Im…Imla…”

It is terrible of me, I know, but I cannot help but smirk at his first attempt to pronounce Imladris. I know the Elves must have told Isengar about it when they spoke to him on Cirdan’s ship. It is rare that I jest, but I answer him, “When you are able to say the name, then I may consider you accompanying me.”

Fortunately, he understands that it is a jest. A smile does appear on his face, and I am pleased that it does.

“Goodbye, Gandalf.” The lad climbs down and unties his pony from the cart.

No sooner than I flick the reins that I hear a shout from behind me. Thinking the worst, I stop and climb down from the cart. I see the young hobbit running towards me and then throws his arms around my waist. I thought the lad was in pain again, so I pick him up in my arms. He instantly throws his own arms around my neck and kisses my cheek, “Please come back again, Gandalf!” he says. “I won’t be naughty anymore--I promise to be a good lad.”

I hold tight onto the lad. I am feeling something that I have not felt in what has seemed to me to be ages. It is for a time that I hold this lad in my arms. It is through this small vessel of the One that I am now encouraged and strengthened on my journeys. My fight and flight in Middle-earth is for these, unthanked though it may be.

I finally lower the young hobbit to his feet. I try to make light of an awkward situation and smile at him. “Do not make promises you cannot keep, lad.” I wipe away the tears from his cheeks. “I have told you before that I will return, and I will.” Before departing, I reach into his vest pocket and offer him his own handkerchief. “We will meet again, lad. Farewell, Isengar.” Middle-earth’s only Seahobbit.

Just a Note: I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this story, and review it. This has been one of the most fun stories that I’ve written in a while. Being a former Sailor, I felt I was in my own element as I wrote “below the decks” or “handling the lines”. I did have to be careful as my nautical jargon, though steeped in tradition, only goes back so far.

My aim was to parallel the adventures of Gandalf/Isengar with Gandalf/Pippin, though I believe Gandalf was enthralled with hobbits in general. I did as much research as I could with Gandalf, reading parts of the Silmarillion to get a good feel for the Maia/Ishtar. I even went as far as viewing ROTK for the umpteenth time (oh, darn!) so I could get a grasp of Gandalf, as I feel Ian McKellan portrayed a fantastic Gandalf. I can’t help but think the Maiar and the Ishtar are one and the same--especially Olórin.

I hope I have not A/U’d Gandalf too bad in the end…but I have another belief about “what he feels” at the end. In my imagination, Gandalf has been around war, battles, and assisting in the effort against evil for so long that he’s forgotten what the simple feeling of pure love was, and I sort of gave him a glimpse of that feeling--of ‘why’ he was doing what he did, through Isengar’s hug. And I did it again with Pippin--the parallel. If something is horribly amiss, please email me and let me know.

Thank you again for sharing in the Seahobbit. Fair winds, and following seas….

Home     Search     Chapter List