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The Company of Heroes  by annmarwalk

The Company of Heroes

Bilbo Gamgee, four years old, was counting on his fingers.

“There was our Da, that’s one, and Mister Frodo, and Thain Peregrin Took, and Mister Meriadoc, that’s four; and Gimli the Dwarf, and Legolas the Elf, and Strider- now-King-Aragorn, and Gimli Dwarf, and Gandalf the Grey. That’s nine, right?”

Daisy was seven, older and wiser, though sorely lacking in patience. “You counted Gimli the Dwarf twice, so you only have eight. There were nine, though. Nine companions in the Fellowship of the Ring. Who was the ninth one?”

A moment of quiet pondering; then a chorus of voices. “Haldir the Marchwarden! Thorin Oakenshield! Fatty Bolger!” The Gamgee children were great ones for stories, and each had their own beloved heroes.

“Bo’mir! Bo’mir the Tall!” gurgled two-year-old Ruby, waving her stuffed oliphaunt by one bedraggled leg.

A shocked silence fell over the breakfast table. “She’s right, but how did she know?” Goldilocks asked. Ruby just chuckled, eyes full of baby-wisdom.

“I don’t remember hearing much about him,” Young Hamfast said slowly. “Why do you never talk about Boromir the Tall, Da?”

Why do I never talk about him? Sam wondered. I was angry, I carried that anger for so long, and used it as weapon to protect Mr. Frodo. Why am I still angry at the memory, after all this time?

“I didn’t know him very well, and that’s a fact. He kept mostly to himself, though he did teach Mr. Merry and Mr. Pippin a bit swordfighting, which was good, as they needed those skills in the end, fightin’ in those big battles and all.”

Hamfast’s eyes were aglow, as always, at the thought of battles. “And he died a hero’s death, protecting them from the űruk-hai. They lived to fight, and Mr. Merry helped kill the witch-king, and Mr. Pippin saved the steward’s second son. So it all worked out fair, didn’t it, Da?”

It all worked out fair, didn’t it, Da?

After all these years, thinking about how it all happened, and how it might have happened differently, I can see that Lord Boromir had a part to play, just like that stinking Gollum did. Maybe it was all written out for us, long before we were ever born, and we were like mummers in a play. Why was I so lucky as to have the part I played?

“Aye, son. It all worked out fair.”2007 MEFA Award Winner First Place in Races: Hobbits: Children



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