by Legolas son of Thranduil of Ringbearer.org
See Frodo. He looks puzzled. Why are you puzzled Frodo?
I am puzzled. Sauron is dead. He is very dead. How can a dead Sauron call his pal? The dead have no voices. They have no phones. They can not hold phones. How do dead people call their pals?”
Hear the ring. It whispers. Why do you whisper, you sneaky ring?
“I whisper because I know a secret. It is a big secret. The secret is that I drank a big bottle of rum. It is a secret. Don’t tell. The other secret is that Sauron is not gone. We are best pals. If I live, he lives.”
Gandalf frowns. “How silly! You do not know many things Frodo. Sauron has a spirit. The spirit lives. Spirits are good at hiding. Spirits can fly. If One Ring lives, Sauron’s spirit lives. That is why One Ring is special. It is as special as tasty gum. It is as special as table with velvet and tea on it. But it is dangerous.”
“How do spirits fly?” asks Frodo.
“Do not ask silly things. Sauron is back. He is very naughty. He has many many orc pals. Orcs are bad.”
Why are orcs bad, you wise silly wizard?
�They are bad because they do not like tables. They do not like to read. They do not like tea. They just like to fight and kill.”
“I like orcs!” says One Ring. “They are kind and nice. I like fighting and killing!”
You naughty, naughty ring! You know those things are bad! Sou are silly. What other news do you have Gandalf?
“Sauron has a new home. He built his old home again. It is a big tower. It is high, so it’s nit so fun to jump off it. Sauron is ready.”
“What is he ready for?” asks Frodo. “Is he ready for a snack? Is he ready for a nap? Is he ready for a fun ride? Is he ready to draw a circle on the floor?”
“No,” says Gandalf, “it is not those things. He is ready to cover Middle Earth. He is ready to cover it with darkness. Darkness is not so fun. You can not see the trees. You can not see the stars. You can not see the flowers. You can not see the rats that are flat. I do not like darkness. Do you Frodo?”
“Oh no indeed!” says Frodo. “Darkness is bad! Then I can not count my toes.”
“If Sauron draws on the floor,” says Gandalf in a very stern voice, “then he is going down! Only I can draw. It is my job!”
“Sauron looks,” says Gandalf, “he looks but does not find.”
What does Sauron look for, old wizard?
“He looks for the ring, silly! Silly, silly, silly! He looks. He looks and looks with all his might. He needs One Ring so he can make Middle Earth dark again. He looks for it all the time. Even when he eats oatmeal cookies. Even when he sews a curtain for a window. Even when he bakes bread. And One Ring wants to go. It wants to go back to the bad pal Sauron. One Ring is very, very homesick.”
Hear the ring. Hear it cry. Cry, ring, cry! Hear it sob. It is talking. What are you saying, you glum ring?
“There’s no place like Mordor! There’s no place like Mordor! There’s no place like Mordor!”
Gandalf is right. He does not fib. He is not a naughty wizard. One Ring is indeed homesick.
“Frodo,” says Gandalf. “Sauron can not find his pal ring. Sauron will not find his pal ring. Do you know? Do you know why?”
“Is it because the ring is circle?” asks Frodo. “Is it because he can not find his scarf? Is it because he likes balrogs? Gandalf, what are balrogs? Are they green?”
See Gandalf. See his eyes. He rolls his eyes. He is not impressed.
“You are not bright, Frodo,” says Gandalf. “I have a pal. The pal is more bright than you. The pal knows more things. The pal is a gray rock. Listen Frodo! Listen! Do you know why Sauron will not find One Ring? It is because he has a jar of money. No, that is a fib. It is because we will not let him find it. If Sauron finds his pal, there will be danger.”
See Frodo. He grabs the ring.
“Gandalf, Gandalf!” he says. “We need to hide it! The ring will play hide-and-seek with Sauron. Let’s help it hide. We can hide the ring for good. We will leave it. We will not talk about it. It will be a secret. No one knows the secret, right Gandalf?”
See Gandalf. He is quiet. Why are you quiet, Gandalf?
“I am quiet because I think. I think of many things. I think of what to do with One Ring. I think of books I like to read. I think of the splinter in my big toe. It hurts. I think of Gollum. He is green and mean. I did not catch him. I think of…”
“Gandalf!” Frodo says in a cross voice. “I asked you a thing! Listen! I do not care of what you think! Listen to me!”
“I think of my favorite bottle. It has a lid. I think of pillows. Pillows are funny. Funny, funny, funny. i think of my favorite treat. It is a small thing. It comes from pill bottles. It comes in vitamin bottles. It has words on it. The words are: “WARNING: TOXIC. DO NOT EAT. THROW AWAY.” I like those yummy treats. I think of brooms. Some fly.”
“Gandalf!” says Frodo. “Listen! Does anyone know the secret? Does anyone know the ring is here? Do they, Gandalf?”
“Yes,” says Gandalf, “yes. One knew of the ring. One knew Bilbo had the ring. Can you guess who One is?”
“I know who one is,” says Frodo. “One is the number before two.”
“Yes and no, Frodo,” says Gandalf. “One is a number. It is a very small number. It is smaller than an upside-down ant. But the one I talk of is Gollum. He knows. He knows of the ring. That is very bad. It is more bad than a shoe with no sole. I looked. I looked and looked but did not find. But the naughty enemy found him before me. Now Sauron knows a thing of the ring.”
What does Sauron know? What does Sauron know of the ring, Gandalf?
“Sauron was bad to Gollum. Sauron poked and jabbed Gollum. Oh!” says Gandalf. “Eyes do not have hands. Eyes are just eyes. But Sauron is a not usual eye. He can sew and bake and poke and jab and wear a kilt.”
“Can he eat muffins? Can he pack a sack?” asks Frodo.
“Yes,” says Gandalf, “he can do those things. Gollum did not like poking. He did not like jabbing. He wanted fresh fish. There is a pool. It is Sauron’s pool. There is fish in it. There is water in it. Sauron said that he could have fish if he told things. Sauron said he could have a treat and pudding. Gollum was hungry. He told Sauron things. Do you know what thing?”
“No,” says Frodo, “I do not know what things.”
What were the things, Gandalf? What did Gollum say?
“He told Sauron that rocks are gray. He told Sauron that hockey is fun. He told Sauron to go and bake cookies. Sauron was cross. He knew these things. He wanted to know of the ring. Gollum yelled. Gollum screamed. Gollum sang silly, silly songs. He told lame jokes. But Gollum was very hungry. He was hungrier than me when I’m hungry. So he told Sauron. He told Sauron two things. He told of the Shire. He told of a name. The name was Baggins. He napped the fish and pudding. He ran and ran.”
See Frodo. He thinks. He is puzzled again. What is it, Frodo?
“That is silly!” says Frodo. “Gollum told of Baggins and Shire. I did not know, Gandalf. I did not know there is another land called Shire! I did not know there is more hobbits called Baggins!”
“You silly, silly hobbit! The land is this Shire. The Baggins is your name.”
“Oh!” says Frodo. “Oh, oh, oh! You are right, Gandalf! Baggins is my name! Shire is my home! Oh! This is not good! It is very bad! Now we can not hide One Ring! Now it is not secret! Now Sauron will send his mean pals! They will come here. Those rotten pals! They will come here to get One Ring!”
See the road. The road is outside. That silly, silly road!
See a Black Rider come. He sees a hobbit. The hobbit is on the road. Why are you on the road, you silly hobbit?
“I am here because I am a night watchman. That means I like to look. I like to look at things at night. I look at stars. I look at moths. I eat the moths. They are yummy.”
“Get off the road, you silly hobbit!” says the Rider. “You make me cross! You won’t give me chips and jam! I think I will kill you!”
“Oh no,” says the hobbit. “That is not good. I do not want to be dead. Go away, you silly Rider! Go home! Go and ride on a broken bridge! You are so silly!”
The Black Rider is very cross. He strikes the hobbit down. Strike, Rider, strike! The hobbit is dead. How silly he looks! The Rider is glad.
“Now I go. I go to find Sauron’s pal. I go to find an old shoe to throw at silly hobbits!”
See him ride. Ride, Rider, ride!
“Gandalf! Gandalf!” says Frodo. “This is bad! I do not want them to come! I do not want to die! Take it, Gandalf!”
“What, Frodo?” asks Gandalf. “What do you want me to take? A ride with my cart? A piece of pie? A daisy from the garden? Silly Frodo! It is not daisy season! There are no daisies in the garden! Do you want me to take a bowl of pudding? Do you want me to take a bath? That is silly, Frodo! I do not need to take a bath! I took one a month ago! I am still clean!”
“No, Gandalf, no!” says Frodo. “I do not want you to take those things! I do not want you to take a bath…even though you need one! I want you to take the ring! I do not want the Enemy to come! I do not want to die! You take the ring! You are very old anyways! You must take it!”
“Stop, Frodo, stop!” says Gandalf. “Do not give me the ring! You can not offer it! You can not offer it even to a wise spiffy wizard like me!”
“But Gandalf! Gandalf!” says Frodo. “I want to give it to you! It is a surprise just for you! Take it, you silly wizard!”
“Stop Frodo!” says Gandalf. “Do not give it to me! Do not tempt me! It is a bad ring! It scares me! It makes me see a red eye that spies! I won’t take it! If I take it, I will take care of it. But it will not take care of me. It will make me do bad things! It will make me run over rats to make them flat! It will make me put dish soap in fountains! It will make me steal cakes! It will make me fib! It will make me draw on city walls! I would want to do good things. But it would turn me into a naughty pal. I would be naughty, like Sauron. I would sew curtains and bake muffins, and eat oatmeal cookies! I do not want to be like Sauron! I do not want One Ring for a pal!”
“But Gandalf! The ring can not stay in the Shire! It will call the evil pals! The pals will be mean! They will rob the stores! They will steal flowers from gardens! They will honk horns and wake the napping hobbits! They will sing naughty songs! They will point their naughty fingers as they pass by! That is bad! It is very bad indeed! They ring can not stay here!”
“Yes Frodo,” says Gandalf. “That is right. Now you are wiser. You are almost as wise as a log in a yard. The ring can not stay here. You are right.”
See Frodo. He looks scared. He looks puzzled. He looks sad and mad. He must be thinking of many things. What is wrong, Frodo?
“I am puzzled,” he says. “Gandalf will not take One Ring. He is a wimpy wizard. But the ring can not stay. The evil pals are coming. What must I do, Gandalf? What must I do with the ring?”
Gandalf thinks. He thinks hard. Perhaps he is thinking of an idea. Perhaps he is thinking of lunch. But it is not good to ask. It is safer to guess.
But oh! Look! Gandalf does not look puzzled! He is done thinking! Did you find a plan, Gandalf? Did you find a plan for Frodo and One Ring?
“Yes, yes, yes!” he says. “I thought of a plan. It is good. It is clever. It is smart. It is very long. It is so clever that only a spiffy wizard can think it up. Here it is: you will go away from the Shire. You will go fast. Isn’t that a very clever plan?”
Frodo is puzzled and cross.
“I know that!” he says. “I know I have to go! I know those things! But there is a thing. The thing is a question. Where do I go? Where do I take the ring?”
Gandalf thinks hard again. He thinks for a very long time. Perhaps he has thought for too long today. Perhaps he’s all thinked out. But he keeps thinking.
“I know! I know where you will go, Frodo!” says Gandalf. “I thought of a place. Do you know where you will go? I do. Here it is: away from the Shire. What a good idea. I am very clever.”
Frodo is getting more cross. He is getting very cross.
“I know that too!” he says. “You told me, Gandalf! You already told me that! Tell me a thing I do not know! Tell me of a place!”
See Gandalf’s face. There is a silly smile.
“I will tell you of a place,” Gandalf says. “I will tell you of a place. It is a house. It is in the ground. It is round. It is small. Two people stand in the house. The two people are a wizard and a hobbit. They have a ring. Can you guess the place?”
Frodo thinks. Think, Frodo, think! He thinks for a long time. He is puzzled.
But look! Look and see! Now he is done thinking! He knows!
“I know that place!” says Frodo. “I know that house! It is my house! The wizard is you! The hobbit is me! I know what to do! I will take the ring to my house!”
See Frodo. He gets a sack. The sack has food in it. He gets a coat. He gets a walking stick. He is ready to go. He runs to the door. Run, Frodo, run!
But he stops. He does not run. He stands. He gets cross.
“But Gandalf, Gandalf!” he says. “How can I go to my house? I am here! If I go to my house, I do not go anywhere! Tell me of another place!”
Hear the laughing. Gandalf is laughing. The ring is laughing.
“I will tell you of another place Frodo,” he says. “Are you ready?”
“Yes! Yes! I am ready. Tell me the place! Tell me, Gandalf!”
“This is the place,” says Gandalf. “It is an inn. Hobbits go there. Naughty hobbits were there. They tossed cups and tables and hobbits and innkeepers. The cops were called to the inn. Can you guess? Can you guess the place?”
Frodo thinks. He thinks and thinks. What could the place be?
“I know the place!” he says. “The inn is Green Dragon inn! I go there! The naughty hobbits are my pal and me!”
“Ha ha,” says Gandalf. “I put a trap on the floor. You stepped in it. Why did you step in it? Because you are not very bright. Now I know who the tossing hobbit is. Now I can tell the cops. They will be glad. They will give me tea to drink!”
“Gandalf! Gandalf!” says Frodo. “It is not true! I did not toss a thing! It was a big man with a red beard! He told me! He told me that he was the tosser!”
See Gandalf laugh. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Why do you laugh Gandalf?
“I laugh because Frodo is dumb,” he says. “When I do silly things, I do not get caught! I know how to be a good fibber. Okay Frodo, I will tell you of another place. It is nice. Elves live there. The place hides. Bilbo goes there. Can you guess?”
“Yes! I know the place!” says Frodo. “It is Rivendell! What a fun game! Say another place! I want to guess more!”
But look! Look at Frodo! He looks puzzled. Now he is just cross. Why are you cross, you silly hobbit?
“I am cross with Gandalf! He plays a sneaky trick! He makes me forget things! Now I remember the question. Gandalf! Gandalf! Where do I take my ring pal? Where do I go when I leave the Shire?”
Gandalf remembers. He remembers this is not a good time for jokes. He remembers the danger.
“Go to Bree, Frodo,” he says. “Go to that silly town. Take One Ring too. It is not fair for your pal if it can not go to Bree. Good pals should not leave pals behind. When you get to the gate, honk the big green horn.”
“Gandalf, Gandalf!” says Frodo. “Why is the big horn green? Is it because dachshunds can throw balls? Is it because it is not fun to sit on pincushions? Is it because the sun does not wear boxers?”
Those are silly questions, you silly hobbit!
“Frodo,” says Gandalf, “there is a thing I have to say. The thing is very good. The thing will save lives. The thing is: Shut up! Listen, you silly hobbit! You have to go. You will go to Bree. Remember the place. It is Bree. What is the place, Frodo?”
“You are so silly, Gandalf!” says Frodo. “Your memory is very bad! You say “remember, remember, remember!” But you already forgot! That is why you ask me!”
“Of course I still remember the place!” says Frodo. “The place is Fuji! That is where you told me to go! How silly you are, not to remember! Silly, silly, silly!”
See Gandalf. He rolls his eyes.
“Frodo,” says Gandalf, “you have a thing to learn. The thing is to pay attention. The thing is to listen. You are an idiot hobbit. The place is not Fuji. Fuji has not been found yet, silly! The place is Bree! Now don’t forget!”
See Frodo. He looks scared. Why are you scared Frodo?
“I am scared because Gandalf is getting cross. I am scared because the naughty pals of One Ring are coming. I am scared because it is too late. It is too late to have a barbeque. It is night and everyone is napping. But I will go. I will go to Fuji. Oh! That is a fib! I will go to Bree.”
See the wizard. He is glad. Why are you glad, you silly wizard?
“I am glad because Frodo remembers. He remembers the place. That is good.”
“But Gandalf, Gandalf!” says Frodo. “I will go to Bree. But I do not know a thing. The thing is where you will go. Where will you go, you old wizard?”
“There will be a race,” says Gandalf. “I will win the race. the race will start when I get to Bree. That way I know that I will win. I do not like to lose. I will wait at an inn. The inn has a name. It is the Inn of the Prancing Pony.”
See Frodo. He is cross and scared. He is puzzled. What is it Frodo? What is the matter?
“I do not like to lose, Gandalf. It is not fair,” he says. “But will the ring be safe? Will it be safe from the mean pals? Gandalf, why is the inn of the prancing pony. Why not the prancing frog? Why not the prancing fox? Why not the prancing flower?”
See Gandalf. He is getting cross again. Why are you getting cross?
“I am getting cross because Frodo is silly,” he says. “He is too silly. The inn is of the Prancing Pony because the people eat ponies. Ponies are the yummy treat there. You can buy Crispy Pony Burgers. That is why it is the Inn of the Prancing Pony.”
Those silly people. There are better things. There are better things to eat. Ponies are not so good. Ponies are not for eating. Cows are for eating. Pigs are for eating. If you are hungry, you can even eat grass.
See Frodo. Hear him talk. What do you say, you silly hobbit?
“I say a thing. But I forget. Gandalf, what is the thing? What is the thing I forgot?”
“Too bad the gray rock does not have the ring,” says Gandalf. “The rock would listen better. The rock would remember things. The rock would know what to do. The thing you forgot is if the ring is safe in Bree.”
“Yes!” says the hobbit. “That is what I forgot! Will the ring be safe? Is Bree a safe place?”
“I am wise and spiffy,” says Gandalf, “but I do not know the answer. I will go see my pal. He is wise too. He has power. Power is good. My pal will know the answer. He will know what to do.”
Gandalf thinks. Let’s wait and not ask what he is thinking.
Oh! He is done thinking! That is good!
“I will tell you things,” says Gandalf. “I will tell you what to do. I will tell you the safety rules of the trip:
-You will take the name Baggins. You will put it in a box. You will leave it at home.
-You will not talk of that name. It is not safe outside. It is not safe outside the Shire.
-You will travel when its day. That means you will nap at night.
-You will stay off the road. It is not so safe. There are fast drivers. Those drivers have a name. The name is Reckless.
-You will not tell your pals that I am at Bree when the race starts. It is a very fair race. Do not be a sore loser.
-You will not talk to strangers. You will not talk to them if they give you a treat. You will not talk to them is they give you a star sticker.
-You will snap your fingers if the grass is damp. That will scare the flies away.”
“I will do those things!” says Frodo. “I will do those things. I know the way. I will go on short-cuts. Those are fun. I will go on mean old hobbit’s lands. Then I will laugh so loud. I will throw sticks at the dogs. But remember Gandalf. Remember that I am not three. I am not six. I am fifty. That is old. I am not a boy.”
See Frodo. He packs food. He packs his pipe. He packs clothes. He packs underwear. Does he pack underwear that is dirty? No silly! That is bad! Then the food and the clothes and the clothes will smell bad. Then flies will chase poor, poor Frodo.
Look at Frodo. He has his pack. He has his cloak. He even has his walking stick. Does the stick have feet? No. It can only walk when Frodo carries it.
Are you ready Frodo? Are you ready for a long trip?
“Oh, yes!” he says. “Yes I am ready. I am ready for the long dangerous trip.”
See Gandalf. He is surprised. What is the thing? What is the thing that surprised you, Gandalf?
“I am surprised,” he says. “I am surprised that a dumb and silly hobbit is not so dumb and silly after all. He is brave. That is good. Hobbits are silly creatures. They are plain. They are boring. But they can surprise even a spiffy wizard. I am a spiffy wizard. Hobbits surprise me.”
Oh! There is a sound! Where does the sound come from? Does it come from the door? Does it come from the wall? Does it come from a bottom?
No. It does not come from those places. The sound comes outside. It comes from the window.
See Gandalf. He shouts to Frodo. He shouts in a whisper. What do you say, Gandalf?
“I tell Frodo a thing. The thing is this. Get down Frodo! Get down! Do not get seen!”
Frodo listens. He listens to what Gandlaf says. He gets down. He does not want to be seen.
The ring has been quiet. It has not talked. But now it does. Hear it talk. What do you say, you naughty ring?
“Let me go! Maybe a pal of my pal Sauron is here! Let me go and say hello! Invite him in! Give him chips and jam! If he is my pal’s pal then he is good.”
“Shut up!” says Frodo in a quiet but cross voice. “Shut up your mouth if you have one!”
See Gandalf. He goes to the window. He points his big magic stick out. He jabs. He jabs very hard.
Oh! He hits a thing! The thing yells.
“Ouch!” yells the thing. “Do not hit me! I am not baseball! Do not hit me!”
See Gandalf. See his face. His face is red. He is very cross.
He grabs out the window. He grabs the thing. He pulls it in and slams it down on a table.
Look! Look and see! The thing is a hobbit! The thing is Frodo’s pal Sam! What have you been doing, you naughty hobbit? Have you been sneaking?
“You naughty, naughty hobbit!” yells Gandalf in a very cross voice. “You little sneak! Samwise Gamgee, you are a naughty little sneak! Did you hear us? Did you hear us talk?”
See Sam. His face looks very scared. Are his pants wet? Indeed they are. They are very wet.
“I did not sneak!” cries Sam. “I did not sneak! I did not hear you talk of rings and things! I was just doing a thing. The thing is cutting the grass.”
“Sam,” says Gandalf in a icy stern voice, “it is okay to do chores. It is okay to do cut grass. But not so late! It is past naptime! You should be dreaming of gardens now!”
“But mister Gandalf!” cries Sam. “I heard a sound. The sound was yells. I came to see. I came to see who was yelling!”
Poor, poor Sam. See how he sobs. He sobs so much his shirt gets wet. Now he has wet pants and a wet shirt.
See Gandalf. He is still very cross.
“What did you hear, you naughty hobbit!” he says. “What did you hear us talking of? It was a secret talk! It was not for the ears of sneaky spies! Tell us! What did you hear?”
“Oh!” sobs Sam. “Oh, oh, oh! I did not hear of important things! I just heard normal things. I heard of a magic ring. I heard of a naughty pal. His name is Sauron. I heard of the end of the world. I heard of darkness. I heard of Fuji. What is Fuji? I heard of Bree. See? I did not hear important things!”
Gandalf is still cross. That silly wizard can stay cross for long. He is very good at holding a thing. The thing is heavy. The thing is a grudge.
“Mister Gandalf, mister Gandalf!” cries Sam. “Please do not turn me into a thing! Do not hurt me! Do not turn me into a frog or a fly or a broom! Do not turn me into a rock and put me in a shoebox! I do not want to be those things! That would be no fun at all!”
See Gandalf. Now he is not cross. He smiles.
“Will I turn you into a thing?” he says. “Perhaps not. Then you will not have to work. You will be lucky. You will stay a hobbit. Then you can work. I will give you a job. The job is not thinking. The job is not playing sneaky tricks. The job is not drinking ale. The job is not drawing on city walls. Those are my jobs. Only spiffy wizards like me can do those hard jobs. Your job is to go on a trip. You will go with Frodo. He and I will have a race. I will win the race. The finish line is at Bree. I will get there first. You will help Frodo get there safe.”
Gandalf thinks. Then he talks. What do you say, you silly old wizard?
“I tell Frodo a thing. Frodo. Do not tell Sam how I will win the race. That is a secret. Pack your things. We will go at dawn. There are no nosy hobbits out at dawn. They are still napping. While they nap, I will draw on the walls. We will leave so they will not know who drew.”
End part 4