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Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 08:07 pm
“Scary Biscuits”

For the Hobbit-Ficathon Challenge: 
write a ficlet in which a gift or gifts play a part.
Rated: G
Characters:  Sam, Frodo and Bilbo

This is an anti-recipe fiction.  After you’ve read it, I think you’ll know exactly what I mean.


Also, in a few hours it will be September 22nd here in my little corner of the world, so I'll let this count as my Frodo and Bilbo birthday post.





“You ate half of them?” Frodo asked looking amazed.

“I think so,” Sam winced, arms wrapped firmly around his stomach.

“But Sam, we *never* eat anything that Tulip Grubb brings over,” Frodo objected.  “You know that.  Bilbo and I have both warned you about it many times.  She‘s a lovely hobbit and she has a good heart but she can‘t cook.  It‘s frightening what she does to perfectly good food.”

“I didn’t want to hurt her feelings none, Mr. Frodo,” Sam said as he sank down onto the sofa.  “She said them biscuits were a gift what she made just for me, special like.”

Frodo frowned at the seventeen-year-old lad.  “A gift?  What kind of a gift?”

“She said she fixed them for me, on account of I helped her with her flowers this spring,” Sam said. 

“What did you do to deserve this?” Frodo asked.

“It wasn’t much at all,” Sam said modestly, missing the sarcasm in Frodo‘s tone.  “I just mixed up a batch ‘o my Gaffer’s secret fertilizer for her and spread it on her flower beds.”

“I’ve seen her flowers this year, Sam,” Frodo smiled.  “They are lovely.  You deserved a gift, but I don’t think those biscuits were the proper sort of payment.  Between you and me, I‘d have rather eaten your Gaffer‘s fertilizer mixture.”

“She brought them by while I was workin’ on Mr. Bilbo’s rose bushes, you know them ones by the front gate?” 

Frodo nodded.  He knew which rose bushes Sam meant.

“She was so nice and all and she wanted to wait and see did I like them, so I ate a couple of them while she watched.  I didn’t see the harm in it.”  Sam lay down on the sofa and pulled his knees up next to his aching stomach.

“Just you rest, Sam,” Frodo said.  “Bilbo will have that indigestion remedy of his ready in a few minutes.  It works fairly quickly.  I’ve taken it many times myself.”

Sam moaned softly but didn’t respond. 

Frodo covered his young friend with a blanket and went out to the kitchen to see how Bilbo was coming along with Sam’s medicine.

Bilbo was mixing things together in a large mug when Frodo entered.  Frodo noticed the half-empty tin of biscuits sitting on the table and frowned.  “Bilbo, you aren’t eating those are you?”

“What?  By the over-heaven, no lad.  What do you take me for?”  Bilbo asked.

“Was that full when she gave it to Sam?” Frodo asked eyeing the offending biscuits nervously.

“Sam says the lid fairly popped off when he opened it and that it was stuffed full of those biscuits,” Bilbo said adding a bit of salt to his mixture.

“Did Sam eat all of those?” Frodo asked.  “Or did he maybe toss some in the bushes to make it look as if he’d eaten them?”

“If he has tossed any of them in the bushes, then I suspect we’ll have some dead squirrels and rabbits in the yard by morning,” Bilbo said.  “Take this to the poor lad and make sure he drinks every drop.”  Bilbo handed Frodo the mug.  “I’ll find a way to rid us of these biscuits.  Maybe I’ll bury them under the Gaffer’s garden shed.”

“Not the tin though,” Frodo warned.  “Sam will have to give that back to her.”

“I wouldn’t if I were the lad,” Bilbo sighed.

“Why not?”  Frodo asked.

“There’s a chance that she’ll take that to mean she’s to fill it up again,” Bilbo said with a shiver.

Grinning, Frodo took the mug of indigestion remedy in to Sam.
“Bilbo says you’re to drink every drop of this and that I’m to see that you do,” Frodo said.

Sam managed to sit up, taking the mug in both hands.  The poor lad still looked a bit green in spite of the fact that he’d thrown up a considerable amount of the biscuits earlier. 

“Sam?” 

“Yes, Mister Frodo?”  Sam said still trying to build up the nerve to drink the remedy.  His poor stomach had been through enough for today and he wasn’t sure it was fair to force anything else down there just now.

“Why did you eat so many of the biscuits?”

“I was tryin’ to be polite, Mister Frodo,” Sam said.  “Them biscuits were a gift and even if they weren’t the best biscuits in the Shire, she meant well.”

“That’s true,” Frodo agreed.  “Still, wouldn’t she have been convinced that you liked them even if you’d only eaten say, three of them?”

“I expect, now that I come to think on it, she might have done,” Sam agreed.  “But she seemed so pleased that I were enjoying them and it got hard to stop.”

Frodo smiled.  “Well, in spite of the fact that eating anything that Tulip Grubb bakes is ill-advised, it was very nice of you.”

“And then I was worried about wastin’ them,” Sam said.

“Wasting them?”

“Well, there were a right fair amount of them so they must have cost her a pretty penny,” Sam said.  “My Gaffer says that it’s not good to waste food.”

“I’m not certain that Tulip Grubb’s cooking could be called food,” Frodo said.

“It ain’t good food, but it’s food all the same,” the young lad assured him.  “Some folks would have been glad to get it, I expect.  O’ course I don’t know anyone that desperate myself, but there’s always them that can use more food.”

“I suspect that you’re right,” Frodo said though he doubted that even the poorest, hungriest hobbit would have been able to eat half a tin of Tulip Grubb’s biscuits.  “So you ate all of those just to please her and because you didn’t want to waste them?”

Sam had just finished downing the indigestion remedy and he handed Frodo the mug back.  Bilbo was standing in the doorway listening to the two younger hobbits talk but he didn’t say anything.

“Well, there *was* one other reason,” Sam said as he lay back down and allowed Frodo to tuck the blanket around his shoulders.

“What was that, Sam?” Frodo asked.

“I kept hoping that directly, they’d get better,” Sam said.  “I reckoned that if I gave them biscuit’s a chance, they might grow on me.  I didn’t used to like onions much but my Gaffer kept cookin with ‘em anyway and now I like them.  The taste grew on me over time.  I thought maybe Mrs. Grubb’s biscuits might be like onions, if you take my meaning.”

Frodo lowered his head so Sam wouldn’t see him trying not to laugh.  “You thought that if you ate enough of them, you’d develop a taste for them?”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam said closing his eyes.  “Sometimes it’s just a matter ‘o puttin in an effort when it comes to food.”

“Well, if you ask me, when it comes to Tulip Grubb’s cooking, the best effort is the one that helps you avoid it,” Frodo said.

“Still, gift biscuits don’t come along every day,” Sam said.  “My Gaffer always says folks shouldn’t turn their noses up at other folks’ best efforts and a gift should always be appreciated even if it isn’t what you’d think to ask for.”

Frodo stood as Sam drifted off to sleep.  When he turned around, he noticed Bilbo standing in the doorway grinning.  “Frodo my lad, I think I know just how to rid ourselves of those biscuits,” Bilbo said.

“You aren’t going to bury them?”

“No, I think I’ll give the rest of them to Hamfast Gamgee and see if he can manage to be grateful for them,” Bilbo grinned.

“Bilbo!”  Frodo looked horrified.  “You’d give the Gaffer those scary biscuits?”

“Oh, I’ll tell him where I got them, eventually,” Bilbo said, smiling.  “But I think he might need to have a talk with Sam about exactly how far one should go when appreciating a gift.  The gift of the rest of those biscuits, just might inspire him to do that.”  Bilbo winked.

The End

GW     09-21-2010


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