M.E. Chapter 23: Of Elves and Dwarves

As soon as the sun rose Gandalf made us continue on and I decided that yes, he was worse than the Ranger. Gandalf told us all to be on the look out that a stream for we would follow to the entrance of the mines.

As the day grew on we saw no sign of the stream but the land became rockier and the vegetation began to wane. Eventually I stooped over and picked up a good sized rock.

"Look, Katy!" I exclaimed, "It’s one of those coconut rocks!"

Katy walked closer to me to get a better look, "It sure looks like a coconut rock." Katy affirmed my suspicions.

Pippin walked up, "What is a coconut rock?" He asked.

We ignored him, "In fact, I think it’s a Bethany Coconut Rock." I told Katy.

"They have Bethany Coconut Rocks here too??" Katy asked.

I looked at her quizzically, "Um… Katy, there aren’t Bethany Coconut Rocks anywhere else unless you know something I don’t."

"Oh… Um, what I mean is… They had one near Weathertop, remember?" Katy asked.

"Oh, okay. I’m not entirely sure if that was a Bethany Coconut Rock or not, but yes, I remember." I told Katy.

"So… Bethany Coconut Rock, what have you been up to?" I asked the rock. To my frustration it didn’t even answer me. "I said ‘what have you been doing’?" I asked again.

Katy bent down close as if to hear its response and Pippin found himself involuntarily leaning in also. "Bethany Coconut Rock says she’s gonna hurt you if you keep on calling her a coconut rock." Katy informed me.

Pippin looked at her in wonder, "How did you hear that? I did not hear anything."

Merry pulled Pippin back again, "Do not encourage them." He told his younger cousin. Pippin nodded knowingly but still craned his neck to see what we were doing.

I handed the rock off to Katy and she gave me a questioning look after almost dropping it.

"Tell Bethany Coconut Rock that she’s a coconut rock and couldn’t possibly hurt me seeing as how coconut rocks don’t have hands, so in short I don’t care. She is *still* a coconut rock!"

Katy relayed the message to me, "She said fine, but she’s not talking to you then." Katy told me.

I rolled my eyes, "She wasn’t talking to me before either. You’re the only one who seems to be able to hear a coconut rock with no vocal cords!"

Katy gave me a strange look and went back to conversing with her friend Bethany Coconut Rock. They were probably talking about how weird they think I am. Or how great I am. The latter actually bugs me more... Not sure why.

I stalked off irritated and decided to talk with Boromir about swords. It wasn’t too long before Aragorn and Legolas had joined in on our conversation as well, even though they were both quite concerned about the fact that we were still being hunted by wargs and we had seen no sign of Gandalf’s stream yet.

Finally Gimli spotted the long sought for stream which was now nothing more than a dried up river bed with a tiny trickle of water along the bottom. Not nearly the grand river Gandalf had told us of earlier.

We followed it for quite some ways (I was telling the guys about the power of explosives now and Gimli seemed quite interested in this though I doubt any of them believed what I told them) until finally we got to some stairs. Gimli eagerly mounted the stairs followed by Gandalf, Legolas and some of the others. I stayed behind with Sam and Aragorn, and Katy followed my cue.

As I predicted they came back down and told us that way was blocked. We had to go the long way around. ‘Oh great,’ I thought, ‘more walking.’

We finally reached the general area of the door to Moria when the sun was failing. Gandalf showed us two large holly trees along the wall taking the opportunity to inform us about how ‘Hollin’ got its name from ‘Holly’. Gandalf proceeded to search for the door along with Gimli and Legolas who were ‘discussing’ the pros and cons of hiding doors so well.

It was after dark before we could see the door as Gandalf later informed us that the doors could only be seen with moonlight and starlight. Gandalf tried to open the door as the rest of us watched expectantly, but soon all of us (even Gimli) lost interest in that.

Sam unloaded Bill, crying about how he was going to miss his pony while Aragorn and the others decided on what we should bring and leave behind. They had made Katy and me give them our packs as well which didn’t please us at all as it took close to ten minutes to work our way out of them… Assuming you factor in all the times we fell over during our attempts (At least we were getting faster).

"Oh Sam, knock it off. It’s not like he’s your brother or anything. Why, you aren’t even the same species! You really need to get your values straight." I told him in my always sympathetic manner.

Sam glared at me momentarily but then went back to crying and unloading Bill muttering something about how ‘I didn’t mean it’ and ‘he was *like* a brother to him.’ Yeah well, Sam’s kind of messed up upstairs sometimes, if you know what I mean. Not that I have anything particularly against him… Anyone who can down orcs with common house hold appliances is okay in my book, but he’s too emotional for me.

We were finally all packed up and ready to go. Gandalf still hadn’t opened the door. Legolas and Gimli were arguing about whose fault it was that the elves’ and dwarves’ friendship had been lost (I think who was arguing which way is pretty obvious). Sam was still crying over Bill who was backing away from him in fear… Then again that might have just been my imagination… Merry and Pippin were playing ‘tog’ (See actor’s commentary on the film). Aragorn was watching Gandalf confidently and Frodo had a weird look on his face while he was watching Boromir toss a rock back in forth in his hands. Katy was talking to her Bethany Coconut Rock and I decided to break my vow of not speaking to it and join her.

Finally Gandalf got the doors to open… But not before Boromir had thrown his rock into the water earning a freak out from Frodo about how the water was scary and didn’t like rocks or something like that.

Gandalf, being the humble Istari he is, gave credit of solving the riddle to Merry who had questioned him on ‘Speak friend, and enter’ earlier. And everything seemed to be going well…

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