M.E. Chapter 35: BERRIES!

We couldnít get Haldir to say anything else for quite a while. And thatís not to say we didnít try. We tried as many different methods we could think of. We tried asking him innocent questions, we tried speaking with him in our limited elvish, we tried the usually faithful annoy-a-response-out-of-him tactic, but none of these worked.

We had pretty much given up when another elf appeared and whispered something to Haldir. "Stop. Unbind their eyes." Haldir commanded his elves, "They are welcome in the Golden realm."

Within moments we were able to see again, and what a sight! "Thatís amazing!" I exclaimed.

Haldir looked smug, "Yes, it is beautiful, is it not? This is Cerin Amroth, it was the heart of the elven realm of old."

I ignored him, "BERRIES!" I exclaimed to Katy, pointing to my earlier object of interest, a small green bush not more than a three yards away, dotted with hundreds of purple berries.

Katy brightened as well, and Merry and Pippin almost made an audible swooshing sound (like in action films) as they swung their heads to see what I was pointing too.

All four of us ran to the bush at once. Then we crashed into each other at once and lay in a heap less than two feet away from our goal.

"Katy, get off!" I complained.

"Canít, Merryís on me." Katy grunted in reply.

"Merry, get off!" I grumbled.

"Pippin is on me, I can not move!" Merry replied, clearly irritated.

"Pippin, get off!!" I groaned.

"Canít." He replied.

"Why not?" We all asked at once.

"Itís easier to reach the good berries from up here!" He replied happily.

We groaned. "íit isí, Pip." Merry told him bluntly, "Now, off!" He said forcing himself up and grabbing one of Pippinís legs at the same time, causing both of them to tumble to the ground next to us.

Katy got off of me next, and we all rushed to the bush again. This time arriving with little to no difficulties.

We knelt there for some time, happily plucking berries and popping them into our mouths. Suddenly something occurred to me. ĎI sure hope these arenít poisonousÖí I thought. Shrugging it off, I continued eating.

Katy and I watched Merry and Pippin continue eating long after we were content to stop. Pippin was the next one to stop.

"Yes!" I exclaimed.

The hobbits looked up in confusion, "What is it?" Merry asked around another mouthful of berries.

I smiled happily, "Hand it over Katy!" I told her holding out my waiting hand.

The hobbits looked on still confused (Merry still popping berries), "No fair, you cheated!" Katy exclaimed.

"Come on, Katy. How could I cheat?" I asked.

"I donít know. You read the book more times than me." She stated.

I rolled my eyes, "Katy, no where in the book, to my knowledge, does it say who can eat more berries, Merry or Pippin."

Katy handed over a small rock from her pocket, still grumbling.

Pippin looked at me, "What was that all about?" He asked.

Merry elbowed him, "Pip, you dolt! They were obviously betting on us!"

Katy smirked at me and held out her hand. I sheepishly put the stone back in her hand.

I shook my head in amazement, "Well what do you know. Merry really is smarter than Pippin."

"Told you!" Katy smiled, putting the stone back in her pocket.

"Hey, what is that supposed to mean?" Pippin asked indignantly.

Merry was smiling now and stopped downing berries, "It means, my friend, that you are a chump, and I am not!"

"Not exactly." I corrected, "She only said you were smarter than PippinÖ Thatís not hard to do. No offense Pip."

Pippin smiled, "None taken." He told me cheerily seeing that my last comment had irritated Merry again.

Merry was grumbling about something and finally said, "I do not have to take this. Good day!" and with that he stomped over to Sam.

Pippin looked after his friend, then looked around the clearing, "Hey now, where is Frodo?" He asked.

"Whatíre you looking at me for?" I asked, "Iíve been talking with you guys this whole time, how would I know where he went?"

Pippin sighed and went to go ask Aragorn where Frodo went.

"Iíll bet you Haldir took him to the top of that hillÖ And is showing him the realm of Lothlorien and Mirkwood." I told Katy, a sly smile on my face hoping sheíd take my bet.

Unfortunately, Katy is smarter than Pippin and Merry so she didnít fall for it, "Yup, Iíll bet they did." She agreed.

"Katy, youíre making this very hard to win that back." I grumbled.

"I know!" She said, smiling innocently at me.

We stayed there awhile until Haldir led us on again (having reappeared some time ago with Frodo). "Let us continue on, the lord and lady await your arrival." He told us.

So we (grudgingly) started walking again.

"It isnít going to take as long this time, is it Haldir?" I asked.

"No, we will arrive at the city in about an hour, at dusk." He told me.

I smiled in relief. I turned to Katy, "Funny thing is, an hour of walking doesnít seem that long to me anymore."

Katyís eyes widened, "Oh, no! It doesnít seem that long to me either!" She exclaimed.

"I hope we donít get too used to all this hiking." I told her, "I would hate to have to break myself in as a couch potato when I get homeÖ"

Katy was starting to get worried, "Is that possible?" She asked, "That would be awful! Would I have to force myself to sit down long enough to play a video game?"

I started to get worried too, "I donít know! Wouldnít that be awful if when, or if, we get home, we started getting up an hour or so earlier so we could WALK to school!"

"That would be horrible!" Katy agreed.

"Yeah, and my parents would probably have me committed!" I exclaimed. Thinking for a second, I added, "Again!"

Katyís look of worry instantly faded as she broke into laughter.

"Hey, itís not funny! Those were the worse two weeks of my life! There were these scary doctors and they kept telling me that Spock isnít real, and that there is no evil me living in my head, only one me, and that I do not indeed come from another planet!" I had said this all in one breath which made Katy laugh even more.

Finally she recovered herself enough to speak, "Yeah, your poor elephant, he must have been sad when he heard that!"

I looked ashen, "Whoís feeding Spock now? While Iím away?"

Katy smirked, "Maybe one of your friends fromÖ Where was it again?" She asked.

I slitted my eyes, "Kythwahninsaw." I said, "And what of it? They could destroy your pitiful earth with only a small fraction of their galactic army." I growled.

"My pitiful earth?" She echoed, "If itís so pitiful, why do you keep living there?" She challenged.

"Because, the stupid scientists still arenít doing interplanetary travel! And even if they were, it definitely wouldnít be commercial yet. Besides, it will probably be hundreds more years before you guys can travel to new solar systems!" I explained, irritated.

"Eru! Will you two maidens please quiet yourselves!" Haldir exclaimed, "I do not want another word about scientists or kythwaninasaw! I do not even want to know what it is you speak of!"

I mumbled something to Katy.

Haldir flushed in anger and quickened his pace to get away from us, leaving Katy and me laughing quietly to ourselves.

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