M.E. chapter 5: Sam? Or Strider?

The next day I was a lot nicer to Aragorn, then the next day a little less nice, then the next day even less nice. By the fifth day everything was back to normal (I mean how Katy and I acted, itís not like we were back-home normal, but we were stuck-in-Middle-Earth-with-a-slave-driving-ranger normal)

"I think Ara-I mean Strider would," I said to Katy as we walked swiftly along (the scary thing is we were starting to get used to walking all day, but luckily it was raining for a day or two, so we didnít get too comfortable).

"No, I think it would be Sam." Katy retorted.

"Strider."

"Sam."

"Strider would cause heís not as fat as Sam, so if they nose-dived heíd be the fastest." I said, defending my stance.

"No, Samís smallerÖ Well, shorter at least, so he would." Katy was adamant about her stance too.

"No, Strider would."

"Sam would."

"I would do what?" Sam asked walking up, curious about what we were talking about, and not as depressed as he had been lately because Frodo felt a little better today.

"You wouldnít," I told him, "Strider would fall faster than you."

"What?" Sam asked, a little worry in his tone.

"If you and Strider fell at the same time, Strider would hit first." I clarified. Sam paled slightly and walked up to Aragorn with a worried expression on his face. They started talking together in low tones, glancing back at us once in a while. This caused me and Katy to walk along quietly for a time with innocent expressions on our faceóthis usually makes us look even more suspiciousóso Sam and Aragorn started looking nervous.

"Weíre not gonna push you off a cliff!" I finally said, "Not while you have those nice swords at least, Strider." They relaxed somewhat.

Later that day, we had to go back to the road to cross the Ford of Bruinen. Katy and I werenít too worried, but seeing as how Aragorn was tenser than ever, we didnít want to upset him and stayed quiet during the crossing.

Once we were lost in the woods again though, we started talking again. "I donít see what all this fuss over Frodo is." I said to Katy.

"Heís been stabbed!" Katy said, "Heís in pain!"

"Yeah, but itís not like heís DEAD or anything." I said, being oh-so-sympathetic like always.

"He could die, though." Merry said quietly.

"Sorry Merry," I said, "but, I just donít think that Frodo is gonna die. Heís made of sterner stuff than that!" Then I added quickly: "If I seriously thought he was gonna die, I wouldnít jest at it." My vote of confidence made Merry feel a little better.

"Really?" he asked, "You really think Frodo will get better?"

"Merry, Iím sure of it." I told him, hiding a smirk. I hated to see the hobbits all so sad, especially Merry and Pippin, theyíre so funny!

The next day (yes, another day) we saw the trolls that Gandalf had caused to bicker until morning, when they were turned to stone. Katy and I were both suitably impressed.

"So, these are Bilboís trolls, huh?" I said to no one in particular.

"How do you know about Bilboís trolls?" Pippin asked.

"UmÖ" great, I had really stuck my foot in it that time, "well, Iíve talked to Bilbo once or twice." I lied.

"Really?" Pippin asked interested, "When did you meet Bilbo?"

"It was a long time ago. When I was very young." I said with the full knowledge that the hobbits would see him again in Rivendell, "I doubt heíd recognize me now. I remember him because he was the first hobbit Iíd ever met!" I added, then asked Katy: "Do you remember old Bilbo Baggins?"

"Sure I do," Katy said, "he was that nice old chap, kinda short."

"Yeah, look whoís talking" I teased.

"Iím not that short!" Katy said looking down at the hobbits.

"Yeah she is not that short!" Pippin said.

"Pippin, do you like Katy more than me? you keep siding with her." I said trying my best to look distraught.

"She is a lot taller than me!" Pippin pointed out, then feeling bad for me he added: "But that doesnít mean I donít like you! Youíre tall, too."

"Anyone would be tall compared to you," I muttered under my breath. I then smiled and added in a louder voice for Pippin to hear: "I like you too, Pippin."

"Hey!" Merry cried, "What about me? I like both of you too!"

We laughed, "Yep, Merry, like you too." Katy said.

"Yep." I concurred.

Merry smiled, "I feel so popular." Then we were shaken back to the troubles at hand as Frodo started moaning.

"Donít worry, Frodo, we like you too." I said.

"Yeah, I am SURE thatís what he was moaning about." Sam mumbled sarcastically.

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