Boating went much better that day. I was able to navigate a little better than Katy and our path was mostly straight. Katy was able to propel the ship forward with a little help from the River’s current.
It was sometime past noon when our goal was finally accomplished.
"Rachel, I’m hungry." Katy said as she rowed.
"Katy, I’m hungry." I said a few minutes later.
We decided to eat some lembas as we rowed. We got out one piece to share but were only able to eat half of it, proving once and for all our appetites were much smaller than that of hobbits.
I took a drink out of a canteen I had taken with us and then handed it to Katy.
"I have my own water." Katy told me.
I smirked, "Who said it was water?" I asked slyly.
Katy took the hint and had a quick swig. After tasting it she smiled and took another drink, "Ale!" She declared happily.
"Yup. But there isn’t much." I said sadly.
The Fellowship drifted on in silence. Aragorn was enjoying the smell of the fresh water, it energized almost all his senses.
"Aragorn, do you hear that?" Legolas asked, rowing his and Gimli’s boat up near the other.
"What is it your elven-ears hear, Legolas?" Aragorn questioned.
"I cannot be sure," Legolas answered, "but I believe… That it is singing."
Aragorn blanched, "Singing?" he asked. Legolas nodded, "Who would be singing so close to the shadow?" he asked.
Legolas shrugged, "Shall we wait until they catch up or shall we continue on?"
"Let us carry on." Aragorn said, "They will likely catch up anyway, if we continue on this pace. Warn us when they are closer and we shall ready ourselves then."
Legolas nodded and they continued on in silence, all straining their ears to hear the singing Legolas had warned them of. Hours later Frodo’s ears picked up something as well.
"They are getting close." Legolas murmured.
Row, row, row your. Boat!
Gently down the stream!
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily,
Life is but a. Dream!
Row, row, row your boat!
And thus the singing continued.
Legolas had his bow out, just in case. Aragorn’s brow wrinkled in confusion as he tried to think of what this could mean. They didn’t have to wait long. The voices broke out into a new song only shortly before the singers came around the bend and into the Fellowship’s line of sight.
Hey ho! To the bottle I go,
to heal my heart and drown my woe!
Rain may fall and wind may blow,
but there still be many miles to go!
Sweet is the sound of the falling rain,
And the stream that falls from hill to plain.
But better than rain or rippling brook,
is a mug of beer inside this Took!
"It’s them." Frodo said as he heard the voices clearly, "Rachel and Katy."
"What are they doing out here?" Sam asked.
"I wonder where they learned that song." Merry said, "It seems a lot like the drinking song we sang all those months ago, remember Pip?"
Pippin nodded, "Back in the Green Dragon." He said as an indication that he remembered.
I stopped singing, "Katy!" I cried, "Look! There they are!"
Katy stopped as well, leaning to one side so she could see around me, "They are!" She agreed.
We quickened our pace to catch up to the Fellowship, inspired now that we could see our goal.
"We finally caught up to you!" I exclaimed as we paddled near.
"What are you doing here?!" Aragorn asked, clearly a bit angry.
"Um.. Coming with you." I replied, "I thought that was obvious."
Katy nodded in agreement, "I thought it was too."
Aragorn sighed heavily, "You shouldn’t be out here, it is dangerous."
"Come on, if Pippin can go I think we can." I argued.
"Yeah, we’re just as old as him! Relatively speaking at least." Katy added.
"That is different." Aragorn insisted.
"Why?" I asked, "because he’s a guy?"
"Um… Well…" Aragorn stammered, "Yes." He finally admitted, "We are going into the shadow, that is no place for maidens."
"That’s okay." I said, "We don’t really want to go to… ‘The shadow’" I siad, "We’ll just go with you. At least to Minas Tirith."
"We haven’t decided whether we are going to Minas Tirith yet." Aragorn said, exchanging a glance with Boromir, "But" He added shortly, "Since we cannot in good conscious leave you here, you may accompany Boromir as far as Minas Tirith."
Boromir started, "Me?" He asked, "You wish them to come with me? Minas Tirith is no place for maidens. Not these two of all!"
"Oh come on, Boromir!" I said, "You might as well agree. It’s not like you’ll really have to do anything."
Boromir looked at me in confusion, "You mean you will run away from me as well?" He asked.
"Uh… Something like that, Pincushion." Katy said.
"Oh be nice to the poor guy!" I exclaimed glaring back at Katy.
"Why do you call me that?" Boromir asked Katy.
"Because she’s mean." I explained hastily, "Well that’s enough talk, let’s continue on." I said battering off any other questions he might press.
"Where did you learn that song?" Pippin asked.
"What song?" I returned.
"You know, ‘Hey ho! To the bottle I go…’, the song you were singing earlier." He clarified.
"Oh that." I said, "Well…"
"Rachel taught it to me." Katy said.
"And I learned it from… A movie." I said, deciding ‘I learned it from you’ might not be the best answer.
"What’s a-" Pippin started, cut off by a jab in the ribs by Merry.
"Hush Pip." Merry scolded.
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