Peregrin Took, The Took, Thain of the Shire, was sitting at his desk,
writing of the virtues of pipe-weed for his book. The sun was shining in
through the window and making the dust sparkle as it danced on the faint
breeze of his breath. He was finding it hard to concentrate today, his mind
was telling him that he should be working while the rest of him was yelling
to be outside in the warmth of the sun, spinning until he was dizzy, then
flopping down on the grass next to Merry. Then they could run to Bag End to
see Frodo. But Frodo wasn't there anymore, and hadn't been for years.
Pippin hit himself on the head with the heel of his hand to try to stop his
mind from wandering, but he was having trouble with his mind today.
He heard the door of the Smial open and the faint sound of a young hobbit
plodding his way inside. Pippin kept very quiet with a smile on his face,
he could tell it was Faramir. But something was wrong, Faramir was sniffing
and it was mid-July. He didn't have a cold and Pippin knew there was only
"Faramir?" He called into the hallway, "Faramir, come in here." The
sniffing stopped and there was a flurry of activity, most likely Faramir
trying desperately to get the tears off his face. Pippin watched the
doorway worriedly and he smiled sadly when Faramir appeared around it. His
eyes were rubbed quite red and his breaths were still hitching, they were
clearly audible in the silent and near empty Smial.
"What is it lad?" Pippin motioned for Faramir to sit on his knee, "Tell me
"It's- It's the town lads." Said Faramir, bravely trying to keep his voice
"What have they done?"
"They said that- that my trousers are all old and mucky and a pig wouldn't
be seen wearing them!" Faramir began shaking with silent sobs and Pippin
held his son close. For an eight-year-old, these were harsh words.
"Well, I'm not entirely sure they knew who your father is, did they?"
"Oh daddy, please don't do anything, it'll only make it worse, they punched
Frodo in the face when he stood up to them."
"Is Frodo all right?"
"I- I don't know, I was crying too much to see properly."
"Well, I have just the thing to make them sorry they ever thought of
picking on any child within the bounds of the Shire." He picked Faramir up
and carried him to the living room, where he put Faramir down and opened an
old sturdy chest. He pulled out some neatly folded black clothing, it
clinked slightly as it was moved. Faramir gasped and Pippin smiled at him.
"I'll be back in a moment." Said Pippin, and he left to a more private
room. Faramir in the meanwhile marvelled at the boots that remained in the
chest, he'd never seen anything of the like before. Soon Pippin returned,
fully garbed as a guard of the citadel. It was all well cleaned and oiled,
and the chain mail gleamed in the sunlight. "Ready for action as you always
told me Boromir." Pippin mumbled under his breath so his son barely knew
he'd said anything. "Shall we be off then?" He said to Faramir.
Before long the two were riding the largest horse in the Tookish stables, a
proper horse. Faramir was seated in front of him, holding tightly to the
arm that was wrapped around him, as it was a very long way down.
"There they are." He whispered as they neared a crossing in the roads where
a group of seven or eight children were playing. They barely noticed the
arrival of the horse until it stopped next to them. When Pippin dismounted
a few of them tipped their caps at him and a general murmur of "Mr. Took"
ran around them. Then he lifted Faramir down and there was a gasp from a
few in the group. One started to yell at him until another elbowed him in
the stomach to shut him up.
"My son tells me you've got something to say about his trousers." Said
Pippin in his business voice. Faramir looked down at his trousers, they
were all patched and muddy and he knew they didn't look very good but they
were comfortable and he was able to get them dirty when playing with Merry,
the young Gardner or the old Brandybuck.
There was a general reply of "No, nothing." From the town lads.
"You're saying my son is a liar?" the group were knocked into silence, they
couldn't win. "Well, I'd never thought I'd see the day respectable Shire
hobbits started behaving like unruly Bree children, it's disgraceful."
Attentions began to wander, they had heard talks like this too many times
before, granted they'd never been compared to Bree children before, but it
was all essentially the same. "If you think trousers matter, then you are
sorely mistaken. Do you think when it comes to the important things in
life, your trousers are going to make a difference?" Faramir could see the
lads getting restless, his father wasn't helping the situation one bit.
"Do you really think that if some great evil rose up in the south, you'd be
spared because you have clean trousers? When you are before the flaming
eye, searching and searing your very soul, will you say 'spare me I have
clean trousers!'? When he is tormenting you, laughing at you, will your
trousers matter? Or will they suddenly matter when your flesh is burning
and your head ready to explode? Or perhaps when the coldness of his laugh
leaches the very warmth from your blood and you long to be burned again?
What about when you are left sitting in a cold stone room, your friends
laid out in front of you as cold and pale as death, a hand reaching out to
crush their necks and you have no way of stopping it. Then the cold grips
your entire body and you yourself slowly slip into the darkness of the
abyss where you will never find peace, love or hope ever again. Is that
when trousers will matter?"
The boys were stunned into silence a few of the younger ones were even
crying, half because of the images Pippin had laid out in their minds, and
half because of the way he'd said it. Pippin was breathing quickly, as
though he had just run a race. "No, I didn't think they would." Said Pippin
coldly, "Thank you, and a good afternoon to you."
He lifted Faramir back onto the horse and used a fence to mount himself.
When they were safely trotted back homeward Faramir turned to his father
(still gripping his arm) in awe.
"Did you really see all that daddy, did the dark lord really do that?"
"Well, some of it was from cousin Frodo, some was from cousin Merry and
some from my own experience, and some was just some embellishment on my
"When can we read the rest of the red book daddy?"
"When mummy says you can."
"But I want to read it all now."
"Well, next time we visit Sam, we can read Bilbo's story and then we can
read about the party, I was the same age as you then, your mother shouldn't
find anything wrong with it." Faramir gave his father the biggest hug he
could manage with staying on the horse.
"Thank you daddy."