Drinking Songs

A/N: This was a challenge from Thalia Weaver. It was hard. I'm no good at
writing drinking songs. Then again, I asked for it, didn't I?

CHALLENGE:
MUST INCLUDE:
The word 'ostentatious'
An original hobbit drinking song
Someone using the word 'bosoms'
At least three puns with the word 'firm'
and a rabbit.

*

The night air was cold and crisp, a welcoming change from the humid, hot
day that came before it. The Shire was far from quiet this night; the sky
echoed with sounds of raucous Hobbit laughter and Hobbit singing. A rabbit,
venturing bravely forth from its den, squeaked as a loud roar sounded that
might have been a Balrog or perhaps just a fat old hobbit laughing, and
burrowed quickly back into the earth.

The Green Dragon, the Shire's finest drinking house, was alive with sound.
It rattled the walls and the windowpanes, and anyone passing would think
the world's finest party was going on inside, which was actually quite
close to the truth. For within the tavern, Pippin Took and Merry Brandybuck
were singing a song.

"The Brandywine!

The river flows

How fast it goes!

From Evendim to the sea;

In-between of Hobbiton

And quaint old Bree,

The river flows, O how it flows!

Up the Baranduin we row!

From mountain high to valley low

The Baranduin flows!"

"Wot," said Gaffer Gamgee, swilling his ale, "Does that got to do with
drinkin'?"

"Yes! Yes!" exclaimed the assembled hobbits. They stared up at the cousins
Pippin and Merry, who stood upon a table, draining their tankards of every
last drop of moisture. "We wanted a drinking song! A drinking song!"

They chorused this until, simultaneously, Pippin and Merry hopped off the
table. They slammed their empty tankards on the wooden surface and glared
menacingly at the crowd. "You wanted a SONG!" said Merry.

"Yes! And we sung you a song!" said Pippin.

"I wouldn't call THAT a song," said Old Gaffer Gamgee. "More of an...un-
musical shouting, really."

"It's not music! It's a SONG!"

"Well, you DIDN'T sing it. You SHOUTED it."

"That's what you do, with drinking songs," said Pippin. Rosie Cotton
pressed a new mug of ale into his hands, and he took it gladly, watching
her do the same with Merry. A nice lass, that Rosie Cotton.

Although Pippin wasn't too bright, he could see the way Samwise Gamgee
looked at her, as he too received some ale. Sam was staying out of the
'song' argument, for now.

"But it wasn't a drinking song!" The Gaffer exclaimed, slopping ale down
his front.

"Well, what is? You sing us a song, Gaffer Hamfast Gamgee! You sing us a
drinking song! A proper one!" Merry said, toasting the Gaffer. Samwise
Gamgee watched cautiously as his Gaffer puffed up and climbed arthritically
onto the table.

"Right! Fine! I shall sing you lads a drinking song you shall never
forget!" He puffed up even more, and some of the shouting and revelry of
the hobbits stopped so they could watch.

"Ale and beer and rum

We drink and sing and hum!

Hobbits, far and wide

We drink and sing with pride!

Drink and drink

Our glasses, we clink

For Hobbits,

far and wide!"

Hamfast "Gaffer" Gamgee finished his song on a high note, and took a long
swig of his half-spilled ale. The hobbits clapped dutifully, and with an
ostentatious bow, Hamfast tumbled from the table.

Samwise caught him before he hit the alcohol-stained floor. "I'd better get
him home," he said to Merry and Pippin. Or, more accurately, shouted, as
one had to do so to be heard over the din of hobbits enjoying themselves.

Samwise dragged his Gaffer out of the tavern, blushing as Rosie Cotton
waved and said goodbye to him.

"Nice bosoms, that lass," said Pippin unexpectedly from beside Merry. His
cousin turned around and stared at the younger hobbit, bug-eyed.

"What did you say?"

Pippin turned red. "Never mind."

"I don't think Samwise would like you talking about Rosie Cotton's bosoms."

"I wasn't!"

"You was. Were."

Pippin looked down, ashamed, and stared into his drink. He looked up again
after a long moment of contemplation, his face screwed up so badly he
looked as if he were in dire need of a laxative. He regarded his cousin
with mournful eyes. "Merry...what's a bosom?"

Merry's jaw dropped. "You don't know what a bosom is?"

"Well, I heard one of the Twofoots talking about a pretty hobbit lass in
Bywater, and..."

"You oughtn't to spy on other people's conversations, Pip! It's not nice."
Merry frowned sternly at Pippin, who looked ashamed. Meriadoc Brandybuck
could not keep his ire for long, however, and he laughed and slapped
Peregrin Took on the shoulder.

"Don't worry about it, Pip. Just...don't go talking about bosoms in polite
company, all right?"

"Polite company? What sort of polite company?" Pippin looked confused.
After all, certainly none of the hobbits currently in the Green Dragon
could be described as 'polite company'.

"Oh, I don't know...Bilbo, maybe. He's an old, respectable hobbit. And
Elves. *Definitely* don't mention bosoms in front of Elves."

Pippin's eyes lit up. "Elves? When are we going to see Elves? Elves don't
come to the Shire, Merry. If they did, Samwise Gamgee would have a fit!" He
paused. "I wonder if Elves have firm bosoms?"

Merry slapped the back of the younger hobbit's head. Pippin squealed and
spilled ale all over himself.

"Merry! What did you do that for? The Bywater lass I was talking about, she
was described as having 'firm bosoms', so that's all I...What is a bosoms?"
He looked pleadingly at Merry.

Merry sighed and rolled his eyes towards the sky, as if some magical being
could drop out of it and save him from a 'birds-and-bees' talk. He
remembered how embarrassed his own father had been when he sat Merry down
for a chat...

"Bosoms are..." He thought fast. "This bit of the leg." He pointed to his
thigh.

"Oh!" said Pippin, understanding lighting up his features. He poked Merry's
thighs. "You have quite firm bosoms, Merry!"

"Shh!" hissed Merry. "Don't say that! People will get the wrong idea."

"I don't see why it's wrong to say bosoms in public," said Pippin brightly.
"After all, it's just the top bit of the leg. I mean, what's so bad about
that?"

"Shhh!"

"That's a funny word, that is. Bosoms. I always thought that bit of the leg
was called something different...a 'thy' or something. Is that true,
Merry?"

"Shhhh!"

"What?"

"You've got a firm head, is what you've got, Pippin," said Meriadoc,
annoyed. He rapped on Pippin's skull with his knuckles. "Just, be quiet
about bosoms, all right?"

*

"When I think about it, Rosie Cotton does have firm bosoms," Pippin
remarked later, as he and Merry were leaving the Green Dragon.

Merry almost throttled him.