More random pre-Quest fluff.

Disclaimer- I do not own LOTR


It had seemed like the perfect plan. Sneak into the orchards, take a bit of this, a bit of that, quickly nip out and trot off. They hadn't banked on there being a guard dog or five, Merry mused as he and Pippin tried to get their breath back.

They were hiding from an irate farmer in some bushes at the bottom of a hill having been chased across half of the Shire. Not the most pleasant way to spend a day. Merry cautiously lifted his head and peered over the tops of the bushes to see the aforementioned angry and produce-protective farmer whistle to his dogs and stalk off in the opposite direction. He heaved a sigh of relief and thumped Pippin's back heartily. "He's gone Pip. I think it would probably be best if we didn't go anywhere near there for at least a week!"

"Yes, you're right Mer," Pippin absently replied, staring thoughtfully at the bush in front of him.

Merry was aware that it would be a good idea for them to move and perhaps wander off to annoy a distant relative, but as Pippin seemed as content as he to lie quietly on the soft grass there was no great hurry. He took a deep breath and relaxed, settling down to wait.

A lilting brogue interrupted his thoughts. "Mer, can I ask you something?"

"Of course, Pip," Merry replied lazily wondering what could be bothering his cousin.

"It's a bit of a strange question actually." Pippin was still staring at the bush in front of him as if it had a sort of hypnotic power.

Merry's eyes snapped open. It couldn't be, could it? Pippin was at the age when the world made slightly less sense than it used to, and he was beginning to grow up and was finding girls less annoying than he at first thought…Merry knew it was going to be that most dreaded of dreaded questions. It was going to be about where babies were from. He squirmed and said, a little shakily, "Go on, Pip."

"Mer," Pippin began. Merry shut his eyes and braced himself. Here it came…

"Mer, what is the point of gooseberries?"