Daisy's Wonderful Day
by: Isil Elensar
"I don't think that I can. My folks wouldn't be pleased."
Daisy Fields of Longbottom recalled those words as she took the last step to the top of the hill. A group of her friends, from all about the Shire, were going to meet at the Party Tree in Hobbiton. It was only to be for a day of picnicking and games and stories. There was a friend who wanted her to stay the night, should the gathering go past sunset. To be sure, ending at just past sunset was calling it early!
She had replied to a letter sent to her from Milo Bolger of Tuckborough that she was hesitant about coming. But she'd eventually decided to go anyway. She was 20 after all. It was time she started doing things on her own.
Her parents, though, were not thrilled about her going to Hobbiton by herself. It was a long walk. While they were sure no harm would befall her, they were still quite protective of her. Daisy turned and looked back towards home.
'Ah, well. Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission,' she thought. Facing northerly, she began walking again.
She had left home well before sunrise in order to get to the Waymoot before sundown. She'd be meeting Milo about three-quarters of the way there. She was better friends with him than anyone else going to the Tree and she was glad he was going along. She had never let on to anyone about it, but she had a crush on Milo. For the last year or so, he would come around to help her Pa with the crops and then stay for dinner and even later to listen to Pa's stories. Milo would also come over just to spend time with her. They'd take a picnic basket loaded with food and walk out to the trees not far from her home to talk.
She smiled at the memory of his latest visit. He had made her laugh with one of his jokes. He smiled and said, "I rather like you, Daisy. You're pretty, sweet, and fun to be around."
Her heart soared! She laughed, and being the flirt she was, she returned, "I rather like you too, Milo. You're fun and you're a handsome fellow!"
They talked and laughed more until sundown and headed home. She walked him to the front gate and said goodbye, but not before he repeated that he liked her. This time, though, he was much more serious about it. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, turned and walked away.
Humming to herself, Daisy quickened her pace a bit. It was almost noon. She wanted to get a little further before stopping for lunch. Being a practical Hobbit, she made sure to pack food for her journey. She even packed enough food for Milo. She knew he would either not pack much food for his own walk or forget to pack food at all.
Spying a small hillock and a couple shady trees on the side of the road, Daisy decided to stop for a while. Spreading her blanket out, she prepared a small lunch of cheese, apple slices, and a bit of cold roast chicken. Settling down, she ate her lunch leisurely. She thought of seeing Milo again and smiled as she ate her apples. "It won't be long now. Not long at all," she murmured. Looking towards the sun, she guessed that she was ahead of schedule. Even though she was excited to see Milo, she was tired. 'A nap will do nicely,' she thought. Cleaning up what remained of lunch, she lay down and drifted off to sleep.
It couldn't have been too long after she dozed off that Daisy was awakened by noises. Slowly raising herself up from the blanket, she tried to focus on the noise. Someone was coming. Looking around, she caught sight of an older hobbit walking directly to her spot. Gazing intently at the hobbit, she finally realized who it was. 'Oh no, not him.' she though with distaste. It was Togo Hamwich of Michel Delving.
Togo was a rather unsavory person in Daisy's opinion. His dark brown hair was always dirty and unkempt, he smelled of too much ale, and he didn't even have all of his teeth! He probably never even had a decent bath in a long time because he reeked of a bad odor that was not of ale. He leered at Daisy whenever he and her family were at the Green Dragon. Togo was in his 60's and he was looking for a wife. He seemed to have decided to marry Daisy.
Grimacing, Daisy picked herself up and began to fold up her blankets. She worked quickly. Maybe she could be off again and pretend never to have seen Togo. She was just fastening her bag and making to walk away when she heard him call.
"Miss Daisy! Could I speak with you? Miss Daisy!" He shouted.
She acted as if she hadn't heard him, and got back onto the road. She heard him start to jog to catch up to her, so she picked up her pace too. Maybe he'd give up if she paid him no mind. The crossing where Milo was going to meet her wasn't too much farther. 'Why did I ever take that nap?' Daisy chided herself. If she hadn't have napped, she would be at the crossing and Togo wouldn't have seen her at all.
Unfortunately, she had not been quick enough. Togo finally caught up to her. Still keeping her pace, he strode beside her, waiting for her to acknowledge him. When she didn't, he finally spoke.
"Good day, Miss Daisy. Fancy meeting you here!"
"Good day, Mister Hamwich." Daisy said as coldly as she could.
"Why don't we slow down a bit? I am not as young as I used to be, y'know. I would like to talk to you."
"I'm sorry, Mister Hamwich, but I am expected to meet someone soon. I can't be late." Daisy even went so far as to go a little faster, hoping he'd give up. Only, he didn't. He reached out and grabbed her arm, stopping her, and turned her to face him. He looked angry. He kept his tight grip on her arm as he tried to catch his breath. Daisy could only struggle to get loose.
"You will marry me, Daisy. I won't take 'no' for an answer!" Togo growled. "You are a pretty little lass, and you will be mine!"
Daisy, afraid of the vehemence in his tone, kicked him hard in the shin. He cried out and his grip loosened enough for her to get away. It didn't take long for Togo to catch up to her. He caught hold of her hair and pulled her to the ground. He sat down on her so she couldn't escape again. She screamed in pain and terror, hoping wildly that Milo was close enough to hear her.
Togo was enraged. He had drawn back his hand as if to slap her and Daisy closed her eyes. With a great 'thud,' Daisy felt Togo being lifted off her and heard him hit the ground hard. She sat up and looked around. Milo and Togo were fighting only a few feet from her. Struggling, each tried to gain the upper hand. It was like wrestling and boxing all at once. Remembering she had also brought cooking gear, Daisy reached into her bag for her pan. If she could get Milo's attention, she would hand him the pan.
It seemed the battle was nearly over. Togo was slowing down and could barely hit Milo anymore. With her pan, Daisy stepped over to Milo and passed him her pan. Milo grinned. Once more, Milo hit Togo, and he fell to his knees on the ground.
"You will never threaten Miss Fields again. You will never come near Miss Fields if you should see her. Do you understand me?" Milo asked the fallen Togo. He still would not give up. "She's mine. I'll take her to wife. You can't stop me!" Surging to his feet, he made one last attempt to grab Daisy. Milo reacted quickly, and hit him hard over the head with the pan, knocking him out. Togo fell to the ground and lay still.
Daisy took a step forward and opened her mouth to say something. Nothing came. With a great sob, she fell to her knees and hugged herself, rocking and crying. Milo rushed to her, but not before he gave Togo one last hit on the head for good measure. He gathered Daisy in his arms and tried to soothe her.
"My Daisy. My dear, sweet Daisy," he whispered to her as her crying became softer. She pulled herself together, leaned back a bit, and looked at Milo.
"Milo! You heard me! You saved me from that wicked..." Daisy began in a rush.
"You were late. I thought maybe you had taken a break along the way, so I decided to come get you." He gently caressed her tear-stained cheek. "I heard you scream and I was so scared for you. I ran as fast as I could, Daisy. When I saw that monster on you and about to hit you, I had to stop him. I tackled him. You saw the rest."
Then he smiled and laughed softly. "Thanks for the pan."
Wiping the tears from her face, Daisy smiled and began to giggle too. Soon, they were laughing and helped each other to their feet. Looking back at the still unconscious form of Togo, Daisy stopped laughing. She found her pan lying beside his head and picked it up. Turning, she saw Milo watching her. She lifted the pan, shrugged, and noted the obvious.
"He didn't hurt you, did he?" Milo asked, concern showing in his eyes.
"Only where he grabbed my arm and pulled my hair. You got here before he could do anything more."
"Come to me, my Daisy." and he held out his hand to her. She walked back to him and placed her hand in his. He picked up her pack, slung it over his shoulder, and they walked hand in hand toward the Waymoot.
It was a quiet journey. Neither hobbit had said much at all since the attack on Daisy. She was busy trying to get past the entire ordeal; he was busy trying to find the right words to say. The sun was getting ready to set when they reached the Waymoot. Stopping there for the moment, they looked at each other and smiled sheepishly. They hadn't let go of each other's hands and now, of all times, they were feeling very shy being together. Daisy blushed, rather prettily Milo thought, and looked away. He worked up enough courage to speak.
"Are you alright, Daisy? I mean, we can stop to rest if you want."
"I'm fine, thank you. I would like to rest a bit."
"Let's get off the road, then," and led her into the grass and finally settled on a spot away from the road, but still within sight of it. They spread out her blanket and she laid out generous helpings of bread, cheese, roast chicken, and sliced apples. They had passed their original meeting spot and Milo picked up his water skin. He laid it down between them so they could share. They ate in silence. It was an uncomfortable silence. Daisy squirmed a bit before finally deciding she'd had enough.
"Milo Bolger! Why are you so quiet? You've never been this quiet before!"
"You've been quiet too, you know. I wasn't sure you wanted to talk after what happened."
"Well, after the beating you gave that horrible, old Togo, I daresay I'll not have to deal with him again!" With that, Daisy beamed at him. She hadn't said it, but she was proud of Milo.
"You're right, my Daisy. You won't have to deal with him again. I'm going to see to it you don't." He said. Then he smiled too.
"Why, Milo! Whatever do you mean?" Daisy asked. Her heart was hammering. She began to tremble so she clasped her hands together so he wouldn't notice.
"Daisy, you know that party we're headed to? The one at the Party Tree, with all our friends there, too?"
Smiling impishly, he leaned forward so that his face was only inches away from hers.
"I'll tell you when we get there..." he whispered and sat back to watch her face. He wasn't disappointed. He watched as happiness, curiosity, exasperation, and even a touch of disappointment flashed in her eyes and face. He leaned forward once again and kissed her lightly on the cheek.
"It's my surprise to you. You'll just have to wait." This time, amusement flashed in her eyes and she smiled. He had bought himself a little more time. She didn't ask again.
They finished eating, cleaned up, and cleared away the leftovers. Daisy turned to watch the sunset. She was still smiling and feeling very happy. Something wonderful was going to happen, and she just knew Milo would be the one to bring it about. He was sitting just behind her, so she reached back for his hand. He moved closer, and took her hand. After a moment, he moved a little closer and wrapped her in his arms. She leaned back against him. They both sighed, and this time the silence was contented. They watched the colors change from reds and oranges to different shades of blues and even indigo.
"That was the most beautiful sunset I've even seen," Daisy said quietly. Milo squeezed her gently, kissed her once more upon her cheek, and whispered, "Not nearly as beautiful as you are, my Daisy." She sighed happily and snuggled against him. It wasn't long before her steady breathing indicated she had fallen asleep. Rocking her gently, he watched the full moon rise. The Tree wasn't far. They could make it tonight if she didn't sleep too long. He was nervous and getting antsy. Milo couldn't wait to surprise Daisy.
The sun was just beginning to rise when Daisy woke up. 'When did I fall asleep?' she thought. Stretching, she realized she had been covered with another blanket, and Milo's arm was still wrapped around her. Turning over, she faced him. He had bundled himself in the remaining blanket, but had lain close enough to keep her warm. Tentatively, she reached over to move a stray curl away from his eyes. As she did, he opened his eyes. He took her hand and kissed the palm. For just a moment, Daisy felt as if time had stopped and everything was perfect.
Sitting up, they ate the last of the food for breakfast. It wasn't much, but Milo said there would be food waiting for them at the Tree. They talked and laughed as they had always done. After they finished, they cleaned up and stood, helping each other fold up the blankets. When everything had been packed into Daisy's pack, he slung it over his shoulder and they walked hand in hand the rest of the way to the Party Tree.
It was just after noon when they got to the top of the last hill and looked down at the Party Tree. There were decorations everywhere, and all their friends were already playing games, singing songs and having a grand time. There was even a band playing and some of their friends had been dancing. Then, to Daisy's surprise, Milo called out to them and waved. Slowly, they all turned their attention to him and then began to clap wildly. She swore she could hear someone shout, "It's about time you got here!" Laughter rippled through the crowd. Milo turned to her and smiled his fabulous smile and led her down the hill.
Once they reached the partygoers, Milo surprised her once more. He only took the time to put the pack down and lead her to the small dancing floor that had been placed under the Tree.
"Milo, whatever are you doing?" Daisy asked, getting nervous all over again.
When he didn't answer right away, she looked up at him. Their friends had gathered around the edges of the dance floor. Milo raised his hands to get their attention. Once everyone had settled, he turned to face Daisy. He took both her hands in his and steadied himself. He had to do it. He had waited long enough.
"Daisy, do you remember the letter I sent? The one asking if you were coming to this Party?"
"Do you also remember all the times we talked and laughed over at your house? When I came over to help your Pa, or when I just came over to visit you?"
"Yes. Milo, what are you up to?"
"At sometime during those visits I fell in love with you. Before I sent you that letter, I planned this party. I wanted our friends here for one very special reason."
Daisy was dumbstruck. Her heart was pounding. Milo LOVED her! It was all she could do to keep from dancing about the floor with absolute joy! She trembled with pleasure. She was so happy that his last surprise wasn't really a surprise at all. Milo knelt before her, still holding her hands in his.
"Miss Daisy Fields of Longbottom... will you marry me?"
"Yes! Yes! A hundred times, Yes!" Laughing, she pulled him back up on his feet. The crowd gathered around the dance floor cheered wildly. Milo and Daisy danced a little jig, and then Milo lifted her off her feet.
"Put me back down, Milo Bolger!" Daisy squealed. Turning around, once last time, he gently set her on her feet. Cradling her face in his hands, he gently kissed her lips. Daisy, who had been waiting forever for him to kiss her, threw her arms about his neck and kissed him back. It was Daisy's first kiss and it seemed to her to last for days, but it was only a minute or two. After they broke the kiss, the crowd surged forward onto the floor to congratulate the happy couple.
Daisy's final surprise of the day came when she and Milo were seated together and talking of their future home. She saw two people she did not expect to see. Her parents. She and Milo stood up as her Ma and Pa made their way over. They looked stern and displeased. She was about to say something, when her Pa's face relaxed into a smile. Her Ma grabbed Daisy up in a huge hug as Pa shook Milo's hand.
"Congratulations, you two! I was wondering when you'd finally get up the nerve to ask her!" Pa said. He then turn to Daisy and out-did her mother in hugging.
To Daisy, it couldn't have been a better ending to an already perfect day. She looked at Milo and could tell he was thinking the same thing. Thanking her parents, Milo took Daisy's hand and led her onto the dance floor where they danced happily in each other's arms.