For the Love of a Mushroom by Faramiriel
Genre: general, humor
"You're pulling my hair!"
"Well you're poking my eye!"
"Well you're sitting on my stomach!"
"Of course I am. It's cushy! Best seat in the house!"
"Shut up, orc-face!"
"Be quiet, you guys! He'll hear us!"
Instantly there was silence. The three hobbits, crouching in the tall grass, watched the movements of the farmer and his dogs intently. He stood and silently surveyed his lands. Then he loosed the dogs.
The hobbits gasped.
"They're going to find us!"
"We have to do something. Now!"
"I know! Be quiet!"
"Let's run while we have the chance!"
"No. It's too risky."
"Well what do you suggest we do?"
"I don't know!"
"Well hurry! They're getting closer!"
"I see that! Um…all right, now run!"
And they ran.
They ran as they had never run before. They ran so fast that they didn't even look back – probably a very fortunate thing, as the sight of the three ferocious dogs and the furious farmer would likely have paralyzed them.
At last they reached the edge of the woods. They scrambled up a tree and collapsed, panting.
"Have-have-have we lost them?" Gasped Merry.
"I think-gasp-so." Said Frodo.
"Well, what do we do next?" Pippin demanded.
"Not yet, Pippin!" Frodo groaned.
"Well, come on, we haven't gotten a single mushroom yet!"
"Well…true. All right, let's make a plan!"
A single hobbit crept among the mushrooms, a sack in his hand. But he appeared to have forgotten the bag. Stuffing himself with mushrooms, he was oblivious to the world…until a dog barked. Startled out of his reverie, the hobbit pulled up a handful of mushrooms, stuffed them into the sack, and took off.
The dogs took up the chase, the stocky farmer after them, bellowing, "You miserable little hunk of hobbit-flesh! Wait till I get my hands on you! I'll chop you into little bits and feed you to my dogs!" The dogs seemed envigored by this cheering prospect and seemed to the poor, pursued hobbit to become a stampede of wild, probably winged, horses. As he ran, his lungs bursting, his legs screaming at him to stop for a just a moment, a figure rose before him out of the grass.
"Pippin! Thank goodness! Here you go!" Frodo tossed the bag to Pippin and then collapsed. Pippin took up the baton and continued the race, not seeming to notice how light the bag was. The farmer and his dogs abandoned Frodo and turned their attentions to Pippin.
Pippin ran…and ran…and ran. Then he stopped and looked back. The fat farmer seemed to have given up the chase; he was nowhere in sight. And the mushrooms hadn't even reached Merry yet! Frodo should have had more time to catch his breath and affect his escape. But it was probably enough. "Well," Pippin thought, "It's just me and the mushrooms! I'd best make the most of it!" With that he reached into the sack and helped himself.
By the time Frodo, Merry, and Pippin all met up again, the sun was beginning to sink. "I'm starved! Merry declared. "Let's dig in!"
"Um…" Pippin began.
"W-w-why don't we…go back to the woods first?" Frodo said. It's too dangerous here. We might still be caught!"
"I don't care. I just want one. Then we can go."
"Oh, that's all right, just one." Said Frodo, looking relieved. Pippin gulped.
Merry took the bag, reached in…and his hand met nothing but the bottom of the bag. He felt around. Still nothing. "You gluttons!" He cried. "You've eaten the entire thing yourselves!"
"Only a few…" Pippin whimpered.
"A few! The whole bag is a few?"
"That's all there was in the bag! It's Frodo's fault!"
Merry looked daggers.
"Well, it's no good now. We might as well go on home before people start looking for us."
They climbed down from the tree and started dismally for home.
Hours later, there were only two hobbits wandering the forest in the dark. Merry had taken a very long and winding way home, and when it was fully dark, he slipped away to allow the two partners in crime to spend the night outdoors.