Only 28

At age 28, Frodo was welcoming. Although many of his younger cousins were sure he would forget them upon his arrival at Bag End, he never did. Invitations flew back and forth in the mail, and the little hobbit hole with often stuffed to the gills with small lads and lasses. And Frodo was always there, ready to help with little projects, plan surprises, and wipe away tears. He told marvelous stories, full of elves and dragons they were, and the little cousins would listen, open-mouthed. They were sure that wherever Cousin Frodo called home, there was their home too.

At age 28, Sam was a worker. Last year, his dad had set him caring for Bag End's gardens, and Sam spent his days there.. He would flop into bed, exhausted, and his mother would worry, but his father would say, "I'm teaching the boy to work hard, and that'll serve him better than anything else I could give him." So Sam worked. But even when he most felt like complaining, he would see a new sprout peeping up from the dirt, or a new bud on a vine. And he would think, Maybe this isn't so bad after all.

At age 28, Merry was wistful. Full of plans for the future was Merry. He took his position as his father's heir seriously, and was forever making charts or studying the maps in his father's study. Pippin, after receiving too many, "Not now, I'm busy"'s, grew frustrated. "You haven't played catch or gone fishing with me in ages! You're only a tween once." And Merry thought about that. Soon he would grow up, and there would be no time for such things. But for now, he had all the time in the world.

"Come on, Pippin. Let's have fun again."

At age 28, Pippin was a warrior. He had seen horrors and the frights of war, and had come out on the other side. He was never the same after that, not the same Pippin. He was serious now, and not so fond of the amusements he had loved before the war. What was playing practical jokes on his sisters after he met the Dark Lord face to face? What was annoying the barnyard chickens after he had speared his first orc? Brooding some called him, more melancholy than any tween should be. He had grown up far too fast.