Title: Tell me a story, Daddy Rating: G Subject: General Main Character: Samwise Synopsis: When love is the only answer to a child's questions

Tell me a story, Daddy.

All right. But you have to settle down for bed now. What story would you like to hear, love?

Tell me the story . um . the one with the dragon.

The one about Mister Bilbo?

That one. Tell me the story with the dragon, Daddy.

All right. Come here, Frodo-lad. Do you have your blanket? Get comfy. Here. Lean up against me. That's me boy. Once upon a time there lived a hobbit in a hole .

Daddy?

Yes, love?

Um . never mind.

Settle down now, Frodo. Should I start again?

Yes.

Once upon a time there lived a hobbit in a hole .

Daddy?

Yes, love?

This hole?

Indeed. This very hole. Your home. This used to be Mister Bilbo's home. You're rather restless tonight, Frodo-lad. Is there something you want to tell your Dad?

Um . can I ask a kestion?

Yes, love. You can always ask me or Mommy any question.

Daddy? What's that on your head?

Where, Frodo? Show me.

There Daddy. That line. What's that?

That's a scar, Frodo-lad.

What's a scar?

A scar's a hurt that's healed up. It's left over from an ouch.

Does it hurt?

Not now. It did when I first got it, but scars stop hurting after awhile. Here, Frodo-lad, go ahead and touch it. See? It's just skin that's a bit white and a little bit harder than the rest. It doesn't hurt any more.

Do I have one?

No, love, you don't.

Will I get one when I grow up?

Perhaps. But it probably won't look like mine or be in the same place. Everyone has their own scars which are their own. Nobody has scars exactly alike.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

Does Mommy have a scar?

Well, she has a little one on her arm, and a round one on her knee.

Can I see?

If you ask her, I'm sure she will show you her scars. But Frodo-lad, some people don't like to show their scars. It's not polite to point to them or stare at them, if you can help it. And some people hide their scars so that you don't even know they have them. But everybody has scars whether you can see them or not.

Did Mister Frodo have scars too?

Yes he did.

Did they look like yours?

No. They were different. He didn't have one on his head like I do. He had one on his shoulder and one on his hand.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

Can we go see Mister Frodo?

No, love. He's left and we can't go visit where he lives.

Can he come visit me sometime and play?

No, love. He's far away and cannot come back.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

Do you miss him?

Yes, love. I do miss him very much. He was my best friend. I loved him very much and I miss him.

Why did he leave, Daddy? Did he not like you any more?

Mister Frodo still loves me and I still love him. But he had some scars which never got better. They hurt him all the time. He had to leave to find a doctor to help him make his scars all better. He had to go far away to find that doctor, but I'm sure he found one and his scars don't hurt him no more. Frodo-lad, sometimes people have to leave the people they love even when they don't want to. I'll always love Mister Frodo, and he'll always love me. That's the way best friends are. Like you and your cousin Will.

Daddy? Do I look like Mister Frodo?

Well now, Frodo-lad, you mostly look like your mother and me. Your skin's like ours. Mister Frodo had pale skin. The color of buttermilk. Your eyes are brown like Mommy's eyes. Mister Frodo had blue eyes like your sister Elanor. And Mister Frodo was slender. You're a big strong lad like me. But you do have the same dark hair he had. His was a little closer to black than yours, but your hair looks a lot like his. All curly and dark. So you look a little bit like him.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

Will I get scars like Mister Frodo's?

No, love. Mister Frodo made sure that no one would ever get a scar like what he had. He was very, very brave and destroyed the weapon that gave him his scars. So, on one will ever be scared like him ever again.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

What makes scars stop hurting?

Love, Frodo-lad. Love. Now go to sleep, me boy. Dream of flowers and butterflies and little ponies in the field.

Daddy?

Yes, love?

I love you.

I love you too, Frodo.