(Written in 2006 for Marigold's Challenges)

AUTHOR: Dreamflower
SUMMARY: In which Sam and his oldest lad have a bit of father/son time…
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Marigold's prompt included earth, air, fire and water, and time for a task.
DISCLAIMER: Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the Tolkien Estate. I own none of them. Some of them, however, seem to own me.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Frodo-lad is 5, or about 3 in Man-years.]


Sam glanced over at his tiny lad, watching intently, his brown eyes huge. Sam dug in the earth with his trowel, and then carefully placed the transplanted violas in their new home.

"All right, then, Frodo-lad, it's your turn."

Frodo-lad took his little watering can, and upended the spout, giving the little flowers a long drink of water, and then glanced up at his father questioningly.

Sam grinned at him, and nodded approvingly. "You did that just right, my laddie."

The child grinned back. Sam stood up, and Frodo-lad reached up with his arms to be picked up. Sam swooped him from the ground and spun him around in the air, eliciting a peal of delighted giggles. The breeze wafted over their sweaty skins, the gentle air cooling them off. Sam pulled his child close, hugging him tightly. Now that Frodo-lad was no longer a faunt he had taken to following his father about the garden, and Sam had been thrilled to discover that plants and dirt and growing things seemed to hold as much fascination for his oldest lad as it had for him.

And today, as Rose had taken the lasses and wee Merry-lad to her parents' farm for a visit, it was just the two of them.

"Do it again, Sam-dad!" he laughed.

"No, your old dad is all dizzy now. You've quite wore me out. What do you say we go up to the smial, and put the kettle on the fire, and have some elevenses?"

And Frodo-lad put his hand in his father's, and skipped alongside, up to the kitchen door.