[identity profile] ismenin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] lories_friends
This is my bit for Lorie's lovely book. With thanks to the Three Stooges for organising the love-fest.

Author - Ismenin (Ruth)
Fandom - LOTR
Pairing - Sam and Frodo
Word count - 927
Rating - G
Summary - Sam tells Frodo-lad a bed-time story.

betaed by Lady Sunrope.

Hope you like it, my love. Hugs. Ru xxx

The Butterfly River

Settle down, now, Frodo-lad, and I'll tell you the Story I promised last evening. Frodo an' the butterflies, wasn't it?

I'll have to be quiet because Elanor is sleeping already, like the good girl she is. Yes, I know she didn't have to go to the privy three times after dinner, but it was your own fault, for sneaking into the patch and eatin' all those strawberries. I did tell you, and so did your Mam, when she found out what you'd done.

Mr Frodo? Aye, I'm gettin' there. Well, it was a fine summer evenin', just like this one, and he had decided to have a picnic by the river - near the bluebell wood - as it was a sin, he said, to be indoors on such a day.

Of course, all the bluebells had gone by then, bein' late June, but there was eglantine startin' and some other flowers which made the place smell like summer, if you understand me.

Anyways, by the time we'd walked there, we was sweating like two of Farmer Maggot's pigs, so while I laid the food out on the cloth, Mr Frodo decides he's too hot and sticky for comfort, and decides a quick dip in the river will solve all his ills.

He stripped off to his under-drawers, then thought he'd better take those off too, if he didn't want to sit around afterwards, in wet drawers, eatin' his tea.

So he did, and he was able to walk into the river, there by the willow, because the water came right up to the slope so he could get in easy.

Well, he'd obviously had the idea of bathing all along because he'd brought a bar of your Auntie Mari's soap with him - a new recipe she said it was - guaranteed to make your hair all sleek and glossy. Not that he needed it, of course. His hair was beautiful, like the rest of him.

So he stood in the water, which reached half way up his thighs, and began his ablutions, lathering himself all over, and then dippin' his head in and rubbing his curls up into a riot of foam.

I had just finished covering the chicken with a cloth against the flies, and had put the pitcher of cream for the strawberries and cherries in the water to cool, when I saw them come. Dozens of the things, fluttering towards him, all red and black an' gold.

"Look, Mr Frodo!" I said, and he gave over latherin' his head and stared at the cloud of butterflies coming fast along the bank. Pretty as flowers they were, except they had no scent.

Well, they made a bee-line for him, just as if he were a rose or honeysuckle, and soon he was covered all over in them, from head to thigh.

He stood still and didn't try to brush them off. He'd have killed 'em, see, and he wouldn't do that - not Mr Frodo. He was as gentle as a lamb with all livin' things, he was. But I saw they wasn't going to leave him alone, not anytime soon, and by now I was sharp-set for dinner, so he must've been, too. Besides, the river was cold, in spite of the heat, an' I'm sure he wanted to get out now he was clean.

So what did he do, you're askin'? Well, you know what he did, lad. I must've told you a dozen times before! He waded out a bit further into the water till it was up to his waist, and I could see what he was up to. The creatures climbed further up him the deeper he got in, and he knelt in the water and went right under, head an' all.

They flew around for a minute, as if they was sniffing the air, and then they flew off down the river - lookin' for nectar I expect. There wasn't one little body in the water, not one. He done it an' hadn't harmed a single one. That was Frodo - gentle, lovin' soul.

In a moment or two more he rose out of the water all drippin' wet, and laughing fit to bust. "It must've been something in Mari's soap that attracted them, Sam! This will be a story to tell them at the Green Dragon, tonight." he said, shaking the water out of his hair like a wet dog does. He was all clean and shiny and glowed in the evenin' sun like...well, I dunno, he just glowed, is all.

"I wasn't thinkin' of going to the Dragon, tonight, Frodo," I said, and he looked at me all ...well, never mind.

"Weren't you?" he asked, and his voice was as soft as one of Tabby's kittens.

So, any road - we... ate our meal, an' ...an'...walked home again, and no, Frodo-lad, we didn't see one butterfly on our way, neither!

Now, go to sleep, there's a good lad. Yes, your water's right here, an' the pot is under the bed if you feel sick again. Just call if you do - I'll come.

Tomorrow night? Well, what would you like to hear? Frodo an' the Widow Sowerberry's Pig? If you're a good boy, and mind your manners, an' keep out of the strawberries - we'll see!
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