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In the Cove by Dreamflower

July 2012 FLF Lazy Summer

2012 July FLF Challenge

Author: Dreamflower
Title: In the Cove
Rating: G
Theme: lazy summer
Elements: fixed-length ficlet: 299 words
Author's Notes: This is more or less an expansion of a drabble "First Lesson" that I wrote a few years ago for the 20_rings community.
Summary: Young Frodo has an important task: teaching his little cousin Merry to swim...
Word Count: 299

In the Cove

Saradoc had his arm around Esme's shoulders as they looked out the window at their lads, Frodo with little Merry riding his shoulders. Sara grinned as he could see them laughing as they went on their way, but Esmeralda had worried furrow in her brow. He leaned over and kissed it away. "They will be safe, love. And every Brandybuck must learn."

Merry's giggle was infectious as Frodo bounced him along on his shoulders. "I'm going to swim, Fro!"

"Yes you are, sprout!" Frodo felt his own heart lifted by Merry's cheer.

Soon they came to their destination: a little cove that thrust out from the Brandywine, quiet and shallow, it was within a grove of alders that leant dappled shade to the edges of the water. Yet there was enough sun to keep the water pleasant on a hot and lazy summer day. There was no current here, and at its deepest the water came no higher than Frodo's chest.

The lads shed their clothes, and Frodo waded out a few feet and knelt upon the soft sandy bottom. Arms wide, he coaxed: "Come on, sprout!"

"Is it cold?"

"Not so very, dear."

Merry stepped in. "Oh! It feels nice!"

He waded to his cousin's outstretched arms, and Frodo took the little hands firmly in his.

"Kick Merry!"

It took a few attempts before the little feet were able to swing out behind and Merry kicked wildly, splashing them both. Sputtering, they laughed.

"I'm swimming, Frodo!"

"Almost, Merry, almost!" Frodo drew him around and pulled him by both hands as his feet kept kicking. "It will take a few more lessons than one!"

It was the first lesson, but not the last in that lazy summer. By the end, Merry was swimming as though born to it.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
This was so sweet. The cousins need good memories as well as the bad to cement their friendship over the years.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, they would! It's my hope that I can show as many of those good memories as possible.
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
This was sweet, lovely --- and very cute!
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
It took a few attempts before the little feet were able to swing out behind and Merry kicked wildly, splashing them both. Sputtering, they laughed.

"I'm swimming, Frodo!"

How adorable! I just love this happy story.
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad, dear! I always love to show young!Frodo and wee!Merry together.
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
I remember doing much the same myself with a friend holding my hands, and then seeking to teach my sister and little brother as I'd been taught. Delightful!
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
It's the way many learn to swim-- and I think in a family-oriented place like Buckland, it would be the way all hobbits learned!
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
This is such a wonderful scene. And I like Esme's nervousness too.
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
She would be nervous-- her cousin teaching her baby that perilous skill. She's a Took, and though in my fanon, she'd have had to learn the basics after moving to Brandy Hall, I don't imagine her as ever quite trusting it.
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
That's really sweet.
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I simply can't imagine anyone else teaching Merry that skill. And it would be dreadfully important to Frodo to make sure his little cousin was safe.
Jul. 17th, 2012 07:00 am (UTC)
This is just delightful.
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear!
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
Cute! Reminds me of how I learnt to swim :D
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
A couple of people have mentioned that-- I am thinking it's true of many that they learned from cousins or older sibs or parents.
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
Yep - parents in my case :D
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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