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Author: Dreamflower
Title: The Day After Sam Trimmed the Grass
Rating: G
Theme: Mad as a March hare
Elements: a thunderstorm
Summary: Why is the usually cheerful and sunny Sam in a stormy and unpredictable mood?
Word Count: 600 (three double-drabbles)

The Day After Sam Trimmed the Grass

14 Astron, S.R. 1418

Marigold stared at the door as Sam went out, slamming it. She exchanged a worried look with her father.

The Gaffer shrugged. "Sommat's eating at him, or he's gone cracked," he said gruffly. He rose from the table. "I'll be out back seeing to my turnips if you need aught." He moved stiffly. "We'll be in for a thunderstorm a-fore the day's over if my old bones don't lie."

Marigold gathered the breakfast dishes with a troubled heart. Sam certainly wasn't himself this morning. He had been cross when he had to be wakened for breakfast, and then nearly forgot to eat. The Gaffer had needed to repeat himself twice, asking Sam if he were planning to trim the verge along the flower beds at Bag End's foundation. When Sam finally heard, he said "Already did. Trimmed it right well. Trimmed it again, for good measure. I'll trim it as often as I like!"

The Gaffer gave a snort. "I think you were out too late last night. Thinkin' about Elves and moonshine again."

Sam never paid any mind to the Gaffer. but this time, he said "And if I was? What's the harm in it?" And taken himself off.


Ted Sandyman grinned. Something was up with Samwise Gamgee, that was for certain! He'd spotted the gardener headed up the Hill, muttering and mumbling. Ted wondered if maybe Sam'd had words with Miss Rose Cotton. Now wouldn't that be lucky-- mayhap if she had a row with Sam, she'd notice Ted instead for a change. Sam had it too good, for a fact. Him with the prettiest lass in the Farthing, and an overpaid job up t' Hill with Mr. Frodo Baggins! Mayhap it was time a bit of ill-fortune came Sam's way for a change.

Ted couldn't help but stare, though, when he saw Sam turn aside from the road, and pick something up. A toad? And Sam started talking to the thing like it could understand him.

Ted could not resist this chance. "Well, Sam, I see as you've finally found a friend what'll listen to all them stories about Elves you're so fond of."

Sam wheeled on him, startled. He bent over and put the toad down. "You'd do best to mind your own business, Ted." He stepped towards Ted with an angry glint in his eye.

Ted stepped back, startled. Gamgee had gone cracked for sure!


Sam entered the Ivy Bush, dripping water, just as the thunder crashed. He realised he was the only hobbit in the common room, save the innkeeper himself. Old Jackdaw who'd been sweeping, stopped, staring at Sam as though he were daft. Why would any hobbit of sense be out in this weather? But it had suited Sam's own stormy mood.

"Could you bring me a towel, Jack? And a half of bitter, if you please."

The requested items were brought quickly. Sam toweled himself gratefully, and sat down at a table to nurse his drink. He knew he'd been acting daft today. He felt half-cracked: too little sleep and too many thoughts to disturb his mind. Round and round, they'd been going, over and over till he thought he'd go mad. It was too much for a body to bear, alone.

"Oh, and Jack-- a piece of paper, ink and quill, if you don't mind."

Decision made, it was with a sigh of relief that Sam wrote: "Dear Mr. Merry--Can you come to Hobbiton as soon as possible? I have somewhat to tell you about what we were talking of. It is a lot more important than we thought. S.G."


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 15th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
Poor Sam, Gandalf really did scare him!
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, he did! I imagined Sam having this little conversation with the spotted toad, but it messed with the word count too much.

And in addition to fear of Gandalf, there were other worries making themselves felt as he began to realize what leaving the Shire might mean.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
No. Ted's used to Sam being mild and cheerful and mostly ignoring his barbs. But he picked a bad day to bait him!
Mar. 15th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I like it. Poor Sam, burdened with spying and worrying, and keeping secrets!
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
Yes, it was a real burden. And of course, he couldn't talk about his worries to Frodo, because Frodo would just tell him he didn't have to go off into danger with him. And of course, he and Merry already had made plans-- it's just they didn't take the Ring into account!

He really needed to unburden himself!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
As soon as I saw the date, I knew... which was really part of the brilliancy of the execution in this piece, since you hardly alluded to it elsewhere!

Mar. 16th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Thanks! I was a bit worried that I'd been too subtle-- and *then* I worried that I'd been too obvious! I'm glad you think I hit it right!
(no subject) - labourslamp - Mar. 16th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamflower02 - Mar. 16th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Poor Sam. I can understand his bad temper this day.
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Yes-- I'm sure that between worrying about life as a spotted toad, and following Frodo off into the Wild and leaving his family behind, Sam would have been most out of character!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! Sam had to be worried to death, and confiding in Merry, who'd been the one to set the conspiracy in motion (*before* the Ring came into it) would seem to be the best solution!
Mar. 16th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Now why on earth was he talking to a toad? :D Ah well, I guess that's something we're going to have to think up for ourselves, yeah? Cute story!
Mar. 16th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
Well, actually, I had this whole bit where he was conversing with it, asking it if it was really such a dreadful life being a spotted toad, (which, of course, was what Frodo said Gandalf could turn him into, LOL!) and so on. But that part was suposed to be from Ted's POV, and it also messed up the word-count, so I had to cut it out.
Mar. 16th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Nicely done!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
Mar. 16th, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
I liked how the last one just brought everything together. Very nice drabbles! Excellent job!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you! 8-)
Mar. 16th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Definitely a pickle Sam's gotten himself into now, complete with the fear of joining that toad in the garden! Heh! All too likely a response!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, once Sam began to think of what he'd committed to, all sorts of difficulties would occur to him-- not to mention the "toad thing". I'm fairly sure that he would be thinking "Gandalf wouldn't really do that...would he?" There'd be just that little lingering doubt.

And of course, he knew Mr. Merry was relying on him...
Mar. 16th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
Oh, this was a wonderful little gapfiller!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It was fun trying to think of Sam's reaction *after* that scene in Bag End!
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
Oh, NICE. I couldn't imagine what was putting Sam in such a funk, but now all makes sense! I especially like the brevity of his note to Merry; that seems very characteristic to me. Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
Well, I had dropped a couple of hints-- the title and the date, but I didn't want to be too obvious to begin with...

He'd certainly not want to say too much in a note. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Mar. 16th, 2010 11:50 am (UTC)
I liked that you didn't know what was up with Sam until the end - nicely done! I was intrigued until the end.
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Well, I did drop a couple of hints in the title and the date, but I did not want to be too obvious with it and spoil the surprise. I'm glad that worked for you! Thank you!
(no subject) - someplacetobe - Mar. 16th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:40 pm (UTC)
oh that awful Ted Sandyman!

Poor Sam! What a good conspirator though!
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Ted's a handy villain, isn't he? ;-)

Yes, Sam's an excellent conspirator! I'm so glad that when I wrote "Conspiracy of Hobbits" that I still left myself a few gaps!

Edited at 2010-03-16 12:59 pm (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
Hee, nicely done! That must indeed have been a trying day for Sam! :))
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! I thought so too!
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