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O The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night  by Lindelea

Introductory Note:

A while ago, Dreamflower sent me the cutest little bunny holding a scroll in his tiny paws. He looked so harmless, sitting there, so appealing, with his wide-eyed, innocent look.

And so, taken in, I ferreted out the scroll from his clutches and unrolled it.

"Merry and Ferdi remembering some childhood adventure from before Pippin was born."

Considering that Merry was eight, when Pippin was born, and Ferdi was seven... the two must have been *very* young at the time! And so this story within a story is set between the time Bilbo adopted Frodo and took him away to live at Bag End, and before Pippin's birth.

Merry is seven, and Ferdi is five-almost-six, if I've done the math correctly. They are visiting for a month or more at Whittacres Farm, for Merry's mother is sister to Paladin Took, and Ferdi's father Ferdinand is Paladin's closest friend, a cousin-closer-than-a-brother, rather like some other cousins who are well-known in hobbit circles. Pimpernel is four years older than Ferdi, and Rosemary is one year older than Pimpernel.

The framing story is set after Just Desserts, as the King's Counsellors and their families and some very special friends are on their way from the Lake to the Brandywine Bridge, where most of the party will return to the Shire, but a few--Farry and Ferdi and an escort of guardsmen--will continue on to Gondor.

I had thought the story irretrievably lost, but found a rough-draft copy right around the time of Dreamflower's birthday, and so put it back on my writing list, as a belated present (as at the time I was quite tied up with another birthday offering). So here it is, once more. And more to come, if all goes well.

You know I have trouble doing things quickly and easily. It's either a drabble or a novel with me. Well, this probably won't be a novel, but since it's only outlined and not completely written to the end in draft, who knows how long it will end up to be?

So, in the following chapters, please accept this token of my esteem for a wonderful storyteller and purveyor of plot ideas.

Dreamflower, this one's for you.


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