Hey Dol! Merry Dol! by Lbilover

Originally written for B2MeM 2013.

Grinning to himself, Sam donned a bright blue jacket and placed a battered hat with a high crown and a jaunty blue bird's feather stuck in the brim on his brown curls. Then he sat on the hall bench and reached for Bilbo Baggins's old Dwarf boots, now dyed an improbable shade of yellow.

As he pulled them on, Rosie stuck her curly head through the parlour door. 'Are you almost ready, Sam?' she asked him. 'I won't be able to keep the children sitting still much longer.'

'Just about, Rose dear.' Sam patted at his long brown beard, making sure it was firmly glued into place, and got to his feet, stamping them several times. 'There, all set.' He held out his arms and said, 'Well, what do you think?'

'Oh Sam, you do look a sight,' Rosie said, giggling in a very unmatronly fashion.

'I feel a sight, and that's a fact.' Sam scrunched up his nose and made a face. 'Don't know how anybody can stand to have a beard, Rosie. They itch something fierce.'

'Mama!' a plaintive voice called, and it was joined by several others.

'Coming,' Rose called back. 'Give me a minute to settle them, Sam,' she said and disappeared.

Sam went to the door and listened as Rosie got the children quieted. Silence fell; it was show time.

A sea of shining faces (nine to be precise although number ten was on the way) greeted him as he bounded into the parlour, capering and singing,

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!

Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!

Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

To judge by the squeals of delight and clapping hands, his performance was a rousing success (even if his beard did end up a little crooked by the time he was done leaping about).

It wasn't always enough to read from the Red Book, Sam had learned. Sometimes you had to act it, too.