Nicking apples from Farmer Goodbody’s orchard! His gaffer would have his head. But there was no denying the illicit thrill, the mad urge to giggle as they crept away like thieves in the night, scrambling up to the loft of the farmer’s hay barn with the stolen bounty weighting their pockets.
Mr. Frodo lay back in the crackly straw, polishing an apple on his weskit. He bit into the sweet-tart flesh; sticky juice ran down his chin and over his fingers. There was no denying the illicit thrill of that, or the mad urge that nigh overpowered Sam when his master’s sharp pink tongue darted out to lick it away.
Voices came from below. They froze: two mice partying in the pantry. Sam’s heart was galloping, Mr. Frodo’s eyes a-laughing. Then those fine eyes widened, that pointy nose twitched, and his face screwed up alarmingly.
“Ah, ah, ah-”
Sam sprang into action.
The choo exploded in his mouth, an odd yet appealing mix of apples and Old Toby. Too late, he realised what he’d done. “Oh sir,” he whispered miserably.
Those eyes were a-laughing again. “Why Samwise, I do believe another sneeze is coming on,” he murmured, pulling Sam down.