A bit of silliness I wrote years ago to protest the fanon portrayal of Frodo as completely helpless, particularly in matters relating to the garden. People forget that in LOTR, Tolkien has Frodo wishing he could be back at Bag End mowing the lawn.
“Well, Gaffer, you’re right, and I’ll be the first one to admit it,” said Daddy Twofoot, thumping his cane on the ground for emphasis. “I ain’t never seen a tidier job of work, and that’s a fact. Your Sam is a wonder and no mistake.”
Heads wagged and a general murmur of agreement rose from the small knot of hobbits gathered by the Bag End front gate to admire the perfectly mowed expanse of lush green grass on the other side. They could see for themselves how every pass of the reel mower had been made with ruler-like precision, and each blade of grass cut to a uniform length. The lawn glowed in the afternoon sun, a carpet of emerald velvet, and was a sight guaranteed to stir the blood (and, it must be admitted, the envy) of any self-respecting hobbit.
Gaffer Gamgee, preening like a peacock in a flock of roosters, took the praise as his due; after all, he had been the one to train the lad. “I thank ‘ee, Daddy. Samwise is a credit to the Gamgee name. There ain’t a body in the whole Shire can mow a lawn like my Sam, nor tend the garden nor cook like him, neither. Mr. Baggins can’t do without him, and that’s the truth.”
There were more murmurs of agreement as the Gaffer and his cronies drifted back down the Row to Number Three, ready to enjoy some good gossip and even better home brew.
“Have they gone?” whispered Frodo, cautiously poking his head around the tool shed door.
“Aye,” Sam replied, and Frodo heaved a sigh of relief.
“Well, that was a close thing,” he said, emerging from the shed and joining Sam in the bright sunshine. “They nearly caught me red-handed.”
“You mean green-handed, don’t you?” Sam asked slyly, and Frodo laughed, glancing down at the grass stains on his fingers.
He caught sight of the rest of himself and exclaimed, “Gracious, what a mess I am!” He began brushing at the front of his clothes with his hands. “I’m all over bits of grass and dirt. They’d have twigged to the truth in a moment if they’d set eyes on me.”
Sam examined Frodo closely, but in all honesty he didn’t notice any mess. All he could see was how Frodo’s much worn and washed shirt and trousers clung to his damp body in the most distracting manner possible, and how the touch of sunburn on his cheeks brought out the brilliance of his eyes.
He made an effort at coherence, however, for he had a grievance to air. “Maybe they should twig to the truth, me dear. You know it don’t sit right with me, taking all the credit while you do all the work. I wish you’d let me tell my old dad who it is really mows the lawn every week.”
“Dear Sam, he’d never believe you.” Frodo chuckled. “Your father holds firmly to the belief that poor pale Mr. Frodo spends every day shut up in his study, translating Elvish texts and writing letters.”
“Aye, that’s true enough,” Sam conceded. “I’d be a wealthy hobbit if I had a copper for every time he’s said to me, ‘Now Sam-lad, mind you look out for our Mr. Frodo. He’s one o’them bookish gentlehobbits, and you know how delicate-like they be.’”
Frodo gave a snort of amusement. “'Delicate-like’?” he repeated, raising his eyebrows and giving Sam such a significant look that the other hobbit turned bright pink.
“He don’t mean no harm by it, Frodo,” said a still-blushing Sam in defense of his gaffer.
“Of course he doesn’t, my dear,” agreed Frodo, “and it would never do to spoil his illusions. He and the other good worthies of Hobbiton cherish the idea that I would be helpless without you to garden and cook and care for me. It’s rather sweet, really.”
“Are you saying that you could make do without me, then?” demanded Sam in mock outrage, placing his hands on Frodo’s shoulders as if to shake him, but pulling him close instead. Frodo smelled of sunshine and sweet grass and freshly tilled earth, a combination that went straight to Sam’s head, faster than the finest Old Winyards.
Frodo looped his arms about Sam’s neck. “No, Sam,” he replied quite seriously, gazing into soft brown eyes filled with love, “I’ll never be able to make do without you. But not because of your skill in the garden or the kitchen, and don’t you ever think it. It wouldn’t matter to me if you didn’t know a turnip from a tater, as long as you looked at me the way you are right now.”
“That’s all right, then, for I couldn’t make do without you either, me dear,” confessed Sam, holding Frodo tighter.
Frodo laughed softly. “Then we’ll keep our secrets, shall we? Let the rest of the Shire believe what they like, for we know the truth.” And they smiled at each other like conspirators, and exchanged a solemn kiss.
“Come on, Sam,” Frodo said, stepping back and taking Sam’s hand, “I’m ready for a nice cup of tea and a large slice of that honey cake we made this morning. I’ve worked up quite an appetite, and lunch seems a very long time ago.”
“Aye, it does at that,” sighed Sam, as they began to stroll towards the smial, the grass soft and yielding beneath their feet.
“Poor love. Is that translation still giving you trouble?” Frodo asked sympathetically.
Sam nodded. “I’ll need your help with that bit in Quenya. It’s proving a right bear.”
“Then you shall have it, just as soon as we’ve finished our tea,” promised Frodo, and together they went into the welcome coolness of Bag End, and closed the door behind them.