“Sam! At last! What took you so long?”
“There weren’t no oil to be found, Frodo dear,” said Sam apologetically.
Frodo’s face fell.
“Now, don’t you fret. Your Sam took care of it. I found something in a cupboard that should work just as well: peanut butter.”
“Peanut butter? What is that? I’ve never heard of it.”
“To tell truth, neither have I, but it’s a butter, ain’t it, so I reckon it’ll do.” He scratched the back of his head and looked at the jar in his hand. “Queer name, though. What do you reckon a ‘peanut’ might be? O’course, there’s peahen, ain’t there, and peacock…” he sniggered.
“Oh for Eru’s sake, Sam, does it matter?” Frodo exclaimed. “We can discuss the whys and wherefores later. Right now, I don’t care what a ‘peanut’ is, as long as its butter will get the job done!” He stretched out his arm and beckoned to Sam with an incendiary look that drove speculation on the linguistic origins of the word straight from the other hobbit’s mind.
“Let me just open the jar first,” Sam said, suiting actions to words. The lid came off with a pop and he sniffed at the golden brownish substance inside. He went still, and his eyes glazed over.
“Mm,” he murmured. “Oh Frodo, I don’t know what this peanut butter is, but the smell...” He scooped some out with his forefinger and stuck it in his mouth. “Ooh, and the taythte. It taythteth delithiouth.”
Frodo sat bolt upright, staring at Sam in astonishment. “Samwise Gamgee, have you developed a lisp?”
Sam blushed. “Thorry, thir. Ith the peanut butter. Ith thtuck to the roof of my mouth.”
The urgency of the moment died, deflated by absurdity; Frodo heaved a sigh. Then he got a whiff of a tantalizing aroma. His nose twitched. “Is that the peanut butter I smell?”
Face contorted hideously as he tried to pry the gooey substance from the roof of his mouth with his tongue, Sam held out the jar to Frodo, who took an incautiously large dollop and sucked his fingers into his mouth. An expression of sheer bliss settled over his features. “Oh Tham!” cried he. “You’re abtholutely right; thith ith delithiouth.”
They burst into hysterical giggles and later agreed that, while peanut butter wathn’t quite ath good ath thex, it wath clothe.