8. Merry and Berry
“Merry, put that stick down before you hurt yourself.” But just as she said that, he inadvertently poked himself in the foot with it. As he hopped on one foot, holding onto the other one to sooth the pain, Acacia laughed at him again. “You’re just lucky it wasn’t very sharp. That would be a mighty big splinter, even in such an enormous foot. I just hope, for your sake, you never get hold of a sword.”
Merry stopped hopping and looked at her indignantly. “I’ll have you know that I’m going to be a great hero one day,” he said confidently, puffing out his chest a little.
She chuckled. “What makes you think you’ll ever even get to leave the Shire?”
“Nothing,” he answered, “but I will. I’ll go off on a great adventure, like old Bilbo, only greater. And I’ll learn to swordfight and I’ll meet lots of strange people and I’ll slay evil monsters and save the day.”
She laughed again. Her hand began to draw doodles of Merry in a suit of armor that’s way too big for him, holding up a sword triumphantly over some huge dragon.
“And do you know what they’ll call me?” he asked her. She looked up, not bothering to respond. “Meriadoc the Magnificent, that’s what. And then I’ll come back and get married and have a dozen kids.”
She couldn’t contain herself any longer. “Hah! Sounds more like Merry the Macho.”
He scowled. “What’s that mean?”
“Oh, nothing,” she said as she tried to suppress her laughter, “go on.”
He cleared his throat loudly. “As I was saying...well, no, I guess I’m done.”
“So how do you know all this, Your Magnificence?” she asked sarcastically.
“I just have a feeling,” he answered, “Why? Don’t you know what you’ll do when you grow up?”
She gazed off into the distance, actually appearing to think about this. “No,” she finally answered, “I have no feeling about my future. Really, I’ve never thought about it.”
Before she could ponder it much more, they saw someone running toward them. It was Berilac, Merry’s slightly older cousin on his father’s side. They didn’t usually get along too well. It’s not that they disliked each other, but Acacia suspected that Merry just had too much mischievous energy for him.
“What is it, Berry?” Merry asked him, looking a little annoyed.
‘Hmm...Merry and Berry?’ Acacia thought, ‘Maybe that’s the reason they never hang out.’
Berry finally reached them, panting just a little too much. He was a bit overweight, even for a hobbit. “Your mum told me to come get you. Your aunt and uncle are arriving soon from Tuckborough. They’re bringing the girls, and Aunt Esme says another one, too.”
Merry smiled broadly. “Another cousin? Why didn’t I hear about this before? Well, let’s go!” He took off toward Brandy Hall, followed by Acacia as soon as she could stuff the paper back in her pocket. Berry took a few steps to follow them, but started wheezing, so he just stopped, waved his hand at them dismissively, and plopped down against the tree.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.