38. Whistling (Pippin & Merry)
At home, when the wind was blowing in just the right direction, it actually whistled through Pippin's round bedroom window. It did! He could hear it every night when he went to sleep: a changeable, quirky tune that made his toes twitch. Pearl (given the task of putting him to sleep from his childhood onwards, for she spun the best stories) told him that it was the earth ordering him to stop chattering and sleep. Pippin thought that if the earth wanted him to sleep, it shouldn't play such a lively melody upon his windowsill.
On a visit to Buckland, when he was a little bit older, he went fishing with Merry. At first, he had been very afraid: there was not such a huge amount of water within five leagues of Tuckborough; he would surely drown right from the bankside! But Merry had patiently coaxed him closer and closer, until he was wading in the shallows, and hearing the Brandywine grumble like a crusty old gaffer who liked you but would never admit to it.
Sometimes, on sojourns in Bag End, he would slip outside at night and go for moonlit strolls along the hedged avenues circling around The Hill. His favorite spot was beneath the great tree in the center of the field, with its wide-set branches and fat trunk. They were old friends, he and that tree: they had seen a few sunrises together, and observed the beauty of the stars a number of times.
Where others heard nothing, he heard unspoken words: a tree's quiet remarks, a river's complaining, or a breeze's blithe tune. His silences were filled with the muted rumblings of the earth, telling him all kinds of secrets.
Some years later...
"Pippin, stop whistling."
"Whistling lifts the spirits, Merry."
"Aren't you worried?"
"Of course. But being worried serves no one; I'd rather try to stay cheerful than be silent and grim. Besides, it's a fine day to whistle: look at the sky, Merry! It's just the color of The Water at midsummer. There is a nice wind, and just enough sun. There are even some larks singing. Just think: when Elrond fixes Frodo, he'll wake up to this splendid sky, these breezes."
"But Pip, what if—"
"No. I'm going to keep whistling, and keep my hopes pinned on the best."
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.