59. Chapter 58 - August 1434
She opened the letter from Elanor. She hadn’t gotten once since last fall.
How are you? I hope you’re having fun with your mother. We are all fine here. Daisy said her first word and it was Nor! That’s what she calls me. I was so happy! Rose was jealous, though. Mum said she’s going to have another baby next spring. It’s a good thing Bag End is so big!
Fari stayed with us a few weeks. Your brothers were here last week. Fari isn’t very happy, but he won’t say why. I think Theo knows, but he won’t say anything, either. After he stayed with us, your dad took Fari back to Buckland to stay for the summer, which seemed to cheer him up a bit. He hasn’t been home in two months and he doesn’t seem to want to go home. I feel bad for him that he is so sad all the time. Uncle Pippin’s been sick a few times, so I suppose that’s what is making him sad.
We had a lot of fun when Fari and your brothers were here, but I can’t wait until you come back! It wasn’t the same without you.
Your dad taught Frodo and Rose to swim while he was here and he let me help! Dad was all worried about it, but Mum said she’d feel better if they knew how since we play by the Brandywine when we visit Buckland.
We were in Buckland for your dad’s birthday (Uncle Pippin didn’t have a party this year because he was sick). Uncle Merry gave me a new doll to replace the one Eomer dropped in the river! It’s very pretty. I can’t wait to show you.
Dad just said I had to hurry up. He’s taking the letters to Buckland so they can go out with the next messenger.
I can’t wait for you to come home!
Ivy was surprised at the feeling of sadness that came over her as she folded up the letter. She had changed so much during her time away from the Shire, but Elanor was just the same. What would she write back about? Getting new dresses because her old ones didn’t fit around her chest anymore? Giggling over the handsome young rangers with her friends? She sighed. She’d been so excited to hear from Elanor, but now it only reminded her how different she was. She’d left behind all the hobbits her own age, leaping ahead to become like a tween.
Ivy excused herself, glad that her mother and Faramir were too involved in a conversation to notice her sudden sadness, and went to her room. She opened Theo’s letter first.
I hope you’re enjoying yourself in Gondor. Can I send Eomer down there to stay with you? Do you think they’d keep him?
I’m sure Dad told you all the boring news of Buckland, so I’ll get on with what you really want to know about. (You only write to me for my gossip, don’t you?)
Uncle Pippin hasn’t managed to kill himself yet. He still drinks too much. Fari is mad about that. Fari hasn’t been home much this year. He stayed at Bag End this spring and he’s spending the summer here. I heard Dad talking to Mum. He talked to Uncle Pippin’s sisters and they decided it would be better for Fari to be away from home. Fari is happy to get away. His dad is scaring him and he’d probably have a better mother if Uncle Pippin had married an orc. A nasty, grumpy orc that smells. (Which reminds me, remember that other trick you had thought of to play on Diamond? Me and Frodo pulled it off at Pervinca’s birthday! It was brilliant and Diamond has no idea it was us! Dad knew it was us, but he didn’t say anything.)
Uncle Pippin has been here a few times. He doesn’t look good, but he seems happier when he’s here. He doesn’t drink while he’s here so Fari is happier when he’s here. Mum spends most of the time trying to feed him so he looks better when he leaves. He liked getting your letter. He told us some of the things you wrote about Legolas and Gimli. Fari said it was the first time he’s seen him smile like that in a long time.
I think that’s all for now. I’ll keep trying to find out what’s going on. Spying is fun. Does the King need any spies?
Your most loving and devoted brother,
Theoden the Magnificent
Ivy smiled, shaking her head at her brother’s signature. She’d have to congratulate him on pulling off a trick on Diamond. Perhaps she’d think up something else for him to do as well. Maybe she’d ask Elboron for an idea. He was good at coming up with pranks. She set Theo’s letter aside and looked at the last letter lying beside her. Uncle Pippin’s letter. She picked it up, a smile on her face. She wasn’t quite so nervous about reading it now that she knew he had liked her last letter.
I was so happy to get your letter. I always love a good story about Legolas or Gimli, especially if it’s embarassing for either one. I hope they say only nice things about me!
I’m sorry I didn’t write last time, but I had a fall from a pony and broke my writing arm. Perhaps I should take a trip to Rohan and get some riding lessons from your uncle? Estella and my sisters all scolded me for being so clumsy. But the arm is all healed up now, so I can write to you again.
Fari is off visiting this summer. His aunts convinced me to let him go adventuring. He was at Bag End this spring and is now in Buckland, probably driving your parents to distraction getting into trouble with your brothers. Fari started learning his letters this winter, so perhaps he can write to you next time.
Are you enjoying yourself? Your dad told me you are getting archery lessons from Faramir and Legolas. That must be fun! We can set up a target in your dad’s orchard and you can show us when you get home.
I miss you Ivy-lass and I’ll hold you to that ride when you get back. Maybe we’ll go catch some frogs to put in your dad’s desk drawer. It won’t be too many more years before you’ll be a tween and you won’t want to be around your old Uncle Pippin anymore.
I hope you’re enjoying yourself with your mother.
Ivy put the letter down. It seemed like he was all right, but he was probably trying to hide that anything was wrong. He had lied to her about breaking his arm due to clumsiness. She got up and went to the small writing desk Faramir had given her. She’d be able to send one more letter before winter, but wouldn’t get a reply until spring. She just hoped Uncle Pippin wouldn’t do anything stupid in the mean time.
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