25. Unexpected Company (Pippin, asst. Gamgees)
We had a lot of fun with this exercise over at the HA Yahoogroup all through December. At one point, someone marvelled - and before the 'crebain' prompt! - "we are so creative, I'll bet someone could write a drabble to the prompt 16 soggy grapes". Ahem... well... I am so bad at declining challenges.
the bonus drabble for 16 soggy grapes
Sam and Rosie were good enough friends that Pippin had no hesitation in showing up at Bag End several hours earlier than he'd told them to expect him. Pippin-lad led away his pony. Rose-lass blushed and said everyone was down helping with the harvest and she'd just nip down and fetch them. Turning a stern eye to her juniors, she admonished them 'to take care of Mr. Peregrin' before she hurried away.
Pippin eyed the gaggle of little ones, none more than half as tall as he was, left standing open-mouthed in the entryway. Goldilocks - he thought it was Goldilocks, though it might have been Daisy as her hair was a rich chestnut brown - led the way to the parlour, followed by the rest of the children in duckling fashion, all in a group and quacking loudly.
"Can we get you something to make you comfortable?" the self-possessed girl asked.
"Yes, yes! Let us get you something," chorused around her.
Pippin estimated the culinary skills of the little group. "How about a glass of wine?" he requested, thinking that would not task them too hard.
"Wine!" shrieked little Bilbo, or maybe that was Primrose. "I know how to make wine!"
Pippin gave a sigh of relief, as they all trooped out after … Goldilocks? Daisy? … , and gratefully settled down in a chair where he could look out over the party field and the mallorn tree.
The door to the parlour opened and the children filed into the room. The presentation was excellent. A small linen-lined tray held a plate with two biscuits and a tall tumbler filled with sixteen crushed and soggy grapes floating in water. A father himself, Pippin knew what was expected of him. Picking up the glass he took a loud gulp.
"Delicious," he told them.