To You I Give This Child

It was a peaceful Merdun morning in Burkland; warm winds rolled across the fertile plains as Hobbits came toddling from their homes to start the day. Well, every Hobbit except for--

"Everard!" Matilda Thomson screeched. 

Matilda was Everard's Stepmother and a caring one too. She provided him with a place to live and six meals a day as all good Hobbit mothers do. But Matilda, as most other Hobbits, never enjoyed encountering anything unexpected. On her secondy-second birthday Matilda received an very unexpected knock at her door.

Matilda put down her knitting set and walked angrily towards the door; she wasn't expecting anyone until tea time at noon.

"Now who could that be? I bet it's those roudy Brandy Twins from the Third Shire--god bless."

Matilda reached the door and clamped down on the handle with her brawny hands.

"Who's it? Better to know who you are than to not!" Matilda laughed.

"Why it's Gandalf my good lady," a thundering voice chuckled.

Matilda gasped and instantly opened the door.

"Why Gandalf, haven't seen you around the Fourth Shire in ages!"

Gandalf nodded and knelt down so he was face to face with Matilda.

"My dear Hobbit, I have important business to tell of," he said in a hushed tone.

"Do tell of Gandalf," Matilda whispered.

Gandalf placed a large hand on Matilda's shoulder. It was covered with scars from ages of raging wars and bloody battles. 

"My dear old friend, there is not another Hobbit I trust more in the Shires of Burkland than you. You are the only one who can take care of this child I posess."

Gandalf pulled a small basket sewn from oak twigs from his cloak and handed it to Matilda. She slowly peered into the basket to see a baby wrapped in a tarnished cloth. It's eyes were wide open, shinning like the moon in a river of stars.

"Gandalf, I shall know who this baby is before you hand it to me," Matilda ordered.
 "This is a special child it is; I feel it in my bones Gandalf."

The old wizard couldn't help but grin, "and that it is my young Hobbit, and that it is."

Gandalf cleared his throat, "this child is in fact the descendant of my dear Frodo Baggins. I need you to raise him for Frodo is gone and I am too old to be on this world much longer."

Matilda took a step back and looked at the baby with wonder in her eyes. "Why Gandalf, the Frodo? Where has he gone?"

Gandalf pointed his staff towards the sky. His gaze seemed distant, from another world you might say. "Frodo has gone but then again it seems that he has not my good Hobbit."

Matilda sighed then looked at the baby, it's blue eyes shimmering in the sunlight. "I will raise him and raise him well I shall Gandalf. I will do it for Frodo's sake and yours."

Gandalf closed his eyes and placed a hand on Matilda's head. "My friend, I cannot thank you enough. Be good to this dear boy and great things will come of it." And at that, Gandalf vanished into the woods of the Fourth Shire. 

The End

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