?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Of Pumpkins and Pippin

Title: Of Pumpkins and Pippin
Characters: Merry, Pippin, and Legolas
Rating: G
Genre: Vignette, Humor

Written for the LOTR Community Harvest/Halloween challenge.

Thanks to Oshun and Viv for the beta and to Oshun for the avatar.

Legolas looked at the object on Merry’s table with a dubious eye. “What did you say this is called?”

“A pumpkin,” Merry said, giving the orange rind a hearty thump. “It’s like a… a… Don’t you have these in Mirkwood?”

Legolas laughed. “I think if we did I would certainly remember.” He touched it tentatively with his long slender fingers. “How do you eat it?”

“It’s the inside that’s good to eat,” Merry explained, “baked into things like pies mostly.”

Just then Faramir, Pippin’s son, came in holding an enormous knife. “But before we eat it, there’s the fun part.” He gave Merry and Legolas mischievous smile.

“Now, lad, be careful that you don’t carve off a finger instead of carving a face in old Jack,” Pippin said, placing a hand on his son’s shoulder.

“Jack?” Legolas said. “Why do you give it a name?”

“The idea,” Merry explained, “is to carve a face into the pumpkin and turn it into a lantern by placing a candle inside. It will scare off evil spirits. We call it 'Jack of the lantern'.”

Legolas was familiar with many mortal superstitions but this was new to him. He watched in fascination as Merry, Pippin, and Faramir took turns cutting the pumpkin open, scooping out the innards, and carving the face. There were triangles for the eyes, a circle for the nose, and crooked square teeth set in a menacing grimace for the mouth.

When the work was done, Merry cleaned up the pulp, separating the seeds and setting them aside to roast for later while Faramir went to fetch a candle and Pippin and Legolas studied the pumpkin’s face. “Is it supposed to be frightening?” Legolas asked at last.

Pippin grinned at him. “Not really. I mean, not anymore. The tradition is mainly for children now, though we still have a few old timers who really believe. Take a walk by the Gaffer’s place tonight and you’ll see.”

Faramir came in with the candle and Pippin cut it down to a stub with the knife and placed it inside the pumpkin. He took the firebrand to light it but paused and peered at Jack’s mouth. “I think you missed a little pulp here,” he said, reaching in to flick it away. He let out a shriek and pulled out his hand, showing Faramir a missing finger. Faramir jumped and squealed and Legolas instinctively took a step forward but then Merry and Pippin began to hoot with laughter. Pippin slowly unfolded his finger to show it had not been bitten off and Faramir punched his father on the arm then folded his own arms in a pout.

“I wasn’t fooled,” Faramir said sullenly.

“I was,” Legolas said with a chuckle. “I thought I was going to have to slay the beast to free your father.”

“You did?” Faramir was wide eyed.

“Indeed. Shame on you, Pippin, for scaring me like that,” Legolas admonished with a wink.

Merry was still wiping tears from his eyes as he said, “He pulled the same thing on me the first time we carved a pumpkin together. I didn’t speak to him until midsummer.”

Now they all laughed. “So this is part of the tradition too?” Legolas asked.

“I guess it is,” Pippin replied.

A couple of days later Pippin was walking along the path to Brandybuck Hall at twilight. Merry had invited him over for some hot cider and he was looking forward to spending the evening swapping stories with Merry and Legolas. He pulled his jacket close against the sharp autumn air and breathed out a cloud of mist. A gust of wind rustled the naked tree branches causing them to creak and groan. Pippin hurried along thinking how nice it would be in front of a warm fire on a night like this.

As he approached Merry’s hole he noticed a new jack of the lantern on the stoop. Drawing nearer he saw that the face carved on it looked very much like an orc. The eyes glowed with an eerie fire and the sharp, jagged teeth were bared in a snarl. The workmanship was like nothing he had ever seen in the Shire and he wondered if Legolas had tried his hand at the hobbit tradition. He didn’t have long to consider it though, because just as his foot hit the stoop the face let out a mighty orc war cry! Pippin shot straight up in the air and came down with his feet already running in the opposite direction.

Inside Brandybuck Hall, Merry and Faramir peered out the window. They were laughing so hard they couldn’t speak. Finally, Merry regained his breath and flung his arm around Faramir’s shoulder.

“I have been wanting to do that for years,” Merry said, still gasping with glee. “I must be sure to thank Master Legolas tomorrow for his help, and you must apologize to your father for me. I don’t think he’ll be speaking to me anytime soon.”

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
scarlet1061
Oct. 24th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Oi, now I won't be able to sleep, looking for the monster under the bed *wink*

I laughed at the end. A prankester is always a prankester, isn't it?

Thank you for a lively happy story.
ignoblebard
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
LOL I hope you don't find an orc under there.

Thanks for your comments, Scarlet. I always think of Merry and Pippin as playing pranks on each other, they just have that kind of relationship. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.
randy_o
Oct. 24th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Totally cute story!
ignoblebard
Oct. 25th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much!
drummerwench
Oct. 24th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, that is cute and funny! Nooo, Pippin won't be please with his BFF, will he?
ignoblebard
Oct. 25th, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
I think Pippin will forgive Merry... eventually. lol Thanks for your comments.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Shield
ignoblebard
ignoblebard

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Jared MacPherson