Monday, October 10, 2005

Fool of a Took

Sam is my favorite of the quartet of hobbits in Lord of the Rings, but Pippin is a fairly close second. In the films, I was surprised to find that the scamp managed to supersede Sam for first place in my heart. Sam will always be number one, but in the Tolkien According to Jackson, I'm afraid Pippin wins out most of the time. So I had to write about him sometime. Actually, I found a poem I wrote about him my freshman year in high school, for a project, but from my vantage point now it seems most unsatisfactory. This one is only a few days old and hopefully better - and the first of several. In it, Gandalf, at some point after his and Pippin's arrival in Gondor, ruminates about his foolish young companion. Enjoy!

Fool of a Took

I don’t know what to do with him, this nuisance of a halfling
Who’s proven to be nothing but a pest
Throughout our short acquaintance. Looking back, I find it baffling
I concurred to include him on this quest.

Could it be my wits were addled by too much time with Old Toby?
Can a little leaf confound a wizard’s mind?
Did my love of hobbits strip me of my logic long ago?
See the way affection leaves an old man blind!

First that mischief at the Pony – yes, I heard all about that,
When he glibly blurted out poor Frodo’s name.
And that pebble in Moria; why, I could have knocked him flat!
When the orcs arrived, I fear he was to blame.

Now he’s mingled with a malice that he cannot comprehend,
And I’m certain the encounter left him scarred.
More than ever, I endeavor to protect him till the end.
I shall try – but goodness gracious, it is hard!

He lacks Bilbo’s intuition, but he also lacks his pride;
He is humble, and he knows that he’s a fool.
And I’m told he wept for hours when he thought that I had died.
He is tender in a world that’s often cruel.

Did he know what he was getting into? Never! Not a chance!
He was reckless; there are those who’d call it brave.
He relinquished leisurely life, full of food and drink and dance,
For a friend he would do anything to save.

When I see him, I recall the gentle goodness of the Shire
And that if we failed, how great would be the cost.
Though I would not soon admit it, he has virtues I admire,
And without that foolish Took, I would be lost.

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