Author's Chapter Notes:
A/N: It would have been quite impossible for all of them to have gone camping together at once, as it would have required all of them to have met either before or after the War of the Ring, which was not probable, as some parties had either died or departed from Middle-earth. Nevertheless, we can always imagine what it might have been like if they did. However, we did take a few additional unrealistic liberties: four-wheelers, etc. We hope you do not mind. The story takes place after the War of the Ring. This said, please enjoy!
The Fellowship has decided to go camping. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are loading up Bill the Pony with luggage and camping gear.
Aragorn is bringing his sword, a fishing pole and tackle, cooking gear, a gas stove, a cook book, and a chef’s hat that says, “Kiss the cook.”
Legolas is bringing his bow and arrows, cleaning items (broom, mop, bucket, paper towels, Windex [lots of Windex], lemon scented spray, etc.) He is also bringing enough shampoo to last everyone about 500 years, enough toothbrushes and toothpaste for everyone, mouthwash, hairspray, cologne, a hairbrush, a large bottle of insect repellent, sunscreen (45 SPF), a facial cleansing kit (with cucumbers), a nail care kit, his entire wardrobe, several lounge chairs, 23 bottles of pure spring water, and some chocolate.
Gimli is a simple dwarf, and thus, he is bringing only three items: his war axe, a pickaxe, and a bag in which he will keep all of the gold he expects to find.
Gandalf is bringing his staff, his pointed hat, his pack which contains his pipe and pipe-weed, and also his favorite carved blow-gun for hunting squirrels (oddly enough, this has become rather a hobby for him, of late). Boromir is bringing his sword and shield, his horn, a box of energy bars to keep him going, a small cross-bow for hunting squirrels (he also has a tendency to hunt the little critters now and again, and when he heard that Gandalf was bringing his blow-gun he decided that he would have a hunting competition with the old wizard if at all possible), and some power tools (skill saw, jackhammer, electric drill, chainsaw, et cetera).
Frodo is bringing the tents and sleeping bags, as well as some pavilions to keep off the sun (not that they will need them if Legolas is going to insist upon all of them wearing his potent sunscreen).
Sam is bringing his rubber ducky (he’s gotten quite attached to it, you see), and a box of salt (it’s the best in all the Shire. He’s been saving it in case maybe one night they would be having a roast chicken or something).
Merry and Pippin are bringing, perhaps, the most interesting items of all: two four-wheelers (who knows where they came from), a gargantuan box of nearly every food under the sun, and two large canoes.
They plan to camp for one week precisely. The only problem that remains is exactly WHERE they will camp. The Fellowship resolves to split up into three groups of two and one of three (Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn, Gandalf, and Boromir). Then, each group will set out in a different direction, select the camping site each thinks best, and report back to the place of embarkation to relay their findings, after which, they will collectively decide upon which place will best suit their purpose. To this end, they apply themselves, and all amble off in their separate ways.
Seven hours later: Everyone has returned, all quite satisfied that their selection is the best. Chattering excitedly, they eagerly gather around to communicate their discoveries.
Gandalf: What did you find, Merry and Pippin?
Merry: Oh, it was GREAT! We found the perfect spot. It’s by the Anduin River, which means we can canoe and fish!
Aragorn, who is an avid fisherman, grows very interested.
Aragorn: What kind of fish?
Aragorn: Piranhas? Um…all right.
Aragorn looks down and notices that Merry and Pippin’s feet are all red and covered with large welts.
Aragorn: What happened to your feet? Did you step in the water?
Merry: Of course we did! How else were we to find out that there were piranhas in the water? But, that isn’t all. Our feet are like this because we stepped in some type of plant by the river.
Pippin: Oh, yes. It was really soft and pretty. See, look!
Merry and Pippin produce handfuls of the leaves from their pockets and show them.
Gandalf: Drop them, quick! Foolish Hobbits! Haven’t you any more sense than that? This is Poison Ivy!
Merry and Pippin do as they are told.
Merry: I suppose that means we will not be camping by the river.
Gandalf: Your supposition is correct. Frodo and Sam, what did you find?
Sam: Well, Mr. Frodo and me was just goin’ along when we came upon this great campin’ spot.
Frodo: It has everything: one or two trees, fairly good view, some solid ground. A little smelly, but it will do.
Gandalf: What do you mean by “some solid ground?” Are you implying that a good deal of it is unstable?
Sam: What he means, Mr. Gandalf, sir, is that it’s on top of a swamp. The Dead Marshes, to be exact.
Legolas: Uh…did you say “Dead Marshes?”
Frodo: Yeah, it’s very nice. But, there are a few problems.
Boromir: And they are?
Sam: Oh, well, we just about got eaten alive by mosquitoes, and it smells like dead Orcs. And you have to be careful of fallin’ in the wrong place. Otherwise, like ol’ Stinker/Slinker told us, “you’ll go down to join the dead ones, and light little candles of your own.” Also, when I was walkin’ along the edge, I accidentally slipped in an’ sunk up to my neck. Lucky Mr. Frodo was there to pull me out! That’s why I’m all dirty.
Legolas: My beauty does not deserve to be exposed to the filth of a swamp, especially the Dead Marshes. I’m against it!
Gandalf: Besides, Aragorn, Boromir, and I did better than that! Tell them, Aragorn!
Aragorn: It’s a beautiful place, with a perfect view—and far, far from danger. It’s a little cold, but other that that, it’s perfect.
Gimli: Well, where is it?
Boromir: On top of Caradhras!
Legolas: Caradhras? But…but…the Hobbits will get a chill! And besides, my nightly facial cream will freeze to my face if the temperature drops to below -10 degrees!
Everyone rolls his eyes.
Aragorn: We wouldn’t want THAT, would we?
Gandalf: Well, if that does not work, then what superior place did you find? Tell us, please, so we can be on our way. It couldn’t be better than Caradhras, for everyone knows that an elf and a dwarf cannot agree on anything.
Gimli: That’s where you’re wrong, Gandalf. Actually, we agreed very well.
Legolas: We found a perfect place that suits both of our tastes.
Gimli: And yours! I suggested camping in the Mines of Moria, while Legolas wanted to in the Mirkwood Forest. So we agreed to a sort of compromise. Tell him about it, Legolas.
Legolas: We found a suitable place near the Misty Mountains where there is a pristine lake with fish. There a good deal of trees – for those of us who enjoy them. And for Gimli, there is a cave-like place next to the lake which will suit his strange Dwarfish tastes. And speaking of the lake, we can canoe and swim there. The land is also well-suited for four-wheeling and is in a safe area.
Gandalf: Um…well…I suppose we can camp there, though I still think Caradhras would be better.
And so, the Fellowship finishes loading up all of their gear and heads out. When, after several hours, they arrive at the place, they first have a quick supper of items ranging from Lembas bread to sushi, which Aragorn (A.K.A. the Chef) prepares, and then they begin setting up camp. Gimli drags his gear into the cave and sets up his tent. The four Hobbits select a nice, grassy area upon which to set up their tents and arrange their large quantity of stuff. Legolas camps in a clump of trees, near everyone else, while Aragorn, Boromir, and Gandalf set up camp on a hill quite close by.
It is now nearly dusk, and everyone is settled in comfortably. Gandalf and Boromir work on building a fire in the midst of the camp, to mixed success. Boromir tries the conventional way, matches, but it doesn’t avail him, so Gandalf is forced to use his staff.
Gandalf: Stand aside, Boromir, I’ll show you a thing or two. To make a flame, all I have to do is lower my staff like this towards the fire and—Auughhhh! Water! Give me that bucket!
Boromir: But, Gandalf, that’s…
Gandalf pours the bucket on his head in an attempt to put out the flames, but instead, the fire roars up even worse.
Soon, Boromir hands Gandalf the correct bucket, which contains water, and Gandalf puts out the fire, in a VERY ill temper. He decides that he will not attempt to use his “magic-gone-awry” for some time…at least until he makes sure it’s safe for him to use again. Sulking, he heads for his tent, while Boromir decides that they can do without a fire for the night. Merry and Pippin giggle that Gandalf resembled their appearances the night they set off the firework at Bilbo’s party.
Shortly after, Legolas, who is taking inventory of all of the items he brought with him, discovers that one is unaccountably absent.
Legolas: My INSECT REPELLENT! Where is it? I…I’ll die without it! I need it! Auughh!
Legolas begins digging frantically through his things. Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin discover his insect repellent in the box of food. They stare at it for a moment, and hearing Legolas’ hysterical yelling, evil smiles slowly creep across their faces.
Merry: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Get me some sugar-water!
Within a few minutes, Pippin has gotten some bottled water, stirred in enough sugar to produce a syrupy consistency, and poured the entire amount into the now-emptied insect repellent bottle. Merry snatches the bottle, puts the lid back on, and hurries over to Legolas, Pippin close behind.
Merry: Here, Legolas, I found your repellent.
Legolas takes it and anxiously begins spraying it all over himself.
Legolas: That should keep those pests away!
Suddenly, he is swarmed by hundreds of insects, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and even a horsefly or two. They buzz around him in a swarm as thick as a dust cloud, while Legolas, screaming, turns and flees towards his tent.
The elf begins swatting at the insects viciously as he reaches his tent. Madly, he unzips the zipper, throws himself inside, and zips it back up. But, for all his efforts, almost every bug made it into the tent with him and is STILL swarming him. Mosquitoes are coming from miles around, boring through the tent wall to attack the elf. Merry and Pippin note with satisfaction that the tent is going crazy, bobbing up and down and to and fro, all the while resounding with terrible cursing and shouting.
Legolas: Ahhh! I’ll have you for this, Merry and Pippin! *Beep* You just wait until I get my hands on you!
Pippin: Nice one, Merry!
And so the night ends rather amusingly. Everyone is going to bed, exhausted, especially Legolas, who has experienced a most disappointing time, so far. After he had swatted every single insect, which took him quite a while, he (who now looked like he had the measles) hurriedly ran outside and dove in the lake. Shivering, he surfaced a few moments later, having rinsed the repellent off himself. Walking sullenly back to his tent, he heard Merry and Pippin giggling loudly at his expense. He found that the insects did not bother him anymore, as he had killed off roughly the entire population in his tent that night.
Thus Ends Chapter I—To Be Continued…
Chapter End Notes:
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