XVII. Cue: Stereotypes. Hobbits: helpless, innocent, weak
Boromir looked about. “The little ones--where are they?”
Aragorn, repairing a ripped bag, shrugged. “Seeing to our meal,” he said.
The Gondorian raised his eyebrows. “No one helps them?”
At that moment Pippin and Merry returned with loads of wood, and soon after them arrived Frodo with a string of fish and several filled waterbags slung over his shoulder. “The stream has more fish than I’d thought to see this time of year,” he said.
When Sam arrived with two grouse, a rabbit. and a bag of root vegetables, Boromir had to admit the Hobbits were not precisely helpless.
“They acquitted themselves well in the fight by the tomb,” Boromir commented as they watched the three younger Hobbits fussing about an increasingly irritated Frodo.
Aragorn nodded. “They killed seven orcs among them,” he agreed.
“But Frodo slew none.”
“He stabbed Sting into the troll’s foot. And he’s bested a barrow-wight and stood defiantly against the call of all of the Nine. Could you do as well?”
Boromir shuddered. “Against all of them?”
“Indeed, and while he yet carried the shard of a Morgul knife within him.”
Perhaps Frodo Baggins was not as innocent as he appeared at first glance.
Why he kept baiting Frodo Baggins this day he could not say, but at last the Hobbit had enough. With no warning Frodo tackled Boromir’s legs and bore him to the ground, catching his hand easily and twisting it behind the Man’s back. “Sir,” he said through clenched teeth, “I grow tired of the constant jibes at my expense. I may be small, but I am not to be belittled.”
Later as they watched Sam and Frodo between them pull the struggling pony out of some soft marshland that had appeared deceptively solid, Aragorn smiled. “Hobbits are not exactly weak.”