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18
A Catch along the Brandywine

Written for the LOTR Community Lazy Summer fixed-length challenge: 323 words. For Mews and Celeritas for their birthdays.


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A Catch along the Brandywine


“Do you think we’ll catch many fish?” Drogo Baggins asked Bilbo as they settled down on a fallen log on the edge of the Brandywine with rods, lines, and a small pot of earthworms between them.

“I can usually catch enough for a meal or two,” Bilbo promised, choosing a likely looking wriggler from the pot and threading it onto his hook. “And dear Primula will undoubtedly bring down a meal or two for us from the Hall while we fish. Although I suspect she will most likely head for the bay to swim after she brings us elevenses. Now, there always seems to be a trout or two lingering over there, right by that rocky outcrop where they’re protected from the main current. Try baiting your hook with that bit of bread I suggested you put in your pocket.”

In minutes both had lines in the water, and soon they were joined by their hosts, as both Gorbadoc and Rory arrived with their own gear, trailed by Rory’s son Saradoc who carried a large stoneware jug for the fishermen to share.

“I brought you a basket of bread rolls with chicken and cress for elevenses,” said a voice, and all turned their attention from their lines in the river to the lass with her basket . Primula was indeed dressed for swimming, wearing a shortened coarse shift such as the maidens from Brandy Hall favored for their play within the water.

Drogo’s eyes were caught by the vision of her, and his mouth fell open in surprise and pleasure. But, then she was a delight to look at in any costume she might choose to wear, Bilbo knew.

Sara elbowed Bilbo. “Drogo has a fish hooked,” he whispered hoarsely, giving the inattentive younger Baggins a sideways glance.

Bilbo laughed. “Oh, but Primula’s hooked a larger catch,” he murmured back. “I suspect that as of today Drogo’s bachelor days are well behind him!”

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