Disclaimer: I don’t own the LOTR characters. They are copyright Tolkien and their respective owners. However Poppy is mine and made by me.

Babysitting Blues

The Hobbit house was small. Even by a Hobbit’s standards. One wrong move and an unfortunate could bump their head. The inside of the house was made with the fine Hobbit wood. The rafters that held the ceiling up were stained a darker color. A black lamp hung for any to use if going outside in the dark. Each room opened with a circular like door. The floors were wood and caused many a fall for untrained visitors.
“I need someone to watch Pip.” Paladin Took said. “He’s only a baby. He can’t do
much harm.”
“I’ll give it a try.” Bilbo Baggins said with a shrug. “I’ll need some help. Poppy can help me.”
Poppy shot Bilbo a wide-eyed hazel look. Her shoulder length reddish brown hair moved rapidly in the breeze. Like Bilbo she was a Hobbit. She both loved and hated
him. Right now she hated him. “I don’t think I can.” Poppy said. “I have no way with
Bilbo looked over at her with his friendly eyes. “I’ll teach you how to care for


“I hate you Bilbo, I really do.” Poppy grumbled pulling her hair free from baby Pippin’s
grip. The baby blinked then grabbed out to latch onto another lock.
Bilbo hunkered over to avoid the low hobbit home ceiling. “You’re just annoyed
because I volunteered you and me to watch over a couple of kids for a few hours.”
“No, I’m mad at you because you are an real idiot.” Poppy shot him a look of hazel eyed
“Why, thank you.” Bilbo picked up his three-year-old charge and planted a kiss on his
forehead. “If it’s that hard then why don’t I take Pippin and you take Sam?” He handed the small wide-eyed boy to Poppy. “Here Sam, play with Poppy for a while.” He reached out his large hands to take Pippin.
Both children began to scream. Pippin latched onto Poppy’s hair tighter. Sam screamed
once landing in Poppy’s lap. He fled to the safety of Bilbo’s lap. He hid behind his vest
slowly taking a glance at Poppy who rolled her eyes.
“He likes you.” Bilbo observed. “Now, watch, entertaining a child is not always that
hard.” He set Sam down a few steps from his feet. He laid on his back with his arms outstretched to him. Sam squealed with delight as she ran on wobbly legs to him. Little elbows and knees dug their way into his stomach causing him to snicker. He took Sam under the arms holding him out at arm’s length. “Look at Sam fly…”
Sam squealed again in delight. “More more more!”
“You have a way with children, I have a baby stuck to me.” She pulled her hair out of
Pippin’s mouth. “The little piranha will munch on everything he can get his teeth around.”
“Hobbit children cut their teeth early.” Bilbo calmly said.. “And he is kind of cute.”
Poppy held Pippin out in front of her. “Yes, I guess he is—aauuughhh!” Poppy yelled
when Pippin threw up on her. “If you think I’m going to start liking babies—you’ve got another
thing coming!”
Bilbo dissolved into laughter. He ventured a glance at her through tear filled eyes. He
laughed more when Poppy tried to hit him with a pillow. He rolled over onto his side. “Don’t
hurt that bug, little Frodo.”
Frodo looked up at the calling of his name. He stopped observing the bug that was
making it’s way across the floor. Before he had been called he had been laughing and clapping
at the way the small creature had been waddling. The bug had six small legs and a hard shell in
the shape of an oval. Three little feelers felt their way across the floor.
“They’re so easily amused.” Poppy noticed.
“He’s just curious in his world.” Bilbo answered. “It’s called being a child.” He set
Sam down next to Frodo. “Now why don’t you two play. And don’t hurt the poor bug.”
Frodo scooped up the bug in his small hand. He and Sam leaned in close to watch the
creature. The bug opened its shell to reveal two little wings. It hovered for a few seconds and
then flew out a window. “Flyin’ bug!” Frodo cried, excited.
Sam slowly stood up. Frodo jumped to his feet racing out the door. “Hey, you two!”
Bilbo called after them. “Keep an eye on the kids, Poppy. I’ll be right back.”
It was Poppy’s turn to laugh. “So, Mister I—love—children can’t handle two little
Bilbo ignored the comment racing after the two fugitive Elves. He found the two sitting
innocently in the mud. “Bug gone.” Frodo’s sad voice said.
“They’ll be more.” Bilbo said picking up the two fugitives. “You two are filthy.
You’ve only been outside in the mud for a minute.” He sighed. “One minute, they only had one


“Sam, your mother is going to have kittens when she sees you!” Bilbo sighed.
“Really?” Sam’ eyes suddenly lit up.
“It’s a figure of speech, Sam.”
“Like when Mr. Took says—” Frodo started.
“Don’t repeat what Mr. Took says!” Bilbo ordered.
Frodo became silent looking down at his muddy clothes. He brushed some of the dry
mud off his knees.
“How goes it?” Gandalf asked entering the room. He ducked to avoid the rafters.
“It’s mostly going well. Sam and Frodo here got very dirty.” Bilbo reported.
Gandalf smiled. “Children.”
“How goes it Poppy?” Bilbo asked. He ducked to avoid a flying pillow. “I see.”
“I’ll take care of that. May I?” Gandalf asked holding his arms out for Pippin.
Poppy gladly handed the small baby over.
“He is awfully cute.” Gandalf said. He ran a thumb over the baby’s head. Pippin latched onto Gandalf’s finger. “He’s a strong little one too.”
“He likes to eat my hair.” Poppy grumbled. “He’s morphing into a little piranha.”
Gandalf winced when Pippin bit down on his finger. “I see what you mean.” He pulled his finger free. “You are teething, aren’t you?”
“I’m either drowning in drool or being eaten alive.” Poppy noted.
“He means no harm.” Gandalf handed Pippin back to Poppy. “Now where are those dirty three-year-olds?”
“They’re still here. I got them cleaned up as best I could.” Bilbo said balancing each
child on a hip. “Which one do you want?”
“Give Gandalf the cute one.” Poppy cut in.
“But they’re both cute!”
Poppy shook her head. “Give him the darkish haired one then.”

“Um, Poppy, that’s not going to work either. They both have dark colored hair. Common color for Hobbit children. Sam’s hair is lightening some.”
Gandalf took both the children into his arms. “Since there’s no way to win this…” He
looked them over. “Frodo looks like his father.”
“What about Sam?” Poppy asked surprising Bilbo.
“He looks like both his parents.” Gandalf finished. “Did I hear a concern for this
“He doesn’t like me.”
“I haven’t seen any animal or child run right up to you. It takes time. And patience.” He
set the two children on the ground. “Have they behaved?”
Bilbo nodded, pursing his lips. “They’ve been pretty good.”
Gandalf bent over touching the two Hobbit children on the nose. “Now watch.” He gave
a quick spin before disappearing. His hat seemed to touch the floor last and it, too, disappeared.
“Can’t he use the door like everyone else? He’s scared poor Pippin.” Poppy griped
rocking the child.
“Frodo and Sam are spellbound.” Bilbo whispered pointing to the children.
“Oooooo…” Frodo was the first on the ground inspecting for any kind of trap door.
Sam soon followed him inspecting every inch of the room.
Pippin slowly quieted down in Poppy’s arms. “He is kind of…cute.” She slowly said
expecting him to throw up on her again. To her surprise Pippin closed his eyes and went into
“How’d the babysitting go?” Mr. Took asked entering his home.
“Pretty well.” Bilbo noted. “Don’t mind those two. They’re just wondering where
Gandalf went.”
“Ah. Good children. Now you two behave yourselves and I’ll tell you all a story.”
PaladinTook said. All the children in the room suddenly sat at Paladin Took’s feet waiting for him to start. He laughed. “Would you like to baby-sit again?”
“Why not?” Bilbo said. He felt Poppy hit him with a pillow. This time she didn’t miss.

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