Sam the Turtle Goes to Mordor

Author: Dreamflower

Nominator: Pearl Took

2011 Award Category: Ficlet: General - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Sam and his young son Robin have a very important conversation...

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

Dear Dreamflower, this story is so sweet and charming. You have drawn a very warm and comfortable scene here of Sam and his son, and I like how aware Sam is of a sensible way to approach a child’s drawing: Ask the child to explain it rather than making comments that could go badly the wrong way. As it turns out, little Robin has put a lot of thought into his picture and it is hard to imagine a more affectionate project. The love and concern expressed by this little boy would make any parent happy, but it is indeed also very funny to imagine a turtle toddling along to Mordor serving refreshments. The next time I read Lord of the Rings, I will try to picture that, I am sure it will be a source of much amusement. Ah, and I see you have found a child to draw you the picture, even if it’s the inner child. ;-) Thanks for putting a smile on my face, the second as well as the first time I read this lovely ficlet.

Author response: It's always very nice to know I've given someone a smile! Thank you, dear, for your kind words.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

I normally don't succumb to Cute Hobbit Kid appeal. But this story, and little Robin Gamgee, are irresistible. I love the father/son interplay and the child's solemn determination that drawing a picture will bring help his father during the trip to Mordor that happened many years ago - definitive child-logic there, and it works. And Dreamflower ties the past to the present by Sam's conviction that the little drawing, of a turtle that will carry food and drink to Sam in Mordor, will indeed help him when he thinks of that frightening and desperate stretch of the Ring-bearers' great journey. Nicely done.

Author response: Thank you so much! I'd never given a good deal of thought to Sam's second youngest son until the bunny for this sprang up full-blown from a dream. He definitely has his own sort of child-logic, and his father can appreciate the love that prompted his little gift.

Reviewed by: Pearl Took  ✧  Score: 5

An absolutely adorable story! I love how it shows a child's lack of understanding about time. Robin says that Sam the Turtle will now be able to make sure Uncle Frodo and Sam-Daddy have food and water when they were in Mordor - something that is possible only in a child's mind. Sam is so loving and gentle with his little boy and keeps the drawing of Sam the Turtle with him to think on whenever memories of Mordor return to haunt him. Sam the Turtle may not have been able to help the two Ringbearers when they really were in Mordor, but he will now help Sam deal with the painful memories.

Author response: Thank you so much! I had such fun writing this one!

Reviewed by: Rivergift  ✧  Score: 4

Awh, little Robin is such a sweet mixture of wide-eyed innocence and earnest kindness that I just melted into a puddle! I love your Sam as a father, in this little ficlet, you've managed to imbue him with all the qualities he's had for so long, now employed in caring for and loving his children. Sam the Turtle walking through Mordor indeed! The link to fighting the lingering nightmares with the child's gift is a good one, and I am glad Sam had so much comfort in the empty space that Frodo left behind :') I really enjoyed this!

Author response: I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing this little glimpse of Sam and his second youngest! Thank you for the lovely review!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 4

This is such a sweet story that I am glad to re-read! I love the illustration and the practical and loving thought of Robin that having a turtle along to carry things would have helped indeed. Sam is a wonderful father in supporting his son's efforts and the love behind it. Remembering it would help when the memories get too much. I hope he remembers to tell Frodo about it too!

Author response: I'm glad you liked the story. I agree that Sam must have been a quite wonderful father! And I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't take that little drawing along to show Frodo one day...

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Small children can prove to be remarkably perceptive as well as compassionate, and so it is with small Robin Gamgee-Gardner as he envisions how Sam the Turtle could have gone to Mordor and so relieved his father and Uncle Frodo of a great deal of their burdens during the quest. A wonderfully sweet tale, so poignantly written, leaving us wishing we could take that litle Hobbit child into our arms just as Sam did. Quite the gift to wish two of our very favorite Hobbits ever!

Author response: I think Sam's children would have been very compassionate youngsters with such a father as they had. I am very glad that you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Reviewed by: Kaylee Arafinwiel  ✧  Score: 3

CUTE!!!!! That's all I can say about this story and its drawing, just cute, cute CUTE! I loved it. Sam the Turtle, indeed. I would have LOVED a Sam the Turtle in the story - can you imagine a Sam the Turtle at the Forbidden Pool, Dreamflower? I can! He probably has a lot more to tell about his adventures, don't you think? :)

Author response: I don't think Sam the Turtle has any more adventures coming, but you never know!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

A cute and strangely comforting story. It reminded me of war veterans who are sometimes touched and comforted by small acts on the part of their children and/or grandchildren. Sam did go through a war; his youngest child is beginning to understand that, and is offering what comfort he can. A delightful and original story!

Author response: Thank you! Children can be so kind and intuitive at that age; I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

Reviewed by: Sevilodorf  ✧  Score: 1

Snort.. snicker... guffaw... hobbity to the extreme.

Author response: Thanks! There is no higher compliment to a hobbit-writer!