Counterpoint, Interfolio - Scherzo

Author: Daffodil Bolger

Nominator: Dana

2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Pre-Quest

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: Allusions to adult relationships

Summary: Life and death are such simple things to a child.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 10

I read this story as part of the full reading of “Counterpoint” this past spring. I emailed you a comment then, what a fine little story this was about young Pip, and what a good “outside” (literally!) glimpse it gave of the relationship you created for Frodo and Merry. Re-reading it for this competition, I was all the more impressed with this fic. This is really an inspired bit of writing. Your picture of young Pippin is one of the best character studies of young children I’ve read. And the child you describe, furthermore, is completely plausible as the sort of child who might grow up to be the Pippin we see in LotR. Why are words what they are? Why are some more attractive than others? Why do the people and things I see look, sound, and act the way they do? How did they get to be that way, and how will they affect me? I always loved that scene in TTT (“The Palantír”) when older-tween Pippin is riding before Gandalf on Shadowfax, being borne out of harm’s way (having looked in the Seeing Stone – such a Pippin thing to do). Gandalf says with benign exasperation, “If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you . What more do you want to know?” Pippin laughs, “The names of all the stars, and of all living things, and the whole history of Middle-eath and Over-heaven and of the Sundering Seas … Of course! What less? But I am not in a hurry tonight. At the moment I was just wondering about the black shadow….” I think your story portrays beautifully the child that the Pippin in that scene might have been. It’s not just a matter of “being curious”, but a profound desire to *know*. I want to emphasize how much I LOVED the whole internal discourse Pippin had with himself about ghosts, the dead, what it was like for ghosts, what it would be like if he were dead, etc. It was funny, but, even more, brilliant in how well it portrayed the workings of this child’s acute mind, enhanced by keen powers of observation and a good imagination. Pippin in your story really comes through as a child who adores (in fact, who cannot refrain from) speculating about things, turning everything over; each experience, each *word*; to see every facet; to “know” it. What a fine, natural scholar he would have made. It’s not everyone who has such a keen, pure thirst for knowledge. It is far more than just, “curiosity”.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

Little Pippin, the voyeur! This is truly adorable! I love Pippin in this--he is a clever and intelligent child, filled with curiousity and speculations, and we follow his thoughts down all sorts of interesting side paths as he invents lovely words like ["chilly-warm", "whoosh-drag" and "slip-drop"]. His thoughts are perfectly in character, and he is a sharp observer, but his observations are colored by his childish ignorance, and he does not necessarily understand all he sees. He does understand the important thing--he knows love and happiness when he sees it. In spite of the slashy implications, I liked this very much, and am very glad little Pippin allowed me to enjoy this moment of warmth with him.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

I think what I love most about this is the way you have captured Pippin's childish way of approaching a problem. It really fleshes out Merry's statement in the Houses of Healing that hobbits can be at a loss when faced with weighty things like this. This one-shot was well worth the read.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

The strong narrative voice is mischievous and thought-provoking, fanciful and practical all at once. Excellent, creative use and application of descriptions and imageries. I liked how Pippin's thoughts ramble, meander, and circulate, and he constantly has to bring himself back to his current line of thought. This had me laughing for quite a long time: ["They took a cart because Frodo said Pippin's legs were still too short to walk all that way and Pippin probably should have been put out with that but he didn't complain - if he complained too much, Frodo might give in and then Pippin would _have_ to walk and he preferred the cart because he would be awfully daft not to."]

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

This is a perfect glimpse into little Pippin's mind. His thought processes are just outstanding and the characterisations of all of the hobbits are well done. I loved Pippin's made up words!