Pippin in turn had his moment of glory. The two thieves sought out Callum and Callibob and, discovering that their attempted forays into the pantry had been thwarted at every turn, delighted in sharing their ill-gotten gains of six mince pies and a plum duff. Pippin was praised no end for his agility in negotiating the window and his presence of mind in stealing the plum duff as well. Merry had only sent him for mince pies and he had spotted the pudding at the last minute. The four sat in the far stall of the stables to enjoy their illegal feast.
"This is almost as good as chocolate!" declared Callum as he wiped the telltale crumbs from his coat. "But not quite."
"What is chokolit?" Merry asked again. "You keep talking about it."
"It's a special sweet that Papa gets from a trader who comes from the south." Callum stood up to leave and Callibob immediately followed him. "He hasn't got so much this time, so I expect only the little ones will get some – that's how it works – youngest first. You'll get some Pippin and probably you will Merry, then you'll see how good it is."
That evening, in the great dining hall, after dinner, Uncle Calderoc announced chocolate! The great brown slab was carefully divided into small squares and hobbit children were lined up in order of age, with the youngest at the front. This of course took a great deal of organisation as an additional requirement was that participants also had to be able to walk, babes in arms were too small for chocolate.
Pippin was very near the front of the queue and watched anxiously to see if Merry would also be in the line. As soon as his cousin took his place Pippin started to get excited. Pippin was just behind Ilberic and Lily but ahead of Doderic and Heather. Merry on the other hand was almost at the end, behind even Pippin's sisters, except Pearl who had not even lined up, just after Mentha and then Ferdibrand but ahead of Merimas.
Pippin was doled out his piece of chocolate by Aunt Emerald who smiled at his look of wonder. "Eat it up quickly dear, before it melts." Pippin popped the whole square into his mouth at once, it was not very big and it had started to squish a little in his warm fingers. The little hobbit's eyes opened wide at the taste. It was the best thing he had ever tried in his life. Pippin decided right there and then, that when he was grown he would go on an adventure and find out where chokolit grew and bring it back to the Shire so he could have it all the time.
He rushed over to Merry, who was still waiting for his turn. "It's so nice Merry!" Pippin babbled excitedly, "Chokolit is my favouritest thing in the world now!"
The line was growing shorter, but so was the supply of chocolate. Merry looked down the queue at the happy faces. Obviously this was something quite delicious and Merry was keen to try it for the first time. He tried to work out if the squares were going to last until it was his turn – it was certainly going to be a close run thing, but he reckoned it out and saw that he should get some.
Suddenly there was a great howl. "My chokolit!" Pervinca had been holding her piece in her handkerchief to stop it from melting. She had planned to save hers as she wanted to be the last one with any left to eat. However, her plan had gone terribly wrong when one of the Brandy Hall dogs had decided he was being offered a little treat and had helped himself to the hobbit lass's treasured sweet.
Aunt Emerald tutted and fussed over the sobbing child and she was eventually given another piece, this time wrapped securely in a cloth and told to go and put it in her room if she wanted to save it.
This of course upset Merry's calculations completely. Mentha received her piece but as Ferdibrand was given the last square, Meriadoc's face fell and he bit his bottom lip. Tears were close, but he had to be strong. There would be other times he was sure and what you've never had you can't miss.
"I'm sorry Meriadoc, Merimas, that's all there is." Aunt Emerald told the disappointed children. "Next time we'll start with the oldest perhaps."
"It's all right Aunt Emerald." Merry smiled with his mouth in a straight line. "I don't mind."
Pippin was possibly more distressed than his big cousin. He rarely saw Merry get upset, but he could tell that he had really wanted to try chokolit. If only he hadn't gobbled his up as soon as he got it, he would have given it to Merry for certain. If only Pervinca hadn't fed her first piece to the dog and had to have another, Pippin thought angrily, that was really Merry's piece!
Then Pippin had another idea. It was so obvious he wondered why it had taken him so long to think of it. He would get Pervinca's piece and give it to Merry! It was his by rights anyway.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.