Written by – Mahiruha Klein.
Trading places: If Tejvan were Frodo
Frodo had become the talk of the Shire.- Every morning he rose at five o’clock, sharp, and left his cozy little shack at Bag End to run twenty-six miles and then exercised the rest of the day on one of the fifteen stationery bicycles in his living room.- Never before had a hobbit exhibited such endurance, determination, grit and sheer athleticism.
One day, while he was riding one of his stationery bikes, he heard a knocking at the door.
‘That’s surprising,’ he said to himself, ‘I’m not expecting any company, and I’ve had the Sackville-Bagginses sold to a party of
itinerant orcs.- Who could it possibly be?’
He opened to door only to find the good grey wizard, himself, Gandalf.
‘If it ain’t Mahatma Gandalf!’- Frodo cried.
‘Gimme five!’ he continued, ‘Up high!- Down low- whoa- too slow!’
Gandalf looked at Frodo quizzically.
‘Are you trying to cast some kind of spell, young Frodo?’ he asked.
‘No, sorry- Gandalf- I was just being silly.- Come on in!’
Gandalf picked up the small leather satchel he had been toting and renewed his grip on his staff, and stepped through the threshold.
‘Frodo, stop, stop.- Stop and look at me.’
Frodo turned around and looked at the wizard.
‘Frodo,’ Gandalf said solemnly, but with a hint of sadness, ‘You have lost a prodigious amount of weight.- You look pale, as if you were raised on a diet of raw potatoes.’
‘Well, Gandalf- when I was a child, my parents couldn’t even afford to keep a roof over us.- We had to sleep outdoors on a pile of leaves by the side of the Great Road.- But you know what- we were hap…’
‘Cut the nonsense young Baggins- I haven’t come to trade jokes with you, but rather to discuss an issue of the gravest importance for the future of Middle Earth.’
‘Oooh, I’m SOOO eager to hear what the good grey Wizard has to say now. Should I be sitting down for this one?’
‘Have you been smoking Lembas wafers like those bad Hobbits at Brandywine prep?’- Gandalf roared angrily, spitting a little.
Gandalf cut him off, ‘Or is it something else, something graver, something more sinister.- Tell me, young Frodo- have you been wearing the ring that Bilbo gave you?’
‘Ring?- What ring?’
Gandalf lowered his head in his hands with a great sigh.
‘What ring?- What ring?- What, O great Iluvatar is this world coming to?’
He raised his head and regarded Frodo for a moment.
‘The Ring of Power, Frodo- the one Ring, the Ring upon which the destiny of the world depends upon.- THAT Ring.’
‘Oh, I think I put it in my trophy case, or maybe it’s in the sock drawer.- Let me- look- big bike race coming up tomorrow you know.’
Gandalf forced a smile, but said ‘idiot’ under his breath.
‘Oh, here it is, I strung it on a necklace and hung it from my tie rack!- Here, catch grand-pa!’
And with that, the Ring on the cheap gimp chain flew across the room, barely missing Gandalf.- It clattered to the ground a few feet from the door in a pile of dust bunnies.
‘You threw, you threw the Great Ring of Power- you, you’¦’ it was clear that Gandalf was on the verge of an apoplectic fit so Frodo fetched a glass of ice water and poured it over him.
Gandalf picked the Ring off the ground and headed for the door, dripping wet.
‘If you think I would even *consider* in my most foolhardy imaginations, trusting you with this Ring and the great Quest
associated with it, well, I may as well just ship the Ring to Sauron priority Elvish mail.’
‘You’re cross with me, innit?’- Frodo said.
But Gandalf had already left, slamming the door behind him.- Frodo looked sadly at the puddle of water on the ground, then fished in his pocket for the real Great Ring, enjoying the feeling of weightlessness that always accompanied his instant transparency.
‘And they wonder how I always manage to reach the finish line unseen,’ he said, and chuckled to himself, a long, hoarse, knowing chuckle.