Topic: "Sink or Swim"
Legolas and Frodo were friends long before Frodo moved to the Shire. Once upon a time, Legolas and Frodo both lived in the Land of Orleans. Adventurous souls that they were, and given their mutual interest in nature, it was not surprising that eventually they struck out on their own to fish the Grand Bayous of the Land of Orleans. It should be noted that the Elf and the Hobbit were truly outsiders and not properly outfitted for the Grand Bayous.
In Frodo's styrofoam sailboat, the two set out, paddling, into the Grand Bayous with their fishing rods, and a pound or two of raw shrimp for bait. They were more than 50 miles from the Grand City of the Orleans.
As the day wore on, and the sun and the humidity took their toll, Frodo was regretting ever having let Legolas talk him into the foolhardy adventure. The only saving grace was the absence of the Orc-like Gator who forsook the saltwater marshes for fresh water, or so he had been led to believe. Suddenly, in front of the adventurers a swarm of seagulls appeared as if by magic. They were circling and swooping into the water like acrobats in pursuit of the trapeze. By instinct, or because of "Animal Planet," both Frodo and Legolas knew that the birds were diving into a school of fish.
In a frenzy bordering on the miraculous, the school of "speckled trout" was everywhere around the sailboat, and every cast of the line landed a fish. Soon Frodo and Legolas realized that the fish were even biting a bare hook, so the frequency of flopping fish released into the boat increased incrementally. Fish flopped up and out, and neither of the adventurers cared, because three had already taken its' place.
Just as suddenly the birds were gone, and the froth disappeared from beneath the boat. The school had moved on, and the adventurers were left sitting with a boat full of fish, so full that the slightest wave would wash water into the heavily laden craft. The adventurers turned their tiny craft back toward the landing where they had left Frodo's motorcar.
It was a long and arduous trek, paddling a sailboat, whose riggings were useless in the still humidity of the Grand Bayous. As the sun set, and the sounds of the Grand Bayous came alive, Frodo realized that the levees which bordered their path also separated fresh and salt water. He realized that as he watched the Gators clamber over the levees into the salt water of the Grand Bayous. They smelled fish.
Legolas and Frodo were not prepared to sacrifice their catch without a struggle, nor were they totally stupid. They bent their backs into the waters in perfect rhythm, and watched the red eyes skimming the surface behind them, watching and waiting for a mistake. There was a shared sense of purpose by the adventurers, and they pulled the sailboat onto the landing with hardly a member of the catch lost to the pursuers. Without words, Frodo held the plastic bags while Legolas poured in the fish, and emptied the remaining ice in the cooler kept in Frodo's trunk. The red eyes were present the entire time.
When Frodo and Legolas returned home, long after Mid Night's Eve, Sam was a flurry of recrimination. Even worse was Sam's pronouncement that cleaning the fish was not part of Sam's assigned duties, and that Frodo and Legolas had all night to accomplish the task. Frodo felt it appropriate to omit some of the details of the adventure, and to seek out a couple of sharp knives. Legolas made the mistake of suggesting a few recipes for speckled trout stuffed with crabmeat. It was a bloody scene.
Many days have passed, but still Frodo and Legolas talk of that one shining moment when the fish bit on bare hooks, and the number was so great that no one bothered to count just how many there were.