Topic: "The Important Stuff"
Sam is very worried about the gallant Howard. Sam knows the signs that things are breaking down, because Sam has seen it happen many times before. Sam bodes dread whenever the telephone rings with news from afar. Sam has been a hospice volunteer for many years.
Frodo may take on great burdens in his efforts to destroy the ring, but in Sam's presence he is merely a high private.
Frodo recognizes that there are times when Sam wants to talk and there are times when Sam wishes to sit in silence. Frodo does his best to recognize each. What amazes Frodo are the roles played by Mick, the Wonder Dog, and Princess Fiona ("the most beautiful girl in the whole world", from "Shrek," in case you hadn't noticed). They recognize the difference immediately, and they react accordingly. When Sam pulls a blanket up on the couch and reads while the TV, in silence, flashes sale items from Home Shopping Network and the tea cup sits on the cluttered table, that must be their sign to cuddle with Sam. They are loving, affectionate, and their eyes seem to mirror the concerns in the soul of Sam.
When Sam stirs and starts to think of other things Mick and Fiona immediately swing into action. They debate the ownership of a stuffed animal, or they imitate the political howlings of Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert. Sam is guaranteed to laugh at the outrageousness of the play, and tails wag in delighted unison.
Frodo is usually the center of attention because he drops crumbs, or he is more likely to step outside to seek adventure. At these times however, Mick and Fiona have a greater calling, and they do not stray too far from Sam's presence. Should Frodo mindlessly turn on a news program and begin to rail at the folly of the "clown of the day," he is the victim of silent stares in the doorway. It is as if he is being asked to explain what exactly he has on his mind for such thoughtless behavior. Being silently chastized by dogs is a lesson that Frodo takes to heart.
Everybody in the Shire has a job. Some do theirs very, very well.