The Adventure Begins – Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of my OC Hobbit fanfiction, “The Adventure Begins.” In the last part, Fili and Kili’s ponies spooked and ran off with the brothers on them. For this part, I was inspired by a scene in The Hobbit book found in the chapter called “Roast Mutton.” The scene depicts one of the ponies taking fright at nothing, bolting into the river, and causing Fili and Kili to be almost drowned. This is my version of that scene. Enjoy!

Shocked at first, I and the other dwarves just stared after the unexpected runaways. Some of the dwarves started chuckling. Dwalin, irritated, said, “Those boys are always causing trouble.”

Runaway horses were something I dealt with a lot in my homeland of Rohan. This was a situation I could easily handle. And then Kili would owe me and maybe stop giving me such a hard time. I dug my heels into Gildin’s sides and gave chase. The company disappeared behind me as Gildin and I galloped over the soggy ground. Increasingly in front of me, over the loud thudding of my horse’s hooves, I could hear a louder roar. I knew we had been following the river, but hadn’t realized how close we were. It abruptly hit me the great danger the brothers were in. The river would be swollen with rain water. Who knew if the spooked ponies would stop for the swirling current, or if the two brothers could swim? I urged Gildin forward faster, my heart now pounding with fear. Finally arriving at the bank of the river, I reined Gildin in so sharply that he reared. “Kili! Fili!” I shouted.

There was no answer from either dwarven brother. “Please be okay,” I whispered as I scanned the bank, hoping to catch a glimpse of them. I rode momentarily up the river bank and then turned around and rode back, unsure of how to proceed. I gazed for a moment at the threatening, black water of the river and felt sick to my stomach. My earlier prideful response filled me with shame. This wasn’t a situation I could handle, and I would gladly put up with Kili’s teasing if that meant he would be safe. What could I do? After all, I certainly couldn’t swim! I turned and looked behind, hoping that the other dwarves had caught up. But they hadn’t. It was going to be me, I could see.

“Brave. I am brave,” I repeated to myself as I pushed Gildin forward into the river. Gildin, although not afraid of water, shied away from this churning torrent, so I gave him another, extra squeeze, and finally he stepped in. The water swirled right under Gildin’s chest and tugged at my boots.

Taking a deep, shaky breath, I shouted at the top of my lungs, “Kili! Fili!” Again, there was still no answer. I urged Gildin farther in and looked down nervously, watching the water, painfully cold, rise higher on my legs. Moving downstream a bit, we stopped, and I looked around again and caught sight of something moving. It was a pony! Kicking Gildin forward, we waded over, and the panicked screams of Myrtle soon reached my ears.

“Kili!” I called, hoping a dwarf was nearby. “Fili!”  The pony thrashed about, panicked by the current. The bags of supplies floated next to her, attached, for the moment, by a single rope. There was no sight of either brother. Regretfully, we passed the pony, hoping she would make it to the bank on her own, and continued downstream. Pausing for a moment, I heard something. The faint sound of someone shouting was just audible. It’s one of the brothers! I realized, and I felt a rush of excitement. I urged Gildin towards the sound of the cry. “Kili! Fili!” I called out again.

“Here!” came the faint voice.

“Just a little farther, boy,” I promised Gildin, and my faithful horse continued on.

“Kili!” He was clinging to a rock in the middle of the river, and he looked up when he heard my voice.

“Nerissa!”

I was overjoyed to see he wasn’t drowned. You’re okay. Thank goodness. “Are you all right?” I questioned as I rode up beside him.

His face, arms, and hands were covered with cuts, and his hair and clothes were plastered to him. “I’m okay,” Kili answered, looking very much relieved to see me.

“Climb on,” I offered, holding out my hand.

He gripped my arm, and I expected to pull him up and onto Gildin’s back. Instead, I felt myself almost pulled off of Gildin. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t strong enough to pull Kili up. Dwarves are deceivingly heavy!

“I’m not strong enough to pull you onto Gildin. You’ll have to climb on yourself,” I shouted.

Kili gripped the saddle and hauled himself up. “Have you seen Fili?” he asked from behind me.

“No,” I twisted slightly so I could see him. “I’ll find your brother,” I promised, trying to feel more confident than I felt.

“We’ll find him,” Kili corrected, making sure he would be part of this enterprise.

“We’ll find him,” I agreed, more than happy to no longer be alone in the great dwarven rescue.

“Fili!” we called, trying to make our voices heard above the rushing of the water.  We sat tensely on Gildin, scanning the river, hoping for a reply.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

~ Kayla

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