The porg had struggled up and down mountains (…hills), over massive rocky hills (…large boulders), and around the biggest wood trunks in the universe (…average-sized trees). How he had wound up here, or even where “here” was, he had no idea. He just wanted something to eat. Maybe a comfy place for a nice nap. Fortunately, nothing in this strange world thought of him as food…he had that much going for him. Hearing the noises of other beings nearby, he turned and began a final struggle up the biggest mountain he had climbed yet (…ok this one really was almost a mountain). Perhaps there would be food or a nap at the end of his journey.
*** *** ***
The argument was dragging on forever. Frodo sighed and rubbed his forehead. Sam fidgeted beside him. Sam in particular had little patience for this kind of thing, but they didn’t have much choice right now. Nobody was even looking at the two Hobbits. The Dwarf who had tried to destroy the Ring with his axe was currently shouting at the pretty blond Elf who had earlier defended Aragorn. Pretty Blond was at least holding his own in the argument, though now Aragorn had shifted from supporting sensible ring-destroying measures to trying to keep Angry Dwarf and Pretty Blond away from each other. And on top of it, everyone else was fighting too. If only they could all focus on the actual problem…
Movement by the center pedestal caught his eye. A small, soft, round creature had popped up over the pedestal’s edge. Its already too-large eyes widened and its mouth dropped open as it stared at the Ring. The staring lasted for only moments before the small creature struggled the rest of the way on top of the pedestal, revealing flippers (or wings?) and bright orange duck-like feet. It padded the short distance to the Ring and leaned over to study it from every angle. Frodo frowned and sat forward, then nudged Sam’s arm. “Sam, look,” he whispered. “What is it?”
Sam pulled his attention from the massive fight and looked where Frodo pointed. “I dunno Mr. Frodo,” he whispered back. “I’ve never seen the like.”
“Is it after the Ring?” Frodo asked.
Sam didn’t have a chance to answer. The small animal tapped the Ring with a foot a few times, then casually grabbed the Ring in its mouth and looked around. Two sets of big, dark eyes met. Frodo blinked. The animal blinked. Time stopped moving. And then –
“Aragorn!” Frodo shouted. “It has the Ring!”
Silence, as every eye turned first to Frodo and then to the pedestal. Every eye blinked as though finally noticing the round creature for the first time. The little ball of feathers blinked back at them, made an odd purring-chatter noise deep in its throat, and shuffled backwards away from the crowd. One of Elrond’s aides reached for it.
That was a mistake.
*** *** ***
“skkkkkkkkkreeEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” the porg screeched. He belly-flopped off the pedestal and scrambled to his feet, just managing to dodge as an Elf tried to grab him. The Elf wound up face-first on the floor, a second Elf tripping and falling on top of him as the porg dashed off into the bushes. Sam dove after him, but being much larger than a porg, he got stuck in the bushes and lost time fighting his way out. Legolas shouted at his aides not to shoot the creature, since they didn’t know what it was. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Boromir, and several Rivendell Elves took running leaps over Sam and the bushes and dashed after the porg.
For a creature as small and fat as porgs were, this one was surprisingly fast and agile. He dodged through openings in walls and fences. As he passed into Rivendell’s inner halls, he encountered a group of oblivious Elves and darted through the small spaces between their feet. The Elves stumbled over each other in their attempts to avoid the mystery animal, and nearly got shoved into the walls as Elrond’s sons dashed past in hot pursuit.
The porg came to a crossroads. Choices lay before him, none that seemed good…until the scent of cooking food wafted his way. He sniffed the air and pondered, but only for a moment. Behind him, the sounds of pursuit grew louder. And just off to one side, a curious Elf coming to investigate the commotion was just about to discover the little bundle of feathers.
“CATCH THAT ANIMAL,” a voice shouted, and sure enough, the inquisitive Elf finally noticed the porg. He had no more time to lose. Off towards food it was. The porg scurried off to the kitchens, his pursuers hot on his heels. As the porg burst into the kitchen, he immediately tripped one of the cooks, and a basket of flour bound for the bread maker went flying. Porg, cook, and kitchen were covered in the powdery stuff and the porg sneezed, but didn’t relinquish his shiny prize or give up on his escape. Cooks scrambled and dove to catch him, but only succeeded in knocking over pots and pans and containers full of ingredients. Two tried using giant soup ladles to catch the porg, who skidded to a halt and changed direction just in time to avoid capture. The cooks caught each other instead. With the kitchen staff distracted by trying to help their friends, the porg was able to escape.
Inside once again, he thought he was safe. It was quiet…peaceful even. Sunlight found its way in through large windows, and the little porg plopped down in one puddle of sunlight to rest. He didn’t even notice the Elf that finally approached him until it was too late.
“Well aren’t you a cute little thing,” the Elf woman said as she scooped him up.
“krr?” the porg said, tilting his head to look at her.
She grinned at him, then frowned. “But you’ve managed to steal something important, little one,” she said. “How terrible. You must give it back.”
“…skree…” the porg murmured mournfully. He did not want to return his prize. It was shiny and precious, and now it was his. Surely the nice lady could understand?
Footfalls and the clamor of voices caught both of their attention, and the Elf turned towards the sound, snuggling the porg to her chest. A collection of irritated and battered humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits rounded the corner and stopped dead.
“Arwen,” Elrond said from the front of the group. “Did you catch it?”
Arwen showed them the porg. “This? Of course. How could I resist something this adorable, Ada?”
“It has the Ring!” Elrond said. “It is hardly adorable, it’s a danger to us all!”
“Not if it returns the Ring,” Arwen said. “And you will, right?” she added, with a stern look to the porg.
Though there was much grumbling from her new pet, Arwen was soon able to convince him to return the ring to Frodo. The others returned to the Council to continue discussing the Ring’s fate. Arwen, though, decided that her new pet needed a bit of care. He was, after all, hungry and covered in flour.
Of course, the Ring was destroyed eventually, and Arwen left Rivendell for a new life in Gondor. But stories of the tiny Kitchen Destroyer and Dodger of Elves continued in Rivendell until the day the last Elf left…and by then, they could hardly believe that the jewel-covered, pampered little pet of Queen Arwen of Gondor had ever been badly behaved at all.