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The Lesson

Chapter 1: The Lesson

by PearlTook

From elements given to me by Golden.

Frodo sighed.

“Try again, Pip,” he said as he placed the small fingers into their proper positions on the silverware. “You hold the fork like this in your left hand, with your first finger on top of the handle down close to the tines. Just like I showed you the last time.”

“Why Frodo? Why do you hold it way down there and why do you have your finger on top like that and why with my left hand, Frodo, when you know I use my right hand to draw with and Ma says I’m right-handed? Why Frodo?”

“I don’t know why, Pippin. That is just the way it is done,” he sighed again. “No, no, Pip. Not with your finger down onto the tines.”

Frodo moved the small hand back along the handle half an inch.

“There! There, that’s perfect, Pippin. Keep your hand and fingers just like that. Now, you hold the knife in your right hand. See Pip, you do get to use your right hand as well, just as I’ve been showing you. Hold it like you are holding the fork. No. Keep your hand on the handle, Pippin. Some knives are very sharp and you’ll cut yourself if you hold onto the blade. Yes! Yes, just like that! Now you stab the food with the fork . . . No!”

Frodo gasped as Pippin took a full swing at stabbing his fork into the rather think slice of ham on his plate. He could clearly hear it hitting the porcelain beneath the meat with a thump and a scratching sound.

“Not that hard Pippin. You know better than that. No harder than you stab the bits your Mum cuts up for you.”

Pippin giggled as he waved the slice of ham on the end of his fork up in the air.

“Put it down, Pippin.” Frodo said firmly and the small hobbit obliged.

“Alright now, put the edge of the knife on top of the meat and push down with your hand and the finger that is on the top edge of the blade.”

Pippin did as he was told then put his head down close to his plate. “’Didn’t do anything, Frodo.”

“Move the knife back and forth a little. Like this,” Frodo demonstrated the proper cutting motion as he spoke.

The slice of ham slid merrily back and forth while the knife seemed to stay in one place.

“Is this right Cousin Frodo?” the child asked in a cheery voice.

“No, Pippin,” the elder cousin sighed as he wearily crossed his arms on the table top then laid his head down upon them.

Frodo’s shoulders rose and fell with another large sigh and soon his breathing had softened.

“Frodo?” Pippin said quietly. “Frodo?” he said again a bit louder.

Pippin smiled a mischievous smile at his slumbering cousin. Then he cut himself a nice tidy piece of ham and popped it into his mouth.