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Section IX-A Bit of Sam

Sam was none too pleased by all the folk who showed up expecting handouts. Somehow word got around that the whole of Bag End was up for the taking. Finally got that straightened out, but poor Sam was quite beside himself by all the tramping through the gardens. Not that I blame him, I was none too pleased myself. Sam learned from his Gaffer to take special pride in the gardens at Bag End. Samís Gaffer is the finest gardener in the Shire, but Iíve a hunch that someday Sam will be better. That should make his Gaffer proud. Sam has a way about him, knowing just what needs to be done. Where to cut and what to leave alone.

I guess it really wasnít as though I had no company at Bag End when I first moved in. Fortunately, I met dear Sam on one of my early visits. He was at Bag End whenever permitted to hear Mr. Bilboís stories. Uncle Bilbo loved a good listener, and Sam was one of the best. The way he hung on every word, even when he was very young endeared him to Uncle Bilbo, who decided that Sam should learn his letters. Samís eagerness for the stories was not lost on learning his letters. It also gave me a chance to become better acquainted with him. Old Gaffer was adamant that Sam was never to pester me. He didnít understand that right from the start he was no bother. Iíve always enjoyed his sunny disposition.

Of course, in truth, since Sam took over as head gardener, he doesnít just do the gardening. He does for me as well. If thereís nothing to be done in the garden heís fixing this or that. He frequently wakes me in the morning, or brings me tea, and he even occasionally cooks for me. I suspect he worries that I donít get proper care. Heís used to the way his mum fusses over him, and he tries to pass it along to me. For all the world he may be younger than I am, but sometimes he seems older the way he looks after me. I canít picture Bag End without seeing Sam as well.

Our friendship has grown and deepened over the years, as much as it could with me to be the master of Bag End and Sam the head gardener. Funny how in one moment everything can change. I had been out wandering the day alone and decided to stop in at the Green Dragon for a bit of ale and some company. I donít know why I hesitated on the threshold that night, I only know that I did and it changed things a bit in my mind.