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Section XXIV-Spring

How I have missed the warmth of spring and summer days, and indeed, glad I am for the lengthening of the days. The long dark of winter is blessedly over. It is evidenced all around now by the fresh, new green that blankets the Shire. Even the little cuttings we gathered in our wanderings last fall seem to be taking root nicely.

Sam, of course, is back busy in the garden, though I am able still to occasionally wrestle him away but usually only for a few hours at a time. One day I tried to cajole him away and ended up being ensnared in his gardening. Usually, I am the one giving orders, but in the garden, Sam is master. I actually rather enjoyed it all.

Seems that he has taken seriously my desire to be more involved with the upkeep of Bag End. Without embarrassment or even second thought, he wouldn't allow me to do anything like digging in the dirt or cleaning up. Instead, the tasks assigned me were quite simple, I almost felt indulged. Actually, I finally wheedled out of him that he had been planning for some time to rope me into his service. In truth, it was time to plant the potted cuttings and since we found them together he wanted us to plant them together. We spent several days discussing the best locations and why. The knowledge I earned from Sam's gentle tutoring last fall was now being reviewed. Did I understand which plants would work best where? He did the actual planting, but only after we discussed the locations and agreed on the final destination for each new starter.

In truth, though Sam discussed the sites with me, he had already mapped where the new arrivals would go. I am certain he needed my opinion not at all but instead seemed more to be testing me to see if what I learned last fall well and truly took, if you know what I mean. I hoped I passed the test. When I asked Sam if I had his face was a study of confusion. He flustered a little surprising me a bit by his reaction. I had not intended to cause any discomfort. I quickly assured him I meant it only in jest. In turn, he pronounced I learned my lessons adequately enough, and he felt quite satisfied with my decisions. He startled me by declaring me a potentially fair gardener. High praise indeed from Samwise Gamgee. I accepted the compliment as graciously as it had been intended and fortunately without breaking into a broad grin, at least not until no longer under the watchful gaze of my gardener, and friend.

When all was said and finally done he proudly presented each of the living treasures we'd found. He wanted me to give my final approval on their new and permanent homes. I am ever in awe of his careful choosing of location for replanting from pots to the garden proper. His preparation of the soil and choice of time of day, preferably early morning, all bent to encourage survival and growth. In the back of my mind, I smile secretly for they seem almost as children.