OUR FAMILY MAKES an annual event out of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are many beloved characters in the movie series: hobbits Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, of course, as well as their countrymen, Pippin, Merry, and Sam. If you are familiar with the story, you know there are literally dozens and dozens of characters to remember and love.
One of the most memorable is Denathor, the longsuffering Lord Steward of Gondor, who had delusions of grandeur, lots of resentment, and a nasty sneer when he was annoyed or vexed.
Watson loved to be teased with his bone, even vexed. We’d bring it near his nose, and he would, without fail, pull his face tight and sneer. His nose quivered. The closer the bone, the greater the sneer. We’d pull the bone away; he’d release the sneer. We’d bring it near again; sneer. We called this Watson’s Denathor game.
Of course, Watson’s gentle spirit had nothing to do with Denathor’s nasty, delusional character. But that sneer. Oh, that sneer! Watson enjoyed the game because we enjoyed it so much. He always appeared pleased with himself, sneering while we laughed at the striking similarity of his look to the movie character’s. When we didn’t expect it, he’d go for the bone. Most of the time, he got it before we could pull it away.
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