Farewell We Call to Hearth and Hall
I awoke in Bag End; a chill was in the air. I looked out the window.
The darkness still covered The Shire, morning had not arrived yet, but
the eastern sky was lightening even as I watched. My last morning,
today was the day, no more waiting, no more wool gathering. Gandalf had
not appeared and tonight we would be gone. I wandered through my Hobbit
hole. Everything seemed disheveled, and so out of place, I silently
touched the pieces to be left behind. Memories of youth, of home, and
mostly of Bilbo. I paused at Bilbo's desk. I had no room at Crickhollow
for some of the larger pieces. The desk and matching chair was one of
these. I ran my fingers lovingly over the chair; memories of Bilbo's
final days at Bag End filled my head, feverishly writing, either in his
book, or in response to all those invitations he sent out for the
I pulled the chair out and sat down. The cushion molded itself around
me and I sighed in pleasure. I too spend an incredible amount of time
at this desk, in this chair. Rolling back the top of the desk, a bit of
sorrow touched my heart; I had never seen it look so empty. No scraps
of paper lay about it, no candles, it was full of emptiness. I ran my
fingers over the top. There was the place I had carved my name into the
desk. I had been bored with the elvish lessons that day, and wished to
be outside in the sunshine. It was carved alongside Bilbo's own. His
was preceded by a date. The date Bilbo had returned from his journey to
Lonely Mountain. Tears filled my eyes. I do not think I will be able to
carve a return date into the desk. I opened the drawers a final time.
Not as empty as I first thought. It was still full, of memories.
The first drawer, this is the one where Bilbo and I kept all the
important papers. Bilbo's final will, my adoption paper, our family
trees, our birth certificates. I chuckled. The small sketch I had drawn
of Bilbo when I was a child, and my first poem. Funny that Bilbo had
put those into this drawer, too. The deed to Bag End had been kept in
there too, but Lobelia had insisted that I give that to her yesterday
evening, along with one of the keys, I had not the heart, nor the
energy to fight with her, she will be sure to insist on an inventory
today too. The thought of Bilbo's desk in her hands caused a pain in my
heart. I slid that drawer shut and opened another.
This one I opened a bit more cautiously, after the drawer was opened, I
lay its broken pieces in my lap. This is the first thing she will fix.
This was always kept empty, after that day. Bilbo had broken this
drawer in a fit of anger, a rare occurrence that was. I had stayed many
times at Bag End with Bilbo in my youth, and one day I had been caught,
pilfering apples from Mr. Proudfoot's orchards. Bilbo was mighty put
out with me, and while he was berating me for my actions, he tried to
open this drawer, but it had stuck on something, and refused to budge.
After several minutes, with increasing frustration Bilbo finally got
the drawer open with a huge pull, the contents spilled out onto the
floor, and he was quite irritated. He threw the drawer across the room.
It hit the wall with a crash and the broken pieces fell to the floor in
a clatter. I can still remember the sound. The change in his mood came
rather sudden and he calmed down when he realized what he had done. He
picked up the now empty drawer and haphazardly put it back together. We
never fixed it. For us it became a tool. When anger threatened to
strike we would open the drawer, sit and look at the pieces and
remember the price that must be paid for anger. Most times we decided
it was too high of a price. I reassembled the drawer and slid it back
into its place.
The next drawer was the one that held the bottles of ink. I pulled that
one out, closed my eyes and held it up to my nose. I breathed in. Yes,
I could still smell it. I had accidentally dumped over an open bottle
of ink in here. That was after Bilbo had left and I was still a bit
clueless on cleaning up stains. I tried cleaning it the best I could,
but could never get rid of the stain, or the ink smell left behind. I
laughed outloud now in memory this time. It took me a long time to get
the ink off my fingers from trying to clean up the drawer, well until
Sam's mum suggested I use lemons to wash my fingers with. I thought she
was joking but tried it anyways. She was correct, as usual. So many
little drawers, that one held my toy dwarf soldiers that Balin had sent
to me. That one, the endless supply of quills, and that one, once held
my boyhood collection of rocks. I slid it open, now it was empty,
except for the rock dust that was embedded into its crevices.
So many little drawers, so many memories, daylight broke through the
eastern window. A knock sounded at the door. That would be Lobelia with
her list. I rolled close the top of the desk.
So little time.