A letter to Radagast

by Hobbitlove

My dear friend and brother,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have much that I need to discuss with you concerning important things, but I will not mention them here lest this letter falls into enemy hands. I will see you soon and we will talk of those things then.

The purpose of this letter is more for my own sanity. I need to tell someone and I know you will understand. I am here in the Shire at the home of my dear friend Bilbo Baggins. It's his birthday tomorrow, he will be eleventy one. He looks very good for such an old hobbit. I just love coming here. Especially for an occasion such as this. These hobbits, and especially Bilbo really know how to throw a party. You wouldn't believe all the food! This is certain to be a party of special magnificence. Bilbo has a few tricks up his sleeve as do I. I've brought many fireworks to show off for the young hobbits. It's been so long since I was here last, I'm afraid the younger hobbits have never seen my magic. I've brought a special rocket that will remind Bilbo of his adventure with the dragon all those years ago.

I guess that brings me to my problem. You know, dear Radagast, how much I love these halflings. I've spoken to you often of it. We were sent here, I know to keep watch and protect this land from the evil that would destroy it. Yet I often find myself wandering here to the Shire. I need the peace of this place. The comfort of these simple people. My mind is so weighed down with important and serious matters. When I come here, I can dance, drink, eat, laugh and just feel happy. This place is more of a refuge to me than even Imladris with all it's beauty. I often wonder if I made a mistake when I got Bilbo involved with the dwarves that time. The people here are not happy with me. Oh the children love me, and Bilbo and his nephew Frodo. But some of the older hobbits just scowl at me when I ride into town. All I want is to help them, and give them a smile now and again. The little ones especially. They are so wonderful. But at all times, I am aware of the distrust from the adults. I feel as if I am constantly being watched. Do they honestly think I would do anything to harm any one of them? They just don't understand how much I desire to protect them and the Shire from any harm or outside influence. Indeed, if I wasn't protecting them, with yours and others help, they would not have the peaceful lives that they do.

But, they think that it was I that carried Bilbo off to unknown places and ruined him for life. Maybe I did. Oh, I just don't know. Was I wrong to get him involved? I don't think he would say I was. I know it wasn't the most pleasant of journeys for him, but looking back, I think he would say he was glad he went. In fact, he is making plans right now to go on another journey. One that may take him away from the Shire forever.

I feel a certain heaviness of heart about the safety of the Shire right now. I'm not sure what it means. I just feel that it needs protecting even more than before. I hope to see you soon and talk more about that.

For now though, I bid you farewell.
Your friend and brother,
Gandalf