The Daily Hobbiton
“Tall tales from a tall Took”
Interview by Marcella Stoor
Ever since Peregrin Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Samwise Gamgee, and Mr Frodo Baggins returned from ‘Forn’ parts, strange stories have been told of their adventures. Outlandish as these tales may seem to decent folk, one thing is certain- the four returned as heroes.
Rallying together the hobbits of the Shire, they orchestrated the most gruesome battle in the history of the four Farthings. Headed by Sam, Merry and Pippin, the Battle of Bywater was fought and won, earning the wanderers a place in history books for centuries to come.
Peregrin Took, son of Paladin, has become quite famous in the last few weeks. Earning renown in the battle, he has quickly become a prominent and formidable character in Shire affairs.
I arrange to meet him in the Green Dragon, a favourite haunt of his, to hear his opinion on the strange events of recent times. Standing up to greet me, it is impossible to ignore Peregrin’s alarming height. He is easily discernable from the other patrons, aided by his peculiar clothes of fine fabrics.
“No doubt you wonder at my dress!” he commences cheerfully. “I’ve had people stare at me all afternoon as if I was an outsider. Truth is, I’ve grown so much I can’t get any clothes to fit me. I brought these back from my travels.”
He gestures at the strange garments, partially covered by a pretty cloak with an obscure clasp. I have never seen anything like it, and I wonder where he got it.
“It was a gift from the elves. We all have one. It’s really light and warm. I’m going to treasure it forever. There are few hobbits who can say they received a gift from the Lady of Lothlorien!”
This last sentence was said with a laugh, but he sobers up when he notices my puzzled face.
“Sorry, I forget where I am. It is strange being back in the Shire after all this time.”
I now see my chance to quench those startling rumours of war and goblins, and give Peregrin a chance to tell the truth about where he disappeared to. Are the stories true, I ask, about the return of a king to Middle-earth?
“Yes”, he says slowly and with conviction. “It took a while for me to catch on, in the beginning. It’s true though! After thousands of years Aragorn, the direct heir of Isildur has claimed the throne in Gondor. Good old Strider! Soon enough, he’ll reclaim the Northern lands, and Arnor will come alive, and Hollin too, I shouldn’t wonder. He is unlike any man in the Shire.”
Peregrin seems to be unstoppable, once he begins speaking, and I listen politely as he tells me about a ring of power, a dark lord and something called Gollum. I only understand half of what he says, and I believe less than that. Although I would never call Peregrin a liar, I find his story too fantastical to be real. Whoever heard of tree giants and fire demons! Surely if all this was going on, we enlightened Shire folk would have heard of it?
Anyway our own recent history is much more exciting. A few months ago a gang of swarthy southerners entered the Shire, under the command of ‘Sharky’, and proceeded to bully the hobbits into slavery and starvation. It was the return of Peregrin and his companions that led to the raising of the Shire. I want to know his opinion on the whole ordeal.
“Wherever I was in the world, I always had the cheering idea that there was one place, the Shire, that never changed. It was a comforting thought on cold nights with an empty stomach. I had a picture of eventually coming home and sitting down in the garden to smoke some pipeweed, with mountains of food before me. It was a dreadful shock coming back to find everything so different and unpleasant. It made us really angry. After all we had been through, those ruffian bullies thought they could take home away from us. We showed them!”
For a second I am struck speechless by the fierce, brave look on the young hobbit’s face. A look of knowledge and experience, which would rival even the Thain’s. But suddenly he laughs again, and becomes merry once more.
“Well at least in all my travels, I had the opportunity to taste some elven food. That was a beautiful experience, like eating mushrooms, only ten times nicer! And the drink, it was indescribable, like drinking sunshine. But I’m happy to just sit here and drink my pint now, in the permanence of the Shire. Although, Gandalf tells me elvish draughts are the most potent in Middle-earth, and he should know!”
The food indeed sounds delicious, but I grow wary at the mention of Gandalf, a wizard known to be a causer of mischief, and a disturber of the peace. It was he who is blamed for the disappearance of ‘Mad’ Baggins, the benefactor of Master Frodo. I hesitantly suggest that Peregrin should find some safer and more settled company to be acquainted with. Master Took laughs and laughs, until I begin to feel that I’ve made a gaffe. But the charming (and rather dashing hobbit) notices my discomfiture.
“I’m sorry Marcella, but that is so funny. I can’t imagine feeling as ‘safe’ anywhere in the world as I do when I’m with Gandalf. He is the most dangerous person you are ever likely to encounter, but he wouldn’t harm you for the world. It is because of him, and Aragorn, the king, that the Shire is such a ‘settled’ place to live.”
Shortly after these disconcerting words, we conclude the interview. I am puzzled but charmed by the enigmatic Took. I can’t possibly believe all his strange tales, but I think we can all overlook his eccentric ways. I’m impressed by the attractive hobbit, and his role in the Battle of Bywater. Good luck Pippin, I wish you well.
Hey guys be nice to me. I know a lot of this is not exact, and that the Shire is extremely unlikely to have a newspaper, and the interviewer is much too broad-minded for a hobbit!