"Keep out of my vegetable patch!" hollered the Old Gaffer, lobbing a
well-aimed potato at yet another trespasser. "Too many hobbits goin'
back and forth around here with all this party business. Need to learn
to stay on the proper side of a fence, they do. Mutter mutter..."
He noted Lobelia had abandoned the prickly rose hedge and was now
skulking under the rhododendrons where she could have a good view of
the front door of Bag End. He's lost count of how many times he'd
seen that old baggage ricochet off the door, as Mr. Bilbo had a quick
hand with the hinges. He remembered that Mr. Bilbo and Mr. Frodo
had even tried leaving assorted tin cutlery as decoys in the yard, but
to no avail. She was after those silver pieces of theirs and nothing
would dissuade her. Odd bird, she was. Well, there's
no accounting for the behavior of some folk.
He chose a nice round, hefty potato to bop her with if she came
his direction. He wasn't havin' no umbrella-poke holes in his garden
today, no sir.
Merry and Pippin meet at the Maggot Farm Rendezvous Point promptly
at 8 AM.
"Okay, Pip..." said Merry. "You go find one good cabbage head for us,
and I will work
on an armful of carrots. Then, we will go for the mushrooms, but
if Maggot catches on we'll have to leave those here. Now...
At Bag End...
Bilbo finished tying the last strings and tags on the last packages and
stretched and yawned. He got up and peered out his window to see
how the party tents were coming along when Lobelia popped up like a
jack in the box on the other side of the glass.
"Ahmwhamapoons! Lemmen!" she hollered as she waved her umbrella about,
though he couldn't quite make out what it was through the thick
glass. He stuck his tongue out at her scowling face and snapped
the shutters closed. There were times when he couldn't get away from
this place fast enough.
He looked at his watch. Where was that dratted wizard? And now Frodo
had gone missing all morning too.
Lobelia stomped away from Bilbo's window.
"The NERVE...I know he could hear me in there, he's just choosing
not to listen. I know he's up to something. "
*achoo* *achoo* *achoo*
"Oh, drat that gardener Gamgee, he knows I'm allergic to roses, yet he
plants them anyway all over the garden. Hmmmph...just like a Gamgee. "
Suddenly Lobelia was hit in the back by something small and
"Ooofff!! What was that?"
She looked around and spied old Gaffer Gamgee
(waving her umbrella in the general direction of the Gamgee's
home)"Now see here Old Gaffer, I've just as much a right to be here in
this garden as anybody, it should be my garden anyway, so you see that
you just keep your ol' potatoes to yourself and mind your manners.
Lobelia stomped off in a huff rubbing her back,as snickering
could be heard from behind a bush.
On a relatively less dark and gloomy night as they go in Mordor the
nine set off from Minas Morgrul to find some
hobbit character and this ring that their boss is sooooo concerned
Úlairë Cantëa: Sssshire.
Witch King: Yeah, I hear that hobbitt is throwing one heck
of a party
Ulaire Enquea: I'm glad Sauron finally let us out. I havent
been to a good party in ages.
Ulaire Ostea: Hey, Witchie, can we do the party first and
then get that ring.
Witch King: *glares at Ostea* NEVER call me "Witchie" again
Otsea: What! Sauron calls ya that?
Neyla: Sauron is the lord of ultimate evil, your just a minion,
he can call his minions anything he wants.
Witch King: Enough you two. Oh yeah, gotta drop by Saruman's
place on the way. Sauron wants to give him a spiffy new cloak and
we get to officially make him a minion of evil.
The Old Gaffer chuckled to himself, pleased at getting her away however
briefly. He knew she wouldn't be gone long, not with all this
attention being paid to her esteemed relative. He pulled another
potato out of his pocket and chewed on it absently as he watched the
banners going up across the way. He wondered how long it would be
until they noticed they had put up the birthday banner upside-down.
Meanwhile Frodo had begun to be a little overwhelmed with the amount of
information that the unusually talkative wizard was giving him about
the Outside World and was beginning to think taking a short cut across
the fields might not be a bad idea. Besides, Sam would no doubt
be looking for him - as always.
As they approached the bridge he noticed Ted Sandyman idly fishing
along the side of it, so he casually reached out and shoved him into
the water as they rumbled past. "Oops! Sorry Ted!" he called back
to the spluttering hobbit.
He looked up at Gandalf who was eyeing him quizzically.
"Some folks just need washing more often than others." he said,
and batted his eyes innocently.
Merry and Pippin returned from Maggot's a bit frustrated that
they had to once again leave the mushrooms and planned to
go for the potatoes and mushrooms next week.
Merry chomped on a carrot. "You know, Pip... Bilbo has the big party
Pippin nodded and grabbed a carrot to snack on, too. The two
to walk and discuss their conspiracy to confiscate fireworks and set
them off when Gandalf wasn't looking.
In the cart....
Gandalf continued to look at him in surprise after they got across the
bridge, he had never known Frodo to do something like that. He was
usually very patient with his fellow hobbits.
Though he could have ignored the look, after all that the wizard had
told him, he was feeling generous. "You know with Bilbo's party just
around the corner everyone will need baths. I just wanted to help him
out, in case the bathwater ran short of course." Gandalf gave a snort.
"Besides couldn't you smell him at least a half mile down the road?
Gandalf waved his scarf in front of his nose, he had to agree. It was
usually better to stand upwind of Ted Sandyman. Especially on a warm
day such as this. He took put his pipe and lit it, waving to a
few of the townsfolk
as they went along.
Frodo was quiet as well thinking of the book he
left behind and would have to go back and retrieve, but said quietly,
"Besides, I've always wanted to do that."
Gandalf gave a loud chuckle and said,
"Don't feel too bad lad, I was thinking of doing the same thing. Do you
think we might convince Bilbo to give him a bar of soap on Thursday?"
::Meanwhile, in the land of smoke and ash, riddled with fire, where
the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume::
"Gollum" ::cough, wheeze, choke::
"Don't orcses have to
breathe air, too?" ::cough, choke, gag:
"It ssstinksss, it does. What isss that sssmell, Precioussss?"
The wretched creature rounded a hill just past a strangely silent tower
to find the entrance to a tunnel. There seemed no other way out of the
vale, so he crept in while holding his nose...
::scrape, creak, snick, crack, scrape, creak::
Multiple luminous points began to appear, forming two masses
reminiscent of bulbous eyes, glowing in the dark tunnel ahead.
Something akin to laughter came from the general direction of those
eyes, and a sense of deep dread filled Gollum with loathing.
Suddenly, the thing leapt toward him with a snapping sound of unseen
jaws... it was but a feint, yet enough to set him flying down the
tunnel and out onto the stair. Shaking, sweating, and breathing hard,
Gollum looked around.
"We got out, we did!" ::cackle, pant, snigger:: "We are clever
and tricksy, eh preciousss? Now we must find that thief! Baggins! We
hatesss it forever!"
A small grey figure blended into the lifeless Morgal Vale, no one noted
his passing save the eyes of an ever watchful tower winking in the
In the cart...
"You know, Gandalf, " said Frodo, "there are folks here who find you a
bit of a bother. You do so many unexpected
things that they have to go back and change the captions and headlines
for every article in the local paper. I mean, they usually write it out
a month ahead of time as so little changes around here, but when you
arrive - whew! I've even heard they'd given you a title down at
Gandalf cocked a bushy brow. "And what might that be?"
"The Re-Blurber of the Piece."
Well...we're coming up on Bag End and I don't want Bilbo to see me
until I get that book of his back where it belongs - I better make like
a tree and leaf! "
Frodo jumped from the cart, almost beaning himself on a
low-hanging branch as he waved back at Gandalf.
Gandalf continued on his way, letting Bill take his time pulling the
cart up the hill and smoking his pipe. He was practicing making new
smoke rings to impress Bilbo. The last time he visited they had a
contest, without the magical colors and and fanfare; he'd almost lost!
Gandalf, a being older than the shire itself almost lost a plain old
smoke ring contest! He just couldn't have it... what would Saruman or
Radagast say if they found out. He'd lose his standing in the council.
He shook his head in mock sadness.
He knew that Bilbo would have been practicing these last few years, but
he'd been so busy with wizard affairs that he hadn't had the
time. And as everyone knows you can't have a proper pipe to make
proper smoke rings while working on fireworks, so no time there. So
Gandalf took the time now to practice a bit, hoping Bilbo had forgotten
their promise to a new contest. But, before he knew it Bill pulled up
in front of a hole with the little green door and refused to go any
further without a rest.
Bilbo heard what sounded like a cart outside, but feared it was just
Lobelia with her wheelbarrow, wanting to load up his valuables
again. He thought about booby-trapping the door, but didn't
really have time for a proper trap. That time he'd tipped a
bucket of dishwater on her head had made her a little more wary.
Then again, it could just be a saleshobbit.
When they were bold enough to actually come through his gate and
knock! Well! He got rather huffy.
"No thank you!! We don't want anymore girl scout cookies, religious
magazines or coupons for pizza! And I'm not donating anything, I don't
have any recycling and my windows and siding are just fine as they
Hmph. That ought to cover all the bases.
Meanwhile, after the wierd incident of telepathy, Sam took a walk
He gave a snort as he walked past the Sackville-Baggins's
Hole. "What a disgrace. Not even a proper garden."
He stepped on a nearby weed then looked around. He saw a curtain close
from one of the Sackville-Baggins's windows. Sam quickly walked away.
He didn't like being spied on.
He strolled back to his own hole. As he looked off in the
direction of BagEnd, he saw a pony and a cart. Oh! Gandalf must
be here. I hope those are fireworks in his cart. And without even
taking a notice to the pony which was staring at him, he went
Gandalf gave a loud HUMMPF. Magazines and hobbit scout cookies
indeed! he thought as he walked up the steps.
When he reached the top he chuckled. before knocking on the door. He
heard nothing more from inside, but since he knew Bilbo was in there he
yelled in a singsong voice, "Fireworks!, Fireworks for sale." then
stepped back and waited, trying not to laugh at his old friend.
Lobelia watched from her window as that horrible gardner tramped all
over her beautiful flowers.
I wish he'd just stay out of my way, that one. I've seen the way
he spies on Old Bilbo. Probably wants to get his hand on the treasure
Bilbo's got holed up there. Well, he won't get a silver penny of it.
Not if I have my way.
As Lobelia was watching Sam and grumbling to herself, she noticed a
cart laden with many strange looking packages go by her window on the
way to Bag End. Here eyes narrowed to slits as she watched the cart
I knew Bilbo was up to something. That old troublemaker
never comes around, but to bring some kind of mischeif! I'll warrant
those are some of those fireworks of his in the back. Dangerous things
they are. Someone could get hurt. Certainly no respectable Hobbit would
play around with such things. Hmmmph!!
As an excuse to get a closer look, Lobelia decided to check her mail.
She dialed up, waited for the login to finish and heard the familiar
words...."You've got mail"....After deleting requests from Southron
business men wanting her to open a bank account for them here in
Hobbiton, chain letters promising good fortune and money if she would
just forward this to everyone in her mail box and invitations to
try........oh, wait...no, no, no...this isn't right.....
She decided to check her mail box, she opened her front door and pulled
from the mail box a beautiful card with
Gold letters on it. She wondered what it could be.......
At Bag End...
He hurried over to the door and opened it for his old friend. "Why,
Gandalf! I'm so glad to see you! Come on in, can I get you anything?"
(erm, drat, that was me...logged in as the wrong person... oh well...)
Lobelia and Boromir stand off camera snickering at Bilbo as he quickly
changes out of Frodo's wig and costume.
"You know Boromir, in my experience, the costume people on this picture
are much better than that. I can't believe they would acidentally dress
Bilbo in Frodo's costume, can you?"
Boromir quirked an eyebrow. "Well, actually, I suspect a certain Hobbit
pair that might have sweet talked the costume girls into
helping them with a prank." He eyed Merry and Pippin
Pippin, also off camera heard that last comment and rapidly hid the
carrot behind his back. "Who us?"
Merry shook his head and gave an innocent "Who me?" look. "Nope... I
have no idea what they're on about." He took a last bite of his
carrot and tossed the greens over his shoulder, accidentally landing
them in Lobelia's hair.
Gandalf thought a moment. A cup of tea would be proper, but a tankard
of Old Winyard sounded better. He knew Bilbo had some left that was his
father's and should be more than ready to be opened. As he debated with
himself, he looked about the hole and spied Thorin's map. It was quite
old when Bilbo had had his adventure and now it was quite worn, but
Bilbo manged to keep it safe enough. It was lovelingly set safely in a
He could hear Bilbo running about trying to find munchies to share, as
most food in the area was going towards the party. He wasn't hungry,
but his mouth was dry from the long drive. When the request was offered
again Gandalf said decisively, "Do you have any of Bungo's Winyard
left? It's been a long drive and a good drink would do well to wash the
Gandalf then attempted to squeeze his lanky frame onto the small bench
that really wasn't much bigger than a footstool in a human house.
Bilbo hustled and bustled around the hole.
"You kind of caught me unprepared! Here's tea, a bit of cheese, some
crackers, bread...yogurt, asparagus from last night, half a pear, a
bowl of nuts, a partial sack of Hershey kisses, four boxes of macaroni
and cheese, a tub of butter, applesauce, two jars of jam, porridge, a
slice of zucchini bread, a jar of spaghetti sauce, five cherry
tomatoes, a head of cabbage, olives, a tureen of potato soup,
raisin-boxes...a bowl of cornflakes, three slices of nut-cake,
carrot-sticks, a small jug of buttermilk, a plate of bratwurst and...oh
yes! Meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy and all the
trimmings! Sorry, I know it's not much. Just barely a snack,
really. I hope it will tide us over until the party - now that
should have a decent amount of food at least.
Did you see how quickly I swung the door shut after you? I've gotten
quite good at it. That thump you heard was just Lobelia bouncing
off of it again. Stubborn creature, she is. Still after my
cutlery, you know.
Well, tuck in! Hard to believe this will be my last evening here,
but I guess that being as it is, we might as well use up the
leftovers. I'm really ready to retire, Gandalf - and yes, I mean
to have my little joke tonight.
He sat down and proceeded to inhale the vast majority of what he
had heaped on the table, pausing only to insert olives onto his fingers
before eating them off, one at a time.
Frodo fetched the book he had left under the tree and headed back,
wondering what Bilbo was up to. He looked left and right, but
didn't see Sam anywhere, which was very odd, as Sam always was around
As he headed for the Party Field he admired the tents, lights and
cheerful activity, but grew quizzacal when he noticed that every now
and then some of the hobbits would suddenly jerk in an odd manner and
keel over. He was finally looking in the right place at the right
time and actually saw a huge baking potato bounce off the pate of one
He peered through the gathering twilight toward Bagshot Row. Sure
enough, there was the Gaffer. He had disguised himself with greenery
and was lurking in the bushes near the entrance, cheerfully amusing
himself by shooting potatoes with a homemade slingshot.
"Greetings, Master Frodo! And a very happy birthday to you!" he
called when he saw he was being watched. "Did ya see that last one? The
way his arms flew up and down like a half-plucked chicken? Hee hee
hee....I give myself extra points if I can land them in the fires, so
we can have baked taters later in the evening. What do you say to
"Good shot!" said Frodo with admiration. "Your aim has improved.
Lobelia been around a lot, has she?"
"Eh, yes, but that's no damper on my spirits tonight, young Master.
It's a fine night for a party." He carefully pulled back on his
slingshot and lobbed another tuber into the crowd.
Bilbo patted his full stomach and politely burped behind his hand.
"Well, that was a nice snack. It'll do for a while. Come on, Gandalf,
let's go out on the porch and blow a few smoke-rings before we go down
the hill, shall we? I've been practicing, I warn you! Oh,
and watch out for potatoes."
Sam walked up behind Frodo. He was rubbing his head and had a potato in
his hand. The old Gaffer ducked quickly behind the bushes before Sam
could see him.
"Hello Mr. Frodo. I was wondering where you were. The party is going to
start soon and I didn't want you to be late, seeing as it is your party
They started walking to one of the tents. "You'd never guess what
happened to me today. I think I talked to someone through my mind. I
never found out who they actually where. All's they said was thier name
was Bill. Now what do you think of that, Mr. Frodo?"
Frodo grinned. "I think you may have been hit harder in the head
than you might think."
Sam just shrugged and took a bite of his potato.
The stone pebbles in the pathway crumbled and crunched beneath bare
hairy feet of a Hobbit. Now mind you, this was not typical for
just any Hobbit. No, the Hobbit who stomped along resolutely,
leaning forward as if into a stiff wind, fists clenched was not a
Hobbit who had ever practiced much stealth. This Hobbit
huffed and puffed as the road rose to meet her, cursing it under her
breath. She vowed that if ever things went her way, she would
hire someone from Bree to come in and flatten the pathway to HER front
door, and maybe even to dig up some of these cursed "weeds" that grew
so profusely here at Bag End. Yes, and besides that, she would
make certain that the good-for-nothing lout Samwise would go looking
for employment elsewhere.
Taking her eyes off her feet and daring a glance ahead, Lobelia grinned
to herself upon seeing just ahead--and still unaware of her approach,
Bilbo Baggins himself. But the wizard Gandalf was there also,
legs folded unceremoniously upon the low Hobbit bench at the front
door. A haze of smoke surrounded the two, which drew another
pursed frown upon Lobelia's face.
"Well, let's just see him ignore me THIS time..." She
muttered under her breath, deciding to brave the Wizard to confront her
"...and I'm coming away with more than silverware!"
Bilbo blew an unusually good smoke-ring and watched as it began to
float off into the sunset. It had little hope of staying whole
for long though. Gandalf's smoke hot-air balloon sailed through
it, making it rather too oval. At least it had stayed together,
unlike the previous one that had been blown apart by Gandalf's
realistic smoke version of a jumbo jet.
He carefully puckered and blew one more perfect O.
Somewhere nearby the bushes rustled, but he figured it was just Lobelia
again - he figured the Gaffer would soon take her out with one of his
top-quality vegetables to her noggin
meanwhile in Lobelia's dressing trailer......
Lobelia double: (to Lobelia, while holding an ice pack to her
I'm so glad you finally made it. I've been holding your place
for you, but man, I'm getting tired of that Gaffer.
"I'm ever so sorry," groused Lobelia, "but shooting on the witches of
went longer than I thought, but I'm here now and I'll take over."
Lobelia's double gave her a sour look. "Just watch your back, that
Gaffer has a good
arm." She got up and headed out the door to the hobbit
extras trailer. "Oh and watch out for those two rascally ones, I
don't trust 'em."
Rosie got on her dancing shoes and hoped she could get that ninnyhammer
Sam to do more than blush at her when she got to the party.
Pippin hands in pockets whistled a low tune to himself while walking
along the hedgerow by the party field and returned casually to the
market area and pub. Spotting Merry he pulled him into the shadows by
"Psst! Looksee what I've got...." he whispered, unfolding a
piece of parchment. "Uh huh, the party tents map. Now this small
one between the kitchen marquee and the wash-up tents is the storage."
Merry nodded, slightly perplexed.
"And this..." Pippin pullsed a wad of paper from his weskit,
the site safety co-ordinator's schedule, and look, Gandalf's fireworks
wagon is to be parked betwixt the storage and the wash-up!"
Seeing as Gandalf wasn't being too talkative, Bilbo headed down to the
party to welcome the stream of hobbits arriving and to hand out gifts
to all and sundry. He wondered why there were so many potatoes
sprinkled around the grounds.
Gandalf brought his cart around to the side and parked it, then fished
out a few small fireworks to amuse the children with.
The Old Gaffer loaded up his pockets with spuds and tucked his
slingshot into the pocket of his work jacket. He dusted himself off and
headed into the festivities, nodding and smiling at his many friends
and relatives, and giving an approving look at his Sam when he saw him
where he belonged, right by Mister Frodo. He headed over to the
kegs to be sure his best brew was being served properly.
Frodo happily greeted people alongside Bilbo for a while, then decided
to head for the tables with a good plate of baked potatoes and
mushrooms and a mug of ale. The music was starting up, and except
for the weird notes coming from a horn that appeared to have a potato
stuck in the end of it it was quite lively.
:::cut to Rivendell:::
Meanwhile down in the valley, Elrond stood on his balcony surveying his
realm, glowing with pride as he watched his beloved elves going about
their business. Their business was mainly laying around in the trees or
on the ground, watching the leaves grow, drinking wine, and singing,
and occasionally attempting to teach inanimate objects to talk. It
worked so well with the trees long ages ago, and some elves were
determined to keep up the practice, even though so far the rocks
weren't talking back -- or at least not in a voice audible to others.
Occasionally an elf would pause and glance up at Elrond, raising their
hand in the traditional elvish greeting with fingers splayed in a
"Live long and prosper," they said to their leader.
"Peace and long life," he responded.
Back in the Shire....
Sam, while sitting at a table with his ale in hand, was looking around
anxiously. It seemed to be he was looking for someone, but they had not
arrived yet. As he looked around, he saw Gandalf's cart, and the pony
he had seen earlier. Again, it was staring at him, and Sam didn't quite
Off in the corner of his eye he saw a figure moving slowly. In fact, it
was two figures, Merry and Pippin, and they seemed to be moving towards
the cart. Sam decided it would be some sort of mischief so he got up
and went to them.
"Why hello! I saw you two over here and had somethin to say. I'm quite
alright with that joke you played on me earlier. All in good fun, it
was, I presume, and it actually got me and Rosie to talkin. So I'm not
too mad at you for it." Sam smiled at them and took a drink of his ale.
They both looked like they did not want to hold this conversation any
longer. They were going to run out of time.
Merry and Pippin were in luck though when Sam felt a shock....and
heard Bill talking to him again. Sam stepped aside.
"Well hello there Sam! I just wanted to say it is lovely to
"Excuse me? I don't believe I have seen you yet."
"Why, yes you have! You looked straight at me."
"I did? Well, who are you? Where are you?" Sam was genuinely
"I'm actually right next to you. I am standing by Gandalf's
Sam turned around and saw the pony staring at him. He looked
quite horrified. "You're...you're a pony!" he said aloud.
Bill nodded his head. "Does that surprise you?"
"Well yes, actually. I had always thought ponies had Austrailian
accents...not proper British ones." There was a pause. "Wait a
second...There's supposed to be a Bill later on....did the other pony
not show up?" Sam looked around again and he saw Rosie sitting down at
a table. She was talking to Ted Sandyman, but did not look
".....so that's how I got the role of both
Sam clearly had not been listening. "Yeah, sure...thats' great.
Hey, um, do you think you could turn off your, um, listening for
now....I...have something I need to do." He continued to look off in
Rosie's direction. She had her head in her hand, trying not to pay
attention to Ted.
"Sure! Whatever you say!"
He sounded quite cheerful.
Sam felt a shock and he gave a sigh of relief. He nodded to the
pony and walked in the direction of Rosie.
Startled by a potato that whizzed close overhead, Frodo looked around
to comment to Sam and his eyes widened in astonishment. He
realized that the impossible had happened - Sam was nowhere in
sight! He was so tickled at being left "alone" for a moment he felt
full of mischief and, like an unwatched toddler, set out to find some
trouble to get into. Unfortunately for him, the only thing that
happened was Bilbo grabbing him in a mild panic.
"Psst! The Sackville-Baggins!" Bilbo hissed, his ears flapping
like Dumbo's. "Hide!"
Frodo was in no mood to face the sour Lobelia and Lotho together at the
same time. He followed Bilbo behind a nearby tent without
Bilbo had spotted them coming from the other side of the field and had
tried sprinkling a trail of cheap silverware like a trail of
breadcrumbs, to see if they would follow it off into the nearby
woods. He had been most disappointed when this little trick
A potato bounced off the tent where he and Frodo were hiding. He
heard a small squichy thump as it ricocheted into Lotho's midriff and
he and Frodo smiled at each other. Good aim, that Gaffer.
After awhile, the nine arrive at the river Isen. They start
looking about confused.
Witch King: Hey guys, I think we're a tad early
Attea: WHAT! Weren't we going to that hobbit's party
Enquea: Yeah! I wanted some ale, maybe a couple of tasty little hobits.
Cantea: Speak for yourself, I wanted to dance with that Rosie
Witch King: Sorry guys, we can't cross yet.
Otsea: Why not?
Witch King: Look at the sign.
The Witch King points to a sign by the river that reads:
"Do not cross until midsummers eve. - Middle Earth Coast
A ship with a bright orange keel and several rapid fire ballistae can
be seen sailing up and down the river.
Enquea: Oh well, guess we'll have to go to the disco Saruman built to
Witch King: "Club Evil Wizard" , yeah, its a rocking place.
Attea: But all the chicks are orcs!
Witch King: Yeah, but it'll have to do.
At Bag End...
Lobelia forgot her exhaustion as she continued climbing the rise toward
Bag End when something gleaming and golden on the ground caught her
eye. Gathering her skirts about her heels, she bent down, and
peered intently, screwing up her eyes to decipher what lay in the
pebbles at her feet. Leaning closer, she came nose to nose with a
mere cheap party trinket, laying forlorn and forgotten trampled in the
"Hmmph!" She sighed, not deeming the bauble worth soiling her
As she stood straight again, a rush of air zipped by her head,
startling her and a large potato fell a few feet before her on the
"Well, I'll be...!" Her eyes widened in surprise but then
narrowed with the realization that neither Bilbo nor Gandalf were
lazing upon the front doorstep anymore. She wheeled around, hands
on hips expecting to see them behind her, laughing. Instead she
was only in time to see the weeds behind her close back together, as
the sound of retreating footfalls came to her ears. All was quiet but
for the sound of party preparation in the dale below.
"Well, I've come this far..." She thought, and continued the
short distance to Bilbo's front door. "Surely they just ducked
The round regal door of Bag End stood before her, and she didn't
hesitate to lean into it with a heavy knock. To her amazement,
the door swung open with the force of her jarring.
And then more shrilly, "Bilbo?"
There was no reply. Lobelia stood, wringing her hands in her
apron, weighing the possibilities before her. What lay behind the
doors of Bag End? Well, it surely wouldn't be wrong to have a
look, now would it? After all, it was all supposed to belong to
her anyway...She took one hesitant step across the doorstop. What
if that dratted wizard was in there? The thought nearly froze her
blood. There was something quite unnatural about the visitor who
dropped in on Bilbo every so often. But a Hobbit's curiosity will
often overcome a Hobbits fear, real and imagined, and soon, her other
foot followed and she found herself standing in the entryway of Bag
Lobelia smiled to herself. The wizard and Bilbo had obviously
gone to the party...Frodo...well, who knows where that strange boy
was. And Lotho, well, he had things of his own to worry
about--what, with his distant cousin, Datura visiting from Archet and
wanting to go to the party early and all.
Lobelia clapped her hands in glee..."I'll just take a quick
look-see!" She thought.
Sam, once he got close to where Rosie was seated, became nervous. He
decided to change his course over to
the ale tent.
As he filled his mug, Sandyman was standing nearby, talking to
"Yeah, she digs me. I'll have that hobbit-lass Rosie in no time. There
won't be anyone else she'll want to dance with."
Sam walked away grumbling to himself. Who does he think he is? Actin'
like he's all that and a bunch of mushrooms. I'll show him...Rosie will
only want to dance with me! But as he neared her seat again, he watched
her get up and start dancing....he made his way to his own seat,
slightly embarrased, and sipped his brew.
Rosie noticed Sam sitting alone and Sandyman kept stepping on her feet
so she went over to Sam and pulled him onto the dance floor.
Bibo had gone to greet his guests at the party. Gandalf was being too
quiet, but as a wizard he had many things on his mind and taking the
time off for this party was straining the limits of his time. Making
the fireworks was no big deal he had many made years prior, but right
now he was busy and taking time off wasn't helping. **sigh**
wizard's work was never done.
Gandalf got up and went off to get a few last minute things done that
would allow him to truely relax this night and enjoy himself as he had
not done since he couldn't remember when. So, he missed seeing Lobelia
sneak up the walk and into Bag End.
Gandalf finished his wizard stuff and went to start his job at the
party in the visual entertainment dept. aka he needed to get the
fireworks going. He was already late, though he'd never tell anyone,
hobbit or otherwise that he was late - for anything!
As he shot off one firework after another, he realized he had not been
sorry to use magic on his smoke rings earlier. Plain old smoke rings
were a bore and Bilbo had been looking forward to some new designs as
he could now make quite large and sturdy round ones. Gandalf
quite enjoyed himself with them. It took precision timing to get his
smoke desgins to pop thru Bilbo's before they disappeared, but still
large enough to get his picture thru. It had been a marvelously fine
evening for smokerings and also for fireworks. He chuckled as he
thought of the one he had saved for later. He thought about their
reaction to it - he couldn't help but smile and then gave into the
pleas of some of the younger hobbits. After the last firework from this
pile was set off he joined the dancing in front of the music
After Lotho had staggered past their hiding place, clutching his
stomach and rubbing his head even as yet another tuber bounced
off his derriere, Frodo and Bilbo had slipped back into the crowd
to continue with the party. They wondered where Lobelia had gone - it
wasn't like her to leave Lotho wandering around without her somewhere
Frodo headed back towards his seat but found in his absence someone
else had eaten everything and cleared his dishes away. Sam was there,
eyeing Rosie Cotton shyly, so he had decided to help out a bit by
suddenly propelling Sam into her arms when she came by. The look
on his face was priceless.
He wondered where Merry and Pippin had got to...the birthday cake
was about to be brought in, and he hoped they wouldn't miss out on it.
Ted Sandyman, standing nearby, suddenly let out a "yawp!" and sat down
heavily. Two large potatoes came to rest nearby.
He looked around and spotted the Gaffer lurking just behind the edge of
the nearby tent. He gave him a thumbs-up sign which was acknowledged
with a grin.
Bilbo, seeing the huge cake being topped off with the last of its
candles, began to work his way through the large crowd. Almost time for
his speech...and his little joke....
Gandalf's fireworks just kept getting bigger and better - he'd really
enjoyed the ones that had looked like Thorin's Nose blowing sparks, and
the Keg of Ale with leaks of sparkling golden "drops" going into
flaming purple mugs! No one could make 'em like Gandalf, no sirree...
Merry hovered in the tent where all the food was being prepared,
recounting the candles on the cake.
"Um... I think we don't need this one."
He pulls off a candle and licks the frosting at the bottom of it, then
checks around him to make sure no one is looking and places the candle
back onto the cake. Once all the candles were accounted for, he
began the process of lighting them.
Lobelia stepped fully inside the threshhold of Bag End, pushing
the door closed with a soft 'click'. It took a moment for her
eyes to adjust as the only light inside was the dimming sunlight
through dusty panes and the glow of untended fireplaces. So this
was Bag End. She shuffled through the passageways, re-arranging
furniture in her mind, discarding useless heirlooms and making a mental
checklist of things that were of value. Surprisingly to her,
however was the fact that Bilbo seemed to have little obvious
wealth. Sure, his Hobbit-hole
was one of the largest anywhere, but it was packed tight with things of
little use to most Hobbits. And these things were strewn about
the rooms with no thought for decorum or neatness.
This was truly
a bachelor's home, and had obviously been that for every bit of his
one-hundred and eleven years. Books by the thousands gathered
dust and silverfish on the floor, on the shelves, on the mantles.
And what's more--many of those books were rendered even more useless by
the fact that they were written in pure gibberish!
Incomprehensible letters filled the volumes, some blocky and angular,
others reminiscent of the flowing forms of leaves and vines.
Surely they could be no alphabet at all! Inkwells and
writing instruments accompanied these books and Lobelia counted no less
than ten desks devoted to the writing pursuit, each with stacks of
papers, maps and volumes arranged tastelessly around. The books
she could read snippets of were of completely boring topics like
children's stories of dragons and kings. Nothing useful and
practical like a planting guide or (she didn't find any)
geneaologies. One book was even ruined by the accidental tipping
of an inkwell, though no effort had been made to salvage the writings.
A large array of walking sticks lined the wall of one room; Lobelia
turned her nose up at them, "Certainly most un-Hobbitlike indeed!" She
But the famous wealth of Bilbo eluded her, and she became a bit upset,
finding nothing she could secret beneath her apron and show to Lotho
The first seven of Bilbo's storage trunks revealed nothing but
moth-ball scented clothing. She had just about given up on
looking through another when a small strangely decorated trunk caught
her eye. The remaining light of the set sun filtered into the
room, a soft beacon illuminating the corner where the trunk lay as an
invitation. She was in the farthest pantry down the right wing,
and this little iron-bound trunk seemed curiously out of place.
Looking about her, Lobelia stooped down and lifted the lid...
Down in the Party Field...
The Old Gaffer, missing his favorite target, looked in vain for Lobelia
Sackville-Baggins. He lobbed off a couple more almost randomly
and winced slightly as one lodged itself deeply in Mr. Bilbo and Mr.
Frodo's birthday cake.
Glancing back up the Hill, he noticed a shadow move past one of the
windows of Bag End. So that's what the old bag was up to, was
she? He headed for his garden to assemble an appropriate lot of
vegetables for this situation, then crept up the Hill.
Carefully reaching over to light the last candle on the cake, Merry was
suddenly hit from a blast of cake topping that covered his face when a
potato unsuspectingly buried itself into the cake's side. He
snuffed the match, wiped his eyes, surveyed the potato's damage, then
proceeded to walk off innocently licking his fingers.
Sam continued to blush shyly as he danced with Rosie. All the time he
was thinking, "Am I really dancing with Rosie? Is this happening to
me?" all thought with a silly grin on his face.
As the current song ended, and all be came fairly quiet, Sam looked
down at Rosie's feet. On the toes, was a nice shade of Rosie-pink. He
stuttered to his words. "Tha-at color on, on your feet looks lovely on
you misstress R-Rose." She gave him a warm smile with a twinkle in her
eye as the music started up again and they continued to dance.
Sam was in heaven...especially when he caught a glimpse of Sandyman's
sour face....though, that could just be from the recent potato that
smashed his foot.
Pippin slipped into hiding in a certain tent... "I'm here, the wagons
outside loaded with fireworks, and where in the Shire is Merry!"
He paced back and forth nervously.
Gandalf wasn't dancing any longer, nor was he setting off any
fireworks; he was relaxing in a corner with a tiny (for a human) mug of
ale and his pipe. There was just something about being in The Shire and
at a party that was a balm to his soul.
He tried to remember that last time he felt this relaxed and he could
only think of the tea party he set up at Bag End that fateful Spring
day sixty years ago. He laughed to himself thinking of Bilbo's response
to 13 dwarves (with appropriate breaks) showing up on his
doorstep. Ahh those were the days...
In Bag End...
Lobelia caught her breath as the trunk lid opened, revealing the
glimmer of silver metal inside. She hastily delved her hands into
the container, but pulled them out twice as quick, for her fingers had
been knicked by something sharp. Cursing under her breath, she
grabbed her hand, and wrapped it in her apron.
"...Be a bit more careful..." She reminded herself, though it was
hard for such a simple Hobbit to resist the lure of loot recovered from
a Dragon in days long past. The spell of greed still lingered and
called strongly to Lobelia's nature. She rifled through the trunk
(a bit more cautiously this time) and to her great disappointment,
found no gold, no coins--not even any silverware! Instead, the
only other thing in the small trunk was a coif (or so it seemed to her)
wrought of tiny interlocking silver rings. What use could that
be? No one in their right mind would go about wearing metal, now
would they? And wouldn't their hair get irretrievably stuck in
the rings? Lobelia sniffed haughtily, not deeming anything in the
trunk of any value and slammed it shut.
It was very late...the party would have started long ago, and Lobelia
was beginning to feel the pangs of a much more urgent nature to a
Hobbit...HUNGER! It was one of the few things that could take her
mind off of her greed, although I suppose you could say that hunger is
a certain greed all its own.
As she stood, she froze with fear, thinking she had heard a
voice. Would Bilbo leave his party so soon? She cocked her
head to the side...there it was again. For some unexplainable
reason, it gave her cold chills, and she immediately wished for a
light, and maybe even the dagger from the trunk at her feet.
There it was again...a voice, disembodied Coming from nowhere and
everywhere at once.
Lobelia screamed with fright and raced down the darkened hallway,
tripping over books and laundry and boots and planting pots. The
fireplaces were black now, no more sun shone through the rounded
windows; she could barely find her way through the house. A loud
explosion shook Bag End, and bright sparks silhouetted frightening
shapes of twisted trees and plants through the windows. She
screamed again as she saw through the window, a giant fiery red dragon
headed directly for her. This was all quite too much for Lobelia,
and she nearly dropped to the floor then and there. But as you
may know, Hobbits are hardy folk, and in a pinch, show some pretty
sturdy stuff. Lobelia screamed anyway, feeling no more need for
stealth, but continued running. Straight out of Bag End she ran,
howling all the way, and straight down Bag End Drive, hardly stopping
to check on the health of the Gaffer after running him down in her
But many rotten tomatoes and one large cantaloupe rolled after
her down the hill.
The Old Gaffer sat on the ground, a bit stunned by having had Lobelia
plow right over him that way. He felt around in the dark for his
hat, rammed it back onto his head and stumped back down towards the
party, muttering about females....
The cake smouldered and smoked with candles dripping as it was hoisted
up and carried along from the bakery tent towards the table that
awaited it by the Party Tree. A small trail of frosting blobs
followed in its wake, being eaten by children and childlike adults as
Frodo looked around for Bilbo, figuring if any birthday speech
had to be made, he would rather get out of doing it by letting Bilbo
take that chore.
Sauron takes a few drops of a huge bottle of Murine to clear his sight
of his lidless eye, scorched like fire with bloodshot lightning bolts
across his cornea. It burns for an eternal moment....
With his one Cycloptic eye, he sees the explosion and chuckles to
himself with malevolent glee...
The music stops momentarilly as the cake nears the stage. Bilbo will be
giving his speech soon so everyone goes to their seats, maybe grabbing
food or a pint on the way. Rosie gives Sam a smile before she sits
down. Sam blushes.
He looks around, trying to find Frodo.
"Ah! There he is." Sam rushes to the table, quie excitedy.
"Mr. Frodo! Frodo! You'll never believe it! I actually danced with
Rosie! Mistress Rose herself! Me and her! Can you believe it?!" Sam
plops down on a chair, with a silly grin on his face, staring off into
nothing, as he lets out a huge sigh.
Every once Sam would let out a little sigh or a murmer like "I can't
believe it. I danced with Rosie!" and then would let out another sigh
or even a squeal...Frodo just sat there laughing at his friend's
obsession and excitement.
Bilbo was pleased with the way things were turning out overall. The
cake was as huge as could be managed even by a hobbit
bakery, though the potatoes adorning it were a curious topping. He
chuckled to himself. No, they wouldn't soon forget this. The cake
was beginning to burn lower and lower and starting to smoke, so he
figured he better get to the speech.
Clearing his throat, he stepped up on a box to be seen a little better
and all eyes turned to him, most of them reluctantly
as they expected he would be quite long-winded. He noticed Frodo,
sitting with Sam and briefly wondered where Merry and Pippin had got
to, as it seemed they were always there too. He was glad Frodo had his
friends to support him; He would be fine, Bilbo thought, trying to
reassure himself - yes, he would be just fine. He didn't need to travel
or have adventures - he could
leave that up to Bilbo.
He fingered the Ring in his pocket and began to speak. "My dear
"Hear! Hear!" they shouted and kept repeating this, as they did
not want to take their own advice.
"Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear!"
"My dear Bagginses and Boffins..."
"Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear!"
, thought Bilbo - this is ridiculous!
"My dear Tooks and Brandybucks (ah- there they were! The wizard had them
scrubbing dishes!), Grubbs and Chubbs, Burrowses and Hornblowers,
"Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear!"
"Brockhouses and Proudfoots."
"PROUDFEET!" thundered an eldery Proudfoot, finally putting a stop to
the "hear hear-ing" His feet were HUGE and HAIRY and both in the middle
of someone else's plate.
Bilbo suddenly decided to just get to the point and be done with
"I don't drink half of this ale half as well as I should like, and I
eat less than half of this cake half as well as I deserve. It is my
cake, after all."
They all stared at him, completely boggled.
"Well, I have things to do. I regret to announce that this is THE
END. I am GOING NOW. GOODBYE!!!"
He went to slip on the Ring, but it jumped from his fingers and he
dropped it. They all stared mutely at him as he suddenly stopped
speaking and began to scrabble about madly in the grass.
"Lost a contact?" one ventured.
"Dropped his slice of cake?" wondered another.
"What a strange time to start doing your aerobic exercises," thought a
"He's cracked - I always said so," Ted Sandyman muttered.
Bilbo found the Ring, which was rolling away through the grass,
squeaking like mad to think it had finally gotten away from him. He
pinned it to the ground and wrestled it, protesting, back into his
pocket, then stood up, brushing himself off, to face the crowd again.
"Eh...as I was saying. I'm going now. GOODBYE!" He tried again
and this time succeeded, disappearing completely. The hobbits shrieked,
gaped, gasped, fainted, applauded, cried, hooted or snored, according
to their present state of mind.
Gandalf had been eyeing Bilbo as he went through his speech, and
was beside himself when he realized what Bilbo's "joke" was.
"Stupid Hobbit," he thought. He was already striding forward to put a
stop to what was going to happen when it happened!
With a growl that startled the hobbits near enough to hear it and sober
enough to realize who made the noise, the old man pulled his beard and
stomped off. He debated just leaving then and there wiping his hands of
the whole mess when a big fat raindrop hit him in the face. "To The
void with what you want, Ulmo!" he whispered fiercely. "These foolish
Hobbits will be the death of me. Pulling foolish pranks, with evil
lurking who-knows-where and his ring possibly being The Ring - the one
that we've been searching for millenia..." Gandalf's protestations
slowly trailed away into frustrated mutterings as his feet lead the
rest of him up the hill and into Bilbo's wine cellar. He hands of thier
own accord grabbed a bottle of Bilbo's best before his feet, led him to
a low chair in the living room where they stopped.
Nothing left to do, but have a drink, calm down and wait.
Sam sat there looking slightly startled and confused. He felt a
"Now what in Middle Earth was that??
" he heard Bill, um, think.
Sam was just wondering the same thing.
"I don't know Bill, that was mighty strange. I think,
Mr.Bilbo, he, he.....he disappeared!"
Sam shook his head.
"Maybe I've just had a bit too much ale."
He looked down at his mug and set it down on the table. "I think
I'm done with that for now." As he looked around, Sam saw people
leaving and decided it was time for him to go too. After all, there was
only one birthday hobbit left, and Sam didn't even know where he was.
Sam watched Rosie go off with her brothers. As he caught her glance, he
smiled afterward as she waved at him.
"Mr. Bilbo may be invisible for a while, but right now, nothin could
bother me!" Sam smiled.
"Ah! You fancy her, do ya?"
Sam jumped. He had forgotton that Bill was still listening. He gave an
annoyed sigh. "Yes, that's right. Hey, um, Bill?
How do you do that? Turn on and off your listening, I mean."
"All's I do is think, Hello Sam! to talk to you, and think Goodbye,
to turn it off."
"Would that work for me too?"
"Well yes, I guess it would, if you think Hello Bill, that is."
Sam gave a sigh of relief. "Ok, well, then I think I will be
turning it off now."
"Alright, Sam. It was good talking to you!"
He felt a different type of shock. Now that he knew how to turn it on
and off, he wouldn't mind talking to Bill a bit more. Just not now...he
had too much to think about.
Frodo was caught up in the middle of placating unhappy guests, handing
out portions of partially charred birthday cake and trying to answer
questions about Bilbo's strange behavior. He found himself repeating
and repeating "I'm so sorry you were upset by it, I'm sure everything
will be settled by morning."
Because of all this hubbub, it was a while until he realized he hadn't
seen Gandalf ever since Bilbo's disappearance - nor Sam either.
As soon as he could, he thoroughly searched the tents but found no
trace of any of them, though Gandalf's pony and cart were still
standing where he had left them.
Saruman stumbled over some ancient tomes and mumbled some Black Speech
curse words that were unprintable but apropos. Among them he noted his
Child's recipe book, stained with centuries of food splatters, orc
droppings, and spittle.
He lifted the cover off the Great Seeing Stone, hoping to catch
the next edition of Cooking with Orcs on Wiz-o-TV. Awaiting the
vision, he watched as the murky and swirling with dark grey
clouds and static grew gradually clearer.
"Friends!" it chimed. " Do you have rabbity like Hobbits swarming over
your perfectly good farming land? Don't they multiply overnight when
you're not looking? Well get rid them all with Hobbity-B-Gon!
"Remember! Just spray it on - - and they're GONE!"
"Stupid infomercial," he muttered. The Palantir made a dent
in the north wall from Saurmans' roundhouse underhanded bowling throw.
"That's going to need some spackling...," he grumbled.
Back in Bag End...
Bilbo was very pleased with all of the facial expressions he got to see
as he worked his way through the crowd back to Bag End. He took the
opportunity to give Lotho a good invisible kick in the pants on his way
by. Chuckling, he trotted up the path and slipped inside his
front hallway. He slipped off the Ring and started to put it into
an envelope, but slipped it into his pocket instead.
All he needed to do was gather up a few small things to add to the
U-Haul cart he had waiting by the back gate and he would be
He headed into the parlour to nab his knapsack and book.
cried Bilbo, almost wetting himself.
Sam stood next to Bill offstage chuckling to himself as Lotho walked
off the set, grumbling to himself and
walking kinda funny. He took a bite of his potato as
Lotho walked passed him.
Aragorn had reached Rivendell several days ago, but, as Arwen was off
at her grandmother's place, he had not had
anyone much to talk to.
Wandering along 'yet another ridiculously beautiful hallway' (I guess
immortals have time to stop and admire hallways) , he bumped right into
"Oh! Hello there Aragorn!" he said.
"Glorfindel! Nice to see ya, man! How have you been?"
"Aw, just fine," the elf said as the two walked outside, "And
I've got something to show you."
Glorfindel led Aragorn down to the stables.
"You see," he explained, "Arwen kept stealing my horse and running off
all over the place. I tried making her stop. I talked to Elrond and he
tried making her stop, but then she took him to Lothlorien!" The elf
shook his head in despair, but he was still smiling faintly.
"What's so funny?" Aragorn asked.
Glorfindel grinned. "Well, now that my old horse is gone..."
"I got him from a 'used elven horse' dealer, you know."
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"Well, he wasn't the best horse in the west, sooo..."
"I got a new one!" The elf nearly yelled, throwing open the doors
and revealing a shining white horse with black stockings.
"Ooo!" Aragorn said.
"Yep. Top o' the line, he is. Named Shadowfax Jr. by the breeder, but
he was some sort of nutty elf. I mena, since when do elves live in
Rohan? Anyways, I renamed him Asfaloth."
Aragorn stroked the horses mane.
Asfaloth nickered softly out loud. Then thought,
Bill the Pony! Come in, Bill.
Bill, hello? I- what the...talking about someone named Rosie-
Rosie? What in the name of wonder...Bill?
Haldir walked....no went gliding gracefully (as Elves do) along the
path in Rivendell as the amber leaves danced about him they silently
drifted to the (middle) earth below . Haldir caught a glimpse of
Glorfindel and Aaragorn in the stable as he approached.......and was
suddenly buried under a huge pile of lovely amber leaves (no longer
dancing)...........and Haldir (NOT impressed...this was NOT in the
script)......could faintley hear the snicker of a Dwarf somewhere above
the stage and he distinguished the words "so loud you could've shot me
in the dark......hahaha.....who's laughing now glow in the dark boy!"
Haldir regained his composure ( a good Elf is never rattled) and
greeted Glorfindel and Aaragorn in the standard Elvish
fashion "Mae Govannen (really means Wassuuuup!)..Glorfindel
Son Of Gilligan and Aaragorn Son Of Asfaloth....I mean
Artichoke.....I mean Action Man (Haldir wrestles his foot out of his
mouth).........Imladris is truly beautiful this time of year is it
.........Glorfindel and Aragorn nodded their approval as Haldir
walked nay glided gracefully away (as Elves do)........muttering to
himself "But Caras Galathon is still the centre of Elvendom in Middle
In the background a Hobbit with a stain in his pants can be seen
pulling a U-Haul cart with a sticker on the back that says "Honk If
Your Hobbity!". The word "Precious" can be heard in the distance.
Bill perked up his ears. Asfaloth? Is that you old buddy?
nice to hear from you again! Was just talkin to my friend Sam, but he's
off to bed now. So, you're finaly owned now, huh? Well that's good! So
why the sudden message?....Nothing bad I hope....... Bill listens....Uh
huh....uh huh...oh, really?...........yeah, sure...oh! tell me more
about that, will ya?.........
At his farm on the edge of the Marish, Farmer Maggot sat on his
doorstep sharpening his scythe, muttering sadistic plans for any
trespassers he might catch on his property. A
quiet, observant, unassuming hobbit who consorts with the likes of Tom
Bombadil and whatever passing Elves or Dwarves come down the road by
his land, Farmer Maggot has been pushed over to the dark side by the
recent raids on his crops by some nefarious young Bucklanders. As
everyone knows, hobbits are friendly, hospitable, generous folks, but
when their food supplies are threatened they can turn real ugly. Farmer
Maggot didn't mind sharing a meal with his friends on occasion, but he
preferred to know in advance what was to be on the menu and have a hand
in issuing the invitation for it.
"Young hoodlums," he muttered, "don't know what the Shire's coming to.
Thought we'd finally see some peace after that dratted Frodo Baggins
finally left for Hobbiton, stinking little mushroom pilferer, but
darned if there isn't a new batch of rascals to do enough mischief to
make up for him."
Nearby his dogs Grip, Fang, Killer, Cujo, Fluffy, and Mephistopholes
drool and snarl. They look up from sharpening their fangs on the
remains of previous trespassers only long enough to snap at passing
butterflies, Fluffy's three heads occasionally snapping each other by
Farmer Maggot kept making plans under his breath with an
occasional exclamation between mutterings as new ideas occured to him.
"Concrete shoes... mutter mutter ....Cyanide.. ..mutter mutter..
....T.N.T... ..mutter, mutter.. ....HIGH VOLTAGE!!!"
Oh, there you are, Bill. The urgent message? Oh, it's just something
Shadowfax asked me to relay to you.
He heard that you were somehow in the Shire. you were just with Sam,
sooo, I take it that is correct?
Well, Shadowfax seems to have taken a fancy to this Gandalf person
you're currently with. He wants to know if you oculd, say, get a 'lame'
leg or something if he takes you anywhere near Rohan. Yeah, I know,
he's a glory hound, but whatever. You got all that?
Aragorn and Glorfindel waited until Haldir was out of hearing
distance. Then they burt out laughing.
"Did you see that look on his face? *snirkle*" Aragorn said.
Glorfi right out laughed.
"He had leaves all over his hair and there he was strutting
along...hee hee hee."
Haldir suddenly popped around the corner,glaring.
"You were saying?"
"Uh, heh heh, nothing." they chorused.
*After eating her fill of the buffet cart Shelob decided that it was
time she took up her residence in her lair once again. And so she
scurried off, leaving the rest of the cast one of the carts legs just
incase they got peckish.*
"Not fair for me to eat the whole thing . . . . "
*She quickly changed her mind and ran back to fetch it! Then once
again she was on her way to her lair. When she got there she disovered
a small pink pig with a web above it, with the word wonderful woven
"Huh? what in He that can not be named name?"
*An extremely agitated Peter Jackson run on set and tapped her, she
swung round barely missing the poor ickle pig! She apologised and then
turned all her attention on her Director.*
"Uh yea, you got here a bit earlier than we expected, this is
Wilbur" he gestured towards the pig, who waved politely.
"Umm they borrowed our set so they could film Charlotte's Web"
Shelob didnt know the story, but nodded anyway.
"They should have been finished a while ago, uh"
Shelob nodded but decided that she would make sure they finished
now.She waved PJ off, and then faced the pig. In one gulp she swallowed
him, contemplating the web and its message.
"wonderful she agreed"
Then she glanced at the Charlotte's Web crew to let them know
they were finished just before she settled back into her lair once
more. But still the smell of pork haunted her!
Sauron put down his copy of Charlotte's Web on his dresser, next to
the picture of his son Darth Vader, and choked back a tear coming out
of his Cycloptic, firey, unrepentant, bloodshot eye. He reached
for the giant economy size Murine again, a foul drip came out and
landed on his pupil, and the Lidless Eye in agony tried to blink. It
"Darn it to Morgoth!" he exclaimed, and went back to pondering how to
take over Middle Earth.
Gandalf didn't have to be quite so pushy, muttered Bilbo to himself as
he picked up the handle for his U-Haul Cart and began hauling it
towards Rivendell. He'd never seen the old wizard so grouchy
about such a small thing...such a little thing....
He'd given Gandalf the last of his good pipeweed, as a goodwill gesture
anyway, but was really regretting leaving the Ring behind. He
could hear it's pathetic little squeaks, all muffled in that envelope
still. He wiped away a sympathetic tear and sniffled a
little. How inhumane! How terrible! To seal up such a pretty,
shiny little innocent ring in a thick, stuffy, scratchy paper envelope
like that! It just...wasn't....right.
He stumped on down the road, his wagon creaking behind him. He'd
half a mind to turn back, but
was afraid Gandalf would turn green and blow the door off his hobbit
hole if he did. Better to keep on going. The sounds
of the party faded behind him as he walked out of the story for a while.
The Old Gaffer took a thoughtful bite of potato, then set about
clearing tables. Still a couple more hours until he would need to get
his wheelbarrow to haul away any leftover party guests. Most of
them had recovered from Bilbo's strange disappearance fairly quickly
and were wallowing in the goodies and ale again.
Frodo tried going back and forth over the field, waving his arms but
hadn't bumped into anything invisible, so he gave orders for two more
large kegs to be broached and headed for Bag End while the mob
descended with their mugs in hand.
The door was slightly ajar. He opened it. "Bilbo? Bilbo?"
There was a resounding snore.
He peered into the front parlor where he found not Bilbo but Gandalf,
sound asleep and snoozing in front of the warm fire. He had
a note pinned to his hat.
"Gone to stay with the Elves. The clean socks are in the middle
drawer. Remember to use up that old jug of milk before you open the new
one. Don't slam the doors. Eat your vegetables. Floss
regularly. Don't talk to strangers. Remember, a penny saved
is a penny earned. And above all, don't meddle in the affairs of
wizards, or go to the Elves for advice. - Bilbo"
He wondered if waking a wizard up was meddling with one.
Elrond was interrupted in his glorying over his elvish domain (and
snickering behind his hand as Haldir stomped by picking leaves out of
his hair) by a beeping from Vilya. "Hello, you've reached the Last, or
First, Homely House, depending on which direction you're going," he
said to the ring. "This is Elrond speaking."
"Hello, Mr. Elrond," a voice said from the ring, "I just wanted to let
you know we will no longer need your services as Rex the sheepdog's
voice in that upcoming Babe sequel sequel. The actor contracted to play
Babe had an, um, unfortunate accident on the Charlotte's Web set. We've
had to scrap the whole thing. Thank you for your interest in our
"But, but ..." Elrond spluttered, "I have a contract, you can't just
back out now! Get another pig! Surely there's more than one pig in this
business!" Elrond paused for a moment with a peculiar expression at the
thought of what he'd just said, then continued in a more wheedling
tone, "Look, surely we can make some other arrangement, I really
need this job. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to feed
all these jobless, homeless elves? Singing and being good-looking
doesn't put lembas on the table, you know," his voice rising to a
shriek as he really got into his rant, but as he paused for breath he
realized he was talking to an empty line.
In Bag End...
The wizard remained soundly asleep, even after Frodo had gotten bold
enough to jiggle his shoulder and call to him softly. If
anything, his snores got louder.
Unable to carry him to a bed, even if he had owned a bed large enough
to fit him, Frodo tucked a blanket around him and resigned himself to
wearing earplugs if he was going to get any sleep himself that night.
An envelope on the mantlepiece caught his eye - mostly because it was
wiggling and bumping about. It also emitted small, muffled
squeaks. Could it be.....? Nah.....Bilbo would never leave that
behind! Not his pet Mexican Jumping Bean collection! It must be
that Ring then.
Lobelia returned to her very own Hobbit Hole, feeling positively
flummoxed. The terror of the unknown faceless voice in Bilbo's
home wasn't easily erased from her memory, and it sent her to shivers
whenever she recalled it. Black it was, black and quivery and
crookedly cold like old Ted Sandyman's eyes.
Oh, how she wished Lotho wouldn't invite him over to tea
She sat down heavily in her favourite chair by the fireplace (after
locking every bolt and bar on her door, or course--and even the
shutters!) and she sighed. No, her Hobbit Hole wasn't so
bad...after all, there were no frightening voices floating around, and
there was plenty of Lotho's pipeweed and even an uncorked keg of ale to
be had here...
So she filled a tall mug and lit a long pipe and proceeded to try her
luck with smoke rings, presently forgetting her upset. Her
demeanor was replaced with one more characteristic to
her--jealousy. Oh, how she wished she could blow smoke rings like
that dratted wizard!
Gandalf knew perfectly well Frodo was back from the party, but after
the terrible time he had he decided he was not going to answer and he
pretended to be asleep. Frist, some of his best fireworks got stolen,
then Bilbo put the ring on AND in front of all these people. He really
should have known better, the silly hobbit. Then he tripped over his
own robes trying to get back here unnoticed - twice! Good thing he'd
left his staff in the hall or he would have made a real clatter on
those stones the second time.
When he finally got back to BagEnd, he found Bilbo laughing about the
look on Lotho's pimply face after he'd kicked him a good one on the
rump as the little sneak was trying to leave without so much as a
farewell. Putting the Jumping Beans in an envelope thinking to distract
him, was a good idea, but foolish. Any fool, even a Took would have
noticed the difference.
After pulling Bilbo back inside by the collar and fighting with him
about the difference between Rings and Jumping Beans he was in just no
mood to deal with the silly hobbit any more. He'd practically had to
wrestle the golden thing out of Bilbo's pocket and into the envelope it
was now sqeaking about in! Bilbo had been so unreasonable, that Gandalf
even tried putting a spell on Bilbo to stop him from putting up a
fight, ignoring his yells about thieves. But after all the ale at the
party he only succeeded in setting fire to his hat and his staff to
jumping about the floor like a pogo stick; he gave up.
So now, after setting the ring on the mantle after his quick
switch with the Jumping Beans, putting out the fire in his hat
and calming his staff, he was not in the mood for Frodo's questions. He
kept up his snoring til Frodo ambled down the hall to his room.
Eventually he did really fall asleep in front of the fading fire.
The Gaffer had had a late night of it, with all the clean up and
clearing away of drunken guests. The cartload of them had been
trundled off in the direction of town and he was finally able to put
out the last of the fires and get some well-deserved rest. Sam
had been a great help to him, and was also a bit late in rising because
He breathed in a deep breath of the cool morning air and set about
cleaning up the field as various folks arrived to take down the tents
and to pack up the (empty) kegs and boxes.
Where was Samwise? He needed to rouse that boy and get him up to Bag
End - that grass around the verge needed clipping and no doubt
Lobelia's skulking had ruined a few of the branches on the smaller
Frodo, faced with a pile of presents that Bilbo had left behind, wasn't
in the mood to deal with it that morning. He had finally decided to
just take the tags off of them, and to keep it all for himself.
Much easier that way, and he doubted anyone would knowthe
difference. He bolted the door and had a leisurely tea with