Chapter 8 Lost in Middle-Earth

Elijah woke with a start. As his chest heaved up and down in fright, he
remembered his dream and all the things that happened in it. He'd heard the sea,
but soon, darkness came and thunder rumbled. The young hobbit shook it off.
"I'm okay." He said.
"You better be." Said Dom on the other side of a door. "We're getting ready.
Hurry up. And when you're ready, wake up Fatty. He should see us off, the old
Rascal." Elijah jumped out of bed and quickly put on his clothes. In thirty
minutes, he and Fatty had joined the others outside on this foggy morning.
"Do be careful, Master Frodo." Fredegar muttered on and on. "Them woods
ain't the Shire. They be's dangerous." Elijah rolled his eyes.
"Okay. I'll be careful."
"And don't---." Fatty said as the other four saddled up on ponies. He was cut
off by Sean.
"Good-*bye*, Fredegar." Fatty stood waving as the travelers left once again.
Once they passed the gate, he yawned and muttered.
"You know, it's almost as if they don't like me."
The four heard it as the gate clanged behind them. "There. Hobbits, we're not in
the Shire anymore." Dominic said.
Billy turned to the back of the pack and smiled at Sean. "Wot's the matter,
chum?" He asked jovially. "You haven't said much."
"Are those stories about this place true?"
"Nah." Elijah said. "Fatty doesn't know what he's talkin' about. Remember what
the books say? There're just trees to worry about here."
"Yes." Dominic said. "They can't hurt us. But please be careful about what you
say. They might give information to the Ringwraiths." They rode on, and on, and
it seemed like hours.
Billy sighed. "Why won't they let us by?" He yelled. "Let us by!"
"Shh. Not so loud." Sean spoke cautiously. "These trees probably move, but
that's it. We'll get through." Presently, they made it to a hilltop.
"Oh, see that?" Dominick spoke up. "We don't want to go there. That's the
WithyWindle. Flows from the Barrow-Downs."
Elijah and the others shuddered. "Do we have to go through there?" Billy
whined.
"If we want to make it to Bombadil by sundown." Elijah answered. Again, the
pack rode on. Gnats and flies swarmed around them like the plague. It soon
seemed hot and humid.
"Tired. So tired." Dom sleepily moaned. "Can't go on. Sleep."
"No! No! Just wait a second!" Elijah tried to persuade his pal to no avail.
"Oh, come now, Frodo. Just a little nap. Sleeep, sleep good." With that,
Dominic, Billy, and Sean staggered over to a gnarly willow tree beside the
brook. Elijah shook his head sleepily. It was coming on him too.
"Just a tiny nap." He said. "A tiny nap and we'll be on our way." He spoke
dreamily and landed on a tree root.
Sean awoke a few hours later and rubbed his sleepy eyes. He gasped. A tree
root was wrestling Elijah into the water. Sean quickly raced over to his
"master". Slapping the tree root, he succeeded in freeing him.
"This is just why I didn't want to go to sleep." Elijah said. "I knew that then we'd
have tree trouble."
"Look on the bright side." Said positive Sean. "This is how we meet Tom." They
went around the tree. Billy was covered and only Dom's legs were showing.
"This is hopeless." Sean moaned. Elijah raced to their supplies and came hastily
back with matches, dry grass, and a tinder box.
He struck a match and watched fire lick and dance around the tree. Two
screams came from inside.
"The tree's talking!" Dom yelled. "He says to put it out, or he'll squeeze us to
death."
"Yeah!" Billy seconded. Just as Elijah and Sean were about to give up in
confusion, the wind puffed out. A strong baritone from something like a dream
came up on the autumn air.
'Hey dol! Merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the
willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!' An old man strolled the path,
his blue eyes sparkling.
"Oh sir! Help us!" Sean yelled as the two raced at him from down the bank.
"What seems to be the problem?" Mr. Bombadil said in a superhero-like
manner.
"Master Merry is stuck in the tree! And Pippin's nearly crushed!"
"Yeah!" Said a choked voice from inside the tree. Tom stood with arms
akimbo.
"Old Man Willow, eh? Put those hobbits away! You should not be awake! Go
back to sleep, Old Bombadil speaks." Almost immediately, Dom was jerked
out of the crack by strong, careworn arms. Billy followed, his hole popping
open like a cavern. "Now, how about some food and rest?" The old man
asked.
"You saved, thank you, eh, we'd like food very much, sir." The two rescued
murmured uncontrollably. Tom belted out a laugh.
"Come to my home." He said as he led the hobbits to a beautiful house with
enticing smoke spouted from the chimney. Light glowed around it, and the
wanderers knew they were safe.