Today is my friend's birthday. I am posting this story because of it. It is not a gift. I would not presume to offer her such a subpar one. But, it is a nod to celebrate great times we have frolicking and fangirling together.

Happy birthday, Alien :)


*No Infringement Intended*


HOBBIT OF MINE

There once was a hobbit and a hole. Not a nice hobbit hole in the ground. The relation of this hole to the hobbit was that it was not so much a hobbit hole as a hole in a hobbit; a rumbly hole in a hobbit's stomach, to be precise.

Ever hungry, and now exceptionally but not unexpectedly so, our hobbit was about to sit to a steaming supper.

One could almost say that the whole day was exceptional. Well, exceptionally tiring, anyway. The day was anything but usual, tranquil Shire affair where everyone politely and stubbornly minded their own business (but knew everything about their neighbors anyway.) Today somebody very non politely and stubbornly refused to mind their own business and even went so far as not to let our good hobbit go about their own business of enjoying a spot of sun, on a fine, warm morning, surrounded by gentle swirls of a bit of Southfarthing's finest.

The hobbit hummed and shook the curly head again, now sitting and spreading crisp white knee napkin with a bit more energy and flare then it usually asked for.

"Wizards, indeed! I ask you! Next there'll be elves and gnomes sprouting in the back garden!" There was nobody else in the hobbit hole to witness this somewhat unseemly muttering to oneself habit of otherwise estimable and normal hobbit. Well, for the most part normal hobbit. There were escapades, there were antics, there was frolicking... All safely tucked away memories now, our hobbit thought.

The repast on the table, everything was ready and inviting, in neat order and it's proper place, bread sliced, water poured, spoon picked up, when there came a loud rap at the door.

Now, our hobbit is an upstanding and well respected Shireling. And one does not get to be well respected in the Shire for no reason. Manners, upbringing, good family and above all self-possession are prerogatives of such a person. Poise and firm rule over one's exhibits was something every hobbit imbibed with mother's milk, even the ones that had some of the Took in them.

So, no eyes rolled, not even after the repeated rapping was heard, but with shoulders pushed back, legs little apart, lungs filled with air needed to deliver a polite but firm rebuff, the hobbit, looking back with regret at a well deserved supper now getting cold, allowed for one resigned, quiet sigh to escape and opened the door.

The look under the massive eyebrows facing the hobbit was showing that the owner of said feature found the sight before him curious.

Hobbit's nose twitched. "Yes?"

With a slight bow and the eyes under the eyebrows never shifting their appraising gaze, with smallest, mocking it seemed to our hobbit, smirk, the newcomer offered : "Dwalin, at your service", and entered.

Later, standing in an empty larder, the hobbit's head reeled from the things seen and heard, images and noises, tales and discussions of the evening. After the first one very soon an overwhelming number reaching 14, um... persons arrived to now crowd the cherished home. With every new image resurfacing, and with a sound of a fine china and crockery with hand painted poppies, grandmother Grubb's favorites, being handled without any consideration, the soft, elegant, heart shaped lines of hobbits lips were ironed and bleached of colour as a result of being pressed more and more together.

First there were a lot more at-your-services followed by odd glances and odder names and various dwarven physiognomies, most unusual hair and beard styles, some ridiculous, some impressive, a lot of stomping and finally a lot of eating. The lack of manners was jaw dropping to say the least. A provocation, one might say. Our hobbit couldn't say weather all this frolicking was usual for dwarfs, though it seem likely, for all of the uninvited visitors merrily pillaging hobbits larder belonged to this "proud and noble " race, save one. The wizard could not have been mistaken for a dwarf if only for his abnormal height alone. Although the excess hair was adorning his person, no braids were in evidence, no ornaments and no open mouth chewing. Not a crumb could be seen in his bird's nest of a beard.

"Well, this too shall pass", the murmuring returned. With this comforting thought, hobbit inhaled and exhaled deeply, entering the parlor unnoticed and settling comfortably in a stuffed chair pushed back in a corner besides the hearth. A kingly figure was leaning on the mantle and was singing in a melancholy voice.

The sleep was unnoticed, if slow in it's coming. Amongst the images and sounds, the plethora of intruding impressions, couple insisted on churning inside one lovely hobbit's head. On the verge of consciousness a map unwrapping floated, and strong, calloused but reverent fingers gliding over it. Very finely drawn and on the parchment of highest quality; our hobbit knew maps, had several very good ones in the family library and even drew some in the days an industrious streak would show itself under the hill, the map was offering untold adventures.

With the map there followed a key. Again, the same fingers holding it.

The image of small, geometrical but almost delicate golden peace on a string lying on a patch of tanned skin, under a bobbing throat moved by a rumbly voice came unbidden to a mind teetering on the verge of sleep, not yet there but no longer awake. If it were by any chance awake it would be frozen at the presence of this impression overriding all of the others, and there were plenty astonishing things seen and heard this strangest of evenings.

"Why are these ridiculous thoughts assailing me?", it would say. "Where do they come from? And about a grump and a warrior. Will you sit around his stone manse and darn his socks?"

In reality, only unconnected lines were unconsciously muttered "...Baggins, at your ser...v...c...Yes...Bow… Smile…. Baggins, at your… Baggins, at your serving...Smile…Bow...No, no, we are buying no excitement here… Take your dragons elsewhere… "

The daily mutterings continued into the sleep talk. Our hobbit was a frety thing, it seems. And weather a pair of blue eyes burning with intensity under a pair of deep frown lines, between two glossy, ebony eyebrows appeared on course of the restless sleep will remain unknown.