Author's Notes

As before, I admit to having been inspired by other authors, particularly Baylor, Lindelea, Anglachel, and Tom Fairbairn, and I hope they will be flattered and not angry that I have borrowed the character of Budgie Smallfoot and perhaps one or two other characters and situations along the way. In some ways I'm adding on to their stories as well as Tolkien's.

I thank Lindelea for the character of Budgie Smallfoot and the situation of learning Frodo is suffering from congestive heart failure; Jodancingtree for reinforcing the idea of the Shire Schools (what can I say--the teacher in me has to come to the fore); Baylor for the need for Sam carrying a pair of scissors; Anglachel for the realization that commerce goes on in the Shire; Tom Fairbairn for his beautiful ability to bring internal dialogue to the fore; and others whose names I've forgotten for other ideas that have crept in; my own experience that sometimes a picture says things best. And if you sense that Sam has his own special magic in his communication with his garden plants--well, that is in part intentional.

Some of the medical information is based research my husband and I did on his multiple conditions and herbal remedies we explored during his last illness, others on folk remedies suggested for things like nettle stings. Caddis fly larvae experiments are not uncommon in elementary science classes, and we did our own research on the dining room windowsill when I was a child, as well as watching all kinds of insect life on our five acres of mixed swamps, fields, and woods.

I completed the story before I posted it, as I've found that reading what was intended to be an ongoing story written two or more years ago and then was abandoned troubling and frustrating. I find myself wishing to continue a few of them, in fact. And the sequel that is also being posted at this time was finished before I started posting it elsewhere under the original working title of "Grey Ships." I've changed the title for publication here, and will probably change it on the other boards as well.

Mellon nin, of course, means my friend, and I hope that folk remember lembas from book and film, and the miruvor cordial of Imladris from the books. Other than using the Elvish forms of the characters' names, I've tried to avoid adding more elvish vocabulary than I myself am at least halfway familiar with.

Anyway, folks, hope you have enjoyed the story and that you will read the sequel as well.