"I will take your gift, O Bilbo the Magnificent!" Said the king gravely. "And I name you elf-friend and blessed. May your shadow never grow less (or stealing would be too easy)! Farewell!"

Then the elves turned towards the Forest, and Bilbo started on his long road home.

The Hobbit (There and Back Again) Houghton Mifflin Company paperback copy page 318.

Another Adventure in the Forest

He had many hardships and adventures before he got back. We don't have time to tell of them all, for they are numerous, but here is one which shows that Bilbo's change in personality would last past the far edge of the Mirkwood Forest.

Bilbo, Gandalf the wizard, and Beorn had only been in the forest for about three days and the nights between before coming across another adventure, this time in the form of the wolves.

They had just set up their camp for the night, with Bilbo on the first watch, when the wolves approached. The Baggins side of our hobbit quickly paralyzed him with fear, before the Tookish side had even a chance to notice the circling wolves. But yes, there they were, prowling some feet from the edge of the clearing they had settled into. There were only about three wolves from what he could see, and all seemed to be of some degree of hurt.

Bilbo wondered why they were prowling. Hadn't all those on the hunt for the fleeing goblins run the wolves off also, or to their deaths with the goblins? How had these three escaped notice and survive? They must be hungry, he suddenly realized, though whether for food or perhaps even revenge for fallen pack members, he did not know. He wanted to go over to the wizard and wake him up, but feared startling the wolves into reacting violently and charging. For the same reason he did not wake Gandalf with his voice or any other noise.

It took several minutes (Bilbo realized later, though at the time he thought it several hours, or perhaps several unlit days) for the hobbit to recall his magical ring. He had put his hands in his pockets because of fear, and was therefore startled greatly when his hand encountered something solid and round. My ring! He thought joyously, before slipping it on and disappearing from the sight of the wolves. He stole over using every talent a hobbit possessed to Gandalf, and tried vainly to awaken him. Though he shook the older wizard for several minutes, he did not so much as stir, nor his breathing change the slightest.

Several minutes later, Mr. Bilbo Baggins was back in his original spot, ring still on, trying to figure out what he should do, could possibly do now. After giving up on Gandalf, and muttering under his breath in a slightly mean and very un-hobbit-like way, Bilbo attempted to wake the bear-man, Beorn. As with Gandalf, Beorn did not show the slightest signs of consciousness. Now a very disgruntled, and slightly scared hobbit was left on his own to stop the wolves from devouring his food and friends.

With a slight, silent sigh, he stood up again, careful to make not the slightest sound so as to alert the wolves to his plan. What that plan was, he could not say for sure, having only the slightest of beginnings in his head, but he thought he would make it up as he went along.

By this time the wolves had settled down to watch the camp, their eyes searching to find where the third member of the little party they had come across might have gotten. Thus it was easy for our brave hobbit to sneak around in a wide circle and come up behind them. Along the way he discovered a strong branch, just the right size for a hobbit to fight with, and he picked it up in the hopes it might offer some protection against the foes he was about to face.

For several seconds Bilbo stood behind them, wondering the best way to proceed and wishing he was already back in his hobbit hole, before heaving the branch above his head and swinging with all his might, of which there was a surprising amount, at the head of the healthiest looking wolf. It connected solidly with its target, who was conveniently at the back of the group, and knocking it out cleanly. The other two wolves did not even notice.

Pleased with the success he had encountered so far, Bilbo thought perhaps this would not be so dangerous an adventure as he had already experienced over the past year. He thought this too soon, however, for, while he was able to knock out the second wolf in the same manner, when he went to hit the third, some instinct must have made it become aware to his presence and duck the blow. Though it could not see him, the final wolf growled in the direction of the attacker and began to advance.

Now Bilbo was in a quandary. A very angry wolf was stalking towards him, teeth bared menacingly, seeming to follow his scent as he backed up slowly. He tried to lead the wolf away from the camp, but when he made to sneak back, the wolf came incredibly close to biting him, and, Bilbo was sure, tearing him limb from limb. He only just managed to get out of the way in time. The wolf charged again, and instinctively, our hobbit drew his sword and thrust it through the chest of the beast, delivering the mortal blow.

Panting, several minutes later, Bilbo managed to push the dead wolf off of him, and stumbled back to camp, mostly unaware of everything he passed but for the other two dead wolves, who did not seem to have survived the blows to the head. Just as he finally collapsed panting on his mat, Gandalf awoke. When questioned what had occurred, Bilbo simply muttered tiredly something about wolves. Then, he slept, his latest adventure over. He needed to prepare for the next.

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Hi! Thank you for reading this! This is actually an English paper so if I could possibly get some feedback? : ) That would be awesome. Please let me know what you think!

CGG