DISCLAIMER: ALL CHARACTERS BELONG TO TOLKIEN. NOT A CENT DID I RECEIVE FROM THIS, TWAS FOR FUN. ^_^
A wee idea I had. Hope you enjoy! Please leave a comment! Thanks! ;)
Bilbo shifted uncomfortably in the hard leather saddle that clad the back of the great and hairy creature he rode. The pony, feeling the change in weight responded accordingly, calmly strolling along in its unhurried gait. While it was true that this had not exactly been what Bilbo had exactly imagined for the perfect mode of transport, he had felt a growing fondness for the beast, which he had affectionately named Myrtle. The pony in turn seemed to warm to the Hobbit, and often nuzzled Bilbo's pockets searching for treats.
While Bilbo liked the pony, he couldn't say that he enjoyed riding it. His sore muscles only making him only further believe that ponies were not meant to ride, and were meant to admire only. How the Dwarves stood it for so long Bilbo did not know. How could anyone get used to this? He sighed in exasperation, he was never going to be able to ride comfortably.
"Eh, don't fret. You'll get used to it." came the friendly voice of Bofur, who came riding up on his shaggy pony.
"I don't expect I ever shall." The Hobbit stated glumly.
Bofur grinned knowingly. "There now! You see? That's exactly the attitude that keeps you from doing it! Laddie, you've got to say 'I can!' instead of 'I can't'. Good attitude. That's what you need."
Bilbo nodded, but had a difficult time taking Bofur's advice. Trying to convince yourself that 'you can' when every part of you knows full well that 'you can't' is easier said than done. But to Mr. Baggin's credit he did indeed try hard, with some success.
The ponies plodded on and on, the monotonous journey to a campsite seeming to take a lifetime. Frankly, Bilbo was bored. No one seemed in much of a talking mood, with the exception of Fili and Kili, who carried on an animated conversation about the dangers of stealing from kitchens and the often deadly consequences that follow.
From the sound of their laughter and voices he guessed them to be about three ponies behind him. A pity they were not closer, Bilbo yearned for someone, anyone, to talk to. He glanced about looking for Bofur. The Dwarf had seemingly rode on ahead, and so there was little chance of a talk of any sort happening. Bilbo toyed with the idea of riding after Bofur, but his fear and inexperience with riding kept him from doing so.
Bilbo stood up as far as he dared on his saddle, not wishing to cause his pony to run off to heaven knows where with him as its unhappy passenger. Shivering at the thought of the unstoppable creature, he peered off into the distance. He saw no end to the road before them, as it stretched far over the landscape, winding over the many hills and dells. The road seemingly wound its way forever, with no end in sight. He sighed, the blasted road went on and on!
He almost started a conversation with Mrytle, but thought better of it. The others would think him mad, and after all, a horse did not make good conversation. Good listeners perhaps, but apart from that they were ill suited for talking to. Granted, Myrtle was a very special pony compared to the others, Bilbo could tell that immediately when he first met her. But Bilbo knew that even she could not help him with his boredom.
He stared off into the ever winding, but beautiful countryside surrounding the road they traveled upon. Roads were funny things. He never thought about them much at home, using them only for short distances as his favorite walkways. But after traveling on them for a good distance, he could not help but be intrigued how the little and insignificant lanes in Hobbiton had grown into highways into lands he had never even dreamed of. He suddenly felt a strange urge to pay homage to this little thought of aspect of daily life.
He began playing with words inside his head, reciting them out loud to hear how they would sound. Drumming his fingers along the saddle, much to Myrtle's disapproval, he tried different ideas, casting out those he did not care for.
The other Dwarves perhaps thought Bilbo was already a little mad to begin with, but to hear him whispering to himself so merely ironed the myth into reality for those that rode near him. Yes, hobbits were odd creatures. It was not entirely unexpected, and not entirely impossible for the Halfling to have lost his mind. Oin was particularly disturbed, as his hearing was not what it had once been, and he thought the Hobbit was saying things that were somehow of a dreadful manner.
Slowly but surely, a verse took shape under Bilbo's ready wit and imagination. Smiling with satisfaction, he took a breath and recited it to his only audience, Myrtle.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains of the moon.
"There. How's that?" Bilbo said, pleased over his efforts and very much liking the pleasant ring the words had. He should keep that one, perhaps he ought to write it down.
The pony snorted, but unfortunately Myrtle's scholarly opinion on Bilbo's poem was never known as suddenly a deep voice cut in from behind Bilbo.
"That wasn't half bad Hobbit." mused the voice of Thorin Oakenshield.
Bilbo jumped in his seat, startled at the Dwarf lord's seemingly instantaneous appearance.
"Oh! I-uh...didn't know you were there.." He managed a weak smile.
"I did not wish to disturb you." Thorin smiled ever so slightly from beneath his beard. Continuing and changing the subject he said, "You should put it to song. It would do well."
Before Bilbo could answer Fili and Kili and hurried their shaggy ponies to where Bilbo and Thorin were riding. With mad grins on their faces Kili burst out,
"Bilbo? That was yours?" came the unwished question. Bilbo squirmed.
"Uh-yes." Answered the embarrassed Hobbit.
"No, no no!" Fili suddenly entered into the conversation upon seeing Bilbo's reaction, "It was quite good! We like it!"
"Oh. You do?" Bilbo seemed somewhat flabbergasted.
"Yes!" the twins answered in unison.
"I thought it would do well as a tune." Thorin re-entered the conversation.
"Oh yes!" Fili and Kili seemed quite excited about this proposition.
Thorin smiled to himself as he left the Hobbit to his nephews and rode ahead. If there was one thing that Fili and Kili enjoyed, it was a hearty tune. The musical lads would undoubtedly find a fitting melody to place the words to. Glancing behind him he smiled further as he saw their enthusiasm begin to affect the Hobbit, so that soon they were singing and making up the melody.
Within a short while they had finished their brainstorming, and then began singing the product of their twins' melodious voices complementing the words, causing the rest of the company to forget their discomfort for a short time, smiling and tapping along. Bofur's quick ear, once catching the melody locked it into memory. With a flourish he whipped out his flute, floating in and weaving around the song. Then Gloin started singing, and Dwalin, then Balin, until finally the entire company was either humming or singing along. Oin however was a separate case, as he appointed himself conductor of sorts, and began waving his hands about in a wavelike manner. No one was surprised when Gandalf joined the merriment.
The next few hours passed by very quickly, and the merriment was not soon forgotten. But like everything, it ended, but left light hearts and feelings of camaraderie.
When it had all ended, Bilbo found that Myrtle had carried him to the front of the line of ponies. Seeing Thorin's familiar form riding in front of him. A grin grew on Bilbo's face as he heard soft humming in a deep and distinguishable baritone voice.
It was at that moment that something caught Myrtle's eye growing along the roadside. She promptly stopped and began investigating it. Bilbo in vain tried to get the stubborn animal to move, but it seemed this was one of her obstinate moments.
While Bilbo was preoccupied with the pony, Balin noticed that Thorin was still humming the jolly tune. Spurting his horse forward he rode alongside his king. Seeing him Thorin looked slightly startled that he might have been caught at humming, but composing himself he nodded.
"So, you like it then eh?" Balin prodded, looking very amused.
Thorin feigned ignorance. "Like what?"
Balin rolled his eyes. "You know exactly what I mean."
Thorin smirked, "Ah, you mean Bilbo's song."
"Yes. Bilbo's song." Balin prompted.
Thorin paused a moment, and Balin noticed that he seemed to be looking off into the distance, at the road that wound ever before them. Holding dangerous adventures and promises of all that they dreamed of if they only persevered. The road that they would travel long yet, the road that would lead them home, to Erebor.
"Well enough." he finally answered, smiling perhaps more than Balin had seen in quite a long awhile.