Notice: Tolkien's family and Enterprise owns Middle Earth. I simply go strolling down the paths and dozing in the shade of greatness. So this is not to be sold or redistributed by others, as I have no intention on infringing on any commercial rights or anyone!

Shopping Mall on the Withywindle

Progress was finally coming to Kingswood. One of the big malls in Birmingham was building a satellite mall for the commuters to flock to. It was quite the achievement, using the latest environmentally friendly techniques, and even making a little park around the twisted old willow tree by the nameless little creek that meandered through the hills. The banks were whittled down by glaciers wavering edges before, now removed by carbon-friendly bulldozers. Bogs were filled, and there was no place now for a tangled old mess of brush and seedlings. Fresh green level sod replaced the slippery creek bank around the tree, but never seemed to catch over the willow's roots. Otherwise, it was all very family friendly, and they were starting to visit the creek again, the first in several ages of man since the four halflings, he thought sleepily.

Rage. Anger, waking after so long. Bombadil had put him to sleep; For a while, passing elves had soothed the Forest, until one by one they eldest trees quietly fell. The kings of man had, unknowing allowed him to doze in peace, for his sleep song was one of placid forgetfulness, that seeped into their bond with the land. But the kings no longer held the forest in forgetful peace; the embers of royalty slept in so many scattered beds that the land was sold for the first time, no song to speak for it. Now little voices were back, and laughing, taunting, older ones. Voices, sounds, gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, destroying, usurping sky and stream. They awoke him. First there was the foul-smelling tobacco-spitting landscaper, last seen laughing and tapping on his phone while eating lunch resting in the arms of the great Willow's roots. Now a family was missing.

He was still hungry, his song awake and strong. The cutters kept coming, and Bombadil was gone.

But as his song went out on the wind, there was one that still heard a whisper of it.