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Old 10-24-2007, 02:35 AM   #1
piosenniel
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Pipe An Adventure of Hobbit Proportions RPG

The bright afternoon sun beat down upon the young girl’s face, she stifled a yawn and opened her eyes. She lazily watched as clouds slowly drifted by, it was a beautiful spring day in the Shire. A little breeze blew a curly tendril of hair across her face, she made no move to remove it, she sighed and closed her eyes again. "Bunny? Bunny! where have you got to?" The young Hobbit lass sighed again and rolled over trying to hide herself further in the lush green grass. "Bunny Took, you get in here this moment!" she bellowed. " I need you to come set the table. Okay Okay Ma I'm comin' " Bunny protested loudly. She yawned and stretched, smoothed her dress and headed back towards her awaiting Ma.

I told you not to go anywhere, I need your help." "But Ma settin' the table only takes a few seconds and well, it's such a lovely day......and." "And nothing Bunny, just look at the condition of your dress, all covered in grass stains." Belladonna gave a little kicking motion towards her daughter and ushering her inside. "you know your Pa will be home soon and you know how he gets if there isn't food on the table." Bunny stuck out her tongue and made a face hoping her Ma wouldn't see it, which of course she did. "Oh Bunny how unladylike! Now hop to it!" Bunny began to set out the plates and teacups, dropping utensils as she went, her Ma hummed a tune as she stirred a pot on the small fire. Finding this task extremely boring, Bunny began to make a little hill out of sugar on a small side plate she had just set down. Completely engrossed with her little hill, she added more and more until it began to spill onto the freshly washed and set table. " Her Ma's tune stopped short "Oh Bunny look what you've done, why oh why do you insist on doing things like that?" She gave her daughter a stern look as she stared back unabashed. I'll clean up here you go and fetch a few eggs from Old Hazel, she should have a few by now. Bunny shrugged, tossed her hair and skipped out the door. " When will that girl ever get her head outta the clouds....she shook her head and began to wipe the mound of sugar from the table. As Bunny fetched a basket from beside the little bench outside the door her Pa came up the steps dirty and tired from working in the field. She stopped to kiss his dirt streaked cheek then gave a little wave and continued towards the chicken coop.

The coop was dimly lit, but Bunny knew where the old hen Hazel say. She quietly approached the dark corner. " Ok Hazel...You don't like me and I don't like you, but Mama needs some eggs." The hen clucked and looked like she was about to lift off her eggs. Bunny made a quick lunge towards the eggs, but Hazel had other plans. She reached out and seized Bunny's out stretched fingers in her sharp beak, breaking the skin. " Ouch you ol' cow! Git over!" she shoved the hen and pulled three warm eggs from the nest and put them gently into the basket.She eyed the fluster hen once more then shut the door. Storming into the house sucking her injured fingers, Bunny's lightly hairy foot tripped over the mat in the hall and sent her sprawling onto the floor. She just barely caught the basket of hard fought eggs with her fingertips. " Bunny dear are you alright?" Bunny smiled and nodded, she scrambled to her feet and joined her parents at the table.

“You really must do something with that old cow, she bit me again." "Old cow?.... Oh Hazel, yes she really is a nasty Ol' piece of work, isn't she." "Yes she is and I swear she's got it out for me." “Bella don't talk with your mouth full" Pa said as he buttered his bread. He was the only one who called her Bella and she loved him all the more for it. " So I hear you want to take a trip to Buckland?" He said, putting the now fried egg onto his bread. "When did you want me to take you? Or I guess Peter could take you." “Pa I know I act a little silly at times, but I am almost of age, You know I can handle myself, and I know the way." Yes Bella" He said as he reached for her hand," I know that you are not always so silly." Her Ma frowned and began to protest. "Now BellaDonna, she is old enough and she does know the way. How long shall you be gone and who shall you stay with?" " well not long I suppose perhaps a week? And I shall stay with that lovely hobbit Tansy, the one who tells the most intriguing stories. I'll be back before you know it." “Well I still think there is no reason to go by yourself" exclaimed Belladonna. “Well Love" her pa said lovingly to his wife, "She won't be a little lass forever." Bunny grinned as honey slipped down her chin.

Lying in her bed with the lamp blown out that night, Bunny went over her plans in her head." Ok so I head to Buckland, find Tansy and try to convince her to come with me, I am sure she will. She should hopefully be able to help with getting us more supplies and more food, if I take too much from here they will know I plan to be gone more than a week and they'll question my going. I have a map of the Shire from one of Pa's books, I have a coil of rope, cooking gear... boy will Ma kill me when she finds out their gone. I must take my bow with me just in case. I can hide it in my travelling cloak and stash it before I go. Then after we top off our supplies... We're Off!!! to adventure and to make the search I have always dreamt of taking. To find the Female treeherders. To find the Entwives, if there is any. She had heard many stories of the Master Peregrin Took and his friend Meriadoc Brandybuck, who had met the great Treeherders the Ents and had talked to the great treebeard who told them of the Entwives and their long search for them. They would like the Shire he said and Bunny was sure they would too. She had heard rumors of a Treeman long ago being seen in the North Moors, and that was where she was headed. She would see for herself if they were there or not... Or if they had indeed vanished from this world.With her mind still racing she lay awake, far into the night. The next day would be the beginning of Bunny Tooks greatest adventure.

~ by Valier

Last edited by piosenniel; 03-10-2008 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
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The cool crispy, spring rain beat down on Bunny's head with a "Pitter-Patter, Pitter-Patter" The drops were beginning to get bigger and to Bunny, somehow wetter. Poor Bunny was drenched to the bone and despite the warmish weather, her teeth began to chatter. " Oh!! I should almost be there. Why did I have to take the scenic route? It will be nice, I said, it shouldn't rain today. BAH!!"

Bunny swept a soaked tendril from her face and pushed forward. Being flustered from all the sudden rain, she lost her balance. Her feet tried to grab a better hold of the earth to no avail. Everything was one big mud hole. Her feet gave way and she slipped forward, her heavy pack flying over her head, knocking her in the head as it went. She fell to the ground with an OOffff!! doing a full fledged face plant into the mud. She rolled over rubbing her head but lay there for sometime, in the mud, with the rain splashing all around.

As she lay there , Bella Took began to have doubts. "I'm not so sure, you've gone and done the right thing, Bunny dear. Look at you" she said to herself," Not even to Buckland and you've gone and muddied your things and from the looks of it ruined your food. Tansy would be crazy to want to come with you, she will probably take one look at you and close the door in your face screaming ' Go away Bunny dear!! No adventuring for me!!' Well, there is no good a reason to just lie here gettin' all wet. Let's have a look at what I've done." With a creaking protest from her sore knees Bunny got to her feet.

Her pack had spilled it's contents. She never was good at tying knots. Her small store of food, including her bread, bacon and eggs were completely ruined, having landed roughly. Her extra clothing was hanging half out and was soaking the remainder of the dry supplies at the bottom.
She began to angrily throw all the muddied contents back into her now soaked pack. "Dang it!!" she yelled out loud, scaring a few nesting birds from a nearby tree. Night was creeping up quickly and she could still not see the lights of Buckland. She had taken the route skirting the forest and had turned towards the bridge at nearly wooded hall. The rain had come upon her with little warning, and didn't seem to be slacking. She had no choice but to carry on wet, muddied and bruised. She would have to wait to see what Tansy would make of her. Bunny eased the pack back on and pulled her hood down over her forehead to block some of the rain. She stared at her feet and willed them not to fall again.

About an hour after her fall the rain begin to lighten, and she could see the lights of Buckland. Her heart lifted when she neared Tansy's home. The lights were on and smoke rose from the little chimney. Someone was still awake, probably waiting for her, for she was now very late. She let out a long sigh and headed towards the door. But in true Bunny style, as she lifted her foot to the porch, her toe caught on the edge and again with a small squeal she fell onto her knees with a crash.

Right at that moment the door opened. The warm light and the smell of mushrooms and bacon wafted out. Bunny lifted her head and grinned.

"Well 'Ello Miss Tansy! I've made it at last. No worse for the wear I should say. Are those mushrooms I smell?"
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:46 PM   #3
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Brown Barrabury

Browning Barrabury had been resting with his back against the maple tree for at least an hour, if not longer, and it was nearly supper time. The rain, however, had not let up, and he had little hope of starting a fire and cooking himself a real meal. He could light a fire easily enough with his flint and steel, and dry tinder could be had if you knew where to look, but finding dry fuel would another matter entirely. Alas! He would have to subsist on cold ham and apples - AGAIN.

"It's not natural!" he proclaimed to the damp, gray landscape that stretched out beneath the hill on which he sat. "A hobbit isn't MEANT to eat like this! What a fellow wants is good, hot food and he can feel at home anywhere."

Upon a moment's reflection, however, he experienced a change of heart, as he threw an apple core as far as he could, aiming for a ribbon of light and water that wove its merry way through the fields in the distance. Must be the Stockbrook. He determined that the advantages of his situation far outweighed the inconveniences (which, his indignant other half pointed out, were numerous) of living out of doors. He was alone, for one. The absence of the general boisterous noisiness that, he had noticed, typically accompanied hobbit-settlements allowed him to think clearly and deeply, something many hobbits had neither time nor inclination for. Also, being alone meant he could behave, he felt, more naturally. Society was sooo complicated, drat it. Surely we would be better withOUT all these...PEOPLE... He caught himself. Nonsense, he thought, and chuckled to himself, then laughed out loud at his own absurdity. Really! Ridiculous hobbit! He also laughed because the rain had begun to stop.

He stuffed his sack of cured pork, bread, apples, and cheese back into his heavy knapsack and stretched his legs. He yawned. It had been dry under the maple tree, which he had been fortunate enough to be near when the rain had begun. His clothing had become drenched in the first onslaught of precipitation, as he dashed for the nearest cover (the maple tree), but it had dried admirably as he rested and ruminated. As he prepared to continue his cross-country march, he also continued his previous line of thought.

Now, the Buckland folk are good sorts of hobbits. Generally very sensible, not given to unnecessary displays of absurdity and noise. That was really bothered him, was the sheer triviality of hobbit-life. But then, that was also what made it so charming.

"Two sides to every matter", he intoned graciously.

Regardless, it was this triviality and thoughtlessness that he thought to leave behind for a bit. The Bucklanders were just as odd as they were thought to be, but he generally felt quite at home among the stoic, wild hobbits from the Other Side of the Brandywine. After all, he was at least half-Brandybuck himself; why shouldn't he fit in?

He planned as he walked, getting just as wet from the tall grass as he had from the rain itself. He had a mind to pay a visit to his abundant Brandybuck cousins (his mother's family). A week away would do just fine; any longer, and he would be missed by the various inhabitants of Woodhall for whom he labored at various chores. He would eat, sleep, think, go for walks, smoke, trade tales with his hospitable cousins, and maybe even pay good old Fred a visit as he passed through. Yes, that would do splendidly. Fred could surely do with some company. The lad was a lonely fellow, in some ways, since his accident. The two of them had been working together when it happened, and Brown often felt that he was half-responsible...

He put the thought from his mind, as he came to a stream, laughing and swollen with the new rain. He leapt over the brook and headed up into sweet smelling woods on the other side. Night was falling.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
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It was a dark night. It was all black and rainy outside, but it was pleasantly warm and light inside the kitchen. Two hobbit women were in the room, the older one stirring a stew in a small pot, the younger one chopping vegetables. She sat at the small kitchen table, head bent. It was difficult to see in the candlelight, especially with her shortsighted eyes, and if you asked Tansy Bogswort, there was only one proper way of chopping carrots and it was a precise one.

Maylily Bogsworth yawned. "Mum, you need not stay up any longer. I'm sure Bella is coming soon, but I can look after the stew and you can go to sleep. I'm sure she won't think any worse of you if you go to sleep and are not here to welcome her", Tansy said, "besides, Dad, Grandma Daphne and Fred are all already asleep."

"Are you sure you can manage?" the old woman asked, her brow furrowing so that it looked even more creased. "Of course, Mum", Tansy said, suppressing a sigh.

Maylily looked at her daughter. "Don't ruin my mushroom stew", she warned, "making a mushroom stew is a delicate art. Good night."

"Good night, Mum", Tansy said. She watched her mother walk slowly away and realised her steps were stiffer than they had been. There was hardly no brown left in Maylily's once chestnut hair. Tansy shook her head. It was no good.

Tansy chopped rest of the vegetables. She wondered if Bunny had something special in her mind. Her letter had sounded even more enthusiastic than usual and also somewhat... mysterious. Tansy was aware of a small smile creeping to her face. She was glad to see her young friend again.

She put the chopped vegetables in a bowl and started frying bacon. She hoped Bunny would come soon, for otherwise she wouldn't know what to do with the bacon. As soon as the thought had entered her head, she heard a loud squeal from the door. She recognised the voice instantly and hurried to open the door.

"Well 'Ello Miss Tansy! I've made it at last. No worse for the wear I should say. Are those mushrooms I smell?" Bunny said, a wide grin on her face and her clothes all wet and muddy.

"They are", Tansy replied, laughing, "but do come in, it's no use standing in the rain." She did need to say it twice, for Bunny was in before she had even finished the sentence. Tansy closed the door after her friend. "Now how on earth did you manage to get yourself look like that?" she asked with a grin.

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:56 PM   #5
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Bunny stood trying not to drip mud on the floor, while attempting to pull her soaked cloak from her back. "Well I think I should save my story till I'm a little more dry" Bunny stated with a small giggle. "Do you have extra clothing I could borrow?" Bunny placed her sack and wet belongings by the front door while Tansy scurried off to find her some clothing and draw a bath. Bunny wiped her face on her sleeve and looked around. The small dwelling was quiet and warm. Everyone had gone to bed, just like Bunny hoped. She wanted to have a few minutes to talk with Tansy with no one around.

After washing, (with minimal splashing) and putting on Tansy's dry night clothes, Bunny came into the kitchen, where Tansy was making tea and ladling out a bowl of delicious smelling stew. "Tansy that smells just delicious!! I'm just starved! And you've made tea!! you read my mind, I swear it!! If I had not taken my little tumble, I would have arrived a little earlier and a lot more presentable. Sorry to keep you waiting, I hope you didn't worry too much." Bunny gobbled down her bowl, barely looking up and plunged into another before she slowed to ask Tansy the most important question.

"Tansy dear you do still want to come with me.....don't you? I really think we can do it, I know it may seem like a fools journey, but what else do we have to do? I long to see what my eyes have never seen, I long to do something!!..... To be known far and wide, as the brave traveller Bella Took who found the lost Entwives....Please say you feel the same? I ...well, I want you to come so badly... please say you'll come." Bunny stated in one last lame attempt to convince Tansy to come and to even convince herself a little, that she was doing the right thing and was not acting like a foolhardy Hobbit Lass. Bunny slurped some stew from her spoon and shyly gazed at Tansy, fearing the worst.. a trip to glory on her own.


------------------------------


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"Tansy dear you do still want to come with me.....don't you? I really think we can do it, I know it may seem like a fools journey, but what else do we have to do? I long to see what my eyes have never seen, I long to do something!!..... To be known far and wide, as the brave traveller Bella Took who found the lost Entwives....Please say you feel the same? I ...well, I want you to come so badly... please say you'll come."

Tansy had been dreading for this question. She had first promised to come, not giving much thought to anything. Just as if I still was on my tweens, she thought dryly. The truth was, she was not sure if she could leave her family for a long time. Both Grandma Daphne and Fred needed help in order to manage with their daily life. Tansy's mother and father were both quite old and neither of them worked at home. True, they didn't work as long hours as they once had, but they still spent hours at the inn they workes as waiters. Tansy's sister Daisy could not come to help the family, as she had little children to look after. There's only me... and if I leave for a long time with no idea when I'm coming back... Tansy suppressed a sigh. Waiters didn't earn that much and the income of the family had long depended on Tansy's needlework. Tansy knew her parents had savings, but it hurt her to even think about that they'd use them to cover for the hole in their economy caused by Tansy's selfish absence.

"Tansy?" Bunny asked nervously. Tansy looked at her. Her eyes were full of hope but there was some fear deep behind. Sometimes Bunny reminded her so much of a little, innocent child. She could not break Bunny's trust, nor her own promise.

"Of course I'm coming", she said and hoped Bunny did not notice that her smile was a bit forced. Tansy took a sip from her teacup. She had chosen an old flavour she seldom used: a rich, black tea with the flavour of blackcurrant and cardamom. The taste reminded her of her and Daisy's visit to the Southfarthing so long time ago. They had eaten Mrs Bolger's blackcurrants and got the angry old widow chasing them around her garden with a broom in her hands. She couldn't help smiling... How they had been young and carefree back then, and how they had traveled in the woods and fields, avoiding settlement, because they had thought everybody would know that they had stolen the blackcurrants and beat them with broomsticks.

"What are you smiling at?" Bunny asked, sounding curious.
"Recalling an old adventure", Tansy replied. She took another sip of tea and then told her friend the history of the balckcurrant thievery. Bunny seemed to find the idea of an angry old woman chasing Tansy and trying to hit her with a broomstick incredibly funny.

When they had finished the dinner, Tansy showed Bunny to Daisy's old room that nowadays served as a guestroom. They wished each other good night and Tansy lumbered to her own room.

It took a long time for her to fall asleep. She wondered what her parents would say of her adventure and how would they manage without her. She wondered if she had to refuse Bunny's invitation after all. She worried how Bunny would take the news. She would not want to disappoint her. Nor herself, for wasn't she really expecting this adventure? Possible, but she was definitely not expecting leaving her family all alone for days, weeks, possibly months.

But when Tansy finally fell asleep, she didn't dream of Grandma Daphne and Fred at home alone, trying to manage, nor about her parents working day and night in order to get money for food. She dreamed of a long, untrodden road before her feet, of unknown woods and fields, of good company and of new challenges - of an adventure.

Last edited by piosenniel; 11-05-2007 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:04 PM   #6
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Brown Barrabury

Brown woke with dew on his face and the sun in his eyes.

He had slept that night at the base of a gnarled pine tree. The tree's wide, spreading branches had sheltered him from the drizzling rain that had continued to fall periodically during the night; only his feet had stuck out from beneath his blanket and from beneath the pine tree's branches, and they were now wet. Brown half-heartedly cursed the rain, the tree, and his wet feet, then sat up. For a moment he sat blinking and rubbing his eyes. He shook his head.

The fragrant pine woods in which he had spent his night were on the western shore of the Brandywine River, which he hoped to cross that day. But not before breakfast, he thought, and reached for his knapsack. Within an hour, he was sitting on a pile of pine needles before a small, hot fire underneath the canopy of the tall pine trees. The pine needles he had carefully cleared away from his fire pit, and as he sat and his feet dried, he chopped a tomato, a potato, a sausage, and a clove of garlic into a small pan. He threw in an enormous piece of butter and set the pan atop three rocks he had positioned in the center of the fire. While the simple, sturdy meal sizzled, Brown packed up his various possessions and prepared to move along. He had packed very light (for a hobbit). Other than the clothes he was wearing, he had his knapsack (which contained food, a spare shirt, and basic cooking gear), a walking stick made of hard maple wood, and his leather sling, which he carried at his belt.

In addition to this, he had with him a very old knife of curious workmanship. He had come upon the old thing while hiking in the North Farthing, where he had found it rusting in a field. Hours of polishing had removed the dirt and rust, revealing a broad, shiny, leaf-shaped blade which was pock-marked, but as sharp as the day it had been forged. Set in the hilt was a very small gem of the deepest blue he had ever seen. This had surprised him, but it had proved a useful tool or weapon in countless situations since, and had saved his life more than once. In dark forests, or on ancient hill-tops, the beautiful, ancient knife seemed to Brown to reflect a light that was deeper and older than the trees and the hills. When he drew the blade, he could feel himself join the ranks of mysterious warriors and wanderers and princes who had drawn the blade before him.

That is an extremely unhobbitlike idea, he thought to himself as he carefully strapped the knife to his knapsack, and sat down to eat. It's only a knife, and I am only a hobbit.

When he had finished his breakfast, he threw dirt on his fire and shouldered his pack. He would wash his pan in the river, so he carried that in his left hand, while he took his staff in his right, and then trotted down towards the Brandywine, leaving the piney hill behind him. A quarter mile downstream he found a fallen tree, which he ran across to the other side. He did not love water (particularly deep rivers, like this one), but it did not bother him as much as it did most hobbits. He had fallen in enough rivers during his countless rambles through the wildest parts of the Shire that it no longer held particular fear for him. On the eastern bank he paused to wash his frying pan and collect stones for his sling. If he was quiet, he might be able to bring a few quail to Fred, Tansy, and their family. The fat Shire quail made good eating, and that way he would not be completely imposing on their hospitality. He was, after all, unexpected.

When he had gathered ten good stones, he climbed to the top of the high river bank and then checked the sun. He was not sure of his exact position, but he had a good head for directions, and had wandered through these woods plenty of times while visiting extended family as a young hobbit-lad. If he made good time, he would be at Fred and Tansy's home by tea at the latest. Feeling well-fed and content, he climbed a stile over the hedgerow which marked the boundary of a farm, and headed towards a distant patch of forest, skirting around a newly planted field as he did so. The field was still soft from previous day's rain, but the sun shone warm over the tree tops. In the distance, smoke rose straight up from the farmer's cottage.

"No wind," he remarked. "It looks to be a good day. For walking, at any rate."

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Old 11-10-2007, 06:50 AM   #7
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Gaffer Hugo was a happy hobbit in the main. He liked having enough coin - which he did - to be able to do what he wished. He liked having a nice little cart and old Mosy, his pony, to pull it, as often as not wherever Mosy's nose chose to take it. When he retired, he had sold his big drover's cart for something more manageable, and was quite pleased with his new one. He had it painted bright green. It was still big enough to do an odd job now and then for a grocer or butcher who needed something taken to one of the inns.

Gaffer Hugo liked it, too, that Snatch sat right next to him on the cart's big bench most of the time. Snatch was three years old, a true bred North Farthing Tunnel Dog, which meant he was small as dogs go; it also meant that his body was strong and he could jump very high for his size. His fur was short and bristly, his snout strong, his ears short and pendant, his eyes bright as sunshine in a pond. His bark was loud and brisk and high pitched, and he used it often whether in greeting or chasing game. True to his breed, Snatch chased game into their burrows, and had a nack for snatching them when they thought they was safe; and so his name.

Gaffer Hugo was not in his cart, but in the home of his grandson Rudy. It was a fine house Rudy owned, for house it was instead of a hole - these Bucklanders were strange, even when they were Hugo's own kin. It felt a little odd to sleep above ground, Hugo thought, but it was all right. Hugo had just got up from a good night's sleep. After stretching and cracking and rubbing his old achy knees and toes and fingers, he let Snatch out for a morning romp; he checked in on Mosy, who was doing fine, for Rudy kept a fine stable too. Hugo went back inside where he could smell the rashers of bacon and the eggs and cakes on the griddle. He sighed with delight and patted his tummy in anticipation. Mira could cook a fine breakfast.

"Good morning, Mira! It smells wunnerful in here!"
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:44 AM   #8
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The rain of yesterday and last night had left the field wet and bright green. As Mira got ready for the day, she kept looking out through her round window into the garden that bordered the hobbit dwelling. The air was fresh, and Mira was happy.

As Mira started to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, she whistled, but stopped abruptly when she remember father didn’t like whistling. “Oh well,” she thought, “I’ll just get out sometime today, and whistle as much as I like.”

Mira was wanted to talk to somebody, but neither Gaffer Hugo, nor Rudy were around, though Mira knew they were both up.

“I want to see someone today. Maybe... I haven't seen Tansy in several months. I wonder if Gaffer Hugo would mind taking me.” She thought, deciding to ask him when she saw him. By this time Mira had gotten griddle cakes frying, the bacon beginning to crisp, and was starting to cook the eggs.

Mira wasn't too surprised when she saw Hugo at the door, who greeted her with a, “Good morning, Mira! It smells wunnerful in here.”

She turned around smiling, “Why thank you. And good morning to you. Did you sleep well?” When he answered in the affirmative, she continued, “Oh, can you take me to Brandy Hall to visit Tansy? I haven't seen her for so long!”

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Old 11-11-2007, 11:27 AM   #9
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Rudy liked the rain. He never understood why everyone else seemed to hate it. Rain was refreshing, the drip-drip-drip on the rooftop was quite relaxing, and it was cooling. In fact, as long as it wasn't ice cold rain, Rudy could not think of a reason to dislike rain.

Rudy woke up to the fine smell of bacon cooking. He loved bacon too; it was his favorite. His younger sister, Mira, always was a great cook. That was a good thing, because Rudy never was much of a cook. He knew how to cook eggs, but that was about it. Before Rudy found out there was another cook in the family (his mother, Rosemary, was another good one) he was forced to make his own meals. Eggs are tasty, but when you have to eat them two or three times a day, they lose their appeal. Rudy tried to make bacon once, but that didn't turn out so great. Two of the pieces were still raw and had a rubbery texture. The other two pieces were charred and tasted like ear wax.

Mira made great bacon; she really made great everything, but bacon was Rudy's favorite. It has been a while since Rudy has had any. The last time Mira made bacon she ended up asking Rudy if she could cross the Brandywine and go all the way out to Woodhall to see some friends. That was a little over three months ago. At times Rudy felt bad for Mira, how she is couped up at their house in Crickhollow. She has to get out, and be on her own, eventually...right? No, she's still far too young. What really made Rudy say yes was the bacon. By now Mira definitely knew how to get a "yes" out of Rudy. There really is no harm in travelling through The Shire...is there? As long as she never asks to go parading though the Old Forest; no amount of bacon will get him to say "yes" to that.

Then it suddenly hit Rudy: 'Oh no...the bacon...what does she want this time?' Rudy didn't bother changing out of the clothes he slept in. He went racing out of his room, but stopped when he saw Gaffer Hugo in the kitchen with Mira.

“Oh, can you take me to Brandy Hall to visit Tansy? I haven't seen her for so long!”

"What's this!" Rudy exclaimed. "Brandy Hall? Visiting Tansy? How can you ask such a thing from the Gaffer? Mira you should know better. You will have to excuse her, Gaffer, sometimes she forgets her manners."

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Old 11-13-2007, 05:01 AM   #10
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"Manners?" Hugo retorted. "I've seen worse manners in a Sackville Baggins!" He patted his vest pockets. "Now what have I done with my right off the plant corn cob pipe?" He looked from side to side in the kitchen as if his pipe would somehow be seen other than where he had placed it (which was beside his bed).

"Anyways, I'd like to see Brandy Hall myself. I'll take you, Mira! And Rudy, why don't you come too? We can make a holiday out of it! ... soon as I find my pipe. Mmm! Smell that bacon!"

With that, Hugo seemed to forget all about his pipe and pulled a chair from the table, took a big hand towel and tucked it under his chin, and picked up fork and knife in eager anticipation.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:29 PM   #11
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Gaffer Hugo was about to reply, and Mira was sure it would be yes, when Rudy barged in. Mira was disappointed with how he responded to her idea.

"What's this! Brandy Hall? Visiting Tansy? How can you ask such a thing from the Gaffer? Mira you should know better. You will have to excuse her, Gaffer, sometimes she forgets her manners."

She brightened up again immediately when Gaffer Hugo spoke in her defense. As he sat down she served him, giving him an extra piece of bacon as a thanks.

“Yes, Rudy, do come. It will be a lovely day, perfect for a ride. And you'll enjoy yourself.” She almost added that he could boss her around more thouroghly if he came, but refrained, as she would prefer to have him in a good mood. She served him a full plate, then filled her own, covering the remaining cakes and bacon for her father.

As she sat down, she asked, “So when can we start?”
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:26 AM   #12
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As usual, Tansy had been the first one to wake up. She always slept very lightly and seemed to need less sleep than her other family members. She was already up and around, walking in the garden and enjoying the fresh air, when someone finally woke up.

"Tansy! What are you doing here?", Robin Bogsworth asked curiously.
"Oh, good morning, father. I was just having a morning walk."
"In this weather?"
"Yes... A little rain every now and then harms no one."
"When you've done with your problemsolving walk, do come in, I'm hungry and Maylily's not up yet."

The old man closed the backdoor with a slamming sound. He was always too careless with things like that, just like his son, Tansy thought. They both got into accidents on daily basis, but Robin Bogsworth had survived his life with minor injuries, unlike his son.

"Tansy!" a croaking voice called.
"Grandma Daphne, I'm coming", she said and ran to the old woman's window.
"Close the window! Who on earth has opened it! It's so chilly here inside. No, don't close it just yet! What is that expression? I can see you're up to some mischief again." The crone made disapproving sounds with her tongue. "Always doing this and always doing that. Won't you ever settle down and..." The rest of her words were swallowed by a violent cough. Tansy closed the window and hurried inside to see if her grandmother was alright. When she reached the room, her grandmother was snoring loudly. Tansy shook her head. Grandma Daphne knew she was planning something and Dad had seemed to suspect something as well. Better to talk with them as soon as possible, she concluded.

Her mother was already making porridge when she arrived at the kitchen.
"Look at yourself, all wet and brow creased like an old woman's! What have you done and what is troubling you?" Maylily asked.
"Where's dad? And Fred?"
"Robin has gone to fetch Fred to come to have breakfast with us. Even though if you ask me, it should be you, not him, doing it, you're the young one with a strong back..."
"No problem, Maylily!" Robin's voice came from the corridor. "I and Fred are handling this just well. Besides, I will get stiff if I never get exercise."
"Men", Maylily sighed. "But Tansy! What are you idling there! Go to wake up that friend of yours, if she prefers her porridge hot!"
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:44 AM   #13
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With a sudden rush of feathers and beaten air, a large grouse exploded out of
a low lying bunch of shrubs.

WHAP!

The bird dropped senseless out of the air, struck by a stone from Brown's
sling. As it hit the ground, he dashed over and seized the bird before it
could regain consciousness. He dashed its head sharply against a tree to kill
it, then tied it by its feet to length of cord on his knapsack, where hung
three fattish quail.

He had been hunting opportunistically all that morning, as he walked along the
hedgerows and through the thin woodlands which bordered the fields. Like most hobbits, he was a good shot with a sling, and, as he walked quietly (except for when he whistled, which he did very loud and very well), he would often come upon small hedgerow creatures while they were yet unaware of his presence, or startle them suddenly out of their hiding places.

Presently, he was walking along a low stone wall that, though it now lay in shambles, had probably once marked the boundary of a farmstead. All that remained now was a broad, gently sloping field of green grass.

Hullo! There IS something else left. Ahead, where the wall appeared to make a right turn, was the remains of a small farm cottage. Its thatching had long since disappeared, and the windows were hollow and empty, but the sturdy stone walls still held their mortar.

Brown was well-travelled, and stone buildings did not give him much pause, as they might hobbits who had never passed out of the central regions of the Shire. The stone walls of the cottage and the long, low wall surrounding what had been the farm stood memorial to the battle between the farmer and the earth; the stones used to build the structures had evidently been pulled from the field in an attempt to make it fit for cultivation.

So many rocks...no wonder they left. I would. Give me the woods and the wild any day.

He stepped over a fallen beam through the doorway of the cottage. His foraging instincts, developed by years of rambling, insisted that he at least take a quick look around for anything of use, though the most he expected to find was perhaps an old stove or a rusty tea-kettle. And he proved to be absolutely right. He found both of these things, evidently abandoned in the defeated farmer's hastily beaten retreat.

And this brought up an issue rather dear to his, as to any hobbit's, heart: Speaking of tea...I haven't eaten since breakfast. Thereupon he sat down in the midst of the fallen timbers and broken glass upon an old stool that must have been also overlooked, and removed his knapsack. He did not mind eating second breakfast cold, especially since he was in mid-hike at the moment. Besides, he was eating it rather before the hour this particular morning. It made sense to get in a meal while he could, since there might be some proper leftovers down at Fred and Tansy's, and he would then have the good fortune to have eaten a second second breakfast. This made him smile.

As he ate, he pulled an old book from the rubble, its leather cover warped and cracked. Munching on an apple, he opened the book on his knee and began to read from the first badly damaged and yellowed page.

MERIADOC BRANDYBUCK'S
LETTERS AND SPEECHES
with Elucidations
by
Carl Brandybuck
Vol. I-II
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:23 PM   #14
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Bunny began the day with a smile. She had had a wonderful dream, where she had frolicked in the grass, hand in hand with a beautiful tree maiden. Her mind was torn from her dream when her nose caught the scent of cooking food. Upon opening her eyes Bunny realized that it must be quite late, she had been tired and had slept longer than usual. She had planned to get up early to have a few minutes alone to talk with Tansy.

Her pack was in ruins and they would need to get supplies. But how? and from whom? Surely Tansy's family could not be expected to supply things for them both. Bunny scolded herself for her clumsiness the day before. Now she would need to have her clothes washed and her pack had to be emptied and cleaned. They would not be off as quickly as Bunny had hoped.
Peeling of the covers Bunny ran her fingers through her unruly hair. She had gone to bed with it wet and she knew she would look an awful sight. She would also need to wear her nightgown to breakfast if she would hope to get any at all.

None of this could put a damper on Bunny's mood, she was determined to have a productive, engaging day. They could get started tomorrow morning if the rain held off and she got her things in order.
She quickly made the bed and straightened herself up a little more and headed to the kitchen. As she crossed the door frame Bunny looked down at her feet, running head long into Tansy who had come to fetch her. "Oi! good morning Tansy, are you having a wonderful day so far? Sorry I slept so late, and please do excuse my appearance, I'm afraid all of my clothes have gotten wet, and night clothes will have to do for breakfast. Bunny rubbed the spot on her forehead where they had collided. " Tansy dear I'm afraid we will need more supplies then I thought, do you have any idea where we could get them? We should leave as soon as possible as long as the weather holds up."
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:38 AM   #15
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“So when can we start?”

Rudy smiled. He knew, Mira knew, he was going to say yes. Maybe he did over react, just a little bit. It just caught him off guard; that's all. She probably shouldn't have asked the Gaffer to do this for her, but if Gaffer Hugo didn't mind, then what's the big deal? In fact, the Gaffer seemed thrilled that Mira asked her to do something. Poor guy, Rudy doesn't see Gaffer Hugo too often. This would be a good oppurtunity to catch up with him.

"Alright Mira, let's go see Tansy." Rudy said, smiling again.

At that moment Mira and Rudy's father, Hugo (not to be confused with Gaffer Hugo), walked into the room. "Wait a minute, now, where are you all running off too?"

"We are going to Brandy Hall, to visit Tansy, father." Rudy tried to sound as commanding as possible.

"Did she put you up to this?" he said, looking sharply at Mira.

Rudy quickly jumped in, before Mira could say anything. He wanted to show Mira he was sorry for being so harsh on her earlier. "No, father. Mira was telling us about her friend Tansy and we all thought it would be good to go see her." Maybe Rudy did just bend the story a little bit, so what?

Hugo grunted. "There are more important things you could be doing other than prancing through the Shire to see some friends." Hugo said 'friends' condescendingly. Rudy gritted his teeth. He knew father was trying to get him, or Mira, to blow up so he would have a reason to keep them at home. Rudy wasn't going to let him win.

"We are going to Brandy Hall, to visit Tansy, father." he said again.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:10 AM   #16
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"Tansy dear I'm afraid we will need more supplies then I thought, do you have any idea where we could get them? We should leave as soon as possible as long as the weather holds up."

"I don't know", Tansy replied. She really wasn't very enthusiastic about finding all the necessary things from her home or using all her family's money.

Bunny frowned. "Then is more difficult than I imagined... are you sure you don't have a friend or something who could help us with the supplies?"

Tansy smiled wryly at herself. It never occured to her first to ask for someone's help. "I do have one such friend. Her name is Peony Chubb. She lives quite close. But I must say that if we are to ask her to help us with the supplies, we might have to take her with us." Realising how Bunny might interpret her words, she burst laughing. Bunny cast her a questioning look.

"I maybe should not have said 'have to'", Tansy explained, "Peony is a lovely person, really, I'm sure you'll like her."

Before Bunny could make any reply, Maylily's voice interrupted the discussion: "Oh, there you are, girls. Come to eat breakfast, it's getting cooler all the time."

Girls. Tansy rolled her eyes and Bunny chuckled, but both followed the old woman obediently.

Fred and Robin wanted to tell Bunny about the giant perch they had caught last weekend and she was enjoying the story and telling of her own experiences of perches, so they had almost finished the abundant breakfast before Tansy could get to the topic she wanted to discuss.

"Mum, dad, Fred. There's something I want to talk about with you", she said slowly. Fred smiled at her, their mother's eyes narrowed, but their father asked pleasantly: "What is it, Tansy?"

"I wish to go traveling again. Bunny and I have been talking about looking for the legendary Entwives. I don't know how long I would be away."

A silence fell. "But there is one thing I'm worried about. Will you be able to manage without me?"

Maylily snorted in an offended way. "Now, now, Miss Tansy Bogsworth! I don't deny that you have provided a big deal of our family's income, helped Daphne and Fred a lot and done a big part of the household work in the last decade or so. But it is downright arrogant of you to assume that we wouldn't manage by ourselves for a few days? weeks? months? Ha! I tell you, Tansy, none of us is a helpless child!"

Tansy grinned. "Thank you, mother", she said.

"We'll miss you though, Tansy", Fred said with an affectionate smile, "hope you'll have fun."

"And I'll be missing your teas, darling", Robin said, "and maybe sad not to have the few extra coins in our purse. But I'd be far more sad if you were not where you wanted to be."

Tansy sighed. She had known it would come down to money. "Mum, are you really sure you can manage?"

"Now don't start that again, you arrogant lass!" Maylily exclaimed, "Have you forgotten that I and your father work as well? Besides, I assure you, I do have my own savings and I'm not afraid to use them our expenses became too big for us, which I doubt. And for goodness' sake, don't stare at me that way! Can't a mother offer something to her daughter these days?"

When Tansy still made no reply, Maylily burst laughing. "Tansy, if you're that worried, I can promise to take the extra money from your inheritance."

"Does that mean you're really coming with me?" Bunny asked in a low voice.

Tansy looked at her resolute-looking mother and her simling father and brother. "It seems I couldn't back away now even if I wanted: they seem to have decided that it's time for me to have some time of my own", she grinned.
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #17
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"We are going to Brandy Hall, to visit Tansy, father." Rudy said a second time.

Gaffer Hugo watched Rudy standing tall as he was able, his chin sticking out to just a wee bit, and risen up like he was giving orders to his own pa. The awful silence, full of all kinds of bad thing nobody was saying, was getting long. Gaffer Hugo understood; Hugo his son-in-law and accidental namesake, was a bitter man and had been getting that way even before he'd lost Rosemary so many years agone. Hugo number two never mentioned Rosemary anymore, he didn't need to. Everybody knew that it was always aback of what he blamed Mira for. It would do no good to raise that ugly fact where everybody could see it like a dirty stinky rag that needed more than a good washing.

"Good morning to you, Hugo!" Gaffer Hugo said. "I'm takin' Rudy an' Mira over to Brandy Hall to visit some friends and kin. Peony's folk are over thereby. How about you come along too?"

Gaffer Hugo flicked a quick glance over to Mira clapped her hand to her mouth with a cough to cover the grin forming there, for she knew what Gaffer was up to. They all knew that Hugo number two would be too concerned to make sure he wasn't going to bother with keeping Rudy and Mira under roof.

"Oh, fine!" Hugo number two griped with a dismissive wave. "Go on and leave me all alone like always."

Of course they all knew that wasn't true and Gaffer Hugo knew it made Mira feel bad, just like it was intended to, but there wasn't much hope of changing her dad, so no surprise, she smiled and told him thank you.
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:51 PM   #18
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Bunny was so relieved when Tansy and her family decided she should go with Bunny. She didn't know it was bothering her, but now it felt like a weight was lifted off her shoulders.

Bunny shoved one last morsel of food into her mouth and stood up to help with the clearing up. "That was just a delicious meal Maylily, thank you for having me." Maylily nodded her head towards the pile of mess sitting at the front door, which use to be Bunny's belongings. "I guess you'll be needing your things washed up, I can throw them in with the load I have from Tansy...That lass always has so much laundry... well I guess it's hard to tell which is clean or dirty when it's all over the floor!!" Tansy rolled her eyes at this causing Bunny to hold back a snort. "I will say however while I wash your mess, you my dear must clean up the mud you've left on the floor.

Bunny giggled and apologized profusely as she took the mop from Maylily. Tansy finished up the dishes and came to wait for Bunny to finish. "Since your Mother has been so gracious and kind to me, " Bunny said with a smile. " Shall we go see Peony after I finish up here? Do you think she will be home? I guess we might as well take a walk over, the weather seems like it's picking up and we might just have a sunny day. If she agrees to join us and we can get everything we need, we may just be able to leave tomorrow."
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:23 PM   #19
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Gaffer Hugo suggested that they stop off at Peony's, since she was on the way to Brandy Hall. Not long after first breakfast was finished and cleaned up after, Gaffer Hugo prepared his wagon for the ride, with much help from Snatch. At least, Snatch seemed to think that all his jumping up and down and running here and there and barking high and low made all the difference.

Soon the three travelers were on the road, happy to be gone from the house in Crickhollow, and ready for adventure. It would not have taken very long at all, but Mosy had other ideas in mind; mostly because Gaffer Hugo didn't bother to control him. Mosy found snubs of grass here, tasty berries hanging from bushes there as the travelers talked and sang and generally made merry.

It was almost noon when they arrived at Peony's hole.

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:50 AM   #20
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"That is a good idea. I feel like walking", Tansy replied and glanced out of the window. "And a little drop of rain or two won't surely kill us, just freshen our morning a bit, won't it?"
"Let's just hope it isn't as muddy as it was yesterday or we're going to spend the rest of the day with the mop when we've come back", Bunny grinned.
Tansy laughed. "Now, if you wait a minute and then we can leave. I think I should bring Peony and her family something. If I recall correctly, all the Chubbs have a liking for thistleflower tea."

Bunny was right about the weather. They had walked only a little while when the rain stopped and the sun started to shine. The change of weather raised the Hobbits' spirits even higher and they were as jolly as the little birds in the trees above them when they finally arrived at Peony's place.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:36 PM   #21
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The morning had been relatively warm, despite a bit of rain earlier, and Peony Chubb was going about her usually chores for her mother. But as she cleaned the dishes from her family’s breakfast she longed to go out for a nice long walk. It was far too nice outside to toil away on chores and such. She was quite envious of the birds that cheeped happily in the sunlight. Yet, there was work to be done and her brothers were not responsible enough.

Hamfast and Nick were off evading work, Peony was sure. She grumbled silently as she dried the dishes. Her mother came into the kitchen to assist in putting the dishes away. Melilot looked tired and Peony could tell the older Hobbit had probably had a dream about Sancho the night before.

“Where are those brothers of yours?” Melilot asked, her voice laced with melancholy.

“Probably hanging around the tavern, waiting for some lunch.” Peony dried the last plate and handed it to her mother.

Melilot rolled her eyes. “Seems hardly right for them to leave us with all the work around here. Why don’t you see if you can fetch them, while I out some tea on.”

Peony removed her apron and hurried outside. She had been waiting all morning for a chance to stretch her legs and enjoy the sunshine. Though she was on an errand, this was the perfect excuse to pick some flowers and take in the nice weather. Peony took in the fresh air and sighed happily.

“Peony Chubb!” Peony looked up the road and saw two figures moving quickly up the road. But she wasn’t expecting anyone today, so who could it be?

“Peony!” One of the figures called and waved. Recognition hit Peony as the grew ever closer.

“Mum! Tansy Bogsworth is here!” Peony called to her mother and sprinted up the road to greet her friend and her traveling companion.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:00 PM   #22
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Warm greetings were exchanged when Peony and Mrs Chubb, who hastened to see the visitors, met Tansy and Bunny. Tansy introduced Bunny to the Chubbs and after exchanging the briefest tidings and gossip, Mrs Chubb excused herself and went back into the hobbit hole.

"So, what brings you here?" Peony asked, "I was not expecting you. That does not mean that you wouldn't be welcome, of course." She smiled.

Tansy returned her smile. "It is always good to pay friends surprise visits, isn't it? But, yes, we actually had something we would like to discuss with you."

"Really?" asked Peony with an interested glint in her eyes, "I was just about to go to find Hamfast and Nick, but it may wait."

"Off evading work again, are they?" Tansy asked with a grin.

"Well, you know Hamfast", Peony said, "and Nick is just like him."

“Oh, poor you, I'd never survive living with them”, Tansy said empathically, but there was an edge of mischeviousness to her voice.

Peony was eyeing her curiously and looked like she was about to say something, when Bunny broke in. “We're not disturbing you, Peony, or interrupting anything, are we?” she asked in a cheerful tone.

“Oh no, you're not. Finding those rascals may wait”, Peony smiled, “Though, I thought it would be nice to spend some time outside... Would you mind if we discussed in the garden? We have benches and a little table in there. It may be a bit wet, though...”

“It is perfectly fine”, Bunny said, “don't you agree, Tansy?”

“Yes”, Tansy said, “let's go then.”
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:37 PM   #23
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Bunny skipped towards the little table and benches that were set up outside Peony's. "It 's only a tiny bit wet, you can just push the water right off." Bunny wiped the water off and sat down, as did Tansy and Peony.

"We came here Peony to ask you a favor," started Tansy. Bunny could contain herself no longer and blurted out," I have decided to tell you everything. I find this only fair since I need your help." Bunny leaned in closer to the now rapt Peony. " I decided sometime ago that I wanted to make a trip.... an adventure of sorts. Have you ever heard of the Ents and their lost Wives?" Peony nodded and Tansy smiled "Well I plan to go in search of them. I believe they may reside still somewhere in the North Moors. I have asked Tansy to join me on this adventure, and she" Bunny said with a smile, has graciously accepted." I had packed supplies enough for two, but I'm afraid my clumsiness has spoil all of my food, as well as ruined my only map. I'm not even sure what we would need to bring to make it safely there and back again.

Bunny relaxed a little and looked around. "Now this doesn't seem like something you would be interested in Peony would it? Bunny grinned at her. I am sure having you come would brighten our trip and make us one more the merrier. And Tansy has suggested that perhaps you would know where we could acquire some more supplies?

Bunny closed her eyes and went over the things she had brought. "I have a length of rope still and a sharp hand axe. My clothes thank goodness are getting washed by Tansy's gracious Mother. I had a good map my Father gave me but I'm afraid it has been ruined." Bunnies eyes welled up with tears. " I am sure he will be horribly disappointed with me when I return. All my food has been spoiled which will need to be replaced and I am sure there is a few other things we would need that I have forgotten.

Bunny stared off into space for awhile lost in thought. She almost fell of the little bench when she 'came to' Forgive my manners! Peony dear have I asked too much of you? I can pay you what little I have for supplies and we will leave you to your peace, but please would you like to come?" Yes would you?" asked Tansy in turn.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:02 AM   #24
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“I can pay you what little I have for supplies and we will leave you to your peace, but please would you like to come?"

“Yes would you?" asked Tansy in turn.


Peony was struck dumb. This didn’t seem like something Tansy would do, not with her parents working and depending on her needlework. Peony thought of her own mother. They were well-off and the income she drew in from the tavern was little. Her brothers’ wages brought in for more than her own. But what if Peony went along and something happened. It would break Melilot’s heart. The Hobbit woman could not survive if one of her children was taken from her.

Still she had been craving an adventure all her life. Now it seemed Bunny and Tansy were offering it to her. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, searching for the right answer.

“My mum’s father used to collect maps, I believe my mum still has them locked away somewhere. I’m sure we could find one to replace your ruined one.” Peony said. Her mind raced thinking about what else her family had that would aid in the adventure.

“Does this mean you’ll join us?” Tansy asked, it was clear she wanted Peony to come along.

“Of course I will and we have plenty of supplies here to help. We’ll just need to ask my mum where the maps are. For supplies we’ll have to wait until after lunch, my mum goes to the tavern to gossip and chat. With her gone we can pack up the supplies without raising any suspicion.”

It was clear Bunny was giddy with excitement. “This is turning out better than I had hoped.”

Peony led Tansy and Bunny inside. Melilot was pouring her tea. “Have a sit and enjoy some tea, girls. I’ve made it special on account of Tansy and Bunny. Not everyday we have visitors come through here.”

The four sat around the table, enjoying Melilot’s special brew. Peony cleared her throat and smiled, “Mum, where are those old maps we used to have?”

“My father’s? I put them in that old chest in the study. I used to have them out, but Nick was so mischievous in his tweens I had to hide them for safe keeping. But I think it’s high time I bring them out again. Peony, be a dear and fetch them after we’ve had a bit of lunch.”

The sound of a wagon coming up the road silenced Melilot. “I wonder who that could be. It’s not usual for anyone to be coming by us this time a day. Girls, be dears and see who’s coming up the road.”
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:30 PM   #25
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Posted by: Iras Sabir

Lizzy Smallburrow awoke later than she had hoped. She was hoping to set out for the market before the sun had risen. If only her brother hadn't invited her over to try his newest mead. She groaned softly as she stood up. Her head was pounding. Lizzy walked slowly into her bathroom, wincing when she saw herself in the mirror. Her eyes were ringed in red and the bags! She shook her head and went about washing up so that she could get her chores done and head into town.

After she was washed and combed she pulled on her dark green dress and deftly braided her hair back. She walked into the kitchen to put a kettle onto boil as she tied her apron on. While she waited for the water to boil she thought about what she was going to do that day.

First she'd have to get the basket ready, washing the last of the vegetables and making sure the cloth was folded right. Then she'd have to catch Boy and get him loaded up. Then, to town! She smiled at the thought of town. Her favorite time of the day was when she was able to go to town and visit with the different people. She was usually able to get at least one good peice of gossip. Her sister-in-law would be happy to hear of any news. She was in her 9th month and confined to bed.

The kettle whistled and Lizzy pushed herself up to get it. She poured herself a cup of tea and then started to wash the veggies. There weren't many this time, only 2 or 3 pounds of carrots and about 40 mushrooms. The cloth was a different story. She had finally finished spinning all the wool from her sheep, so she had yards and yards of it, dyed and undyed. She had saved just a few yards back, some to make herself a new cloak, which she'd wear that day, and some more to make her niece or nephew a blanket and bedding. She finished the basket and tied it shut, making sure it was well-padded. She set it down on the table and pushed up her sleeves and pulled on her boots. Now time to get Boy. She looked out the window and saw the light rain.

"He'd better not put up any trouble today..." Lizzy grumbled. She pulled on a cap, just something to cover her hair, before walking out the door. The front of her little house was fenced in and her garden took up most of the yard. She walked beside it, looking it all over. Only a few weeds. She pulled them up quickly and tucked them in one of her pockets. Now she walked to her pen. She had about 30 sheep in the pen, none of them expecting at the moment, and all of them were sheared. She had set up a nice little sleeping area for them, complete with fresh hay to sleep on. On bad days, and during winter, they were able to eat even if she wasn't able to come out to them.

And there was Boy. The other sheep were huddled in the barn and he was standing near the entrance. He started bleating when he saw her coming. "Yeah, that's right. C'mere Boy!" She yelled, starting to laugh as the large ram waddled over like a dog. She started rubbing his nose as she strapped all her baskets and such down. "Now be a good boy for a moment. I need to go and get my cloak." She said, walking him to the gate of her yard. She stepped back inside for a moment and pulled on the dark blue cloak. She turned around and climbed up on Boy. They walked down the road at a leisurely pace. Lizzy nodded off once or twice, but started awake when she heard voiced. Another group was coming from the direction she was going. She squinted her eyes at them, curious and shy at the same time.

-----------------------------------

Posted by: littlemanpoet

"I wish it would stop raining," Mira complained, "it'll ruin my hair."

"Nonsense, you're hair's covered anyways!" Rudy retorted.

"What ho," Gaffer Hugo said with a light touch to the reins, "Easy Mosy. "Now there's an odd sight, a Hobbit missus riding a full horned ram. Must be a Bucklander or I'm a gammer." Mira giggled.

Snatch had been peering and sniffing off at the grassy side of the road, but had caught a whiff of the ram or else understood his master's words. He turned around quick as you like on the bench and the moment he laid eyes on the ram trotting by, he started up a yammering so loud that Hugo had to let go the reins and plug his ears.

"Shush, you, Snatch!"

The ram spooked and jumped, which set Snatch to yammering the fiercer, so hard that his four legs were coming off the bench with every fresh bark. Hugo only caught him in time to keep him from jumping right off the cart and hurling his whole body at the ram. The ram started skittering down the lane, the Hobbit missus bobbing and bumping on its back.

"Boy! Boy!" she shouted.

"Ah me," Gaffer Hugo said to himself. "Here, Mira," he yelled over the dog's mighty cries, "hold Snatch, will you? Rudy! We must help the lady!"

Once Mira had wrestled Snatch, still cussifering at full bark, from Hugo, the Gaffer and grandson Rudy jumped off the wagon and went chasing after ram and Hobbit-lady.

-----------------------------------

Posted by: Iras Sabir

Lizzy gave an angry screech as she tried to keep Boy under control. The ram started running then bucked her completely off. She hit the ground hard, starting to actually scream. She was up in a flash, ignoring the people and running after her ram. She soon saw it was going to be hopeless to catch him.

She turned suddenly to the people, her face white. "Who are you and what were you thinking?! Couldn't you control that mangy animal? I've lost my whole month's harvest because of this!" She screamed at them. She stamped her foot and suddenly she looked like a child. They could see the ram had stopped running and was dociley eating grass on the hill.

-----------------------------------

Posted by: littlemanpoet

"Here here," said Gaffer Hugo, huffing at a fast walk as Rudy ran to the aid of the distressed lady. "I'm very sorry I'm sure, I don't know what came over my Snatch, he's seem sheep before, jus' not a lady riding one is all."

Rudy went up to the ram and grabbed hold of him and waited patiently for the lady to reclaim him.

"Allow me," said Gaffer Hugo, "to do right by you." Hugo doffed his hat and bowed as deeply as his old bones let him. "I'm Hugo Chubb and these are my grandkin, Rudy and Mira. We were just on our way to my other granddaughter Peony Chubb. She lives just over yonder and maybe, if you'd like, a bit of second breakfast with us can set things to rights."

-----------------------------------

Posted by: Iras Sabir

Lizzy finally seemed to calm. "I apologize...I might have over reacted..."

She smiled at him. "I would be happy to join you...." She smiled again, almost too sweet for words.

Last edited by piosenniel; 01-11-2008 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:06 PM   #26
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Mira, Hugo, and Rudy arrived at Peony's house. Rudy was in a good mood. He was glad to get out of that house every once in a while; to stretch his legs a bit. Rudy would never admit it to Mira, but he rather liked when she wanted to go on one of her adventures. It gave him an excuse to go as well. A hobbit his age...desiring to go adventuring? That's thought of as queer by the other hobbits who have come of age. However, if Mira went on an adventure, well he is the protective big brother; it is his obligation. Secretly though, he really liked travelling with Mira, but he would never let her know that.

Peony must have seen them coming, she came out of her house to greet them, and there were two others with her whom Rudy had never met before. Apparently, Mira knew one of them, as she greeted the hobbit with reddish-brown hair.

"Tansy, Bunny, these are my cousins: Rudy and Mira, and their gaffer, Hugo." said Peony. "Fellas, this is Tansy and Bunny."

After everyone had exchanged hellos, and greetings, they all made their way into Peony's house.


As the small group of Hobbits was ushered into the house by a smiling Melilot, Bunny nudged Peony from behind and grabbed Tansy's hand slowing them to a stop behind the others.
Melilot raised her eyebrow and told tell them not to dawdle.
" I just need one moment with the girls Mrs Chubb, we shan't be long, I promise," Bunny said with her sweetest smile.
"Alright, but hurry up or your tea will get cold." The three lasses all nodded in unison and Melilot went in to welcome the guests.

Bunny led them back to the little table, they had sat at earlier before she began again with fervor.
"Sorry to be so abrupt, but I think we may have a problem. I thought now would be the only time we may get alone. Do you think your Mum will still go to the tavern for lunch now that you have company?
Maybe we should head back to Tansy's now and ready our things there, since Tansy's family knows we are going.
We can then come back here tomorrow morning and pick you up. We can leave our things in that bush over there before we come, so it just looks like we are visiting. If you need help still getting supplies maybe we can come up with a plan to occupy your Mum, while you get what we need.

"I think that may be best" said Peony thoughtfully, Lets try it and see what happens."
Bunny sprang up, no longer containing herself and lunged at Peony hugging her, then she turned to Tansy and hugged her in the same fashion.
"This is going to work out just fine, and we shall have a great adventure!"
"Let us go, and get ready then Tansy dear. Tansy agreed with a smile.
Bunny told Peony to make sure to tell Melilot and her guests that she was glad she had met them, but they had promised Tansy's Mum they would be home for lunch. Peony gave Tansy and Bunny a wide grin before heading back towards the house with a wave.

"Well Tansy dear shall we go? You lead the way, I'm afraid I did not pay attention to how we got here." Tansy laughed and headed towards her house.

As bunny skipped behind Tansy, her foot got caught in her skirt and she nearly lost her balance and fell, but at the last moment she caught herself and had only bowed to one knee. Out of the corner of her eye she thought she saw a small form bolt from a bush on the lawn, back towards Peony's house. Bunny blinked twice and stood up. She was sure she had just imagined it.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:51 AM   #27
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Mira was slightly confused when as soon as they arrived, Bunny, Tansy, and Peony all dropped behind to talk. Their excuse to Melilot was all very well, but Mira had always had a small curiosity streak, and she also prided herself that she was a reasonably good spy. She quietly plucked at Rudy’s sleeve and whispered to him, “Please make my excuses to cousin Melilot. I need to use the bathroom, and will be right back.” He nodded and she rushed out, following the other hobbit lasses. She peered out the round door of the hobbit hole, to see where they were going. She saw them sit down, and then looked for a way to get close without being seen. When she could hear them well, her new acquaintance, Bunny was talking.

“Maybe we should head back to Tansy's now and ready our things there, since Tansy's family knows we are going.
We can then come back here tomorrow morning and pick you up. We can leave our things in that bush over there before we come, so it just looks like we are visiting. If you need help still getting supplies maybe we can come up with a plan to occupy your Mum, while you get what we need.”

Mira could tell she had missed a little bit, but this was sounding a lot more interesting then she had expected.

"I think that may be best" Peony the replied, “Lets try it and see what happens."

Bunny then jumped up, very excitedly, and hugged both her friends, "This is going to work out just fine, and we shall have a great adventure!" She said, her tone of voice and words showing how happy she was.

Mira was slightly surprised. Adventure? That wasn’t the kind of thing that she heard about every day. But it did sound fun. She started to back up a little, no longer listening, when Tansy and Bunny started heading towards the road that unfortunately, was very close to where Mira was hiding. Luckily, for Mira, but not for Bunny, Bunny tripped, and almost fell flat. Mira saw this as her chance, and Bunny was catching herself, and Tansy was coming back to help her up. She dashed to another bush that was farther from the road.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:01 AM   #28
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Peony had reached the house before Mira caught up with her.

“Peony, dear, I want to talk to you,” Mira addressed her in a very cheerful voice, trying not to act suspicious.

Peony stopped on her doorstep and regarded her cousin carefully. She was glad to see Mira, but her mind raced with all the thoughts and plans for the adventure.

"What can I help you with, Mira?" Peony asked, trying to hide her excitement.

"Well the main thing, is I have to admit that Rudy has been rather tiresome of late," Mira had thought she could use that as a starter. After all, Peony had often laughed with her about Rudy's protectiveness, "so I'm thinking I might want to have a bit of fun. Like an adventure"

What is Mira getting at? Peony's excitement turned into a cold chill. Did Mira know something? Would she give Tansy, Bunny, and Peony away if she did?

"An adventure?" Peony hoped her voice didn't sound as nervous as she felt. "There have been no real adventures in these parts for ages, what put such an idea into your head?"

Mira hit her first wall. She was expecting it, but how was she supposed to deal with it?

"Okay, I'll admit, um..." Mira got flustered. She should have thought before commiting herself so far. Oh well, here goes, "I happened to overhear you girls talking just now, and I was wondering if I might come along?"

Mira twisted her face up in a little hopeful question.

"Don't think I'm too young! I won't be any trouble, I promise!" Just don't ask Rudy to agree with that statement, she thought as she peered into Peony's face.

Mira was still in her tweens. How could Peony even think of allowing her cousin to go with them? If something happened Rudy would never forgive her. Peony wanted nothing more than to decline Mira.

Yet she held back saying no. Her brothers had kept her from adventures and such. She couldn't do the same to Mira. Besides, she was a trustworthy lass.

"Alright, but I've got a job for you to do. Keep everyone distracted tonight while I gather some supplies."

"Oh wonderful! Thank you so much!" Mira felt a great urge to give Peony a huge hug, but thought better of it quickly, as she wanted to act older than her age. "I'll do anything to keep them distracted, if I have to commit a murder to get there attention on me." Rats, she thought, just said something stupid. Oh well.

Peony laughed and put an arm around Mira's shoulder. "Come on, we'll go inside. If we stay out here much longer everyone will get suspicious. We'll talk a bit later about this adventure."
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:53 PM   #29
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Brown Barrabury

"My dear Hazel,

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a letter from you, my youngest niece. Letter-writing is an art and skill which I fear is falling into disuse among young hobbits these days, but I see your parents have diligently seen to your education and upbringing. You reflect well upon them.

As to the contents of your letter, my answers are these: Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Yes, I can still recall nearly all of the adventures which I had in my wild youth. I am not so old yet, that I would forget!

Yes, I can tell you which is my favorite adventure, of them all (if one can or should separate them).

Yes, I WILL tell you what it is. When I went traveling with Frodo, Samwise, and Peregrin, I met many great lords of men and elves. Many battles I fought and many foes I slew. I saw the fall of empires, and the rebirth of nations. But of all these things, great though they may be, the memory I treasure above all is my memory of the Ents. Ents are to trees what shepherds are to sheep; without them, the trees would run amok and cause a great deal of trouble. The Ents look after the trees and protect them. The Chief Ent, Treebeard (or Fangorn, which is his name in Elvish) is one of the mightiest creatures I have ever met. He could tear apart stone like sod and crack metal like dead wood. In spite of this, he is also one of the wisest beings East of the Sea. During our time among the Ents, Thain Peregrin and I had many long conversations with Treebeard, which mostly consisted of him relating a few of his innumerable memories (did I mention he is also one of the oldest beings in the world?).

My memories of the Ents, however, in part stand out because they are somewhat sad. You see, dear Hazel, the Ents are dwindling. They have not had children for many thousands of years, ever since the disappearance of the Entwives. I asked Treebeard about it once, and learned a very great deal. He had told us a little during the first day or so of our acquaintance, but I am afraid I was frightfully curious. And now, Hazel, I shall relate to you that conversation.
"

The sunlight changed and Brown looked up from his book. He shook himself and took a deep breath. He had quite forgotten himself and the time, and consequently had just read the first two-thirds of the first volume of "Meriadoc Brandybuck's Letters and Speeches", and probably missed second breakfast at Fred's.

Bother, he thought.

He set the tome down, stood up and shouldered his knapsack. Then, on a second thought, he retrieved the book again from the rubble of the farm-cottage and shoved it in his bag. It was very heavy.

"Better be worth the extra weight," he muttered grimly. "Who knows? The weather might turn sour, and then I'll want something to read inside."

Brown had been reading for several hours, as a matter of fact, and the sun was now high in the sky; it was nearly luncheon-time, and Brown was getting hungry. He could have stopped, and considered the possibility more than once as he made his brisk way east towards Brandy Hall. However, he had already spent longer than he intended on the road that day and was eager to see Fred and arrive at his cousins' by supper. So he pressed on hard, and arrived at Fred and Tansy's house on the outskirts of town only a few minutes after midday.

He leaned against the gatepost for moment to catch his breath, then swung the gate open, skipped down the garden path and knocked on the cottage door. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw a group of hobbit-lasses turning down the lane about a mile back.

Hullo, he thought. This is unexpected.

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Old 01-04-2008, 03:28 PM   #30
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As her relations sat down to enjoy Melilot's tea, Peony tapped Mira on the shoulder, signaling to the door. If Mira was to join in on the adventure, Bunny and Tansy would have to be informed.

"I'm going to see if I can catch my friends before they get too far off." Peony whispered and quietly slipped out the door. Her sudden disappearance after just entering caused Rudy to raise an eyebrow at her strange behavior.

Once outside Peony took off at a sprint. Tansy and Bunny wouldn't have gotten too far from her home, but she didn't want to be away any longer than she needed to be. Peony could see the small figures of two hobbit lasses on the road ahead, no doubt these were the two she was searching for. Peony picked up her speed.

"Bunny! Tansy!" She called. The two turned and waved. Peony stopped before them, bending over to catch her breath.

"Have we been discovered?" Bunny's face turned white. She imagined the only reason Peony was running so fast was to give them bad news.

"No," Peony gasped, "I wanted...to catch you," she stopped, taking a few deep breaths before continuing. "My cousin, Mira, overheard our plans and wants to join us. I said yes, but I wanted to let you know before we set out."

"The more the merrier!" Bunny clapped.

"It'll be more than a joy to have Mira along," Tansy agreed.

Peony smiled. She was also looking forward to the inclusion of Mira in this adventure. "Then, we will continue as planned, with the help of Mira, then. For now I best be off, before my mum wonders what sort of mischief I'm into now." She waved and hurried home.

When she arrived her face was flushed and her breathing labored from the run. "Peony, what is the matter?"

"Tansy forgot something and I just wanted to give it to her before she was too far up the road."
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:55 PM   #31
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"Ooh, I'm so much looking forward to this adventure", Bunny said, "and it's just great you have these lovely lasses as friends and they're coming with us. Don't you think this will be a fine adventure?"

Tansy suppressed a sigh. It seemed Bunny - like Peony - had missed the hint of sarcasm in her tone when she had agreed that it was lovely to have Mira along. Although she genuinely liked the lively young lass, she wasn't truly looking forward to having her come with them. Mira was still more or less a child and someone should look after her. Tansy had a bad feeling that someone might be herself. So much for a relaxing adventure, she thought and immediately rebuked herself for such pessimism.

Even though Mira was young, she was not a little child. Tansy could remember how much she had been irritated at that age when no one had believed she could look after herself. Maybe they should give Mira a chance to have a try at being a grown-up. Besides, she's not helpless, Tansy thought, she's an able and smart lass and even if she needed being looked after, I'm sure Peony as her cousin will take her share of it. The thought didn't cheer her up very much.

"Tansy?" Bunny asked, "Are you still awake?"
Tansy turned to her grinning young friend and couldn't help smiling as well. "Oh, yes I am. My apologies, I got a bit carried away... Excuse me but what did you actually ask me?"
"I just asked if you too think this will make a great adventure."
"But of course it will", Tansy replied, hoping she sounded more genuine than she felt.

"I hope the weather is like this when we're traveling... fresh and warm. Could there be any better?" Bunny asked.
Tansy glanced at her skirt. "Less muddy would be fine", she said with a wry smile, "don't you agree?"
"Oh, Tansy my dear, you're evil!" Bunny giggled, "But if we're sleeping outdoors we can't spread mud all over anyone's floor."
"Yes, that's true", Tansy said, "it just means we have to sleep in the mud."
"You're hopeless", Bunny said, amused.

"What's that bird?" Tansy asked suddenly, "It's an odd song, I don't think I've ever heard it before."
Bunny stopped and inclined her head to catch the voice. "It is a bit weird", she agreed after a while, "but it resembles the voice of the notorious old blackbird that used to live near my uncle's farm. Have I ever told you about the bird?
"I don't think so", Tansy smiled, "so please go on and enlighten me..."

Bunny had just finished her story about the old blackbird when they arrived at the lane that lead to the Bogsworths' house.
"Tansy!" Bunny said, "there's someone at your door. Who is it?"
"Bunny, dear, you can't expect me to see that far. I can only see a vague brown shape."
"It's a man, older than me but younger than you... dark brown hair and hmm..." Bunny seemed to be unable to think of anything special to mention about in the Hobbit's appearance.
"Let's go and see who is it", Tansy cut in, "might be some friend of Fred's."

At that moment, the door was opened and Maylily Bogsworth allowed the visitor in. She waved to her daughter and her daughter's friend and held the door open they hastened in. She shot them an impatient glance and hurried into the kitchen without saying a word more, leaving the women with the man who had arrived just before them.

"Oh, good day to you, Brown", Tansy smiled, recognising the guest. "This is Bella Took, a friend of mine. Bunny, this is Browning Barrabury. He is a friend of my brother Fred's."

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Old 01-10-2008, 08:26 AM   #32
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Bunny hurried behind Tansy into the house after Maylily shot them both a hurried look and went back to the kitchen. Bunny stamped her feet and smoothed hair, she must not forget her manners.
"Nice to meet you..Browning was your name?"
Bunny did a lazy curtsy, then held out her hand in a friendly manner. She grasped Brown's hand enthusiastically when he held out his, shaking his arm maybe just a wee bit too much.
"I'm Bunny, Well Bella...but everyone just calls me Bunny, and you can too I guess, since everyone does and.... " Bunny was about to ramble on for awhile more, when Fred called out.
"Oi is that Brown? come on in here you ol' devil".
Brown excused himself from the girls at the door and made his way into the kitchen to see Fred.
Bunny rolled her eyes at Tansy and made a choking face, miming the word, "Boys"
Bunny was fond of boys, but when they got together...well that was a different story, she always felt pushed out and excluded. She was, as a child the only girl, with brothers that found her small and useless to have any fun with. Her father was the only one who showed her funner things such as archery and how to drink ale, like the boys. He never made her feel small or useless.

Bunny motioned to Tansy"Let's go see what your Mum has on the stove shall we?"
Maylily was busily getting tea ready, and Fred and Brown sat talking at the little table, already piling up with food.

"Oh Bunny dear, your clothes and things are there in your room, I managed to get all the mud out, but dear...what were you doing? rolling in it"
Bunny snorted and hugged maylily from behind as she stirred a pot.
"Thank you Mrs Bogsworth. Now just getting it all packed up again before we go is the trick.
I may just start on it now, since well..... I was hoping to leave tomorrow mornin', but I will stay for a bite...I'm just famished."
Bunny sat down across from the boys.
"So your leaving tomorrow morning are you girls?" Fred asked questioningly

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Old 01-14-2008, 06:34 PM   #33
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Brown didn't have anything against ladies as a rule...but so many of them in one place made him slightly nervous. But, being a polite and good-natured fellow, he complacently shook hands obligingly, participated in the necessary introductions, and so made the acquaintance of Bunny, who was evidently a friend of Tansy, Fred's sister. However, when he was called into the kitchen by Fred, it was with a certain degree of relief that he obliged. All too soon the girls trooped in, and the conversation quickly rose to a busy, bubbly crescendo. Brown tried to block it out while pretending he was listening. He had just finished studying the wood grain of the table, and was about to quietly suggest to Fred that they wander off to the library or the parlor for a quiet chat, when Fred spoke up. Brown settled down in his chair to wait out the conversation, which would probably be about the weather or mutual friends.

"So you're leaving tomorrow morning, are you, girls?"

Brown pricked up his ears. This was more in his line of interest.

"Where're you off to, then?” he asked. "Anywhere I would have heard of?"

"Aye,” said Fred. "Brown's a great traveler, he is. He hiked the Bounds Loop when he was not but a lad."

"It wasn't THAT long ago", responded Brown, slightly embarrassed.

Tansy and Bunny cast each other brief, furtive glances, as neither wished to reveal the true nature of their trip. Fred solved the problem for them.

“From what Tansy’s told me,” said Fred, “They’re headed up to the North Farthing to visit some friends near Oatbarton.”

Bunny looked at Tansy questioningly. Tansy shrugged and smiled.

“Oh, to be sure. Oatbarton is a lovely area, I’ve been there several times. Very friendly folk.” Here Brown looked over at Tansy and Bunny. “How long do you plan to be away?” There. He had made a concerted effort to be involved in the conversation.

Tansy and Bunny responded simultaneously, one with “Yes”, and the other with “Oh no.” Fred and Brown looked at each other, and then back at them.

“That is to say,” Bunny blurted out, “That we don’t really know yet. We haven’t decided for sure…”

There was a moment of awkward silence as Fred examined his sister Tansy with a shrewd eye.

“Tansy,” he said at last, “Where are you really going?”
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:03 PM   #34
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"Peony," asked Melilot, "what is the matter?"

Peony looked flustered for a moment, but quickly recovered. "Tansy forgot something and I just wanted to give it to her before she was too far up the road."

Mira and Peony were eyeing each other as if they had a secret. Gaffer Hugo knew enough about hobbits in general, and about his granddaughters in particular, to know when a secret was being kept.

"Something?" he queried. "What something might that be?" He pulled out his new corncob pipe and opened up his pouch of fine, aromatic Southfarthing leaf, and began to fill his pipe.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:18 PM   #35
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Lizzy had hidden herself away after they had gone into the house, a quiet little corner she found to drink her tea. It was a good little spot, perfect for hearing all things. She had seen them all gather off to one side and tried to keep herself fom looking too bored.

She had to keep still long enough to see what they were talking about. It was hard enough having to sit in the corner, but her tea was getting cold as well. She settled in for a long wait from the looks of it.

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Old 01-16-2008, 06:59 AM   #36
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"Tansy. Where are you really going?"

There sure was more than a hint of mischeviousness in Fred's eyes, but the eagerness and seriousness was the very same, old and profound. "Tansy, Daisy, where are you going? Can I come with you? Tansy, Daisy, please, I'm not too small, I'm not too young! I'm not! Now, you aren't going to see Aunt Angelica in Frogmorton, I'm sure you're not! Don't lie to me! Tansy, where are you really going?"

Tansy met her little brother's gaze levelly and studied his face. He was not a boy anymore, he was all grown up, like herself. And he'd never again jump up and down comically when trying to impose his point on his big sisters, nor would he ever again run or sneak after them.

"We are going to find the Entwives, wherever they might be. That is the plain truth."

Bunny seemed to be a bit unsure of what to think of the turn of events and Brown looked surprised.

"So you have no clear direction?" Fred asked.
"We have old maps and ideas of where to go, but no, we don't have a set destination, like Oatbarton," Tansy replied slowly.
"Oh, but then you must take Brown here with you! He would surely be interested to go on for an adventure, wouldn't you, Brown?"
"Well, I must say it sounds interesting, but..." poor Brown started, but his friend interrupted him.
"You see, Tansy, he's willing to come with you? He knows his way around the Shire, he has travelled quite a lot and..."
"I'm sure Mr Barrabury knows the Shire, but so do I," Tansy interrupted. "We have no need for a guide, Fred. Besides, I'm sure Brown must see our 'adventure' as a childish thing and I can certainly see why it may seem such."

There. She had probably managed to hurt both Fred and Bunny on the very same occasion and possibly Brown too. She shook her head, irritated.

"Not at all, Miss Tansy," Brown said. He smiled, but his smile didn't reach his eyes. "Like I said before, your adventure seems very interesting and my opinion hasn't changed since. But I should say that..."

"Tansy, listen to me", Fred said, interrupting Brown once again. "I'm sorry if it sounded like I didn't trust your knowledge, because that was not what I meant. I only ask you to take Brown with you, as he is willing to come. He is a good lad and he needs something refreshing in his life. So let him come with you, take him with you. Tansy... I'd feel... safer if he was with you."

Tansy couldn't meet her brother's eyes this time, she didn't want to see the despair laying behind all that eagerness. She turned her face away, too grieved for her pride to be hurt of Fred's excuse that implied she and Bunny couldn't survive on their own.

Suddenly, she became aware that all the three other Hobbits in the room were standing still, waiting for a response from her. Without looking at Brown or Bunny, she met her brother's eyes and said: "Very well then, Fred. We'll take Mr Brown with us, that is, if Bunny agrees. She is the actual leader of our little expedition."

"But why, of course he can come with us!" Bunny exclaimed, evidently glad that the rather depressing situation was over, "You're very welcome to join our little 'expedition', Brown, like Tansy called it. Now, you maybe want to hear more, and Fred, you seem to be interested in this as well, right? Great. So maybe I could start with telling how we've organised these things and who else is coming. For two people don't make an expedition, even if you ask someone like Tansy, yes, Tansy's friend Peony Chobb is coming with us too. Maybe you know her? And then this lass called Mira Hilldweller..."

Later, Tansy could not tell at which point did she stop following Bunny's cheerful chattering and start dwelling upon her own, rather gloomy thoughts.

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Old 01-20-2008, 10:16 PM   #37
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Brown was cursing himself inwardly for coming. He hated awkward moments, and he had inadvertently stumbled into one. As soon as Bunny and Tansy had contradicted each other, Brown had looked down at the table and bit his lip. The last thing he wanted was to get involved in some bizarre family intrigue, and so it was to his very great dismay that he found Fred suggesting that Tansy and Bunny take him, Brown Barrabury, with them to search for the Entwives. He tried to decline, but was stopped by two things. The first was the almost sorrowful earnestness in Fred's voice. Brown knew that Fred would have given anything to go along. He had loved traveling nearly as much as Brown, back before the accident...Brown had not actually felled the tree that broke Fred's back, but he still felt a level of responsibility, for not being closer by when Fred needed him.

Second, he had found himself immediately fascinated when Tansy had said: We are going to find the Entwives, wherever they might be. His mind flew back to the last letter he had been reading in Meriadoc Brandybuck's tome. The Entwives. It was undeniable. The old wanderlust rose up stronger than ever, and the thought of distant hill-tops and wind-swept fields banished from his mind any thought of a pleasant holiday with his relatives. Brown-the-Comfortable vanished and Brown-the-Wild-Rover leapt into his place.

He raised his eyes. They were very wide, and their look was intent and excited.

As soon as Bunny Took finished rattling on about details which he was sure he could pick up later, he stood. He bowed.

"Miss Bunny. Miss Tansy. I would be honored to accompany you on your Grand Expedition in the place of your good brother Fred, and to render any service that I may, on his behalf."

The rest of their evening was spent discussing logistics by candle-light, over a supper of roasted game-birds. Fred sat up with them late into the night, wearing a grin from ear to ear. Brown noticed.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:21 PM   #38
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"Something?" Gaffer Hugo asked Peony, but including Mira in his question, "what something might that be?" He tried to light his corncob pipe and failed.

Mira felt herself blushing. She knew she couldn't lie, but she hadn't been given permission from Peony to say anything about the adventure. She desperately hoped that Peony would be able to answer the question.

Peony had to think quickly. She was a terrible liar, but she couldn't tell her mother about Bunny and Tansy's plans. "Tansy had dropped her new brooch. She hadn't even realized it was gone yet."

"Oh," Her mother said, "I'm surprised Tansy didn't realize she'd lost it." Good, she had bought Peony's story.

Gaffer Hugo, however, had caught the flushed faces and hesitation of his two granddaughters, and knew that Melilot was too busy with kitchen work to pay attention to such signs. He put his flint to his pipe again. So they need to keep it secret from somebody, but who? He wagered a gamble that it was he. The pipe failed to light. He pocketed it.

"I'm feelin' like a touch of fresh air. Mira, would you give your ol' gaffer a hand to make sure he don't stumble on nothin' that might try and trip him up? Here Snatch! C'mon pup!" Snatch happily followed after his master, tongue lolling in a big grin.

Rudy's eyes darted at first to Peony, and then to Mira, there's something those two aren't saying, he thought to himself. "This should be interesting," he chuckled under his breath.

Mira felt what was coming, but couldn't disobey. She followed him out, sending a pleading look to Peony as she did so. She noticed with a sigh that Rudy also followed, apparently curious as well about her behaveor.

"Well, I guess here it goes," she thought to herself, as she waited for Hugo to begin.

"Ahh!" Gaffer Hugo sighed when they had gotten out of doors, "smell that fresh air!" Rudy closed the green round door behind him, leaving Peony inside with Melilot. "Ain't it wunnerful, Mira? Here Snatch!" Snatch had gone chasing after a butterfly that was leading him away down the road. He trotted back to Hugo.

"Yes, it's nice," she said absently, looking at him warily.

Hugo patted her hand. "Now you jus' tell your Gaffer what secret you're really keeping from Rudy an' me, because I can see it all over your face that you're holdin' somethin' back."

Mira resolved to get it all out in a flash, after all, there was no help for the situation.

"Peony and Tansy are going on an adventure," she blurted out, and added with a tone of defiance unusual for her, "and no matter what you say, I'm going with them!"

Hugo raised his brow and gave Rudy a sidelong look. Rudy was keeping his mouth shut for the moment, which Hugo thought was odd, but oh well.

"And where might you be going, and what for, my dear? Here, let me sit down on this rock over here by the path, my legs are feelin' a bit weary." Snatch came to his master and sat plop down, his tongue hanging, expecting a scritch between his ears. But Hugo was already busy with his pipe and flint again.

Rudy had had enough. He raised his finger, as if he was going to start scolding Mira and demand that they return home immediately, this has gone too far. But, to Rudy's own surprise, he stopped; no words came out. Mira didn't look as if she was going to give in easily and if they started arguing Melilot would come out for sure. He was still a little angry at Mira, but he didn't want to get Peony into any trouble. He sighed, his hand came down, "Well, we're waiting Mira." Rudy couldn't stop himself from letting out a small smile.

Amusement hit Mira like a wave.

"Oh, how funny. I don't have a clue where we're going!" She burst into a laugh, but then sobered up a bit. "Really, I don't know. I guess I never thought of it."

Peony had to get outside. There was no telling what Mira would say. Melilot was clearing the dishes and with her back turned it was the perfect time to get outside. Peony hurried to the door and opened it softly so she did not raise her mother's suspicions.

It was too late. She heard Mira blurt out what plans she knew for the adventure. Now it was only a matter of time until Rudy and Gaffer Hugo alerted Melilot to the goings on. Peony turned quickly to get back inside before anyone saw her.

Gaffer Hugo noticed the door open and Peony sticking her head out with a worried look on her face. He stopped trying to light his pipe. She was just about to go back inside. "Oh Peony, dear! Come out and help your cousin tell Rudy an' me about this little adventure you're takin' an' don't know where you're going. Or do you?" Snatch nudged at Gaffer Hugo's free hand with his nose.

Wonderful, Peony thought. We've not even started and we're already in trouble. Taking a deep breath, Peony turned to face Gaffer Hugo. This was not going to be fun.

"About this adventure..." He asked again.

"It was Bunny and Tansy's idea to go." Peony could never and would never dare lie to her gaffer. The plans tumbled from her lips from all gathered to hear. "They're going to look for the Entwives around the North Moors. I agreed to give them supplies and accompany them. Mira overheard our plans and wanted to come along." Peony sighed with relief when she finished talking. This probably meant the end of their adventure, but she hadn't been able to keep quiet forever.

Mira's eyes opened wide. Entwives? Even better then she had hoped!

"Entwives!" Gaffer Hugo retorted. "There ain't no such thing! If that's what you're really after, you'll be sadly disappointed."

"How do you know?" Peony crossed her arms over her chest. "There could be Entwives, all those stories I've heard since childhood could be true. And Bunny and Tansy are giving me the chance to find out." She stepped toward Mira. "And I'm taking Mira with us."
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #39
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Rudy's politeness had it's limits and he did not like being told what to do, especially if it involved Mira. It didn't matter that Peony was his cousin, she could have been the Mayor of Michel Delving, she wasn't going to tell him what Mira was going to do. Nevertheless, in usual hobbit fashion, Rudy was not going to let Peony know she struck a nerve.

Rudy signalled the Gaffer over, "We need to talk." he grumbled. "As for you two," he said addressing Peony and Mira, but Rudy was only looking at Mira, "stay right where you are or I might just call Melilot out here and put an end to this little adventure." It looked like Rudy was seriously contemplating just throwing a sack over Mira, tieing her up, and dragging her home.

Rudy wasted no time, once he felt him and the Gaffer were safely out any hobbit's earshot, he let the Gaffer knew exactly how he felt. "Can you believe Peony!? Telling ME Mira was coming! Demanding it! Ordering me around! You would think she was the one who has taken care of Mira for practically her ENTIRE LIFE! Someone has to do it. You know as well as I do father isn't going to." Rudy stopped, he was furious, but was not foolish enough to prevent his Gaffer from saying something if he wanted to. But, Gaffer Hugo continued looking at Rudy, reassuring Rudy he was listening. So, Rudy's fury began subsiding to frustration. "I don't want you getting the wrong impression. I love Mira, and every day I hope I show her that. If anything were to happen to her I don't think I would ever be able to forgive myself. It just seems like everything I'm trying to do goes to waste; It's as if I'm throwing my life away for nothing."

Rudy's eyes were tearing up, but he was good at holding those back. "We don't even know who these Tansy and Bunny hobbits are. I'm sure they are fine young hobbits, but they have no idea what they are getting themselves into on this little search for the Entwives. It's a dangerous world, and I would hate to see such young lives thrown away in search for things that don't even exist. I know Mira isn't going to listen to me, once she gets an idea into her head, I can't convince her out of it, but you could. I know she will listen to her Gaffer. So, maybe, you could tell her how foolish this is and we could all head back home? Besides, I don't think you want me talking to her right now anyway, things will be said that shouldn't be, and it won't end good."

The anger in Rudy at the beginning had nearly completely subsided, his tone was now more somber and weak. He was not sure whether he was doing the right thing. Was he being too controlling? After all Mira was not the young hobbit lass Rudy remembered her being. Rudy knew she needs to grow up eventually, it's just happening too fast for him.

"I am sorry if I've been rude to you, Gaffer, in my anger. Please, speak up, l want to hear what you have to say."
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #40
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Gaffer Hugo had listened to Rudy in silence, sometimes watching his grandson's face, sometimes looking down at the always grinning Snatch whose head he was still scritching. When Rudy finally subsided into silence, Hugo considered his next words.

"Well, Rudy, seems to me Mira's goin' to get her way this time, specially with these other young lasses to bolster her will; and all that's left for you an' me is to come with an' make sure they don't do somethin' foolish or dangerous or both, if you take my meaning."

Then a twinkle came into his eyes and he met Rudy's glare.

"So you don't think there's any of these Ents either, eh?" Hugo chuckled. "Well, I think it'll most like be good for Mira to get out an' see the world a bit, even if it's naught but a corner of the Shire. The King's peace has been good, an' it's not like there's ruffians waitin' just outside the nearest village. So I'm thinkin' I'd like a little adventure meself before these old eyes close for the final time. What do you say, Rudy? Shall we make game of it?"

"Let me sleep on it and I'll tell you in the morning," was Rudy's answer.

"Fair enough, then! G'night to you my wee grandchild!" Hugo said with a grin, for Rudy "towered" over him by at least four inches, Hugo having shrunk wtih age some time ago.

"C'mon, Snatch! Let's go an' see how soft Melilot's beds are, eh?" Snatch paraded happily alongside his master as they passed Rudy, as well as the waiting lasses who tried not to appear anxious for his approval.

"G'night, ladies," was all he had for them, and then shuffled into the house and the back rooms and to bed.

"At least even some Bucklanders have sense enough not to have a second floor on their house," he murmured to himself as he tucked himself in with Snatch cuddling close by.

~*~

Come morning, Hugo had had himself a most cozy rest, as had Snatch, and they got themselves up and out of bed to see what was what in the kitchen.

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