Well, I finally made it to Hobbiton. A pleasant little community with a nice Inn where I immediately made myself at home. Chatting to the Innkeeper while enjoying some rabbit pie and a flagon of ale, I learnt that there were two other communities close by. Just to the East is Bywater where apparently there is some good fishing – I will be checking that out as soon as I can, I’m very partial to a spot of fishing.
A little to the north is Tuckborough, home of one of the oldest families of the the Shire, the Tooks. Behind Tuckborough are farms and forests, with plenty of bears and boars apparently.
I walked up to Tuckborough the next day after First Breakfast. I called in on The Great Smials, home of Thain Paladin Took II. I must say he made me very welcome and I enjoyed Second Breakfast with him and his family.
Now, I also found a lot of opportunities for an enterprising adventurer! There is no need to detail them all here but amongst things I had to search for Gerebert Took, find a pig called Old Sally, pick up a sack of feed from Hobbiton, fix up some fencing, run hither and thither with deliveries and so on.
I started by searching for Gerebert Took; Esilia Took was worried about him as he had missed a meal – a pretty serious event for a hobbit! I walked down to his house and found his door open. There was no response to my calls so I entered the house – only to be assailed by a number of rats. Ugh, I hate rats and had no qualms in setting about them with my spear. There was no sign of Gerebert but I did find his journal which I returned to Esilia.
Esilia Took discovered from her cousin’s journal that Gerebert was dared to hide on the waggon of a local pipeweed farmer, Longo Burrow, as it went east. She was most concerned, as the entry in the journal was written some time ago, and Longo Burrow’s farm is not that far away. I quickly walked up to the farm to see if Longo had any information. Can you believe it, Longo demanded that I perform a favour for him before he would talk. He told me that his leaf was in high demand, but that his current crop wasn’t ready for harvesting yet. He instructed me to retrieve a barrel of pipe-weed that he hid in a bear den during the winter. The gall of the man!
I headed toward the bear den but was diverted from my purpose by the sight of two boys playing by a great willow tree. It seems that they were cousins of Pervinca Took (who I had met at The Great Smials) and they sneaked off with one of Adelard Took’s journals. Somehow, I have no idea how, they had managed to get the journal stuck in a tree. Just as I was about to retrieve it for them, Isembard threw a stick up into the tree and dislodged a bee hive. Fool of a Took! We were instantly engulfed by bees and had the greatest difficulty in escaping them – I abandoned any thought of bravery and jumped into the water, dragging the boys with me. Eventually, the bees dispersed and we could get out of the water. Would you believe it, the stupid boy did it again, this time making so much noise that he attracted the attention of the bears in the nearby den. Two of them immediately charged for us.
I tried to stand tall and banged my spear against my shield and roared at the bears. Well, that confused them. Either that or they were helpless with laughter at the impudent little hobbit they were faced with. I took the opportunity to back up slowly to the tree so that my back was covered but I needn’t have worried, the bears had lost interest. I was sorely tempted to give a poke with my spear to Isembard Took but contented myself with scolding him and sending him and Imbert back to Tuckborough.
One benefit of all this commotion was that the bears were now scattered about and showed no interest in returning to their den. So, I was able to retrieve the pipe-weed for Longo. As it turned out, Longo was of no help in discovering what has become of Gerebert Took, but had seen an opportunity to take advantage of me. Wretched hobbit.
I returned to Esilia with the bad news; she thought of someone else I could speak with over in a place called Woodhall – but that will be an adventure for another day. I returned to the Inn tuckered out by Tuckborough.