I woke up with a start, and immediately wished I hadn’t as I felt my head slowly topple from my shoulders and roll a short distance away. I looked back, with mild interest, at my body which seemed to be lying in the fountain at Bree.
Blink. Ah, that’s better, my head seems to still be attached to my body. I slowly rise to my feet feeling every muscle complain. My mouth feels like a Troll used it to….ah, but you can guess the rest. My legs feel cold and numb and I look down and Huh, where’s my pants?
Luckily it is early and there aren’t too many people about as I sneak my way to The Prancing Pony. I manage to slip past Butterbur and get upstairs to my room where I collapse on the bed until the room stops spinning. Strange, it never used to do that.
Later, I have a wash and a change of clothes and am suddenly ravenous. Down to the common room I go where there is already a merry throng. Must have slept longer than I thought. I make my way to the back looking for a quiet corner but, as I do so, I am concious of some smirks and winks that seem to be aimed in my direction and even a guffaw as I pass. I check my pants again.
A hearty breakfast later, I remember something of the night before. I had been celebrating a big win at the Hobbit Races where Daffodilly had destroyed the field and won me a lot of silver. I check my journal to see if there was any clue as to what happened. There is only one entry, scrawled, that refers to someone called Casinthelion. It seems he (or she, I don’t remember) imparted to me some great wisdom that went something like this, if my writing can be believed:
But they were all of them, deceived, for another strip of bacon was fried.
Deep in the fryers of Mount Doom, the Dark Chef Sauron made, in secret, a Master Bacon Strip.
One Strip to rule them all and, in the darkness, fry them!
Right, that makes sense!
Oh wait, I remember Twobeers coming in and telling me of a great find he had made. It seems that there is a large keg of brandy stashed away in the kin-house. As I had never visited the kin-house before, I had resolved to go there immediately and check it out. What I had clearly forgotten is that Twobeers is a dwarf of very limited taste – if it is vaguely alcoholic and vaguely liquid then it is OK by him. Clearly the stuff in the keg was very dangerous indeed as I remember nothing of how I got back to Bree or ended in the fountain.
So ends another Shire Festival and what fun it has been. Music, dancing, racing, fishing and long summer nights with friends. It is my favourite festival and I wonder what the next one will be like. One thing for sure is that I will, of course, never touch another drop of brandy again.
Well, quite sure.