“H” is for “Hobbit.”
I would like to introduce you to a dear friend of mine that lives in another land very far away from most us called, “Middle Earth.”
It’s an odd place full of creatures most of you have probably never heard of. There are Dwarves, Eagles, (not your ordinary one’s mind you), beautiful Elves, Ents; ancient trees that walk and talk, mortal men and women and my favorite people: Hobbits also known as “Halflings” to the locals.
I was introduced to one of these Hobbits when I was eleven years old and given a book, called “The Hobbit” by a man named J.R.R. Tolkien who had spent quite a while in Middle Earth and befriended my Hobbit friend; Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
When I told Mr. Baggins I was participating in a blog with the letters of the alphabet featured on a blog. Of course he had no idea what a blog or computer so I had to explain as best as I could what they both were. He was quite intrigued as he had never seen one but was excited that maybe someday he would “meet” one of them, (his own words) so he could tell them about his memoir he was writing. I told him I couldn’t imagine a better representative for the letter “H” and so he was gracious enough to sit down for an interview for you, the dear readers.
Mr. Baggins grew up and lived in a very small town called “The Shire”. Here is an image of The Shire. It is a beautiful town, full of darling little houses where other Hobbits live, including Mr. Baggins nephew, Frodo who many of you have probably seen along with Bilbo in the movie trilogy based on Tolkiens books movies called “Lord of the Rings.” The Hobbits haven’t seen these movies as they don’t venture from The Shire as they’re not particularly fond of adventures and are quite afraid of another race of beings that I haven’t mentioned, called “The Orcs”. The Orcs are enemies of the Hobbits and are evil. They were once men who fell under the rule of the most dreaded one of all, Sauron. I won’t go into much about him because he also frightens me and Bilbo wouldn’t approve of my talking about him. So, on with the interview.
Me: Mr. Baggins, may I call you Bilbo? Would you mind telling me a little about yourself and your background?
Bilbo: Why of course dear child, you can certainly call me Bilbo if I may refer to you as “Wendy”. (There we had settled the formal matters.) I was born in this shire raised with my parents; Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took. We are quite a hardy race and remain quite close to our families all our lives. You see none of the other races, perhaps besides the Elves (mentioning the Elves, he had this dreamy, far-away smile on his face) understand what matters to us. Family, good grog, celebrations and books of course which is how I met my esteemed friend and confidante Mr. Tolkien, a wonderful chap by the way. The name “Hobbits” comes from “the word “Holbytla” which translates “hole-dweller” in Old English,” (Hobbit. (2010) Retrieved September 06, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobbit).
At this point, he rose out of his chair to fetch the tea he was making for the both of us. I asked him what the tea was made of and he chuckled, “an old family recipe my dear. Hops, good for the constitution, Linden flowers for taste, and Lavender for its medicinal qualities. And of course, wild bee honey who live in juniper bushes and make the most delicious honey!” And indeed, the tea was the most lovely tea I had ever drank.
Mr. Baggins sat down with a fire gently blazing in the fireplace and we both listened a minute to the rain pattering on his windows. “It’s so beautiful here!” I sighed. I knew he and the other Hobbits took a lot of pride in their land. “Oh, but we have had many threats and forces try to kill us all and ravage the land for their evil purposes” He shuddered here and I knew, of course, he was referring to he Orcs. If you’re brave enough you can look at this picture of the Orc’s but I warn you they’re quite scary to look at, much less think of.
I noticed he kept fingering a ring that was from his vest picket that had some type of inscriptions on them that I had never seen before. I asked him if he minded telling me about this ring because it had such an unusual glow and quality about it. At this, he lowered his voice quite dramatically and told me that once long ago there were two of his kind, fishing, “Smeagol” and his best friend “Deagol”. Deagol was pulled into the water by a huge carp and when he emerged from the murky water had something glistening in his hand. This was “the ring”, one of many;
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Apparently, these rings had a certain power that could be used for good or evil.
Bilbo went on to tell me that Smeagol seeing this ring, wanted it so bad, he begged his friend, Deagol for it and when Deagol wouldn’t hand it to him, Smeagol turned into this dark creature, Gollum and killed his friend. You’ll have to read the book to find out how Bilbo outwitted Gollum and took the ring and what happens on his journey.
I could tell Bilbo was getting a bit weary and knowing Hobbits like I do knew that a daily nap was important for their welfare. So, I thanked Mr. Baggins for the tea, the company, and his graciousness for the interview. And then I left Middle Earth where I rushed immediately back to my own realm and here you see what transpired.
The book, “The Hobbit” I read at least once a year along with the sequels where the adventure is focused on Bilbo’s nephew Frodo. Bilbo, of course, is still a major character along with a wizard I eventually will be introduced to by the name of Gandalf the Good. I do hope you’ll read Mr. Tolkiens and lose yourself in them as I have. I guarantee you won’t’ be disappointed and will come to love Mr. Baggins and his family as much as I have. There are also quite a few other books written by J.R.R. Tolkien that I recommend equally. As I like to include videos in my posts when I can; I thought you might all enjoy a sneak peek into a movie about Bilbo’s life based on the book “The Hobbit” which is to be released in the future.