Thread: THE ADVENTURES OF BILBO AND GALADRIEL
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One evening when Bilbo was in his Tweens he was out on one of his walks, and late in the day, he became so engrossed in watching two conies in the process of making more conies on a hillside that he quite lost track of time. Nightfall fell – which it tends to do, whether tautologically or not - and our Bilbo decided he would not reach Bag End safely in the dark, for there was a rumour that the Necromancer’s dark spies were in the area. (Mind you, it was only a rumour!) And so, as Bilbo had an old and faded dwarf cloak in his handbag (he had burgled it from a troop of travelling dwarf musicians that he only later got to know - but more of that later), he decided to sleep under the stars. He found a copse of trees with a leafy floor and he made camp in a spot overlooking the road east of Hobbiton.
In the middle of the night, Bilbo was awoken by joyous sad exquisite singing. It was that particularly lovely singing which you only ever hear on quiet country roads in the middle of nowhere in autumn or high summer. Bilbo sat up and wiped his eyes. Along the road he saw a beautiful elf walking. Well, not so much walking, but gliding. She was not only the most beautiful elf he had ever seen, but she was the only elf he had ever seen, and her shimmering beauty set her apart from all the others he had never seen. He was so enraptured by her (or entranced, he wasn’t sure which when he thought about it later), that he cried out in fluent Elvish, “Hey, Lovely Lady, don’t just walk (or glide) on by, with nary a glance at me, and pretending you can't come sit with me on these comfy leaves and so forth! Of course you can! Have I not left this spot between me and that fallen pinecone to sitteth your loveliness upon? It is only a small gap, but surely it is squeezeworthy. Anyway, what else is there to do out here in the middle of nowhere when the Evenstar is shining?”
The Elvish Lady let out a tinkering laugh (not a jolly laugh, as that would be unbecoming for an elf), and she straightaway glided up under the trees and sat with him for a nary while. It was as if she had heard his cry and was responding to it. Indeed, she was very kind to him, for she ended up sitting with him for a longer-than-usual nary while. Meanwhile the Evenstar cast her ethereal light upon the mortal world and an unknown amount of time passed, for time (especially Elvish time) was quite different in those far off days.
“I have a small flask of beer, would you like some?” asked our Bilbo (using the Sindarin Elvish) after a nary time.
“I’ve never sculled such a liquid,” answered the gorgeous Elvish Lady in a voice that could melt hearts and launch ships and make Catholic Priests ponder their celibacy. (Of course, I can only give a vague translation of the Elvish she used, and I realize her words can’t sound ever so pretty in English, but I can assure you they sounded really elegant and sensual in Elvish).
So anyhow the Lady had a good smidgin from Bilbo’s flask. After a moment, she sighed. “Oh, I feel a slight tingle in a part of my beautiful body, but the tingle is not in that part of my beautiful body that a man has got, but in that part of a (real) woman that a (real) woman has got, for it is in the part that in a man is missing, whether now or in time immemorial (I include herein, Elvish time, dear Bilbo, if truly that be your name) Nor is that tingle in that part of me that is the end of my finger.” And she smiled at him with eyes agleam like amethysts and diamonds and carbuncles (quite suggestively, in fact).
Bilbo smiled shyly and took a swig too. “Oh I see what you mean, for I too feel a tingly sensation in a certain part of me, which is truly that part that a (real) Lady does not possess, and I assume here that Elvish Ladies are conformed generally after the same fashion that hobbit ladies are. Nor is it in the part which is that part that is the end of my finger, though the part I refer to might verily be thought of as ‘finger-like’ if it is glanced briefly in a dim light on the occasion of me having happy thoughts whilst watching certain hobbit lasses skinny dipping in The Water, though not the ugly ones.”
And they laughed at that, and their night passed both serenely and energetically – and somewhat warmly too. Bilbo woke in the morning with a root in his back and a certain part of his body very chafed and sore, but it was not that part that was the end of his finger.
Bilbo then mulled over things as he blinked in the morning sun. He wondered if after all, last night had been nothing more than a big marvelous sweaty dream. Mind you, his palms were not the least bit chafed and sore, as one might expect, if indeed that part of his body (that was not that part of his body that was the end of his finger) had been worked vigorously all through the night (asleep or otherwise). Anyway, the Elvish Lady had mysteriously vanished, not even the end of her finger remained; though she may have just wandered off while he was sleeping - that sleep having been a long deep sleep full of contentment...
Bilbo never found out that the Elvish Lady was a mighty Princess with Maian blood who sometime later bore his child. The truth was, Bilbo had not dreamed the events of that night. They had really happened (and it had been absolutely great!) It was merely a coincidence that it had happened exactly like it had happened in a certain dream he was want to have on a regular basis - indeed, most every night. Remarkably, it was the selfsame dream that many other hobbit lads (and hobbit lasses of a certain persuasion) had been having since time immemorial! (Bilbo, in fact, had had what we now know as a “right-royal-nocturnal-session” - though this sounds far more elegant when you say it in Elvish).
Anyhow, the Elvish Lady subsequently (after deep reflection) named the newborn child ‘Smeagol’. This translates as “Little Elf-like-Hobbit”, but only after passing it down through Sindaran into Westron and so on into English, and using quite a slab of poetic license as well....
I’ve decided to cease my hostility to The Hobbit Movie and make a positive contribution instead. Here is an excerpt from Odo Bank’s PROLOGUE to The Hobbit. (I was inspired in this by Galadriel’s reappearance for the movie!)
Hey! If we don't mind it being ruined, PJ and Co might come up with the dosh. Surely they haven't spent the profits from LOTR yet!
Remember! PJ will probably make Bilbo taller and give him blond hair and a tummy like a six-pack - and turn Galadriel into a big breasted hyena-like beast! - but if the dosh is right - who cares?!?!
Galadriel is a warg?!
"...And in the warm and moist amd murky understorey, Sam reached out and felt around for Radagast. Radagast, having just emerged dripping from the pool he had used as an impromptu bath, and being approximately twice Sam's height, was found and grabbed onto, handle-like, and warmish, much to Radagast's gasping, but by no means displeased, surprise..."
Thats all you get. I don't want to reveal all of Del Toro's secret script....not in one go, anyhow...
All these poor characters and the future they face at the hands of PJ and GDT.
The old hobbit seemed subdued as he led Frodo into the parlor. It seemed he was burdened somehow. "Go and get those beautiful round seed cakes I baked for for my mid-morning morsel, Frodo, old son," Bilbo said firmly, having made up his mind to spill the beans about his dodgy past. "Now, I can't be sure," Bilbo continued, "but I fear that a couple of things I did as a feckless young hobbit will come back one day and bite me on the buttocks. Well, [i:3iao7916]you[/i:3iao7916] actually! You see, there was a time when I took a peculiar fancy for nubile elvish maids - though I use the word [i:3iao7916]maid [/i:3iao7916]somewhat loosely. Yes, they seemed like good times, but wrong, oh so wrong, Oh Lord forgive me! But I swear it only happened a couple of times before I saw reason! Hey! Frodo! Are you even listening!?"
"Sorry, Uncle, but these seed cakes smell fantastic."[Deep sniff!] "You must give me the recipe!"
"Yes, your Great Aunt Belladonna was a remarkable cook, one of three remarkable sisters who were real cookers. You just have to try my mother's Pumpkin soup... Now where was I?"
"Was it something about that Ring of yours. I mean, it is all you ever seem to think about nowadays?"
"No, not this time... Though it might have some bearing... down the track...." Bilbo mused.
Frodo studied the seed cakes he had in hand. "Though excellent, these seed cakes could do with something extra, don't you think?"
"What? Oh - will you leave off with those freaking seed cakes! Now where was I? My goodness, this Alzeimers is a real pain in the buttocks. What does the word [i:3iao7916]buttocks[/i:3iao7916] remind me of now...?"
"Raspberry sauce would be nice, don't you think?"
"Pardon? What did you say? Oh damn-hobbit! Will you be quiet! I'm trying to think! Oh yes! It's coming back...I was talking about a couple of elf maidens I had the pleasure of meeting once upon a time - and what a time it was!"[Polite cough!]"Long long ago it was..."
Bilbo coughed and spluttered and went red. "Well, as a matter of fact..."
...To be continued
DEAR READER. PLEASE NOTE. THE ABOVE REALLY BELONGS IN A (NON-EXISTENT) SEQUEL TO - "The LotRized Hobbit." (More of the latter later on this thread...)
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER
In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit. Not a dirty filthy hole, with mysterious stains on the carpet or ugly dust piles under the sofa; nor yet an absolutely clean and tidy hole, because the hobbit was a bit fat and lazy. If the hole was largely prefabricated, it was nonetheless quite artful (airy-fairy even), decorated in a lovely art deco style. It was full of lovely garish blue and purple lamp stands and disco-glass chandeliers (not large, everything in the hole was small, including our hero, in more ways than one), and no one knew how the disco-lights were powered, but some think it had something to do with magic – but more of that later.
The hobbit's hole (and it was a large one) had a long passage that started at a spiffy green round front door (clever post-modern architecture that!) which overlooked The Puddle. The doorway, when open, looked like a mouth puckering in surprise - and one can easily imagine an ‘ooh’ sound emitting from it! The passage that led from it went straight into the ground, but not absolutely straight, having a variation of three degrees in several places, undetectable to the naked eye of most people, but not a Builder’s eye - you know what they’re like!
The passage went right through The Hump ('The Hump' as most locals called it, though it was also known as 'The Humping Hill' by those in the know). Many doors opened out on both sides of that passage (some of which the hobbit wisely kept securely locked). Some of the doors opened into pantries full of every foodstuff imaginable (including foreign stuff from countries that may or may not have actually existed in Middle-earth). Some opened into enormous clothes-closets (the hobbit had whole rooms full of clothing made by who-the-hell-knows-who). Some opened into bathrooms with Elvish posters on the walls (the hobbit was very fond of Elves). At last, the passage exited at the bottom end of The Hump. No one knows what shape the exit portal was, but some say it was painted brown, though it was never mentioned in the Red Book.
Now the mother of our hobbit: what is a hobbit? My Goodness! What a stupid question! Haven’t you even read The Hobbit yet? Go on – get off with you! Come back when you’ve read it. I’ll wait here until you get back. (Sheesh! Some people!)
but seriously if they change the Hobbit, it would have been better to never have had the hobbit made, than the hobbit made into a movie at all.
I'm not sure what Mr Green is meant to represent but he does look ultra self-satisfied!
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER cont.
Back, are you? And have you read it? Yeah, sure you have! Some people seem to think reading an Unauthorized Version is preferable to paying the proper respect to dead Professors! Oh well, I better tell the whole thing then... [Sigh!]
Hobbits are (or were) a furry little species somewhere on the evolutionary scale between rabbits and humans. They are (or were) very cute and cuddly and have (or had) furry feet – and they smoke (or smoked) a lot of Pipe-weed – at least the more well-to-do do (or did) – the poorer ones live (or lived) in muddy holes or under large stones and can't (or couldn't) afford either tinder boxes or matches, let alone narcotic plants introduced from Numenor... Oh did I mention they have (or had) naturally curly brown hair growing on their heads and on their naturally leather-like feet, but not anywhere else as far as I know? And food - they love it (or loved it), and a lot of it, if they can (or could) get it. Oh and they are (or were) really really popular with females of every persuasion (if persuaded) because hobbits remind (or reminded) them ever so much of teddy bears. Well, this should be enough to go on with.
Now Bilbo Baggins – the hero of our tale - was a well-to-do hobbit. Yes, that’s his name. No, I’m not pulling your chain! Anyhow, he was about fifty years old, a portly chap, and set in his ways. If you had asked what he thought about adventures (for instance) he would have said he could take them or leave them but preferred to leave them. In fact, sneaking around The Shire at night – studying the stars (yeah, right!) or trying to meet Elves in the woods – was the height of adventure for him. As to doing anything dangerous – nah – he’d have given it a miss every time. You could tell [i:2z57ni93]that[/i:2z57ni93] just by looking at him, he was a self-satisfied tubby little chap, and anyway going off on dangerous adventures wasn't something respectable hobbits did – they were dangerous, you see - and Bilbo was ever so respectable. And,I mean, he lived a life of ease for God’s sake. Why the hell would he need to go off and risk his life? In fact, he was a second edition of his solid, stolid and squalid father, the reputable Bungo Baggins who had been extremely respectable – apparently.
Now – the mother of Bilbo Baggins was the famous Belladonna Took. How Bungo hooked up with her is anyone’s guess. She was a daughter of the Old Took who lived at Great Smials across The Puddle. I can tell you now the Tooks were not respectable at all. Not that Belladonna was by any means the worse of them – her two sisters were. They were famous those girls – though the word [i:2z57ni93]infamous[/i:2z57ni93] seems a better description. Yes, those sisters were very well [i:2z57ni93]known [/i:2z57ni93]from Hobbiton to Woody End, and all over the Shire in fact - very well [i:2z57ni93]known[/i:2z57ni93] if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Anyhow, I think you should definitely have enough to go on with now.
One morning, when the world was green and innocent (apparently), Gandalf came along...
Oh shit, is that the time? Well, off to bed you go. I’ll pick up the story tomorrow night! Don’t pout! Get to bed! Or do you want me to get the switch out?
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER cont.
One morning Bilbo was sitting out on his doorstep puffing away on his pipe, when an old fellow came hobbling up Slipshod Lane. (The old fellow seemed to have a bad back, but as that doesn’t come into the story, I won’t mention it again). When the fellow reached Bilbo, he straightened up (so he might have been just hobbling for some other reason than having a bad back), thrust out his bushy eyebrows, and cast the little hobbit in his shadow (possibly deliberately).
Bilbo put aside the letters he’d been opening (tearing up the bills, of course) and looked up at the strange apparition before him. What he saw was a tall man – though not actually a man at all – even if he looked ever so much like one – and an old one – a man-like old fellow who wore a pointy wizard's hat and a long blue-grey wizard’s cloak and big black wizard's boots (the ones you get from wizard shops). He leaned on a sturdy wizard’s staff held in an ancient hand that looked like it had been burnt several times by wizard's fire. Bilbo wondered if he was a wizard.
“Good morning,” Bilbo greeted the man-like fellow brightly, for the hobbit was in a chipper mood, having eaten for breakfast seventeen rashes of bacon and seventeen thick pancakes smothered in golden syrup, washed down with seventeen gallons of milk (possibly goat’s milk, but who can know?) Anyway, he had every reason to feel good. Greatly contented, he sent out an enormous puff of black smoke over The Hump. The puff of black smoke looked exactly like a black puff of smoke, but it might easily have been mistaken for a little black cloud, if the sunlight had not been so bright and visibility so excellent. Old Bilbo was very proud of it anyhow.
“Very nice,” the stranger lied. “And what a lot of things you use ‘Good morning’ for!”
“And to think I should be greeted at the door of Belladonna’s chubby son, as if I was some disreputable button salesman…!”
“Are you selling buttons?”
“No – sold out.”
“Who are you?”
“You might know me by many names.”
“I don’t know you by any names.”
“Ah!"the old man-like fellow said sadly, "I suppose it has been a long time since I was last in these parts. Yes, thirty five years – and possibly more. Let me help. My name around here is Gandalf.”
“[i:1oher5pu]Gandalf[/i:1oher5pu] did you say? Now that does sound kind of familiar…” Bilbo ruminated. “But my goodness, will you look at your craggy face and long grey hair and beard. Did they take long to grow? My! They're down to your midriff and buttocks! Ánd all tangled up and knotty, and filthy, full of twigs and cobwebs! Have you been sleeping under hedges by any chance?”
“Of fiddle-faddle,” Gandalf answered ruefully, as he rubbed his back (perhaps he did have a bad back after all), “Where I sleep, or who I sleep with, is nobodies business.”
“There’s a lot of it,” Bilbo continued.
“You’ve got a lot of hair.”
“Oh I see. Very distinguished don’t you think?”
“Long and messy I’d call it.”
Indeed, Gandalf had a lot of grey hair, dirty as mentioned, and long and wispy, and not tied up with even one ribbon, or elastic band or bobby-pin. In fact, had his hairdressers been there they would have been disgusted with him. And the dandruff! Oh my God – the dandruff! (Actually, his hairdressers in Needlehole (above Rushock Bog) were well aware of his dandruff problem. Indeed, they often called him by the nickname “Dandruff”, and right to his face! The wizard would love to have spanked those impertinent hobbit lasses (for more than one reason) but as they were the only hairdressers in Middle-earth in the Third Age, he thought it best to keep an even temper).
“Well, never mind my hair," Gandalf frowned. "I need to talk to you.”
“Gandalf!” Bilbo suddenly exclaimed. “I do remember you now!”
Yes, it was Gandalf! Oh blimey! If you had heard only seventeen percent of what I’ve heard about him, and I only know about seventeen percent of all there is to know, you’d be prepared for seventeen percent of any sort of tale about him! Bilbo remembered him alright.
Bilbo could not contain himself. “Not the Gandalf whose amazing fireworks stimulated the town about thirty five years ago!" the little fellow burst out excitedly. "Oh how I adored those fireworks! Snapdragons and rhododendrons, and agapanthus too, and rows of pansies set out in neat boxes – pansies of many colors!I remember them so well from when I was a gay little lad. Wonderful! Not the Gandalf who had a special sky rocket you showed to little hobbit boys and girls, but only in private, and only after they had sworn especially serious binding oaths to not reveal what they had seen - so as not to spoil the surprise for other little hobbit boys and girls – apparently. Not the Gandalf who gave the Mayor's wife a pair of magic bracelets that clasped her wrists to her ankles and left her weary but smiling come Monday morning! Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many hobbit lads and lasses going off on wild adventures, everything from climbing trees, to burning them down, to chopping them up for pulp and selling them on to industrialized nations - off into any dark wood you could find – never to return! Life used be quite inter - I mean, you seem to be responsible for any number of unexplained disappearances…”
“Oh well,” Gandalf smiled nostalgically, “You at least remember my fireworks at any rate – though not very accurately, as you seem to have confused them with a variety of flowering annuals and shrubs. Nonetheless, for the sake of your buxom but dead mother I'll send you on this adventure I’m planning. It's the least I can do...”
“The one I’m sending you on!”
Bilbo became suspicious (as well he might). “You did say ‘[i:1oher5pu]an adventure[/i:1oher5pu]’?”
“Yes, I wish you’d listen. I don't want to say too much this early in the story, but I plan to send you off on a dangerous adventure with thirteen dwarves. They’re off to kill a Mythological Beast (I must be careful of spoilers, of course!) After the Mythological Beast is dead, you can take it’s ...er… stuff. (I’m not at liberty to mention what the stuff is – for the same reason I just gave in the brackets above). Frankly, I’ve had a bugger of a time finding someone like you simply begging to go along.”
“I never begged any such thing!” Bilbo exclaimed.
“Yes you did.”
“No, I didn’t!”
“Yes you did - several times.”
“Well, at least twice. “
“I don’t want any adventures, thank you very much !”
“But it will be hilarious for me, and possibly financially beneficial for you - if you live that is.”
“Financially beneficial, did you say?” Bilbo asked, showing he was not quite as prosy (whatever that means) as he thought he was, especially when it came to gaining a financial advantage. “Where would we be going exactly?”
“Oh over there somewhere, you know," Gandalf smiled down at him. "Way away over there!” And as he spoke Gandalf stretched out his arm to point in the direction of the Woody End, above the tallest treetops of which peeped the highest white snowclad peaks of the far off Misty Mountains.
Bilbo squinted at the Woody End in the bright sunlight, frowning. As far as he knew, there had never been a confirmed sighting of any Mythological Beast in the Woody End (though Old Noddy the town drunk swore he had once seen a big breasted tree walking there one summer evening – of course no one believed him). But Bilbo did know about all those hobbit lads and lasses going off with Gandalf – into dark woods - never to return...
“Ah! I don’t think so!” Bilbo squeaked in fright. “I don’t want any adventures! Not today! Thank you very much just the same for asking! But come around for tea tomorrow and we’ll discuss any other fiscal plans you might have! Yes, come around tomorrow!” And the flustered and flummoxed little fellow scuttled into his hobbit hole slamming the door in the wizard’s face – which was just as well because Gandalf was hoping to stay the night.
The wizard laughed, for he had had plenty of doors slammed in his face over the millenia and was used to it. A moment later, he stepped up to Bilbo's beautiful art deco door and, using his magic staff, he scrawled a comprehensive message on its freshly painted surface. (The message was in Runes, of course, because any type of cursive script - especially Elvish - is inordinately difficult to write if you are using a staff – you probably didn’t know that). Then Gandalf hobbled off down Slipshod Lane to find a masseuse – I can’t remember why.
Meanwhile, Bilbo was gulping down his third breakfast for the morning, thinking he had avoided adventures quite nicely, thank you very much! Yeah, right...!
THE UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER (continued)
“Bwalin at your service,” the silver bearded dwarf on his doorstep said immediately and bowed.
Bilbo was speechless.
The old dwarf (thus the silver beard) straightened up again and spied Dwarven’s beard in the hallway. “Ah! I see my brother is here already.”
“Your brother?” Bilbo asked, trying to collect his wits. “I don’t think so… some lady dwarf has turned up, but…”
“Yes,” Bwalin smiled. “I’m actually talking about my sister [i:x7vmz1ls]‘Dwarven’[/i:x7vmz1ls].” Bwalin gave him a big wink. “She likes to think she’s one of the boys, you see. It’s a secret known only to us conspirators - and Gandalf, of course.”
“But…” Bilbo stuttered.
Bwalin laughed. “Yes, I see you’re wondering, [i:x7vmz1ls]‘If it’s all such a secret, then why blurt it out the first second we meet?’[/i:x7vmz1ls] Oh Mr Baggins, as you’re our chief burglar-assassin, you’ll soon work it out anyhow. I mean to say, the first time we stop for a roadside call of nature and twelve stand while one squats – well, even you’ll begin to ask questions!” He laughed again. (He laughed a lot, old Bwalin. He was one of the nicest dwarves you could meet.)
“Oh dear Mr Baggins: Gandalf himself told the thirteen of us that you were a pumpkin head, and yet surely not even you could be that much of a pumpkin head!” and Bwalin laughed again.
“Oh dear dear Mr Baggins, please stop saying ‘but’," old Bwalin smiled, "It is beginning to give me the shits. Now, I’ll just be off to your third pantry to grab those beautiful round seed-cakes you baked for your after-supper morsel. I must say, I'm pleased I got here before fat old glutton, Bumburr did!” And with that, Bwalin took off down the passageway.
“Thirteen dwarves!” Bilbo pondered incredulously when he was gone.
“Burglar-assassin?” he asked himself in confused alarm (that didn’t sound good at all, at all!)
“Pumpkin Head!” he grated in some annoyance.
“My goodness,” he added in agitated befuddlement, “this is turning out to be the most awkward Wednesday since the Wednesday before last!"
And then the doorbell rang again.
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER cont.
Bilbo had a shocking memory and he totally forgot all about Gandalf and so he had absolutely no idea who it might be ringing the doorbell the very next evening.
“I wonder if that’s the pipe-weed,” he said hopefully, as he hurried in some excitement to open the door (he’d been out of Bongbottom Leaf for days).
You can imagine his surprise when he found it was not his cousin Druggo at all. It was an elderly dwarf with a white egg-stained beard on his doorstep. The dwarf was clad in a weathered green cloak and was leaning on a clarinet-cum-walking stick.
“Dwarven at your service,” the dwarf said and gave a deep bow.
“[i:28ioazsn]‘Dwarven’[/i:28ioazsn] did you say?” Bilbo asked in surprise.
“Dwarven, it is.”
“Isn’t that [i:28ioazsn]what[/i:28ioazsn] you are, not [i:28ioazsn]who[/i:28ioazsn] you are?”
“No, it’s my name.”
“Oh well then,” Bilbo said slowly. “Pleased to meet you…[i:28ioazsn]'Dwarven’... [/i:28ioazsn]Oh! - and welcome to my humble home…” (A bit stiff perhaps, but how would you feel if a dwarf lady called Dwarven unexpectedly came ringing your bell?)
After an awkward moment, Dwarven said, “I’ll just hang my beard up, shall I then?”
“Yes, please do,” Bilbo said, feeling a bit stunned.
So Dwarven hung up her beard (the best kind of detachable party beard) on a peg in the hallway. “I could do with a drink, you know,” she added as she turned back around.
Remembering his manners, Bilbo said, “Will it beer or whisky?”
Sternly the dwarf said, “Wine, if you don’t mind; and I’ll have it in the lounge thank you. I’m just off to powder my nose.”
So a bewuthered and beweathered Bilbo ran off to pour out a dram of Old Vineyard in the lounge, seriousy wondering what kind of night he might be in for - and was this just some kind of warped joke contrived by Druggo. Before he could come up with any sort of answer though there was another ring on his doorbell.
“Now, I don’t know what’s going on,” said our Bilbo, “but my every instinct tells me that that'll be another dwarf.”
Bilbo opened his door and... Yep, another dwarf!
AN UNEXPEDTEDLY LONG CHAPTER (continued)
By now Bilbo was becoming a trifle miffed – as well he might! And at last he remembered yesterday’s (sometimes esoteric) conversation with Gandalf.
“If I didn’t know better, that old scallywag has gone and brought an adventure into my house,” complained our Mr Baggins. “But if Gandalf thinks I’m going to sneak off into some king’s palace and murder him and then steal his ruby slippers – or whatever – well, that wizard's got another thing coming! As if I’m capable of such a thing! That episode with Mayor Whitefeet’s wife only happened because I thought they were separated at the time (at least, that’s what Primadonna implied!) and anyway, it’s not like I [i:s1sz1zl6]literally [/i:s1sz1zl6]stabbed old Whitefeet in the back!”
Then the doorbell rang again, loud and long, as if some angry jilted husband had come to take vengeance only to find the door barred against him.
“Not another dwarf!” Bilbo growled and hurried to open the door. But it wasn’t a dwarf. It was seven of them. And before you could say “How’s your mother?” they had pushed in to his hallway and were bowing, and hanging up hoods of assorted colours on pegs, and putting drum-cum-pots, and cymbals-cum-earrings, and harps-cum-portable-clotheslines, and electric-guitars-cum-axes (two of them) neatly in a corner.
Then they all lined up and intoned in unison, “Biffer, Bopper, Ignory, Snorey, Groin, Poin and Snodgrass – at your service.”
Surprisingly, given the unsettling circumstances, Bilbo remembered the proper protocols this time. “And me at you, yours, your mothers, fathers and all your distant relatives!”
The formalities dealt with, the seven dwarves hurried off to raid Bilbo’s pantries. In a trice they were all in the lounge with Dwarven and Bwalin, eating and drinking like pigs, and talking like they were a bunch of old and very dear friends (though, in fact, half of them hated each other).
Bilbo got out a couple of bottles of Old Vineyard and plopped down on the hallway rug. “If they’re all staying,” he muttered to himself, “I’m going to get pissed!”
Then a loud knock came at the door. It was like some naughty person was hitting it with a large stick - or maybe even a staff.
“More dwarves for sure, I’d warrant!” Bilbo hissed despairingly, and took a huge swig on his wine bottle. He then began to weep into his hands. But he was interrupted by an even louder knocking on his door. “If that’s not a wizard’s staff, then I’m the descendant of a rodent," he muttered bitterly, "- which I’m not, no matter what Mayor Whitefeet thinks!” He looked around for his walking stick, “I’ll give that Gandalf what for!” And, angry as a dragon in a pinch, he leapt to his furry feet. But he could not find his walking stick – which only made him angrier still (as angry as a Balrog with an invitation to a pool party, in fact!)
“Damn Wednesdays!” he cried. “They’ve been an absolute pain in the buttocks this year!”
Then the door bell rang insistently- and that horribly irritating and probably destructive knocking.
“Will you open that freaking door!” called the nine dwarves in the lounge.
And Bilbo did – like a champagne cork!
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER (continued)
To Bilbo's great surprise, a pile of dwarves fell through the door. At a quick count – four of them – with a big fat one on top. Gandalf stood at the back laughing his guts out. “Dear Bilbo,” he chortled, “It’s unlike you to keep your unexpected guests waiting on the doorstep, then open it like a champagne cork. You’ve gone and buried the great Thorny Oakenbeard under three dwarves - and with Two-Ton Bumburr on top! I dare say Fowly will soon be cussing and cursing and Growly growling. Forsooth, I say, and I’ll say it again: forsooth!”
“*:@^#>! fat hobbit!” cussed one of two yellow bearded dwarves in the middle of the pile, Fowly presumably.
“This is what you get when a woman insists on coming on an adventure, making it ‘Unlucky Number’ time!” growled the other yellow beard – Growly, who else?
“*:@^#>! women!” Fowly cussed.
"Damn you, Dwarven, damn you to hell!" growled Growly.
"See!" Gandalf said.
“Lucky I fell on top,” said Bumburr. “I might have hurt myself otherwise.”
Bilbo wasn’t angry anymore – he was aghast. With Gandalf’s help, he lugged Bumburr up onto his tree-thick legs.
“I don’t need your help!” Growly growled a moment later.
“Keep your *:@^#>! hands away from me!” Fowly cussed.
The great Thorny Oakenbeard climbed slowly to his feet and he gave Bilbo a glare that almost burnt the poor hobbit’s face off. But Bilbo was so repeatedly and utterly apologetically servile, that Thorny finally said, “Pray tell, forget it - oh will you just shut your trap!” The dwarf then grimaced and drew a deep breath, “Anyway, Thorny, son of Corny, son of Horny - at your service!”
“Did you say Thorny, son of Corny, son of Horny?” Bilbo inquired, quite stunned.
Thorny frowned, “Yes, Thorny, son of Corny, son of Horny, what of it?”
“Darn-nabbit! 'Thorny' is short for 'Thorndike'," Thorny explained grudgingly, as if he was used to having to explain it all but was sick of having to, "'Corny' is short for 'Cornwall', and 'Horny' is short for 'Hornrable'. Is there a problem with that?”
“[i:3cacx7so]'Hornrable?’ [/i:3cacx7so]” Bilbo asked, his mind going blank.
“As in ‘noble’ or ‘lordly’ or ‘gentlemanly’,” Gandalf intervened helpfully.
“Oh – you actually mean [i:3cacx7so]‘honourable’ [/i:3cacx7so]don’t you,” Bilbo laughed in relief. “But shouldn’t it be “Onny’ for short? [i:3cacx7so]'Onny'[/i:3cacx7so] short for [i:3cacx7so]'honourable''[/i:3cacx7so]?”
“Not at all,” Gandald said quickly. “It's a question of dialect, Bilbo. You’re thinking of the Nogrod dialect, [i:3cacx7so]'honourable' [/i:3cacx7so]– Thorny’s people originally came from Belegost, where it's [i:3cacx7so]'hornrable'[/i:3cacx7so]. It's a mistake any pumpkin head coulfd make.”
“Oh… I see…” Bilbo said (but he didn’t – and I don’t suppose you do – unless of course you’re a philologist or something).
Anyhow, a few seconds later a selection of camping-equipment-cum-musical-instruments was deposited in the hall. Immediately afterward, Growly, Fowly and Bumburr stalked off to raid Bilbo’s pantries.
“I’ll get the red wine,” growled Growly.
“I wonder where the *:@^#>! croissants are!” cussed Fowly.
“Ah! It's only potatoes and cream buns for me,” Bumburr put in sombrely. "I'm on a diet."
“It seems like they know the contents of my pantries better than I do!” Bilbo exclaimed.
“Never mind that, my good hobbit," Thorny said gruffly, “There'll be time for idle banter later. Off to the lounge-room we go. We’ve got a fair slab of gluttony and drunkenness to get through tonight – and perhaps a little planning as well.”
So in a trice (or perhaps a ‘quart’ - [i:3cacx7so]time[/i:3cacx7so] being what is in Middle-earth) there were fifteen folk in Bilbo’s lounge-room, scattered about on sofas, barstools and upturned milk crates. Bilbo took up a position on the hearth rug, subdued and nervous. Sadly he watched as most of his precious comestibles were consumed at an awesome rate.
Morosely, he muttered, "There's no avoiding it, today is (marginally) worse than the Wednesday before last!"
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER (continued...)
For hours Bilbo sat on the hearth rug, his appetite quite dented. He nibbled on a biscuit. What would happen to him? He popped down a few jam tarts. Were these dwarves really here to take him off on an adventure? Things certainly seemed to be moving in that direction.Down his throat gurgled a pint of eggnog. He wondered if he could manage a loaf of rye bread spread with pilchards. Yes, he could…
Suddenly, Gandalf rose unsteadily in his chair (having hit the port a bit too hard). "I have an important anouncement! Shut up everyone!” he yelled.
The dwarves, who had been loudly discussing the pros and cons of live theatre for about two hours, fell silent.
“It’s time to get out the pipe-weed,” the wizard instructed them. "I hope everyone brought some!"
Sombrely, they all reached for their pouches. Bilbo’s spirits lifted. He watched in hope as they filled their pipes and lit up. They took a drag in unison, exhaled, then sat back with satisfied expressions and patted their full stomachs.
“I don’t suppose someone could lend me a fill,” Bilbo squeaked. “I seem to have run out.”
“How impertinent,” Snodgrass sniffed.
“Fancy him begging for our prized pipe-weed like that!” snorted Biffer (a large tattooed fellow with a nasty jagged scar across his forehead).
“Ungracious swine,” grumbled Bopper (who appeared to be Bopper’s twin – though he had a scar across his nose, not across his brow).
Irritated at their attitude, Bilbo shouted, “Me ungracious! What about all the food you lot have gutzed down?!”
“Now, now,” Gandald said. “You are the host, and you know your duty, no matter how painful."
"And you must not blame others for your lack of forethought, my good Bilbo," the wizard added kindly. "Now be quiet a moment. We have more important things to worry about. Hey, you dwarves! Who's going to start the smoke rings?”
Then for the next ten minutes the dwarves blew smoke rings in delight. And the more they sucked and the more they blew, the shinier their eyes became.
“Not bad, not bad...” Gandalf was want to comment as he watched their handiwork with a profesional eye, "Oh not such a bad ring that one! Yes that one [i:16ccvicn]almost [/i:16ccvicn]got through that other one without [i:16ccvicn]actually[/i:16ccvicn] breaking, not bad at all, not [i:16ccvicn]too[/i:16ccvicn] bad anyway..."
Finally, the dwarves cracked the shits with him.
“Hey!” Poin grumbled. (At least, Bilbo thought it was Poin, the room being now full of moke). “If you can do better, Gandalf, then do better!”
Gandalf’s eyes flashed gleefully. It was clear he was waiting for just such an invitation. He drew deep on his pipe. Then out came a multicolored three ring circus, with performing elephants in one ring, a troop of hobgoblin trapeze artists in another, and in the third a yellow haired, red nosed clown playing croquet with a trained monkey (though possibly a chimpanzee – that part was a trifle blurry) on the broad back of a silver stallion.
Nearly everyone clapped in delight as the smoke dissipated. (Bilbo wondered if his puff of black smoke yesterday morning stood up at all).
“Well, that was pretty *:@^#>! impressive,” Fowly said in awe.
“I’ve seen better,” Growly growled.
“Don't be nincanpoop, Growly," Dwarven scolded Growly severely, then said, "Oh Gandalf! That was stupendous! How ever did you even do that?”
“It’s just a little something I learned behind the shelter sheds at Hogwarts - when I was just a lad, you know,” Gandalf answered, clearly chuffed. "Mind you, I am a Maiar," he added a trifle pompously, "So much of it comes naturally."
“Of where?” Snodgrass asked.
The wizard gazed at him blankly for a moment then snapped, “What do you mean by ‘of where?’”
“What [i:16ccvicn]town [/i:16ccvicn]are you the [i:16ccvicn]mayor [/i:16ccvicn]of?" Snodgrass said slowly and deliberately, as if he spoke to an imbecile (Snodgass had a weakness for sarcasm). "It’s a simple enough question.”
“I’m not the [i:16ccvicn]mayor [/i:16ccvicn]of any [i:16ccvicn]town[/i:16ccvicn]!” Gandalf cried.
“Then why did you say you were a mayor?”
“No he didn’t,” said Bwalin, who did not like arguments of any kind. “Gandalf said he was a ‘Mayar.’”
“Indeed, I did.” Gandalf said, giving Bwalin a fond look. (Everyone liked Bwalin).
“A ‘Mayar’?” Snodgrass asked.
“Yes, a ‘Mayar’,” Bwalin said sagely, “You know, as in a ‘Mayan’ from South America.”
Gandalf laughed gaily, “No, no, dear Bwalin - though that’s an easy mistake to make. I am, in fact, from Valinor!”
“I didn’t know Valinor was in #!*^*#! South America,” Fowly said in surprise.
“That’s because it’s not,” Gandalf retorted.
Fowly’s eyes now took a queer inward looking slant, as if he sought answers within but could only find more questions. This was born out when at last he blurted, “Where the #!*^ is Valinor then?”
“Oh off in the west somewhere,” Gandalf said vaguely.
“Well, isn’t South America in the distant south[i:16ccvicn]west[/i:16ccvicn],” put in Bilbo, trying to reconcile the geographic confusion. “It could be the same place!”
Gandalf smiled tolerantly. “Try not to be too much of a pumpkin head if you can help it, dear Bilbo.”
“Well, maybe you could sail west,” Bilbo suggested undaunted, becoming more involved in the conversation than he had intended to, “and then tacked southward just before you get to Valinor. After that it would just be a hop, skip and a jump to South America, wouldn’t it?”
“Bilbo,” Gandalf said as patiently as he could, “No hobbit or dwarf can sail anywhere near Valinor."
“Why not?” asked all the dwarves at once.
“Why not what?”
“Why can’t we sail there?”
“Because Valinor is a Very Special Place,” Gandalf answered as patiently as he could, “My goodness! It’s the home of the Valar, for God’s sake!!”
“Can [i:16ccvicn]you [/i:16ccvicn]get there?”
“Of course I can!” Gandalf snapped with such suddeness and venom they it made them all jumped. Then Gandalf thought a moment, gave a small embarrassed cough, “Well, at least, when They finally decide to let me back in.”
“How do we get there then?” Bumburr asked, "If we can't sail there, I mean."
“For you it’s impossible,” Gandalf said smugly, “Didn't I just say that? Valinor is reserved for immortals, not dwarves, dear Bumburr. It's a place for..ah... well, [i:16ccvicn]special [/i:16ccvicn]people - like me, for instance.”
"Yeah, for [i:16ccvicn]special[/i:16ccvicn] people!" Snodgrass sniggered.
Biffer jumped in. “Oh right! So if you’re the mayor of some hokey little town in South America - that none of us has ever heard of! - you can get in; but we can’t!”
Gandalf spluttered, getting annoyed. “I told you, I’m not the mayor from some South American town! Have you even been listening?”
“Isn’t Valinor that place the elves come and go to?” Thorny asked rather sourly.
“It is,” Gandalf said, still trying to rein in his annoyance.
“#*!^#! elves!” Fowly said under his breath.
“Perhaps we might change the subject,” Balin placated them.
“Yes,” Thorny put in grumpily. “The mere mention of elves makes my corns throb!”
“I don’t mind talking about elves,” Bilbo said meekly.
“What did you say?” everyone asked, scowling at him.
“Well, I personally wouldn’t mind talking about the elves.”
“Oh wouldn’t you?” scoffed everyone (except Gandalf).
“No, I wouldn’t actually. I really like them.”
“That’s because you’ve never met them,” Bopper said in a really snide tone.
“Yes, I have!”
“No you haven’t!”
“I have, I say!” Bilbo said with a blush. “I met one in the woods east of Hobbiton one starry evening… It was quite a few years ago though…”
“No you didn’t!” all the dwarves but one cried.
“Yes, I did. She was a beautiful elvish lady…!”
This claim was greeted by an explosion of laughter.
“Yeah, sure you did! What was her name then?” all of them asked, one after the other.
“I…. I… I didn’t think to ask…” Twelve dwarves roared with laughter, but Thorny yelled out impatiently: “Enough of this nonsense! Hey! You slobs, tidy up the dishes. Then maybe we can get drunker, and have a proper deep and meaningful conversation!”
Suddenly, Bilbo forgot all about elvish maidens and comfy leafy forest floors under the Evenstar, for every dwarf (except Thorny who was far too self-important) jumped up and laid their grubby calloused hands on his cutlery and plates.
Bilbo jumped up in a panic. “Oh never mind! I can do it!” he squealed.
Unfortunately, his distress only seemed to encourage the dwarves. In fact, they burst into song, which is something dwarves often do when they’re working – apparently – ‘Hi Ho Hi Ho’ being their definite favourite, as you would already know, but they decided to improvise on this occasion.
[i:16ccvicn] Chase down the Host! But close all the curtains!
Beat up the rodent! Until he is hurtin’!
Wrap him in pie dough! Roll him in flour!
(Oh look at the blighter! See how he cowers!)
Grab both his legs! Pull down his trousers!
Get a good hold on the timid old wowser!
Wrestle him down onto his plush carpet!
Paint both his buttocks with a red target!
Slap him! Spank him! Don't be too soft!
Tickle his tackle. Let's see if he coughs!
Oh everyone line up! Yes, don’t hesitate!
But carefully! Carefully! Don’t chip the plates! [/i:16ccvicn]
Of course, the dwarves did none of these awful things, and in a trice every dish, fork and napkin was cleaned up and put neatly away, while little Bilbo was left quivering, quite unmolested, on the hearth rug.
(1) Should I keep going with The LotRized Hobbit? ...
and if so, (2) Can anyone come up with a better title? "The LotRized Hobbit" now sounds a bit dull to me.
AN UNEXPECTEDLY LONG CHAPTER (continued)
“All right everyone,” Gandalf bellowed when everything was put in good order, “Now off into the dining room! We’ll sit around Bilbo’s surprisingly long fourteen-sitter table and get down to some serious business.” The wizard looked down kindly at the little Hobbit. “You’ll have to sit on the dining room hearthrug I'm afraid, dear Bilbo.”
Gandalf cut Bilbo off, “Now, now, let’s not go over that what’s-in-a-good-host-however-painful business again!”
Bwalin bent down and laid a steadying hand on his shoulder, with the end of the dwarvf's silver beard tickling his ear, “Come along, my furry-footed friend. You know how we dislike all this [i:7zvhg322]‘but’ [/i:7zvhg322]behaviour of yours.”
“What [i:7zvhg322]‘butt’ [/i:7zvhg322]behaviour," Biffer called from across the dining room. Bilbo could see him through the adjoining doorway, a look of stern interest on his battle-beaten face. “He’s not a poof, is he?”
“No, not at all,” Bwalin laughed (he had a very nice laugh), “Oh Biff, you’ve gone down the entirely wrong passage again - as usual!” And the old dwarf laughed again. And so did everyone else (except Bilbo), as if it was an old joke of theirs.
Once they were all seated (with Bilbo on the hearth rug), Gandalf began.
“Dear dwarves and hobbit, I have gathered you here for a specific reason….”
“I hope you’re going to keep this short!” Thorny Oakenbeard broke in. “Don’t go telling us a heap of stuff we already know!”
“Well, if that's how it must be” Gandalf said in an offended tone, “Now everyone, there are many things we’ve discussed already, but I think it fair to say that our audacious and implacable burglar-assassin (that’s you Bilbo), doesn’t know the whole plan as yet…”
“I don’t know any part of the plan yet!” Bilbo squeaked, feeling all trembling inside again.
“Yes, quite right. Now, Bilbo, as you are well aware, we are off to slay the biggest, scariest, fiercest, nastiest firedrake of these firedrake infested times – or, at least, [i:7zvhg322]you[/i:7zvhg322] are! After that, you can help steal his treasure…”
“[i:7zvhg322]My[/i:7zvhg322] treasure!” Thorny Oakenbeard grumbled.
“Sorry,” Gandalf answered testily, “[i:7zvhg322]Thorny’s[/i:7zvhg322] treasure! The chances are, of course, that Smug will roast you on sight Bilbo, and then eat you quick as this...” To demonstrate, Gandalf popped a small piece of seed-cake into his be-whiskered mouth. “If so, the dwarves will come back empty-handed….”
This was all very new to the hobbit, and somewhat distressing really - though now at least the hobbit knew what the Mythological Beast was that Gandalf had referred to yesterday. Bilbo shuddered. At the mention of [i:7zvhg322]‘Smug will roast you on sight,’[/i:7zvhg322] the poor little fellow felt a shriek rise in his voice-box. And when he heard: [i:7zvhg322]‘the dwarves will come back empty-handed’ [/i:7zvhg322]he became horribly indignant. (“Those selfish bastards!” he was thinking. “I mean to say, aren’t they prepared to help me in a tight spot!”) Anyway, the shriek that had risen in his voice-box now sang out from his mouth like a high pitched whistle. It was a shriek full of terror and furious anger – though it came across to the others as pure hysteria. In fact, it sounded to the dwarves like he had gone quite mad.
Fortunately Bopper, who had once worked at the BELEGOST HOME FOR THE APPARENTLY INSANE, knew exactly what to do. The brawny battle-hardened dwarf jumped off his chair, launched himself at Bilbo, and knocked him flat, using, of course, an open handed cuffing motion, so as not to leave any telltale bruising.
Everything went dark grey, and streaky orange-red, and wispy…
“One shriek like that echoing in the bowels of Mount Solitaire and not only will Smug be on us, but so will his mother and father, and his second cousin Julian!”.
“I assure you, our burglar-assassin has nerves of steel!” Gandalf reassured him. “He was only a little overexcited just now.”
“Well, he looks more like a [i:2xhgq1ta]worrier[/i:2xhgq1ta] than a [i:2xhgq1ta]warrior[/i:2xhgq1ta],” Groin commented cynically (and Snodgrass sniggered). “He made a noise like a train whistle issuing from a railway tunnel!”
“I can’t begin to tell you how anachronistic that sounds!” Dwarven put in dismissively (she had a particular dislike for Groin).
“Yes, and you’re a [i:2xhgq1ta]woman [/i:2xhgq1ta]and you’d [i:2xhgq1ta]know[/i:2xhgq1ta], isn’t that so!” Groin snapped at her.
Gandalf thrust out his heavy eyebrows angrily, “Groin, son of Swoin, son of Quoin, I’m ashamed of you! Dwarven has as much a right to speak her mind in this company as any of us, irrespective of how esoteric and typically womanly her comments!”
“Yes,” Thorny Oakenbeard said, “Just because she’s a [i:2xhgq1ta]woman [/i:2xhgq1ta]doesn’t mean we should treat what she says any differently than the [i:2xhgq1ta]actual[/i:2xhgq1ta] males in this party!”
“All right, I take it back, Dwarven,” Groin grumbled, “but I still think Bilbo sounded like a train whistle!” Groin now turned to glare across at Bilbo. “Just look at him! He’s more your petty-thief creep-up-behind type, not a genuine burglar-assassin! And I wish he’d stop bobbing up and down on the hearthrug!”
By now Bilbo had recovered enough from his cuff to the head to exclaim angrily, “I’m not bobbing - I’m trying to get a crick out of my neck! And, by the way, you’re right: I’m [i:2xhgq1ta]not[/i:2xhgq1ta] a burglar-assassin!”
“You are, you know,” Gandalf said fondly.
“No, I’m not!”
“Well, you did sneak into Mayor Whitefeet’s house...”
“Primadonna invited me in!”
“Ah! Yes! And you stole a kiss or two, did you not?”
“She gave them away freely!”
“And what about you stabbing old Whitefeet in the back...”
“It was only [i:2xhgq1ta]metaphorically[/i:2xhgq1ta]!”
“The point is,” Gandalf said, “we need someone small and sneaky to come with us; someone who has very few scruples; someone that can creep in and find a way to assassinate a gigantic firedrake when he’s not looking – or sleeping.... Shut up! Don’t interrupt, Bilbo! I’m talking now...! Where was I...? Oh yes, we also need another Conspirator to come along, or else be stuck with thirteen dwarves – and that's an [i:2xhgq1ta]unlucky [/i:2xhgq1ta]number in anyone’s language!”
“Well, there are [i:2xhgq1ta]fourteen [/i:2xhgq1ta]of you already!” Bilbo yelled incredulously (and somewhat hopefully).
“I hope you’re not including me in that count,” Gandalf said sternly. “I’ll come along for part of the journey, yes, but I’ll leave you long before you reach Mount Solitaire.”
“I’m off to do something we’ll probably find out about later,” Gandalf said.
“Let’s not argue like this, old friend, I’m trying to help you!”
Desperately, Bilbo gasped, “Even if I could kill a firedrake, I could never steal anyone’s property! I’m not a thief, no matter what people say!”
The thirteen dwarves burst out in laughter.
“What?” Bilbo wanted to know.
“So say you-” Bwalin put in, “the selfsame hobbit that even now has Biffer’s long stolen cloak hanging up on a peg in the hallway.”
Oh so these were [i:2xhgq1ta]those[/i:2xhgq1ta] dwarves...! Bilbo blushed.
“It does seem ironic that it was you who stole my cloak all those years ago,” Biffer said and gave him a sardonic smile. “The two of us being what we are, and all...”
“No we’re not!” Bilbo squeaked, knowing exactly what the brawny tattooed dwarf was getting at. “What I mean is: I’m not like [i:2xhgq1ta]that[/i:2xhgq1ta] at all!”
Gandalf said, “That is as may be, Bilbo – the point is, you seem to have exhausted all your arguments against coming along, so let’s move on, shall we?”
The wizard began to ruffle around within his own cloak and pulled out a curious map and key.
“What are they?” Thorny Oakenbeard asked.
“They’re a few curios you’re grandfather, Horny gave me. I took them from him in the dungeons of the Necromancer.”
Everyone gasped in horror at the mention of that chilling name (or title); even Bilbo from the quiet little Shire had heard of the Necromancer!
“You mean to say you snuck into the Necromancer's dark tower?” Thorny Oakenbeard asked, as he unfolded the map. “How ever did you manage that?”
“Well, I didn’t exactly [i:2xhgq1ta]sneak [/i:2xhgq1ta]in,” Gandalf said. “You see, many years ago I popped in to discuss a few topical things, and when I was there the Necromancer showed me around. As a consequence I was shown into Horny’s dungeon. The poor dwarf had a map and a key. They were sadly the last of his wordly goods, for even his clothes were rotted off. You might not need to hear this, but he had deep jagged whip-marks all over him from head to toe, and weeping sores everywhere – disgusting! And he positively stank of rotting flesh: yuk, yuk and yuk! Anyway, I immediately asked if I could take his map and key. You see, it was utterly obvious his brain was sheer mush, and it was not like he was ever going to be able to use them again! Anyway, here they are.”
Gandalf handed the curios over.
“You took them from my grandfather!” Thorny mouthed in utmost surprise.
“Well, at least on the balance of probabilities it was your Grandfather, but there is a small chance it was actually Corny, your father. Whoever he was, he couldn’t remember his own name. But he was the spitting image of you, Thorny, for all that his face was half eaten with dungeon-rot, which made me think he was Horny not Corny. Anyway, seeing it was a map of Mount Solitaire with a secret door marked on it, and as the key appears to go with the map, I thought they might come in useful at some stage.”
“The Necromancer just let you take it!” Thorny gasped in amazement.
“Well, it's not like I didn't ask nicely. And, remember, it was quite a few years ago, before things turned nasty. Mirkwood is a very bad environment if you ask me! He was a handsome chap then, the Necromancer, all shiny – very charming – lovely smile....”
“So you must know who the Necromancer is then?”
“No, not really,” Gandalf replied, somewhat sheepishly, “I forgot to ask... they were happier times, you see.... In those days you could meet people but not feel pressured to ask too many intrusive questions. Mind you, I had a terrible feeling he was faking it even then....”
Thorny asked, “Why didn’t you mention all this before?”
“Oh I wanted to surprise you,” Gandalf smiled triumphantly. “I do know how much you love surprises!”
All the other dwarves laughed and nodded knowingly.
Thorny frowned at him at first, but then he grinned broadly. “Yes," he chuckled, "You got me there! Oh dear old Gandalf, I do love surprises. Oh it's just so true!” And he laughed again – they all did.
They were all still chuckling merrily, when Bilbo suddenly asked, “What topical things did you discuss with the Necromancer, Gandalf?”
Gandalf cast him an annoyed glance. “Oh a few things... but never you mind. Anyway, everyone, it’s all settled now! We've now got Mr Lucky Number burglar-assassin, and a very useful map and key, and thirteen stout dwarves to carry back the treasure after Smug is stabbed to death. Things have worked out perfectly...”
“No they haven’t,” Bilbo protested. “As if I can kill a gigantic firedrake! Gandalf, the idea is plain ridiculous! I’m only three foot three!”
“Oh I wish you’d stop beating that dead horse, Bilbo!” Gandalf said severely. "You might be a short arse - but not by hobbit standards!"
“Anyway, Mr Baggins,” Bwalin put in more encouragingly, “it’s not the size of the hobbit that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the hobbit that matters!”
“Let’s have another song!” Ignory yelled out suddenly, because it was well and truly his turn to say something.
“Good idea,” Thorny cried. “Go and get our camping-equipment-cum-musical instruments everyone!”
So off they ran into the hallway.
“Just grab my harp-cum-portable-clothesline, lads,” Thorny called after them, “but don’t forget to un-peg my socks!”
After that, they retired to the lounge, and as soon as Biffer and Bopper had plugged in their electric-guitars-cum-axes into the Power-Orbs Bilbo had only recently bought from the Elves Magical Power Company Limited, the dwarvish orchestra struck up. Then they stopped for a few seconds while Bwalin cleaned grass out the end of his flute-cum-walking-stick. Then the dwarvish orchestra struck up once again. And I assure you, the music they struck up could definitely be described as peculiarly interesting. Next thing, the dwarves started singing, the deep throated and slightly gay singing of dwarves in their deep caverns, coal pits and storm-water tunnels:
[i:2xhgq1ta]Far beyond the far off Misty Mountains,
Past all those trees and lakes with fountains,
We must away ere break of day - not later! -
To go and kill that big and nasty fire-gator,
In days of yore, if not before, at least ages ago,
Smug came flying south and struck a great blow,
His trampling feet and fiery breath killed heaps of us,
He powered through our Mountain like a runaway bus.
And now that firedrake has all our valuables,
Diamonds, gems, and metals malleable!
He’s got our each and every special stone,
Including the more than famous Farkenstone!
Oh we must away early come the morning dim,
To wrest our marvellous treasure from the Crim![/i:2xhgq1ta]
And then the music and the voices fell silent - which was just as well, because it was the worst song Bilbo had ever heard.
“Off to bed now!” Gandalf called out in a jolly voice. “Or else we’ll sleep in and therefore make the song incorrect in at least one detail.”
Bilbo wanted to ask more questions but Gandalf poked him with his staff a few times and shooed him protesting into his bedroom. Once inside, the hobbit noticed Biffer’s brawny shadow lurking in the passageway, so he quickly locked the door. With nothing better to do, he got ready for bed. He was feeling all knotty and upset in the stomach, as well he might, and it did not help when he glanced out his window and saw a huge mass of flame shoot up in the slums of East Hobbiton. It made him think of firedrakes settling, fires blazing, on his beloved Hump…
Just then, Thorny Oakenbeard began to sing in the room next to him:
[i:2xhgq1ta]“Far beyond the far off Misty Mountains,
Past all those trees and lakes with fountains…”[/i:2xhgq1ta]
Bilbo shuddered again, and he swiftly put in earplugs. He sincerely hoped there would not be too much singing in the days ahead…
END OF CHAPTER ONE!!!
Bilbo and me both (re: the dwarf songs). Sometimes, I wish copyright laws weren't so strict Odo. Though, come to think about it, Parody generally falls under the Fair Use clause. You might actually be able to publish YOUR fan fic in some sort of Parody Zine. Very Terry Pratchett by the way.
Perhaps there's a thread for this already on OTHER FANTASY???
NB I'm off to work on another project (one I've been neglecting badly), but if anyone is interested and wants to do Chapter Two, please go ahead!
I forget which Cannabis Magazine published it, But Hairy Pothead is one of the best Parodies I've read. Approx 80 pages, blending elements of Pot/psychedelic humour/Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code.
...gettind quite a few hits and a couple of positive reviews on fanfic, Eldo, so I thought it wise to make Edition 2 better. (You never know, the film might come later - though I've never heard of a full length Parody Movie based on one book before ! Interesting idea! Lucas? Why not? He's got a lot of money, hasn't he? )
As to my editing - it's mostly tidy up and clarification of some of my language but with very little actually [i:18b0zfb1]added[/i:18b0zfb1] as such. (Writing is all practice after all. Chip, chip and chip - that's what I say! It doesn't matter what it is you're writing - or does it? )
We could have a film adaptation of Bored of the Rings! An a whole 'nother Purist/Revisionist War over it.