Concerning Hobbits/The Shire

Bilbo: The 22nd day of September in the the year 1400, by Shire reckoning. Bag End, Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, Westfarthing, the Shire...Middle-Earth. The Third Age of this world.

[The Fellowship of the Ring]

Bilbo: There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins. Now, where to begin? Ah, yes. Concerning Hobbits.

Hobbits have been living and farming in the four farthings of the Shire for many hundreds of years, quite content to ignore and be ignored by the world of the Big Folk. Middle-Earth being, after all, full of strange creatures beyond count, hobbits must seem of little importance, being neither renowned as great warriors nor counted among the very wise. [knock] Frodo, someone at the door.

In fact, it has been remarked by some that hobbits' only real passion is for food. A rather unfair observation as we have also developed a keen interest in the brewing of ales and the smoking of pipe weed. But where our hearts truly lie is in peace, and quiet, and good tilled earth. For all hobbits share a love of thing that grow. And yes, no doubt to others our ways seem quaint. But today of all days, it is brought home to me: it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.

[knock] Frodo, the door! Sticklebacks, where is that boy? Frodo!

Gandalf: The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began....and I must follow if I can. The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow if I can. [+]

Frodo: You're late.

Gandalf: A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.

Frodo: It's wonderful to see you, Gandalf!

Gandalf: You didn't think I'd miss your Uncle Bilbo's birthday? So how is the old rascal? I've heard it's going to be a party of special magnificence!

Frodo: You know Bilbo. He's got the whole place in an uproar.

Gandalf: Well, that should please him.

Frodo: Half the Shire's been invited. And the rest of them are turning up anyway!

Bilbo: And so life in the Shire goes on very much as it has this past Age. Full of its own comings and goings, with change coming slowly, if it comes at all. For things are made to endure in the Shire, passing from one generation to the next. There's always been a Baggins living here, under the hill, in Bag End. And there always will be.

Frodo: To tell you the truth, Bilbo's been a bit odd lately. I mean, more than usual. He's taken to locking himself in his study. He spends hours and hours pouring over old maps when he thinks I'm not looking.

Bilbo: Where's it gone?

Frodo: He's up to something. All right then, keep your secrets!

Gandalf: What?

Frodo: But I know you have something to do with it.

Gandalf: Good gracious me!

Frodo: Before you came along, we Bagginses were very well thought of.

Gandalf: Indeed.

Frodo: Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected.

Gandalf: If you're referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door.

Frodo: Whatever you did, you've been officially labeled a disturber of the peace.

Gandalf: Oh really?

Children: Gandalf! Gandalf! Fireworks, Gandalf!

Frodo: Gandalf? I'm glad you're back.

Gandalf: So am I, dear boy. So am I.