4. The . . . Toy
I was just a hobbit lad of twelve or so, but I remember the excitement well. It was a glorious day: food heaped upon the tables, drink flowed as freely as water in one of’em rivers, the music was as jolly as you’ll ever get, and all folk were happy and dancing and laughing. And in came myself, following my father, mother and all four of my brothers, and there was good old Mr. Bilbo, handing out gifts by the fence at the entrance to the field. My eyes had gone wild upon sight of the party and all the delights that awaited me there. I couldn’t wait to get my hands upon those delicious apple tarts, or the roast lamb, or the pork chops that were making Mr. Bracegirdle there lick his fingers. I almost walk right past Mr. Bilbo, when it happened.
I was surrounded by a big crowd trying to get in, and then I heard Bilbo’s voice saying: ‘Welcome to the party, Toby lad. Here’s for you!’ Then launched a golden-wrapped box at me, which I managed to catch before that rascal Proudfoot. I darted off with my newest treasure and hid behind the bushes to unwrap my gift. I tore those ribbons and crumpled all that pretty paper, and there it was. It was magnificent, shiny, bright-colored. It smelled of new paint and a whole lot of magical things. It was mine. It was... a brown triangle! A pyramid, rather. Anyway, it was new (not like those mathoms that others used to give away), it was mine. But, what was it? I reckoned it was a... toy. What else would anyone give to a twelve-year-old hobbit? Past by me came trampling all the hobbit lads my age, playing with their carts and dolls and wooden animals and wagons that moved by themselves, and all I got was a triangle.
Since that moment, I became cursed, that’s what happened. I didn’t notice the rest of the world. I missed out on those delicious apple tarts, and the wine that was being given out like rain. I didn’t get a single rib or steak. I didn’t see the fireworks. I was flabbergasted when they told me that Mr. Bilbo had gone missing. How did it happen, and why didn’t anybody tell me? I could’ve had my chance of asking him what that triangle was! I’d never known disappointment so bitter. Why had he given me such a silly toy, when everybody else got magical stuff? That was always my luck! That dotard Bilbo!
Many years passed, and I still kept my triangle, if only because nobody else had anything like it. One day, the Master of Buckland and the Thain came to my shop and suddenly stopped before the shelf next to the window.
‘Oh, look, Faramir!’ Thain Peregrin said. ‘One of them toys, from Dale, is it? I wonder how it got here. You’ve seen this, haven’t you Merry?’
‘I have, actually. Gimli made one just like it for Elfwine.’
I couldn’t help but overhear. They were speaking of my triangle! I took a step or two closer.
‘See here, Faramir,’ Master Meriadoc said. ‘Cover your ears!’
He pushed what had looked like a rock before, and now I realized was a magical button. Out of the triangle came a monstrous roar! Then, an orange flash, and then a dragon burst out of it, only to hide a moment later!
‘Oh, wonderful, Uncle Merry! Do it again!’
And again Master Meriadoc pushed the rock, and out burst the dragon. I must have clapped, capered, yelled, and then I sat on the floor and cried. All these years I’ve had that beauty, and never had I thought to use it, or figure out what it was...
‘Twas a nice, good lesson, you know, the one Mr. Bilbo gave me, and I only hope I learned it right.
Every morning, when I open my shop, I see it. Rather queer, it is- it’s a magical world the one we live in.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.