This post is in appreciation of a new The Middle-earth Foodie’s subscriber (are there others?) who served up a warm helping of praise with the lament that there was not more.  I hinted that a motivator might be more subscribers.  So I submit this entry, simple as it may be, to say thanks!

Summer is waning and the new school year is upon the children of Hobbiton.  After a hearty breakfast of porridge, the round doors open and the paths fill with little Proudfoots, Brandybucks, Tooks, and Gamgees tramping off to be greeted by Mayor Sam.

Each year since the Scouring of the Shire, Sam has made the same speech to the returning students.  He would not let the memory of Mr. Frodo and Mr. Bilbo fade into the distance, like the Elven ship carrying them off to the Gray Havens.   He, Merry and Pippin would make sure that the lessons of The Fellowship would be remembered for all generations of Hobbits to come.  Never again would the Shire folk stand by while their land, homes, and peaceful way of life was destroyed by evil outsiders.

And so, each year, Mayor Sam calls the little ones to gather around him under the Party Tree.  The parents and elders quiet the excited group and everyone settles in to hear the story of the journey to Mordor and back again. 

Sam’s storytelling now rivals that of Old Mr. Bilbo, and the children listen, riveted, as he draws out the sword Sting and holds up the Mithril vest worn by Frodo.  They shiver at the descriptions of Wraiths, Orcs, Wargs and of the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog.  They fall silent in wonder at the gift-giving in Lothlorien.  Their mouths gape open at the final battle between Frodo and Gollum.  

And with the Mayor’s admonitions to honor the memory of Frodo and Bilbo by respecting the land, keeping loyal to family and friends, and living a peaceful life with all residents of Middle-earth stirring their hearts, a chorus begins to rise from their midst:

Tho men may call us little, and hold that we are weak,
yet we are friends of kings and queens, there’ll be no more defeat! 
The road may lead t’ward dangers, yet we shall not lose heart. 
Evil wizards, wraiths and dragons cannot pull the Shire apart.  
Together we shall thwart them, never yielding to the threat; 
for we are made of stronger stuff than they have seen as yet! 
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