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High Spirits at Thornley's Worksite

posted Jul 25, 2011, 3:32 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush
By Tibba Stoutfoot  

Last sunday the workers of Thornley's worksite were treated to a sight they certainly never had seen before: A large group of hobbits, accompanied by some men and dwarves, and even an elf or two, walked by their worksite to the Thornley farm and settled around the fire there. Miss Thornley had put up some pots with stew and soup for the hungry travellers, and a fresh keg of ale had been placed close to the tent and benches that had been put up, and soon the sounds of merriment carried over to the worksite. Word of a renowned Shire band playing at the windmill passed from worker to worker, and finally, to their joy, foreman Rosethorn announced that all men had the next two hours off to visit the concert.

It was thus with a large audience that the Songburrow Strollers, initially without Miss Rowana Fairborn, started their third Breeland concert at the mill on Thornley's worksite. And again, the Strollers managed to captivate their audience from the first chord on. Their opening tune, Stock Road, had all the hobbits in the audience hopping about cheerfully in no time, and the following reel made even the tall folk tap their feet and clap their hands. Master Osterby had thought to bring some 'commemorative Strollers hats', and as the time passed, more and more members of the audience wore the distinctive green hats. Master Jiro, again responsible for the fireworks during the concert, put on a magnificent display which caused many an ooh and ahhh among the audience. And through it all the Strollers played, for a crowd that was getting more merry and cheerful with each song. At Brandy on a Sunday some of the audience already joined in the chorus, and during the biscuit song it was not only the hobbits who voiced a sudden craving for a sweet biscuit or two. The dancing bear, an already well known and always welcome sight at concerts and parties in the Shire, made an appearance, which elicited some comments among the tall folk who had never seen it before. Halfway through the concert, a loud cheer went up when Miss Rowana, who unfortunately had been returning late from a journey, hopped up on the stone steps of the mill that served as the stage and joined her fellow Strollers. As the hours went by, little and tall folk alike swayed to the tunes and hopped about merrily, and by the time the Strollers started the Bywater Hopping Song, even the tall folk had warmed up enough to hop as high as they could reach. Shouts of "Strooollers!" filled the air, and when the band played their last song for the day, Home Sweet Home, many voices joined in the chorus.

After the concert, the band packed up their instruments and went back to Bree for an after-concert party, while Thornley's workers returned to the worksite whistling many a cheerful Strollers' tune. There was unanimous agreement among the workers that this had been the most spectacular event ever to take place around. To quote one of the men: "Marvellous show! Never seen anything like it."