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Interview with Master Baro on the Friends of Clover Farm

posted Jun 26, 2013, 12:42 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush
By Akelay Rumblebelly 

As my reliable and trusted provider for vegetables, Master Baro has become a good friend of mine during the last years. Since he is leaving the Friends of Clover Farm only for trips to the fields in Hobbiton, I thought it might be nice to introduce him to my fellow hobbits and asked him if he would be willing to give an interview for the local Gazette. He has kindly agreed. So last time I went to get some carrots and mushrooms, he invited me for tea, for which I brought some catfish cakes, of course. 
Akelay: "Master Baro, you are a farming dwarf. That is something I had never heard of before ..."

Barogrim: "Actually, there are only few farming dwarves, but they do exist. Dwarves do eat, you know, and not only roast meat. Mind you, there is some nice farmland in Thorin's Hall. But of course, even a farming dwarf will spend most of his time with other things like ore, armour, tools and weapons."

A.: "I myself grew up next to the dwarven house in Needlehole and have learnt a little about ore. And so have some of my fellow Order hobbits, like Master Jiro, Miss Nimelia or Miss Spriggy, to name a few. They are great with ore and tools. But when we first met and I wanted to talk about ore with you, you were not very pleased, to put it friendly."

B.: *chuckles* "Yes, indeed, it seems I gave you quite a fright back then, didn't I? Sorry about that. Well, I grew up in Thorin's Hall and both my parents were farming dwarves. Which means that about ninety percent of their time was spent making chainmail armour. But the rattling of chainmail did not interest me the slightest in my childhood years. I was bored by the other dwarven children talking about ore, ore and ore constantly. I myself was only playing on the farmland, planting seeds and looking what they became when they sprouted. I had my first own mushroom field when I was five."

A.: "But, that IS a bit unusual for a dwarf, isn't it?"

B.: "Actually, that is totally unusual. I am guessing that something like this can only happen if two farming dwarves from a line of farming dwarves get married. Somehow I got all the farming family heritage - and only that. When I did not even pay attention in the most basic mineralogy and mining lessons, every one of the teaching dwarves was alarmed and my parents very much ashamed. Coming of age, I had not even passed one of the exams and finally was thrown out of Thorin's Hall. They simply did not know what to do with me. Can't blame them."
*a single tear rolls down into his beard*

A.: "Dear me! I did not know that. I am so sorry... But, what happened next?"

B.: "At first I had to go and, well, find someone I would be more welcome with. I was surprised to find warmer lands that were much more appropriate for farming than the frozen grounds around Thorin's Hall. But the inhabitants, long and slender beings, to not name anyone directly, were suspicious of me and a little unwelcoming and thus I wandered on. In a large vale full of clover I made camp and spend a few wonderful days there, in warm sunshine and with bees buzzing, butterflies flying from flower to flower, a lovely place. Then, on my seventh day in the Vale of Clover, as I call it, I caught myself a fish and was just about to roast it over the camp fire, when a strange being attacked me. It was giant, had long legs that looked like branches and a body like a pillow of moss. From what I know now, they are not living in the Shire at all, so it must have been a stray from somewhere far away."

A.: "Very strange indeed. I have not the slightest idea what that could have been. A giant spider, perhaps?"

B.: "Something even larger. Never seen anything like it again though. But there I was, nothing to defend myself with than the fish, which I used to slap the beast. I yelled for help - and help came. Actually, from every direction someone came. Well, seven altogether. Are there seven directions? Oh, never mind. So, there were three hobbits, two elves and two women, all travelling on their own for different reasons, and by sheer luck they were all in this valley at the same time. They saved my life and we spend a happy meal together, roasting that beast instead of my fish and eating it together. We ended up as friends. When I founded the Friends of Clover Farm, they all came to help digging the burrow, and now and then one of them passing the Shire comes here to stay overnight and get some fresh vegetables or mushrooms."

A.: "Which are of best quality, as I know from a reliable source. Now, how do you feel, living among the hobbits of the Shire? Aren't you a little bit homesick? Have you seen your parents since?"

B.: "I am very happy to live among you little fellows. You like the things I like: Farming, good food, a nice ale, music, and fishing. I like it when the neighbours call me Baro, sounds almost as if I was a hobbit myself, doesn’t it? I have been to Thorin's Hall only once after settling down here in Bramblebury, and only to learn that both my parents died in a cave-in. Another reason to keep my nose out of the mining business! It is utterly dangerous! The worst thing that can happen here is a tent-in, should the poles of my mushroom tent break down. Or a shrew invasion."

A.: "Talking about shrew invasions, shrews seem kind of present on your farm."

B.: *chuckles again* "You mean the two statues at our entrance?"

A.: "Yes, the two huge giant shrew statues, and all the shrew pictures in your house and did I see actually two shrew holes near the entrance of this burrow?"

B.: "At the door? No, these are doormice. They are actually shrew-repellent. The shrews come in, see them holes - and them statues and pictures - and think: *speaks with a high-pitched voice* Oh, there is already some shrews living here. Dear me! Then there will be no food left for me!
*and back to his normal friendly voice* and then they leave. Works really good. The doormice are not half as voracious. Feed them a little cheese and they will look after your door nicely. That is why they are called doormice in the first place. And so, our vegetables and mushrooms are safe."

A.: "Now, all the nice vegetables you are providing. Did you ever think of having a boot at the local market in Michel Delving?"

B.: "Actually, I went there last week to sell some cauliflower surpluses, but there was no market held in the square at all!" *looks disappointed*

A.: "Oh, that would be because the market is held only every two weeks. And by the way, it has moved to the ovens now, that area is less frequented by reckless riders."

B.: "Oh, well, that is a good idea then. Then I might try my luck next time."

A.: "I am sure your farming products would be very well received. Well, thank you for the nice tea and this interview!"

B.: "You are very welcome! And that little fellow, too." *tickles little Lyshko as we say goodbye* "And I would not mind you bringing some more of those fishy cakes."


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