Tibba

posted Feb 7, 2011, 2:59 AM by Yola Plumblossom   [ updated Feb 7, 2011, 3:01 AM by Bovso Oakengates ]
Oh, you want me to tell about myself? I fear there is not much to tell. I am just a simple farmer, that's all. I never went traipsing through the Shire, or left our bounds to find a fortune, or had an adventure. Before I came to Michel Delving, the most exciting thing ever to happen to me was a journey to Bree when I was very little. And now.. ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. So let's start at the beginning.

I was born and raised on my family's farm in the Bridgefields north of Stock. The farm has been in the possession of the Stoutfoots for many generations, and back when there was still a flourishing trade with Staddle and Bree, we were quite well off. Our family business, 'Ale and Leaf', was well known to the folk in Staddle, who we supplied with Eastfarthing pipeweed and several sorts of home-brewn ales as well as various other produce, whereas they provided us with fine cloth and other commodities of high quality made by the craftsmen of Bree. We also maintained some trade relations with the dwarves of the Blue Mountains, whose trading routes took them by the Shire. But these times are long gone. *sighs* Now we do still trade with the occasional passing dwarf, but do not venture to Bree anymore. Times have been getting rougher, the winters are colder now, and wolves have come back into the Shire. Where as a child I could often see Elves passing at night, and hear their merry songs and laughter, now hardly any of that fair folk can be spotted anymore, and if so, they pass quietly, solemn and intent. They move into the West, and they do not return. Others take their place now in the night, prowling beasts, and it is hardly safe anymore to venture outside... *trails off, then looks up with a start* But I am sorry, I did not want to worry you with our troubles at the eastern border.

Now where was I? Oh yes, we were trading with pipeweed and ale. That was before my days, of course. Now, business is not so good anymore, you see. Of course, our farm is enough to provide us with what we need for living, but not much more. So I decided to come to Michel Delving to see if I could get some suitable new pipeweed seeds. I figured that adding one or two new varieties to our stock might revive trade a bit. Also, one of my nieces, Nimelia (the daughter of my elder brother), who has been raised on our farm, often visits Michel Delving. She is a Bounder, as you know, and travels through the Shire quite often. I was looking forward to seeing her again, so when one of our neighbors went to Michel Delving to buy some goods, I went with him on his cart.

Michel Delving was surprisingly large and busy. A lot more busy than I could ever have imagined, with folk of all races running around there, looking too busy to stop for a chat. I felt very much out of place and would have returned home on the spot, had I not heard some music coming from the market place. As I have always felt myself drawn to music, I followed the tune and came to stand before a hobbit lass in a fancy hat who introduced herself as Miss Maryelle, and who had the kindness to play several tunes just for me. When I expressed my admiration for her play and mentioned that I would love to learn an instrument myself, she gave me the name and address of her teacher. Being thus made welcome in Michel Delving, I arranged for room and board and went to the local farmhand, Master Largo Proudfoot, to see what pipeweed seeds he had in stock. To my pleasure, he had several varieties that looked promising, and he offered to do some experiments to determine which seeds would do well on Eastfarthing soil. Of course, that meant staying in Michel Delving for the autumn, but I did not mind so much anymore and readily took him up on his offer. In turn, I promised to help him with his work.

Now, Miss Maryelle had also told me about a concert of the Songburrow Strollers that was going to be held that same week, so the next day, when I met with my niece in the Bird and Baby after work, we discussed this and decided that since both of us had never been to a concert before (discounting impromptu concerts whipped up by drunken guests in the Golden Perch, of course), we would undertake the long journey to the Greenfields in the north. We did not know what to expect, as we had never heard of the Songburrow Strollers before (their Eastfarthing concert having eluded our notice, I am sorry to say). As you can imagine, we were pleasantly surprised and danced away through the night and well into the morning. At that concert, we also heard about the regular gathering in the Green Dragon on friday nights, and as I was preparing to settle in at Michel Delving for several weeks anyway, an evening of music and dancing with friendly faces around me sounded perfect. At our first visit in the Dragon, Nimelia and I were made very welcome, and we have not missed an evening since.

The days passed quickly, and the leaves had already started to turn yellow and red when Largo Proudfoot told me that the seeds I wanted would most likely not grow well back home. The different soil and climate, you see. As you can imagine, I was disheartened. I travelled back home to my parents to bring them the bad news. But I also told them about the many kind people I had met. And then my dad suggested that I move here and try to establish our business in the Southfarthing. 'The soil is perfect,' he said, 'and you are a good farmer, lass. Grow your pipeweed in the Southfarthing and do us proud.' So I returned to Michel Delving. The whole family chipped in to raise enough money for a burrow for me. My niece, Nimelia, had been planning to buy a burrow too, so we went looking for suitable holes. We found them at a party in Bramblebury, where we met Miss Yola, Miss Akelay and Master Adalbard. After an evening in the company of these most amiable hobbits it was clear to us that we wanted to live in Bramblebury, too. So the very next day, we bought two small burrows in 1 and 2 Harrow Road.

Since then, I have been working on the fields to raise money to buy a farm and some land in the Southfarthing. I help out on the local farms, and sometimes I am employed by travelling scholars to look for special herbs or flowers. I also cook and am pleased to say that my pies were in great demand at the last festival. In the evenings, I practice my lute and harp, and other instruments too. Miss Maryelle's teacher was so kind to arrange tutoring for me on several instruments. In particular my horn and clarinet teachers are pleased with my progress and even suggested that I help them with beginner's lessons to improve my techniques. I also like to read, and not only books on husbandry and cooking, although of course these are of particular interest to me, but also about the history of our people, and about the people who were here before us. But books about these things are hard to come by. Anyway, I am happy to say that I have recently acquired a copy of 'The Baking of Pies', which contains a large collection of pie recipies from all farthings.

Well, that pretty much ends my tale. Or perhaps not quite: After much searching for a suitable plot, Nimelia and I recently bought a large burrow and some farmland in Bartunnel, where Miss Lina and Master Simbo live. The burrow still needs some cleaning, but we have already established our living quarters in one room -- and may I take this opportunity to again thank Miss Lina for her beautiful rug, and Master Simbo for his lovely vase of flowers! The main part of the burrow will be used as workspace and storage rooms for the farm, but I was also thinking of using the main hall for displaying home decorations (since I will more or less run the farm on my own, with hired hands helping out during harvest, the burrow is a bit large for one hobbit). So if there is a young hobbit lass or lad with a newly acquired burrow and still uncertain which furniture would look best, they might consider dropping by at Bartunnel, 5 Harrow Road, and take a look around the entrance and main hall there. Or ask me if I have a certain item they consider buying. If I do, I will gladly put it up at my farm for them to look at.



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