Poem - the Ballad of Letti Sweettoe
Post date: Dec 08, 2013 11:12:21 AM
By Simbo Rumblebelly
Now Letti Sweettoe was a lass
Who lived by Tuckborough Hall
And every Sunday she would work
At cleaning round Great Smials
For with her duster in her hand
She'd sweep and wipe all round
The dust was blown from off the books
And cobwebs brushed all down
One day whilst cleaning off some books
One fell upon the floor
When Letti reached and opened it
A map was what she saw
But Letti couldn't read so well
So knew not what it told
But seeing pictures of a chest
She thought it lead to gold!
She hid the book within her coat
On leaving work that day
Deciding rather eagerly
She'd hunt it right away
But where to start she was not sure
For words she could not read
Yet lines were dotted on the map
To treasure they must lead!
She recognised a picture first
A drawing of the Smials
And jagged lines from out the door
Led Eastward to the fields
Was that the symbol of a wood?
Perhaps the willow tree?
She made her aim to head there first
To see what she could see
She prodded at the Willow's roots
And hunted round and round
In bushes and beneath the rocks
No treasure could be found
This eager searching left her tired
And time began to creep
So resting up against the trunk
She had a little sleep
Her dreams were full of gold and gems
Of necklaces and rings
And splendid coloured silken clothes
Such fancy special things
But Letti startled from her dreams
As voices she did hear
And down the path she saw in dread
Some brigands skulking near!
She dived behind a nearby bush
And hid there just in time
Too late though Letti realised
The book she'd left behind!
And horror struck as she then saw
The brigands picked it up
The leader of them studied hard
And started speaking up...
"This book it tells of boundless wealth
It's held at Tuckborough Hall
Let's get our clan and then attack
So we can claim it all!"
And when the brigands sauntered off
Young Letti turned to run
"I have to warn the Thain!" she cried
"Oh what is it I've done!"
So, Letti ran and ran and ran
Until she reached the hall
And knocking on the oaken door
She gave a mighty call
"Oh Thain", she cried, "Please come at once,
"For Tuckborough is in strife!"
"And brigands come this very way"
"With axes, clubs and knives!"
The Thain tried calming Letti down
"Now lass, what's this you say?"
"It must be nigh on fifty years"
"Since brigands came this way"
So, Letti paused and took a breath
And told the story true
How brigands had now got the book
And what they planned to do
The Thain's old face turned ashen white
He knew that doom was near
Determination then took hold
He said "We must not fear!"
Beside the door there was a bell
The Thain he rang it loud
Then bounders from around the town
Did form an eager crowd
The Thain addressed the bounders there
"Do heed what now I say"
"For trouble comes to Tuckborough Hall"
"We must defend this day"
He turned to face young Letti next
"It best that you now hide"
"Fear not, we'll foil the brigands plans"
"To raid what lies inside"
The brigands came within the hour
Their voices full of spite
They smashed apart the wooden gates
The bounders then gave fight!
And trembling deep within the hall
The noise made Letti weep
The clash of arms on shield and stone
And cries that pierced deep
The battle lasted many hours
But with the setting sun
The brigands had not broke the line
The hobbits had now won!
Though bruised and battered, cut and scratched
Such evil they had braved
But now they stood triumphantly
And Tuckborough Hall was saved!
The Thain stood proudly by the Hall
With Letti by his side
"It's time, my dear, for you to learn"
"The treasure that we hide"
"Not gold, nor gems, but something more"
"So come and take a look"
"It's knowledge that we treasure most"
"That's held within these books"
So Letti never would forget
She heeded what she heard
And soon she learnt to read and write
To treasure all the words
And poems were her favourite
She came to write in time
Perhaps it was young Letti then
Who wrote this very rhyme....?