The Royal Interview

Post date: May 15, 2019 2:46:16 PM

By Peppy Bristlebrush 

Last night, I met with the new Shire May Queen, Granmama. We had a nice conversation at a table in the Ivy Bush and enjoyed a few mugs of ale together. Here is a transcription of that interview. 

Peppy: Hullo Granmama! Or do you prefer "your majesty"? 

 Granmama: Oh, let's get this out of the way immediately! None of that formal nonsense on my behalf, please, me dear! Granmama will do fine. Miss Granmama is... not right, I think.

Peppy: May I ask, what is your full name?

 Granmama: Granmama is a title , just like Miss. I used to be called Miss ofcourse, in my younger years. They called me Miss Cleoma, which is my given name.

Peppy: So we can call you Granmama Cleoma?

 Granmama: If you so wish. I like that better than Miss Granmama. After my wedding I became Madam Proudfoot, as my husband was Bearhart Proudfoot, may he rest in peace.

Peppy: And your marriage was blessed with children?

 Granmama: Oh, yes. Quite a few of them, actually.

Peppy: That must have felt good!

 Granmama: Aye, it did, pet.

Peppy: And when they grow up and had children of their own, you became Granmama?

 Granmama: You guessed it. Clever lad! *smiles*

I never liked the the word Gammer, so I asked them to call me Granmama.

Peppy: And your husband became Grandaddy or Granpapa? Of just Gaffer?

 Granmama: Agh, sadly he has never known his grandchildren. He would have loved them, I am sure.

Peppy: Oh, that is sad! He died at a young age?

 Granmama: Too young, dear, too young! He was only 45 years of age.

Peppy: I'm sorry to hear that, Granmama.

We both raised our glass to the late Bearhart Proudfoot.

Peppy: So you were called Madam Proudfoot, not Missus Proudfoot? Where did you live? Where are you from, I mean. Granmama: Aye, Madam Proudfoot, as they say it in Oatbarton.Peppy: Oatbarton! O, but then you must know Pete Proudfoot, the Onionfarmer? Granmama: Ofcourse I do, dear, as I know everyone in Oatbarton and they know me.Peppy: You can often be found in taverns, is that right? Is that why you wanted to meet here, at the Ivy Bush? Granmama: I like the atmospere in the Shire's taverns. And each of the innkeepers I count among my friends. It's a nice place to meet your fellow-hobbit and enjoy a nice mug of ale.

Peppy: Green Dragon Friday?

 Granmama: Oh, aye! A wonderful gathering every week. Unfortunately I cannot go there each week, but I go as often as I can. You know, I heard they are running the Green Dragon Fridays for 11 years already! I wish I had known before. I am now a late adopter, you could say.

Peppy: Why doesn't Oatbarton have a tavern?

 Granmama giggles: O, a good question! I think we like things informal there and we gather at someone's burrow or barn occasionally, if not regularly. Especially when the harvest has been brought in. Also, nasty things live just North of Oatbarton, out of the bounds, so we tend towards the South and end up in the Plough and Stars.

Peppy: We must also discuss your election as Shire May Queen, Granmama.

 Granmama: Sure, pet, what do you want to know? I still put on my knickers one leg at a time, you know.

Peppy chuckles: May I interpret that as "I am Granmama in the first place and Queen only second place"?

 Granmama: O aye, well put, me dear. But that does not mean that I don't see the importance of  having and being a Shire Queen! I take it quite seriously and the importance lies in being there to help Nature in producing bountiful harvests. That is the May Queen in it's essence, in my opinion.

Peppy: I was wondering: how exactly is that done? Does the floral crown come with a user guide?

 Granmama shakes her grey head: No pet, no guide. Guidance.. aye! It is done first of all, by all the hobbits in the Shire, by electing a Shire May Queen. That is it, really. And as Queen it is my job to keep that spirit of togetherness alive. The Shire is not fed by the produce of farmers alone! We all play our part.

Peppy: You mean like: "Together we stand, divided we fall"?

 Granmama: Exactly! I already noticed you are a clever lad, Peppy dear!

Peppy: Are there things you'd like to change in the Shire during your period of reign?

 Granmama: Well, it is not the role of each year's Queen to make changes. And certainly not by enforcing them. But I do like to educate the youngsters so they grow up to be fine Hobbits.

Peppy: By sending them all to school or back to school?

 Granmama: No no, not like that. I like telling stories, as you may know. Stories that have a meaning, a message in them. Some are very old stories. I don't make them up myself, but they were told to me by my own mother and gammer. And I tell them to my children, grandchildren and everyone who cares to listen to them. In that sense, I regard you all as my grandchildren, my own kin. I be Granmama to each and everyone of them!

Peppy: So what will be the lesson of your next stories?

 Granmama: Well, an important lesson is: "Don't hoard, but share!" Even if you like something very much, it gives more joy seeing others enjoying it as well, than to keep everything to yourself like a real niggard.

Peppy: Oh, are you now addressing certain biscuit lovers or ore collectors?

 Granmama: Certainly not, but if the boot fits, the owner of the foot can choose to wear it. That's an old Stoor proverb.

Peppy nods: Wonderful. I think our readers will now know more about you, after having read this interview. Thank you very much for agreeing to having this conversation.

 Granmama: My pleasure, Master Peppy, me dear. May all your readers have a lovely Summer!