Tag Archives: shire

1661. Feet in the Shire

(Thanks to Matthew for suggesting the opening sentence).

He lived on hills resembling ‘The Shire’ and his feet were covered with curly hair. His name was Bartholomew Baggins and his solo mother always said that his father was a hobbit. He thought it was a big fib, but now that he’d reached puberty he began to suspect, with his hairy feet, that what his mother claimed was true.

Bartholomew always wore shoes to school, even though sandals (and even bare feet) were permitted in summer. That was to cover up his emerging hobbitness. He was ashamed to think that his father was a hobbit. No one had seen a hobbit, and even though everyone liked hobbits in books and films there wasn’t a person at his school who believed they actually existed. They would make fun of his hairy feet.

And then, one evening, Bartholomew left his mother’s house. There was a full moon although ragged clouds scuttled across the night sky. He knelt down and drank rainwater that had gathered in a strange footprint in the garden. Bartholomew stood and howled to the moon. He was covered in hair. He was on his first hunt.