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Author Topic: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour  (Read 148 times)

May Gamgee

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Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« on: July 21, 2020, 03:09:53 PM »
With five siblings, it was a rare occurrence for May to wake up and find a quiet, empty house. Well, almost empty. Marigold was hanging about, but confessed that she would soon be on her way as well, just running errands, and only as far as Ma would allow the Twenty-year old Hobbit to venture by herself, and to some neighbors. Her brothers were no doubt helping the Gaffer with Mister Bilbo's garden, or other such chores associated with it. Ma was in town, perhaps with Daisy also.

She'd left a list and explanation of her errands, asking if while she was in the market if May wouldn't mind running an errand for her and picking up some mushrooms Farmer Maggot had promised. While they could get mushrooms closer in to Hobbiton, it was in response to a favor done. Still, it was quite a trek, or near as a trek still within the Shire could be, but if May could manage it, it would be appreciated, her mother wrote, and had in truth mentioned it just the other day also, yet stated she could get one of the boys to do it if May was unable.

May would not have tagged even the long trek across the Shire as an adventure, it was still very shy of that, and just an errand done.

Along with Daisy, May made up the middle of the Gamgee's brood of six, and they were all very close in age, with about four years between each, yet Daisy, Hamson and Halfred had always just seemed so much more capable to May growing up, by definition of older brothers and her older sister's confidence as well. If any of them were home, she would have left it to them to decide and probably go, but with her seven years, she felt more than capable.

And Marigold was more than capable of seeing to the house in that time and running her own errand.

Still a big responsibility for 'the baby' of the house, but May also knew her sister could do it, and for while she was about the house and before she headed out herself. May hitched up the pony to her father's cart she planned to borrow for the day and trip, and set out.

~~~~

It would be a lie for May to try to claim that Farmer Maggot's dogs didn't scare her, at least a bit. Thankfully he knew she, or someone from the Gamgee household, was coming, and so he was within his fields to restrain them. They were more bark than bite, anyway, he said, smiling as he knew her own association probably came from young Master Frodo Baggins' stories of when he and his cousins would sneak into his fields, and how a young Hobbit and his memories would blow such out of proportions.

He had the sack of mushrooms for her, and, compliments of her mother, May handed over some biscuits baked just the other day. "My mother had more of a hand in them than I did. I'm afraid, without guidance, I'm better at dishes then sweets", she said with a smile. "Oh, I'm sure they're great, Lass, thank-you", Farmer Maggot assured her. Then, so the lady of his house, his wife, wouldn't get onto him for lack of manners, he invited her to stay for tea, but May declined, stating she should really get started on heading back.

For all of her resolve, and the mushrooms that had to be delivered safely back home, May still paused as she passed quite close to some of the woods that bordered this part of the Shire. Master Bilbo said he'd tracked (and found!) Elves within those woods when he was a young lad, and on visits to relatives.

Of course, they were probably just stories, like much of what he also said had occurred when Gandalf lured him from the Shire and off on an Adventure. The Gaffer raised his children to be sensible, while still respecting their betters, and so he had never stated, in so many words,  that he felt the Master of Bag End was lying, but he also sort of scoffed the notion of much of what Mister Bilbo had said had happened.

May...had believed it once, and been as taken in as any of the other young Hobbits who listened to him. What did she think now, and now that she was grown? she wondered to herself as she gazed off into the branches. She still tended to believe it had happened, but as to if she would ever...

The Hobbit lass' thoughts to herself were interrupted as she thought she caught a rustle of...something. She wasn't sure what. Though it was broad daylight, in the Shire, her hands tightened on the reigns as she continued to peer through the branches. Something rooted her to her seat, and told her to just whip the reigns up and head home. Be sensible. Sort the mushrooms where they went and for Ma's use.

In line with what she'd just been thinking before noticing the disturbance, she recalled how, even in her tweens, Mister Bilbo's stories had put the wild idea into her head to wonder what even Bree was like. She'd even asked to accompany Mister Frodo once when he came over to this part of town to visit relatives, and joked Merry and Pippin might just drag him off to the town if he didn't watch himself!

Not that she'd really thought any of the older lads would go beyond the borders of the Shire...still, being the kind Hobbit he was, Frodo had agreed to let her come with him and come to take her along the next day...only she'd backed out. Upon reflection, it didn't seem like such a good idea, and she'd be under foot, she claimed, thanking him for the offer but staying home and helping her mother that day.

May caught the sound again, and bit at her lip. It could of course, just be a squirrel, but...she didn't think so for some reason. Or her curiosity was sufficiently peaked. She glanced to the pony once more, and before she could even think through her actions, was securing the reigns to the cart and getting down. "Just stay put, Sagebrush", she told the pony lightly, and continued to walk forward.

Peering into the woods, just for a clue as to what it was, wasn't following a Wizard off to unknown places. There were still miles between the two extremes, and...yeah, just a bit of sensible curiosity satisfying. Maybe it was even something Farmer Maggot should be alerted to, and she was doing a neighborly favor, even living so far away.

"H-Hello?", May called lightly, realizing she'd stepped a bit farther in that she'd anticipated and meant to, but she could still faintly see the gap where the road was. After confirming this, she glanced around once more, "I-is anybody here?". She felt a bit foolish for asking, but did anyway.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 05:13:24 PM by May Gamgee »

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Alvelin

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Re: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 04:29:22 PM »
Alvelin had spent a length of time in Bree before venturing into the Old Forest, then taking a ferry from Standelf, over the Brandywine, to Rushey. From there, she was hiking her way north, to the other end of the Marish, intending to head west to visit more of the Shire. There was no hurry to her step as the Elf strolled along, sightseeing the countryside and chatting with those she happened to cross paths with.  Alvelin looked forward to these trips to the Shire. These hills and its Hobbits had their own homely charm that appealed to her inner child, back when she was carefree and content with the world.

She slowed her step in curiosity, noticing a small cart parked on the side of the road. A pony was hitched to it, but oddly, there was no one in the driver's seat, nor anyone around Alvelin would assume to be the cart's owner. The pony raised its head from grazing, keeping a wary eye on the stranger as Alvelin approached to investigate. There were a few sacks in the cart, nothing that appeared to be stolen, no signs of a struggle… Otherwise the pony would have been on edge, not standing calmly as it was now.

"Where's your driver?" She whispered, using her Elven magic to tap into the creature's mind.

The pony's ears and head gestured to the forest nearby. Alvelin caught the hint. The pony was waiting for its owner to return, if not growing anxious as well, the longer its owner was away. Perhaps the owner had run into unexpected trouble. Clearly the pony felt conflicted, whether or not to go searching after its owner.

Never mind. You stay here, Alvelin assured the pony. I'll check up on it.

She entered the woods, and soon picked up on the trail, which led her to a young Hobbit woman. With the Hobbit's attention fixed elsewhere, Alvelin's sudden appearance might come off as an unintended surprise, as she came up from behind.

"Hello?"

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

May Gamgee

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Re: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2020, 02:51:07 PM »
The longer May stood there, the more foolish she felt. Honestly, May scolded herself, What did you expect, that....

"Hello?"

There was an answer to her call! And quite near! May spun around, not even having to search for the voice. Her first thought, upon spotting the lady, was that she had stumbled upon one of the Big People, and...she probably wasn't wrong in that assumption, but upon looking closer she also didn't think it was one of the Rangers she had heard about.

What Sam would say sometimes, about Elves in the woods, when he was sure their father couldn't overhear, came back to May.

Of course, that probably was just childish speculation. "Hello", May answered back, giving a small curtsy along with her greeting, and just so, whatever else, she wouldn't be thought rude, though she continued to glance the stranger over shyly and a bit unsure; though if she meant ill she would have indicated such by now.

And May was the one wandering the woods in a manner no sensible Hobbit would!

"I...I thought...I thought I heard something", her explanation didn't seem to help much, or May didn't think it really did...just made her sound more foolish.

"Oh! But Sagebrush!", May recalled her pony with a start, as well as the mushrooms she had to get home! "Excuse me", she gave another curtsy, and began to make her way past the stranger, when she paused and glanced to her again. "A-are you a Ranger?", despite her previous words, about her haste, she took the time to ask. Curiosity and Duty warring.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 05:14:12 PM by May Gamgee »

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Alvelin

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Re: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 12:54:46 PM »
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle," Alvelin apologized ahead of time, as soon as the Hobbit spun around. "I saw your pony out there and I…just wanted to make sure you weren't in any trouble."  Alvelin smiled kindly (oblivious of how stalker-like that sounded in the moment), hoping to set the stranger's surprise at ease, and glanced curiously around the wood. "Are you looking for something?"

A quick scan with her senses couldn't detect anything of a threat nearby, but before she could respond, the Hobbit was already excusing herself in a hurry. 

"Oh, no, I'm not one of them," Alvelin chuckled light-heartedly at the young Hobbit's query. "Just an…ordinary traveler." She could see why she might be mistaken for a Ranger, to an untrained eye of the Shire, especially with her travel tunic and cloak on, dressed in dusky brown and green, and her hunting bow.  Her ears poked slightly through the flyway strands of her loose braid, not as much of an effort to hide them this time, though they were smaller than most of her kind and gently pointed anyways, they could almost be mistaken for Man ears at a distance.  Picking up on the Hobbit's naivety, Alvelin would hint, "I take it you've never met an Elf before?"

She would accompany the Hobbit, exiting the woods and heading back over to where Sagebrush was patiently waiting.  Her former inspection of the cart had noted a few mushrooms that had toppled out of a loosened opening in one of the sacks, but feeling it wasn't polite to touch a stranger's belongings (and possible evidence, on the off-chance it might be a crime scene), had refrained from doing so at the time. 

"A lot of mushrooms, I see. Are you a seller?" She asked the Hobbit. "If you don’t mind, I would buy a few off of you." Her amber eyes lit up hopefully, hunger emanating from them as her appetite roused. "How much for a pound?"
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 02:06:34 PM by Alvelin »

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

May Gamgee

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Re: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 12:46:05 AM »
The stranger's tone, as she assured she was just checking up because May had left Sagebrush and the wagon unattended (a valid reason!), lent credence to her claim. Not that May was suspicious to begin with. There were Hobbits who would have been. Even with the sheltered, easy atmosphere of the Shire, Hobbits could be their own brand of suspicious.

Her own father, while not perpetuating the spread of gossip, was also practical, and had a firm glance that could send anyone without business in Hobbiton along on their way. Yet he employed a form of intuition in doing such, and could generally tell 'Bad Folk'. May felt she could too, and didn't feel this woman fit that.

Though, as intuition, all of this decision making passed by in an instant, and even as May excused herself.

The woman then laughed, kindly, but apparently it had been a naive assumption on May's part, calling her a Ranger. The stranger was instead, by her own admission, Just an…ordinary traveler. Well, even those were something in the Shire! Yet, May could still tell there was something about her, and tried to fathom it, with her limited experiences, when she was given a small clue.

Well, more than a small clue.

"I take it you've never met an Elf before?"

The young Hobbit's eyes widened. A real Elf?! Like in Mr. Bilbo's stories? And like she and some of her siblings would at times whisper about? No one, not even Daisy, had ever seen one this close!

Suddenly May's rash idea to come into the woods didn't seem so unusual...except...the Elf admitted she had been following May, not already there. So she hadn't been the noise May had heard.

Well, however it had occurred, she was now speaking to an Elf!

"No Miss, I haven't", May shook her head, still looking properly awed, and before recalling her error.

The Elf accompanied her on her exit from the woods to check back up on Sagebrush and the wagon, for which May was pleased, wanting to still speak with her. Wait until she told Sam and Daisy! A real Elf!

Said Elf approached the cart, while May continued to just watch her in interest.

"A lot of mushrooms, I see. Are you a seller?"

"Oh, no Miss", May shook her head, "They're from Farmer Maggot's farm, not far from here, over closer to the boarders and Buckland; and given to me and my family in neighborly swapping, you understand". May pointed out the general direction. "I'm not really anything myself yet, though my father, Hamfast Gamgee, tends Mister Bilbo Baggin's garden in Hobbiton", humble though they, and the job, were, May smiled slightly in pride at her father and the fine job he, and the whole Gamgee family really, was known for. "I'm May", she went on to introduce with a cordial nod.

"I believe Ma was going to make her famous soup with most of them, though I could still sell you some, I suppose". Even by the agreement of neighbors unofficially bartering it was theirs, or her parent's perhaps more properly, but...May felt authorized enough to decide the fate of about a pound, and with what Farmer Maggot had given. Though she was no seller enough to know what a good exchange rate was...

"Um...well I couldn't in good conscience charge more than a few ducats at most for even a pound, the mushrooms being given to us due to a favor in the first place". Farmer Maggot could probably charge more, having grown them.

A thought next struck May and she smiled almost shyly, "That or...another trade for some of the interesting stories you no doubt have, being an Elf and all", May answered before common sense could stop her, though it quickly did. She glanced aside shyly, but, though she should, couldn't find the words to retract the offer. Since she did genuinely want to hear of anything the Elf might have to tell.

Still it would be best if her family didn't discover how foolish, childish, and audacious she had been to say such!


{So I quite possibly over thought how much May would charge for these mushrooms :D But according to Tolkien Gateway, Bilbo spent "his last fifty" ducats on his party, and if I read that as spending around your last Fifty Bucks, makes sense to me to average them at around a dollar/she would probably only charge a few at most, and for reasons stated. Looking up actual ducat conversion got me nowhere except for knowing the term would hold up}
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 05:15:20 PM by May Gamgee »

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Alvelin

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Re: Don't Underestimate the Dangers of Flour
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 03:23:48 AM »
Alvelin failed to stifle another grin at the Hobbit's awed expression, wondering what the preconceived notions of Elves were… She hoped her first impression wasn't a disappointment, though she didn't consider herself too ethereal-looking or radiant with starlight at evening. Hmm, perhaps that sort of aura came with age?

"Alvelin, of Lindon." She gave a small curtsey in light-hearted fashion, introducing herself in turn, after May. "You can call me Alvy, or Ava, if you like." At the mention of Farmer Maggot, Alvelin's eyes had lit up in recognition, nodding in understanding. "Ah, Farmer Maggot's. I just came that way myself, down the Marish; through the Old Forest; from Bree. I have seen his face a few, though not as old as he is now, the first time we met." Baggins and Gamgee were also familiar to her, though it was no reason to brag, considering how large Hobbit families were, making each surname widespread throughout the Shire. Some being more renowned than others. Baggins in particular…

She had good faith in the hospitality of Hobbits, but not intending to cause discomfort or wear out her welcome, Alvelin was fully prepared to camp out in the woods, and a few roasted mushrooms would do well for a light supper to stay her hunger for the night. If she could help it, not having to spend valuable coin or spill innocent blood of a creature for food, sharing a few stories of her travels seemed like a harmless and fair trade. No need to ask this Elf twice. She didn't set out to explore the world to keep all her tales of adventure to herself!

"Ha. A deal!" Alvelin leapt at the opportunity, nearly forgetting about the mushrooms in her excitement. It wasn't often a Hobbit of all races would be curious to know of anything beyond the Shire. "Where shall I begin?" She spread out the buffet of regions and topics for May to choose from. "Closer to home, like the Old Forest? Or Bree? Or perhaps something farther out, like…Rohan? Or Gondor? Oh, the Corsairs! Have you ever heard of pirates?" She burst into a lively sea shanty, spring in her step, being too immersed in storytelling (mainly through song; not confiding her journeys to pen and paper - anything materialistic that might be lost or stolen from her - she often wove them into ballads for easier recollection) and other conversation in between to feel fatigue as she kept up beside the Hobbit's cart.

"Have you an interest in gardening, like your father?" She'd inquire on a more personal note, getting to know May a bit better.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 10:01:58 AM by Alvelin »

Dialogue: Mannish | Sindarin | Quenya

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