West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
At the Sign of the Hungry Hobbit
On a rainy evening at the Hungry Hobbit Pub, Sam expounds upon life, the Universe, and all that.
AN: Warning: Irreverence toward religious, scientific and literary canon abounds. I may be accused of Atheism, Satanism, heresy and worse for writing this. Tolkien purists might want to burn me at the stake. As for me, I mean no disrespect or harm. All I want is to tell a tale to stave off the dark and the cold as best I may.
AT THE SIGN OF THE HUNGRY HOBBIT
Evenin', sir. Sam's the name, and I'm the owner of The Hungry Hobbit Pub, this fine establishment you've chosen for your drinkin' tonight. I don't usually get into this kind of discussion, but I heard what you said before, that you were searchin' for the truth. You seem sincere in yourself, and I'm of a mind to talk on this rainy evenin', so I've decided to give you just that. Sir? Am I a midget? No, sir, I'm the hobbit of the "The Hungry Hobbit." And that's the first truth I have to tell you. Let me get down off this box and climb up on my stool so I don't have to crane my neck to see you, and we'll talk.
Now, then. Do you see that hobbit in the corner there? Mr. Frodo Baggins, his name is. Him with the dark curls and the blue eyes? No, sir, he's not a midget neither. He's a hobbit too, like me. You can tell by the pointed ears, and the hairy feet, even though they're hidden under the table right now. Most folks that come into The Hungry Hobbit of an evenin' don't believe me when I tell 'em who he is, sittin' over there in his corner, nursin' his glass of single malt and just talkin' quiet with his friends. The two youngsters with him, that's Merry and Pippin, his cousins that work with him in "The Green Dragon," that little bookstore they run two doors down on Digby Street. Folks look at me like I'm a crackpot, they do, if I tell 'em who he is. Some of 'em even go off into foamin'-mad rants, cursin' me an' callin' me a infidel, or a heathen, or sommat like that. Why you'd be surprised how many people, right here in this day and age, are ready to fight over such a thing.
Most of 'em don't believe it when I tell 'em this here Earth wasn't the first one. That'll get 'em ravin', and it don't seem to matter if they're of a religious nature or if they're of a scientific turn of mind. You just try tellin' 'em the first Earth was actually Middle-earth, and it was a flat island floatin' in the great emptiness of the All, and they look at you like you're a few taters shy of a load. They bicker and squabble about it amongst themselves, too, they do. Seems each one of 'em has his own idea of how it all began, and Men would rather argue than eat, if you give 'em their druthers. . .but that's goin' a bit off my track, if you take my meanin'.
Well, ain't I one of them that was there, back when Middle-earth was all there was to it? I am. And I tell you, they've got that all wrong, these Men have, an' it's all the fault of that Tolkien fella. Accordin' to his book, Middle-earth was made by someone called Eru, or Illoovatar or sommat like that, and this here Eru, bein' the big Kahoonie, made smaller gods called the Valar, and then got more creative and did them "Firstborn" Elves, and then Dwarfs came along any old way. And Men was called "The Secondborn", and then there was evil creeturs called orcs that was once Elves. And there was them Maia, which was Wizards when they come to Middle-earth, and the tale tells of how one of them turned to the bad, and decided to make rings of power, and. . . well, it fair makes my head spin, it does, tryin' to sort it all out. It's wrote down for them as wants to read it. Tolkien's tale is all about one of them rings of power, The One Ring, and how a good Wizard planned out how to get rid of the Ring before the evil one could get it back and become the boss of all Middle Earth or some such. And accordin' to Tolkien, he picked out a hobbit to do the job of destroyin' the blasted thing.
Well, this is where I have to laugh. Callin' Gandalf a Maia, like he was some great, powerful creetur that moved folks around like chess pieces on a board to get things done. First off, Gandalf was a cheap conjurer that traveled around with a scruffy fella called Aragorn and a poncy fella called Legless, and they spent mosta their time pullin' tricks on simple folks and cheatin' 'em outta their coppers. Though I will admit Gandalf could put on a pretty show when he could get his hands on some fireworks, but they wasn't magic, anyroad. Folks believe it was all magic and quests and fancy Kings married to beautiful Elf maids and sittin' on thrones back then, but I'm here to tell you, it wasn't. It was mostly mud and dirt and backbreakin' work for the greatest number of folks, so a travelin "wizard" that could put on a show was welcome in most any village or town, and by the time folks realized his medicines didn't work or his charms and spells was fakes, he'd be long gone, on to the next town.
Now, the thing I'm comin' to is about hobbits, and how Mr.Tolkien got it all wrong. He says hobbits were little folk, livin' kind of free and easy in the Shire, and not important to the scheme of things, and that part's just a plain lie. First off, the Shire wasn't part of Middle Earth. It's where hobbits live, and that's a whole other place. The whole tale is made up, and I'm comin' to that, but first, I want to talk about this fella, Tolkien, and how he changed the story to suit himself. He come across a copy of "The Red Book," which was a fairy tale as was wrote for my children by Himself over there. Well, as I said, Tolkien came browsin' in the Green Dragon Bookstore one day. Somehow, little Frodo, that's my son, Frodo, left his copy of the book there and this Tolkien fella got ahold of it and Pippin sold it to him, not payin' attention to what he was sellin'. Tolkien read the tale and there was just parts of it that he couldn't accept no way, and so he gleaned what he could use from it, and then wrote his own version of the story. If he'd been a scientist, he would've probably wrote it about aliens or robots or some such, but he was religious, and so he made it fit in with his way of believin' with demons and angels and redeemers and such, only he called 'em orcs and Valar and The Fellowship. He did get our names right, but that was about all in the world he did get right.
We all met him once, did I tell you that? Yes, we did. We visited him at his home. Nice man, but hard headed, he was, and wouldn't believe us when we told him who we were, and tried to explain where he went wrong when he wrote the tale. Got angry, he did, and told us to get out and stop tryin' to spread a lot of heathen claptrap.
Well, and didn't I say folks don't want to believe me when I tell 'em about Himself over there, and who he really is? Look at 'em. Merry and Pippin, now, they helped with the whole project. No, not the Quest, the real project, and I helped too. It tickles us all that that Tolkien fella wrote that I was Frodo's servant. I was one of his partners, just like Merry and Pippin. Folks in the Shire told us we would fail if we tried it, but we were young and it seemed like a fine way to spend a few days, and so we put our heads together and come up with the whole thing in one day, and Merry drew up the plans, and Pippin thought of all the names of things. I was the one that designed the forests and the flowers and such, of course, as that was my field of interest. But it was Frodo as did the most of the work. He's a demon for work, that one, and we just helped him along when he'd be flaggin', like.
About. . .oh, ten thousand years ago, that was, and we put it all together, then went back to the Shire and let the experiment go its way, to see what would happen. It's only been eighty years or so since we decided to come and visit a while and see how things was goin' along. Well, it was amazin' how complicated everything had got, all because of Men and their blessed need to make up Gods for themselves, and then argue about 'em. Now some folks claim the Earth was started millions of years ago, and some say it was forty thousand, and they've made up all sorts of stories explainin' how it all came to be, and they fight about their theories too, like a lot of children in a schoolyard. Most of 'em don't want to hear any other theory but their own.
But you're one that come in here and sat at my bar and started bewailin' the fact that none of us ever knows the whole truth. Well, stop interruptin' me and I'll tell you what I'm tryin' to say. You won't like it, believe me, but I can tell you the truth about life, the universe, and all that. It's him, that's sittin' over there, sippin his single malt. Him and his cousins and me. We made it, you see. No, not the Red Book. This. All this. We created the starry heavens and the earth, and every living thing on it one afternoon in the Shire. We made it and set it spinnin' somewhere off to the left of The Shire, in the south farthing of the All. That's what we do, see. We create, we hobbits do. Eru? Thor? Any number of other gods? That's us.
I can show you our card, with the name of our business, if you want to see it. We think it's right catchy, if you take my meanin'. Pippin thought of the name, of course, and Merry did the scriptin' of it, and I had the cards printed up. You can keep it, if you like, for a souvenir. Frodo's been talkin' about startin' over, anyway. This experiment got out of control, and we might leave it be and start again, the way we did with Middle-earth. What? Where is Middle-earth? Why, it's still there, out on the eastern corner of the All. Flat was all right, but we had in mind to try something fancier, so we made a round world this time, and we're thinkin' maybe we could try makin' a different shape next time. Here now, don't go swearin' at me, and you can just stop that foamin' at the mouth too. I told you that you wouldn't like it, but you would be to have the truth, and this is that, and no mistake. Here's our card, and you can see our number and our fax right there, along with the name of our business.
GODS R US
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