West of the Moon
A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive
A tale of a hobbit lad and a wizard's advice
Once on a time, a long time ago,
there was a hobbit afraid of the snow.
He was happy with sunlight, he delighted in rain,
but each year he was fearful when Winter came.
He'd hide in the smial, he'd hide in the shed,
and burrow under the covers when he was in bed.
His dad called him ninny, said it's all fol-de-rol.
"If you don't stop this nonsense, you'll be no use at all!"
"But it's all so white, like a shroud of the dead!"
"Now who put this foolishness into your head?
"Snow comes to the ground to give it a rest,
for it too needs to sleep, and you know that is best."
But the lad was still fearful, uncertain was he.
'til one day he was sitting out under a tree.
And who should come by, but old Gandalf the Grey,
who asked most politely, "What ails you today?"
The lad said, "I'm frightened, Winter's coming back here,
and with it the cold, and the snow that I fear."
"Ah," said the wizard, "I understand that."
And he stood for a moment, then took off his hat.
He looked out at the Shire, then up at the sun,
and the lad thought with sadness, He's going to make fun.
But the wizard sat down, and patted his hand,
saying, "It's like death, isn't it, when snow covers the land?"
Then the lad's eyes did brighten, and he said, "Yes, that's it!
It frightens me awfully, though Dad says I'm a git."
"Your Dad should not say that, you're more right than you know,
for it's only through trouble that we even have snow."
And he told the young lad a very old tale
of when the world was first made, midst battles and travail.
"If the Dark One had not been so bent on harm,
there'd be no ice or snow, and we'd always be warm.
But that does not mean you should hide in your fear,
for Winter is only a part of the year.
Each year Spring prevails, and Winter will flee,
and the warmth will return. Just you wait, and you'll see."
The lad was still doubtful, his face very grave.
And the wizard thought, How can I help him be brave?
He said, "I can see that you still feel some doubt,
But perhaps I can help to drive it all out."
Then Gandalf bent down and gestured him near,
whispering some words into his little ear.
The lad listened closely, his eyes wide and bright,
for the words seemed themselves to be woven of light.
They rippled and sparkled, like stars through a tree:
No bannen, loss, no milui enni!
The light of the words drove the fear from his heart.
They called back the sun, and made shadows depart.
Then the wizard laid a finger aside of his nose
and his eyes, they fair twinkled, and his left eyebrow rose.
"It's a most ancient spell of the Elves against snow,
and thus a great secret, which none other may know."
The lad nodded gladly, and gave the old man a grin,
squaring his shoulders and lifting his chin.
"My thanks, Mr. Gandalf, for your kind trust in me,
I give you my word none will hear it from me."
They shook hands on the bargain, and the lad bowed most low.
And he waved to the wizard, who then watched him go.
The hobbit proved true, for he never did tell,
so the Elven-words served him for long years, and well.
And the wizard? Well, he just put on his hat,
and turned back to the road.
And as they say, that is that.
"Is there really such a person as Gandalf, sir?"
"Indeed there is. He's as real as you or I."
That brought on a thoughtful pause. "Do you think I might meet him some day?"
Frodo smiled. "I'm sure you will, Sam. I'm sure you will."
Back to Gen Story Listing