There was once a young hobbit called Primula Burrowes. Not long after
her seventh birthday, her parents had another baby, and their cosy little
hobbit hole was filled with joy. Little Primula loved to take care of the
baby, who was a beautiful, cheerful, and above all quiet little thing.
But suddenly things changed. Every night the baby would awake screaming
and wailing! Primula would creep out of bed, light a lantern, and hurry
to the baby's room to quiet him, but never was there any sign of what had
caused him to start screaming so. This went on for a week, and then for a
month, and Primula decided that she would get to the bottom of things. So
one night, instead of snuffing her lantern before she climbed into bed,
she carefully shuttered it, then plumped up her pillows, and waited.
The man in the moon smiled down on the Shire, but still the baby's
slumber remained undisturbed. The man in the moon decided that it was
time for him to take his rest, but still the baby slept peacefully. Then,
not long before the first morning birds started their song, an awful
wailing commenced! Primula lept from her bed, and ran to the baby's room,
her lantern in her little hand, and there she found a BOGLE!
Bigger than the Big Folk, paler than starlight, its bright red hair stood
on end upon its scabby crown. It was fatter than any hobbit she had ever
seen, but its arms were spindly and its legs quite bowed. Its head, the
worst part of all, seemed to have been flattened and bent, pummeled and
rent. Scabs and scars covered its face, and a few grotesque whiskers
stuck out at odd angles here and there, as if it had tried and failed to
grow a beard.
Primula squealed! The baby shrieked! The Bogle screamed, then scuttled
out through the open window, disappearing into the fast reddening dawn.
Primula's parents, a pair of stout, sensible hobbits, dashed into the
room, but when she told them her tale, they did not believe a word, and
thought that she herself had been teasing the baby. When she told her
older brother, now in his tweens, he just laughed and called her a silly
baby to make up such a story.
So the next night, Primula hid herself behind a chair in the baby's room.
Not long after midnight she heard a noise at the window, and the Bogle
stole into the room. "Hello, Mr. Bogle," the brave youngster said, for
she had heard stories about his kind and knew what he was. "Please do
not steal my baby brother away and take him for your larder." The Bogle
laughed. "Why, whoever told you that?" he asked. "Bogles do not eat
hobbit babies. But come with me and I will show you what we do."
Not quite knowing why, Primula agreed, and soon she and the Bogle were
creaping across the countryside. At one house they leaned over the roof,
and used a long stick to tap on the window, until the owner threw open
his windows, trying to see what was amiss. At another they stomped about
on the roof, making the most dreadful thumping and bumping. At the farms
they would tease the guard-dogs, then run away, leaving them barking and
howling. They would turn door knobs ever so slowly, until the people
inside thought a ghost was there. And as they went on, the Bogle told her
"A long time ago," he said "a family of hobbits called the Deepdelvings
started to dig out a stupendous hobbit hole. But they dug too deep, and
soon their delvings became so great and so intrictae that the hobbits
became lost underground. For generations they remained in the earth,
digging and delving, and trying to find a way out. But by the time they
did, they found that they were hurt by the sun, and other hobbits were
frightened by their appearance. So now our kind goes about only by night,
knocking and tapping, teasing and tormenting, but never hurting, for
though we are angry that noone wants to know us, still we are good at
And from that night forward Primula was never again afraid if she heard a
tap on the window, a door-knob squeaking, or the dog barking. For she
knew it was just the bogles, going about their nightly routine. And now
that you have heard her story, you never again need be afraid of things
that go BUMP in the night!