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Subject:Primula's Odd Adventure
Author:the Uncle Gamgee
Date:Fri May 1 02:06:01 1998
Id:488

It was just after harvest time in the Shire, and Primula Burrowes had
been sent off to her uncle Balbo's that year, to help bring in the crops.
Now, old Balbo Burrowes lived far off in the north of the Shire, close
by the North Moors, and not far from the Greenfields. The day after most
of the work was done, Primula and her older cousins, Posco, Belba,
Rudiger and Dudo got together a fat old hamper, and went off to the hills
for a picnic. After a hearty lunch of pork pies and cheese, cold meat and
pickles, crusty bread, with lashings of creamy butter, apple tarts,
raspberry jam, mince pies and cold fruit punch they decided to play a
game of hide and seek. A few quick rounds of knife, parchment, pebble
decided that Dudo would be "it", and so the others scampered off whilst
he counted slowly to three hundred (only occasionally counting by twos
or fives instead of ones)

Posco and Belba hid together underneath a little earthy ledge, where a
small runnel had undercut its banks during the spring rains. Rudiger was
fatter than the others, and did not like to run very far, so he hid close
to the picnic hamper, under a scrubby thicket, which turned out to be a
little bit prickly, though this did not bother him too much. "Better a
few small scratches than having to walk too far, right after my lunch,
and perhaps even miss tea-time," he said to himself. But far from missing
tea time, he was found almost as soon as Dudo started to search, for he
could not help but sneak out from his hiding place to nibble at another
mince pie!

Primula wandered about a while, trying to find somewhere to hide herself,
but the moors seemed to offer little shelter, and she really wanted to
outwit Dudo, who had teased her only the day before for being so very
little. After a while she heard a low rumbling noise... but as she looked
about she could see nobody nearby. "Burrraroo-ooo-oooo-oom" it came
again! The sound was low, but it seemed to make the very ground beneath
her feet gently pitch and roll, like ripples on the mill-pond, in time
with the bass reverberation. It seemed to be coming from over the crest
of the hill, so she hurried up the slope, but on the other side, all she
saw was a massive old elm tree, broad of girth, with a massive conical
head of foliage, still quite dark green despite the approach of autumn.
Its thick old roots were bent into the ground, like nothing so much as
bare hobbit toes sinking and digging into a meadow of soft, deep grass.

"How very strange," Primula said to herself, "I never heard of any trees
that grew on the North Moors. But this one will make a very good place to
hide." And quickly she shinned up the tree, to nestle among its heavy
boughs and rustling leaves. Snuggling into the crook of a stout limb, its
rough bark softened by long hairy strands of moss, she was soon quite
comfortable, and as is often the way of a young hobbit after a big picnic
lunch, she drifted into a gentle slumber.

Such strange dreams she had! For she fancied she heard a deep rumbling
song. And such a song of sorrow it seemed to be, for it spoke eloquently
of lovers long sundered, who dreamed of walking together once more, in a
far distant land, where both their hearts might be at rest.

But stranger still was what she saw when she awoke, not long past twi-
light, her tummy grumbling loudly as she had already missed tea time, and
even supper time! She clambered back down from the tree, and looked about
her, and it seemed to her that she was not in the same place. She
wondered how it could possibly be that she had come so far from the place
of their picnic, for she was standing within sight of the Lakehead Trail,
which was said to travel to the ancient lands of the elves. It was a long
walk home for her that night, though luckily the moon shone bright and
smiling in the sky. But to this day, poor Primula cannot explain how she
had come to end the day so very far from her friends.


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