Another day of contrasts: from a dark horror to warm light. Our hobbits struggle to find their way through the Great Forest toward the Withywindle, and decide to take a much-needed rest with their backs against a nice willow tree. We all know what happens next! Here we begin to see the extent of Tolkien's healthy respect for trees: he makes them sentient beings.
Sam begins to show his true colors: "'We might try to hurt or frighten this tree to begin with,' said Sam fiercely. 'If it don't let them go, I'll have it down, if I have to gnaw it.'"
But Sam's teeth are saved this ordeal by the emergence of one of the strangest and most mysterious characters in The Lord of the Rings