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September 25, TA 3018

Categories: Tolkien Calendar

The hobbits cross the Marish, meet Farmer Maggot, get a ride on his wagon to the Buckland ferry, and cross over into Buckland. They spend the night at Crickhollow.

"Blackriders" by Alan Lee
Tolkien covers a lot of ground this day and devotes a lot of ink in the two chapters, A Shortcut to Mushrooms and a Conspiracy Unmasked, that span the day. The hobbits themselves cover 27 miles from the time they wake up at the encampment with the Elves to retiring at Crickhollow.

There are passages here. Frodo faces and moves past his childhood fear of Farmer Maggot and his dogs (the result of a misspent youth, stealing the good farmer's mushrooms and apples) and learns to accept help from unexpected places. Sam begins his transformation from the simple man and begins to reveal, to those who look, a depth of spirit that is hidden under the mask of a rustic hobbit. There is the theme of the bonds of friendship here. Frodo knows that the time has come to tell his friends that he does not mean to stay at Crickhollow and he doesn't know how to do it. He is beginning to have a glimmer that things are going to be rougher than he had thought and he thought it was going to be dangerous enough that he would not have asked his friends' help in the first place. His friends save Frodo from this dilemma. They have known all along what the plan was. In fact, Merry has known about the Ring since before Bilbo left. Frodo's friends have been readying themselves for this day. They have a plan. Most are going to go with Frodo, except for Fatty who has a different role to play, and there will be no denying them. Frodo, recognizing that it is hopeless to refuse, accepts this great gift. No-one knows at the time, just how great that gift is.

This theme of the needed, but unasked for gift, freely given is also woven throughout the books. There is a strength that comes from doing something out of generosity rather than obligation that brings endurance and courage.

At the end of the day Frodo slips into troubled dreams of sniffing things, white towers and the sound of the sea.
Calendar entry by elizabeth