Smeagol, a cheerful hobbit who was about to come of age, as he was now twenty-two, woke up bright and early to help his mother to pick some berries to make a pie. He bustled around in the kitchen, trying not to wake his father and little sister as he found a basket for the berries. Presently, his mother crept downstairs and they took two baskets each and set off at a brisk pace away from their house.
They walked in silence, involved in their own thoughts, and listening to the delightful birds signing as they awoke. Presently, the two reached their berry picking spot and they set to work.
Smeagol hummed a little tune that he had written, about a pretty girl in the village, as he worked and he barely noticed the time. Once he had filled his two baskets, Smeagol returned to his mother with red and black hands, stained from the juice. He absentmindedly flicked a fly from his cheek and left a smear of berry juice across his cheek, but didn’t notice.
`Mother, I’m just going to clean my hands in the Anduin, is that alright?’ he asked politely.
`You had better hurry- we need to visit your grandmother soon,’ she replied as Smeagol ran off. Then she mused to herself as she sorted the berries, `We could always take her a pie or two…’
Smeagol ran quickly to his favourite place of the Anduin, a secluded place that he often fished at with his friends Deagol and Theanol. He spotted their boat, tied up to a tree, and sat on a tree trunk. Looking down the river, he saw others who had arrived or were just arriving to catch their day’s fish.
He spotted Lily and her brother Loarnel and shouted to them, waving as he did so. Lily stood up, tucking a stray piece of her curly blonde hair behind her ear as she did so, and looked around to see who shouted her name. She recognized Smeagol and waved then went back to her work, to Smeagol’s disappointment.
Lily was the beautiful girl that Smeagol often sung about, and he could not help noticing the way she moved so gracefully, or the lovely clothes she wore, or her soft, sing-song voice. He sighed gently and leant forward to wash off the berry juice. The water mixed with the red for a little while, then swallowed up the juice to leave the clear, crystal water showing Smeagol’s reflection.
He smiled contentedly at himself- he wasn’t ugly, but then again, he wasn’t strikingly handsome. His brown hair reached his shoulders and fell rather ungracefully, of which he was pleased of- he’d rather not look like a girl- and his body was fairly well built as he walked quite far to the river, and he needed to be strong to row the boat. Smeagol’s eyes were a sugary hazelnut brown and sparkled when he smiled, which he did often, as he was very friendly and was nice to everyone.
Smeagol had many friends, but his select few, his favourites, were Deagol, Theanol, Loarnel and Lily. He had decided a long time ago that he would make friends by being a kind and considerate hobbit, and the fact that his grandmother was the chief of the Stoors in this area, would have no interference on his friendships. Smeagol was happy that this `plan’ had worked and his friends were trustworthy and loyal.
Realising that he had taken at least ten minutes, Smeagol ran back to his mother quickly, who was standing by the bushes with her hands on her hips. `You took forever. I can’t wait until you become of age and stop being a tween, you may well grow up then,’ she huffed, then, picking up her baskets, she stormed off, back towards their hobbit hole. Smeagol hurriedly grabbed the other two baskets and ran after her, only to be scolded again, `Don’t you dare drop a single berry just because you aren’t being careful enough.’
Smeagol would have been offended, but he was thinking of Lily and he promised himself that at his birthday party, he would ask her to dance.
There were so many preparations for Smeagol’s party and the family never seemed to stop working. They had decided to hold the party in the field next to the house, as it was nearby and it would hold an awful lot of people.
Invitations were written on lilac paper and were decorated with flowers, and then Sunny, Smeagol’s little sister, would deliver them to families. Of course, Smeagol’s first invitation was written to Lily and Loarnel. He sincerely hoped they would come; otherwise his party would not seem worthwhile.
Smeagol’s next job was to buy or make presents for every person who was to go to his party, as was the custom with hobbits- on your birthday, you give the presents, not receive them. He made many napkin holders out of willow, which he wove to form a circle, then he used dye to write the initial of the person to receive this present on it. However, for Lily, he made her a hair clip with a heart and a butterfly on it, to wear with her beautiful lilac dress that made her look so pretty.
For Deagol, Smeagol made a tiny fishing line with a tiny fish on it, to hang on the wall; for Theanol, he made a necklace of cord, with a star attached; and for Loarnel, he made a tiny boat with oars and seats in it for his cabinet of treasured items.
So much food was made- the berry pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, rolls, an elvish delicacy that someone had bought from a Baggins, in the Shire, when visiting their cousins and had then sold it to Smeagol’s family, ham, lamb, beef and so much more. It was so exciting to watch the days to the party vanish and so many things arrive each day.
Very soon, Smeagol had received many replies to his invitations and he was very excited to see that Theanol and Deagol could come. However, the day before the big party, Smeagol had still not received a reply from Lily and Loarnel and he was starting to get worried, so he went for a walk to their house.
Smeagol was very at peace and hummed his tune about Lily as he walked, and the birds sung with him happily. He walked along the old path next to the river as he greeted people he knew. He also waved at people he didn’t know, always eager to make more friends.
`I’m so lucky to have so many friends, and such a good life,’ thought Smeagol happily as he recalled each of his friends, starting and finishing with Deagol- his closest and most trusted friend.
However, Smeagol’s high opinion of Deagol faded quickly in the month to come, starting with that day, for, as he turned the corner, Smeagol saw Deagol kissing Lily.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.