The last snows grudgingly surrendered to the sudden warmth of the sun, losing themselves in the thought of a new season. Spring again? It hardly seemed possible. Winter should have stretched on for months—for years—the sun could not be shining so gaily, it was not possible. How had spring risen from the darkness, the cold bleakness of that winter?
His limbs were stretched motionless above his head, as if in defiance of the light. His deep eyes barely seemed to see. They would not look at the flowers that crept up despite the musty layers of leaves which spoke silently of the time, the unbearable time of solitude they had borne.
Even in the slight breeze, wandering gaily across the open fields, could not make him stir. The distant scents of gardens, of unripe fruits and of small greens peering out of rich dirt, passed by him unnoticed. They continued on, unthinking, and were enveloped by the heavy scent of moss, of wet and dark, lost for all time.
A sound—a distant rumbling, almost musical, finally roused the pensive Ent. It was faint, as though it had come across a great expanse. Perhaps even across time. Across time, yes, that was it. Thoughtful, somehow reluctant, he looked about him, taking in what he sensed: the warmth of the sun, the flowers and the far-off gardens, even the sound—yes, most of all the sound. For a moment something glinted deep in his eye. The breeze died down; all was perfectly still, waiting, expectant.
The Ent sighed, and slowly turned. He strode wearily back through the trees, into the shadows, back to the heart of his forest. A chill settled about him, despite the merry brightness of the sun above. The sun had lied; it was not spring. The winter would never end.
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.