LotRO: Blegba’s disturbing adventure
Blegba couldn’t get Galadriel’s words out of her head. She’d seen Blegba in her mysterious mirror or the ‘morrow and as much as that frightened Blegba to her core, she knew it meant something, that her life had a far bigger purpose than she could have ever imagined. She didn’t know exactly what that purpose was but thinking about it caused her to walk a little bit taller. Unable to sleep she decided it’d be better to get busy helping out than continue to toss and turn on the banks of the Brandywine. She’d tossed so hard at one point her arm fell into the cool water of the river and now her sleeve was wet. This annoyed her but she shook it off and trudged on.
Hungry and in search of a bite to eat Blegba came upon a bulletin board with lots of requests for this and that. There was a notice up asking everyone to be on the lookout for chickens who’d gone missing. She remembered hearing a strange tale while in the pub a couple of days ago about a group of chickens marching single file across the cobblestone and appeared to be headed towards the land of Bree. It was the kind of tale that can only be borne inside the walls of a pub, growing with nonsense as more ale was consumed by the loudly drunken Hobbit sitting in front of the fire. She was sure a captive audience also helped egg tales such as this on.
Someone else had posted warning everyone to stay away from Holly’s blueberry pies. They hadn’t signed the note but she could tell by the sheer arrogance with which it’d been written that the note had to be from that goody-two-shoes, Opal Goodbody. Nothing was ever good enough for Opal and the locals whispered behind her back often saying that because Lobelia had taken a liking to Opal it’d gone to her head. They called her Lil’ Lobelia and everyone knew what that meant! She shook her head in disgust and continued reading the notices. This wasn’t an easy task for Blegba was just learning to read. Her journey in Archet really had forever changed Blegba and she’d been studying hard the last few days, learning to read. She still had a ways to go and it was frustrating but every time she wanted to give up she heard Galadriel’s words again, put her mushroom pie down and got back to work.
She saw a request from Lily Proudfoot asking for help with a few spiders inside the quarry there in Scary. Easy-peasy, she thought, as she grabbed the notice off the board. Why would good Hobbit folk let a few little bugs keep them from working in the quarry? How silly! She stopped by Holly’s door as she saw a blueberry pie on the table and grabbed it, making a mental note to come back after sunrise and pay Holly for the pie. She was no petty thief! She spotted the stable, full of ponies for Hobbits on long journeys across the Shire, but decided since she’d never been on a pony before she’d best make the trip to Scary on foot. She was sure if Hal Hornblower hadn’t been asleep he would gladly have given her a quick lesson on riding ponies and decided she’d check in with him as soon as possible. Hobbits with purpose simply MUST know how to ride a pony after all.
The walk to Scary was longer than Blegba remembered and by the time she arrived she wasn’t feeling so good. She remembered the rude notice Opal had posted about the pies and scoffed. She hadn’t had much sleep, had nearly fallen in the river and what with her studying so hard it was just taking a toll on poor Blegba. She thought about the very first story she’d learned to read, See Gerbert Run, a child’s story about what happened when a young Gerbert was caught stealing a freshly caught fish from a bucket belonging to a Sackville-Baggins and smiled. Gerbert had never been known for having much common sense and was always in trouble of some sort.
The sky was just starting to brighten into a muted pink color when she saw the fence that marked the boundary of the quarry. Lily Proudfoot was nowhere to be seen so Blegba pulled the notice out of her satchel and read it again. A little woozy she stopped to rest on a group of rocks right in the center of Scary. She could hear Hobbits stirring about as they started their day. Postman Digswell was in a dither griping about the lack of good help these days. He may as well deliver the bundle of mail to Postman Moresby in Brockenborings, he said, since no one else had been able to make the trip. Prisca Underwood was going on and on about bats and Poppy Grub was ranting about a spoiled pie. Her stomach lurched and burbled again. She really wasn’t feeling well and knew she’d best get started if she wanted to be back in Hobbiton in time for dinner.
She made her way down the ladder and into the quarry carrying a torch as she knew from her childhood adventures caves were very dark places. What she found lying in wait in that cave was too incredible to be believed! The spiders, she’d thought, were the average garden variety ones, not the size nightmares were made of! She stood rooted to her spot, trembling with a fear she’d never felt before and silently cursed the wispy words of Galadriel as they floated through her mind. She was a Hobbit of good plain sense and her senses were telling her to run! She cautiously took a step towards the monster spider before her and thought she might lose every last bit of that pie she’d eaten earlier. A Hobbit with purpose, she chanted to herself over and over, to help steel her nerve for the coming task.
She doesn’t know what happened after that for she woke with her face in the dirt not far from Overhill. Her head was swimming, her stomach upset and her legs felt as if they weighed as much as three Hobbits each! She wiped her face with her arm and nearly fell over at the musty reedy stench the waters of the Brandywine had left in her sleeve as it dried. She stopped by Gammer Boffin on her way back to Hobbiton and asked if she had any mint for her soured stomach and a small cask of vinegar to freshen her sleeve. She nearly asked if she could steal a nap in Gammer’s bed before getting back on the road for her mind felt trapped in a mirky cloud but decided at the last minute to trudge onwards.
The stars were starting to twinkle in the sky over the Ivy Bush as she opened the door and walked inside. A crowd had gathered by the stage to listen to another silly tale about the missing chickens. Dudo Chubb was regaling them with an obnoxiously false story about a couple of chickens talking to foxes. Everyone knew foxes eat chickens, that they can not be friendly, yet there they sat, riveted, as Dudo spun his drunken ramblings into the obscene. She was too tired to bother and made her way to the bar and asked for a good strong ale.
She was starting to rethink this Hobbit with purpose thing. Today things had happened that were as crazy as Dudo’s chicken tales. Who would ever believe her? Did she even believe her? She wasn’t even sure she’d really made it to Scary, that maybe she’d taken ill and stopped to rest. That’s it, it was all a dream! A horrible dream spurned on by the sickness that had overtaken her. She drank ale after ale trying to quiet the words of Galadriel in her head. If only, she thought, she’d never strayed from the boundaries of her beloved Shire! Who was she to think her life meant something different, that she was more than a simple Hobbit? What was wrong with simple anyway? Confused and with a very heavy head, Blegba made her way to the warmth of the roaring fire. She pulled her parchments from her satchel and meant to toss them in the fire. She didn’t really need to learn to read after all.