The afternoon sun was high overhead when Dogward finally approached the Woolyfoot family hobbit hole. Far from being the largest of similar holes nearby, this home had long been a bit cramped for the family of eight (Of course, that never bothered Dogward much, since he preferred to spend most of his time outside anyway).
Today was a simple day in the Shire. A humble, unremarkable day in the month of Winterfilth by Shire Reckoning. The golden and red leaves of Autumn wiggle and dance in the gentle breeze. Most people would be too busy to notice a simple day like this, but I could see the signs. That special fragrance in the air, the sparkling dew drops hanging tenderly on a spider cobweb, the warm breeze blowing unusually from the east.
In early morn we started out
Through sunlit fields of crystal dew
And up ahead we heard a shout
Beyond The Shire’s tallest yew
Me uncle, auntie, cousins there
All greeting us with smiles and hugs
Their table set with silverware
The finest food, their grandest mugs
As dawn was breaking Ammeline approached the outskirts of Oatbarton. The Bounder who kept watch on the road leading into Oatbarton from the Greenfields was just putting out the light in the lamp post that marked his watch post. He raised his slightly ill fitted tin helmet and Ammeline gave him a polite nod as she passed. She was on her way to the Appleby Farm as Ivy Appleby's youngest was ill with a fever. Ammeline had spent the previous evening gathering and preparing herbs.