I met a hobbit years ago. It was unexpected. I stopped, stared. He was full-sized, I now know, though then I thought him short. I was charmed to the tips of my toes just by the sight of him. Was it because he was so fussily dressed for daytime in knickers, jacket and waistcoat with a pocket watch? Or that curly hair? No. It was that there was so much roundness to the fellow—from the circular tip of his nose, his plump cheeks, and the O of his stomach he was good-humor full. I wished to know him better, so rather abruptly I asked who he was.
‘Bilbo Baggins’ was the reply.
I gave him another long look, thanked the artist that sketched him in loving, life-like detail and vowed to visit the library to discover the charming character’s story for myself. I took home J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit or There and Back Again’, but I shared a room with two sisters. They wondered why I laughed when I read it. Though not finished, I started over reading aloud so they could know what the fun was about. I reached a part that made us worried for Mr. Baggins when I realized our brothers down the hall were too quiet. I called them in to sit on the floor with pillows to listen. I finished Mr. Baggin’s story and one by one, read every book of Mr. Tolkien’s wonderful trilogy out loud too.
‘The Hobbit’ is undergoing Peter Jackson’s amazing transformation into a movie. (Remember what Jackson did with Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’!) If like me, you can’t wait for its release, follow my link to The Hobbit Blog; see the magic they’re making, get advance movie teasers. If you're fascinated with how such movies are produced, follow my link to WETA's workshop page.
But if you have not met Mr. Baggins yet, get his story right away. Read it alone if you must, but it’s better when shared.