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Sunday, 15 June 2003

(Letter 017)

To a person who cares:

I have found that in my family I am often overlooked. My older sister is the popular, smart girl and my younger sisters are all the cute, adorable children. In addition, my older brother is having his first child soon! As I am the quiet child who never gets into trouble, nobody seems to notice I am there. (Add the fact that when I actually do talk, it always has something to do with hobbits or Mirkwood) What can I do?

-Unobtrusive and in need of advice
Dear unobtrusive,

Parental and sibling love can sometimes be hard to understand. Though they love all of their children dearly, parents do not always express themselves toward each child in the same way. For instance, I am sure my father cared for me as much as he did my brother, but he did not identify with me as he did with Boromir. To him, Boromir seemed a younger version of himself, and he naturally directed his parental attentions toward him. I, on the other hand, was quite different than my father, and he was unsure how to approach my upbringing. Seeing me as happy in the library stacks as on the sparring floor was perplexing to him, and as I grew older it seemed as though we grew further apart. It got so bad at one point after the death of Boromir, that I spent most of my days far afield avoiding my father. But my isolation was misguided. Upon my return to the White City, I was sorely injured and it drove him into a nervous breakdown. Losing Boromir had been terrible, but the though of losing another, whom he did love after all, was unbearable, and he snapped. It was then that I realized the precious time that I had lost.

So, my advice to you is to not be concerned when siblings receive more attention than you. Be yourself, and don't worry about everyone else. But you might try finding something else to talk about when you do speak. Mirkwood and hobbits seem trivial to most non-Middle-earth types, but they might enjoy a good telling of 'Faramir and his Merry Men'. In fact, it might be a good idea to suggest 'Faramir' to you brother as a name for that new baby. Pippin did it, and look how good his boy turned out!


Faramir, son of Denethor, brother of Boromir

(Letter 018)

I find myself about to take a weeklong excursion with people about 3 1/2 people tall. What should I take to prepare for this journey?

wondering from weathertop
Dear wondering,

I've done a little journeying in my time, and the most important thing to take is plenty of food. You can never have too much (unless you have to carry it all yourself, in which case more than you can carry is too much). After good food in good amounts, the most important thing is a map: it's no good wandering round for days completely lost, relying on unlikely adventures and coincidences to get you out of trouble. Finally, and vitally, don't do what I did once and leave your pocket handkerchief behind: It's one of the most useful things a fellow can have with him on a journey, and its absence is always keenly felt.

Other people think that other things are important: my cousin's gardener, for example, seems to think that rope's essential to a trip, but I know for a fact that his cousin's a roper in more ways than one, so he might just be propping up the family business. I don't suppose it could do any harm, though.

Anyway, that's what I think is important for a Hobbit walking-party. I hope it's some help to you.


Bilbo Baggins, Esq.

(Letter 019)

Dear whoever wants to solve my problem,

I have this problem where nobody sees me. Like I'm invisible. People walk all over me(literally), I have bruises to prove it! And I was even sat on, once. It's just like I'm not really here, my friends even sometimes ignore me. Can you help me? How do I change from a small, invisible hobbit to a beautiful, stunning elf?

~Mentha the invisible
Thief! Thief! She has the precious. She wants to be a nasssty elf, she does. She must give it to us. We can be invisssibles, yes. Keep nasty pretty elvses.


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