Today's Date in the Shire
24 Foreyule
T.A. 3018: The Company of the Ring stays in Rivendell preparing for the journey ahead.
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Sunday, 12 October 2003


Another delay. Sorry. Our messenger service between the Barrow and the rest of Middle-earth continues to be dodgy,
so here's a double dose.

(Letter 053)

Dear Kind person who reads this letter,

I'm good with talking. So good people call me a suck up. But usually I like the people I speak kindly too. Please help!

Eurgh
My good friend Eurgh,

I know exactly what you mean. I have been called a great many nasty names, simply because I like to talk to the wrong people. The people I serve don't like me either. Did Theoden appreciate my efforts to make peace between him and his most valuable ally? Did Saruman show any consideration of my faithfulness? No, no, they couldn't be bothered. Catering to the whims of the great is a thankless, unfulfilling business, but what else can you do? The only other career choices open to me involved truly excessive amounts of noise and blood and danger to life and limb. It's terrible being underappreciated, so I hope you are in a situation where your talents may one day stand you in better stead than mine did.

Gríma, son of Gálmód


(Letter 054)

Dear recipient,

my sister can be a reel pain sometimes, and then go and ask me to do her a favor a little later (like taking car of her rabbit). than other times she will be "nice".she is a great person (usually), but other times she is a pain. she fights a lot, and wont stop until she wins. she even fights with my parents, and calls them names that ought not to be used in polite conversation. she doesn't care if she gets her way; she just fights to win. she reiterates the same fact over and over (getting louder each time) until the opposing party gets tired of fighting and lets her get her way (adding in choice bits of "colorful" language). is their some advice you can give me.

Best Regards,

Nazgul #3
You know, things would be a lot easier around here if you would stop messing around with your sister's rabbit and come help. There were only five of us at Weathertop and we could have used you. The Witch King will never say anything. We all know you're his favorite. Not everyone can just take off whenever they like. Some of us take our jobs seriously. As for your sister, who I have never met since I apparently don't warrant an invite to your famous dinner parties, she sounds like she fits right into your family.

Miffed,

Khamul


(Letter 055)

To whomever this may concern:

I am I very shy hobbit, but only around my piers. I am probably the loudest and most out going around my close friends. How can I be more comfortable around my piers?

Asphodelia
Dear Asphodelia,

I can certainly understand your apprehension around your piers, and can remember once feeling the same way myself, although I was usually more uncomfortable with the boats themselves. You must know you are not the only hobbit to feel this way about the water, which actually is dangererous if you don't know what you're doing. I know I was quite frightened of the River after my parents drowned, especially since I knew so little about it at that time. However, if you own these piers, you will need to become accustomed to them so that you can manage things properly. Perhaps the close friends you mention can teach you how to use them; mine were certainly a great help, though the point always comes when you have to leave them behind and go on with only a person who knows nothing about boats whatsoever. Maybe eventually you'll want to give lessons to others like you.

Frodo Baggins


(Letter 056)

Dear Grave Matters, I am being bullied. All my peers and aquaintences are turning on me, and I only last with a few loyal companions. What should I do?

See ya,

Josh
Faramir,

Did you think I wouldn't recognize you? Why can't you be more like your brother.? And why do you care more about what that wizard tells you than what I advise. "B.B". knows where his loyalties lie - right where they should - with me! He's brave and strong and a proud warrior, and you could learn a lot from him. And it's high time you dumped those two "loyal companion" fools, Damrod and Anborn. They are no good!

Your Father

Denethor


(Letter 057)

Someone has been really annoying me at school, on purpose. I'm thinking of giving him a good beating. What should I do?

Sincerely,

B.B
Boromir,

Did you think I'd not know my own son? "Josh" is not annoying you on purpose. He's just like his mother, and she too had a way of getting on everyone's nerves, but she never meant to, and neither does Faramir. So if I find out you've been beating on him, you're going to be in stocks in the Citadel for a week!

Your loving father,

Denethor


P.S. I wouldn't object to hearing that those two 'ranger' buddies of his had gotten a good thrashing, if you know what I mean.


(Letter 058)

Oh great and esteemed wise ones,

I have a cat, and his name is Gil. Now Gil has always been spoiled by me, and has always had my full attention. I now have a boyfriend, whom i spend an immense amount of my time with. Gil is jealous of my new man, and will not look at me, even when i feed him. Can you give me some advise on my predicament? (i mean no disrespect to Gil-Galad by naming my cat after him.)

Ignored By the Star
Dear Ignored,

I fear that I must be brief, since I am only permitted to speak thrice in the tongues of Men. In what brief words I have, though, I shall tell you my patent method for dealing with troublesome cats. Lure the impertinent feline into the woods, trap him up a tree under threat of death and thus force him to hand over his collar. After that you should be able to break any enchantments of his and rescue anyone he happens to have taken prisoner. The plan should work itself out from there.

Admittedly I'm not really very familiar with the idea of keeping cats as pets, but I've never been in a situation where that strategy doesn't work. Now, if you will excuse me I have to deal with a particularly troublesome tick.

Good luck!

Huan


(Letter 059)

Dear Grave Matters,

I am trying to write my own fantasy novel, but being a big Tolkien Fan, I cannot seem to get any ideas down on paper that are not at least an indirect plagarism of the work of others. I am constantly starting and restarting because I believe no one will ever publish it unless it is
p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Can you help? Sincerely,

Ranting in Rohan
What ho Ranting,

The best way to go about being a good writer is to have good adventures. However, all the best adventures have already been had. I am thinking particularly of those of the estimable Fellowship, including those illustrious Periannath, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, whose literary remains I much prefer to those of that later plagiarist, Tolkien.

There is no shame in collecting the stories of others and copying them. In fact, there is always greater profit to be made in publishing or marketing than in writing. The great-grandson of Thain Peregrin particularly recommended this avenue to me and I have never had opportunity to regret his sound advice.

Then, too, there is always a good market for gardening books. Why, no less an adventurer than Meriadoc found especial renown with his Herblore of The Shire. Have you considered non-fiction?

You could, of course, choose to found a Great Family, which would then naturally involve building a Great Library, which you could then sell off at great profit. This avenue, too, Meriadoc and Peregrin took.

You could also consider ghost writing. This would be a way to positively use your lack of imagination. There is no end of possibilities here for an enterprising lad like yourself.

Yr obedient servant,

Findegil, King's Writer, Gondor


See Questions from other weeks.

What is Grave Matters
and how do I get my
questions answered?


*DISCLAIMER: Middle-earth characters are fictional, as are the answers they might give in Grave Matters. The Barrow-Downs is not responsible for anything that happens as a result of following the suggestions found here.


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