You can tell that the wooden fence has been freshly painted in early spring, the rose canes carefully unwound and laid on the bare ground, giving access to every lath. The gardener earns his keep year round, his clever fingers turned wherever the master here has need. Now, at high summer, that fresh white paint is all but lost under lustrous foliage which bears more sweetly-scented golden roses than most gardens boast throughout a season. Bright snapdragons wander in and out, and the spired flare of bellflower lends a clear blue balance to the insistent scramble of scarlet nasturtian.
The sun has warmed the path beneath your feet, and as you climb each step you feel the hard-set mellow beneath a film of moss; some tiny creeping plant flaunts a peppermint aroma at your every touch, a power far beyond its size. And you know that, though you scrub your feet as hard even as Mama might wish, the scent will lodge between your toes; that for days to come when you brush out your foot hair neatly, the room will be suddenly redolent of this place. Wherever, whenever after, you meet this sharp clean scent, there will be Bag End.
Wrought iron lamps may guard the door, but a swath of woodbine sprawls its perfume round their elegantly curling scrolls. Who now has any need of light beyond the moon and starshine, in the scant dark that divides midnight dusk from true dawn at its heels? The round green door stands wide - the welcome sure, the master's hospitality neither stinted nor in doubt.
Step inside, now, where deep roots quest a glossy, sinuous slide down cream-washed walls that gather light and cast it far within, to give the lie to those who say that airy and spacious are words one may not use about a smial. Over and again, that light shines up from chair or panelling, tiled floor and brass-bound chest, all polished to a gleam that simply begs a stroking hand (Does that gardener never rest? This must be his work, the only servant kept.)
Though sunlight fails at last, in the inner reaches of the Hill, here candle, lamp and hearth-flame tell the comfortable tale, for here are warm, snug parlours, guest rooms, pantries stocked to gladden any hobbit’s heart. Everywhere breathes the contented sheen of a life well-lived, of a home well-loved.
You may be just a visitor, a minor cousin many times removed, but this place calls your heart as nothing ever has or will. These first sharp pangs of thwarted longing strike hard and cut deep. Though the joy may wither and the love decay to envy and to spite - though you must wait for years past counting - you
have Bag End to your own.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.