Topic: "Winter Solstice"
Despite December 21st and the gradual lengthening of days that follow, Frodo knows that Winter officially entered the Shire on this date. Once heard, it is the honk that emanates from an old Model-A Ford which is the sound that compares to the Sandhill Crane, in flock, passing overhead. Frodo and Mick, the Wonder Dog, stopped their work in the gardens of the Shire and stood silently this blue sky day when the first flock passed overhead on the way to their winter feeding grounds. It seemed like just last week when they flew through vicious thunderstorms and threats of tornado to brighten the days in the marshes far to the north of the Shire.
Mick was not encouraged by the thought of cooler days despite his personal preference for the temperatures. Mick knows that Frodo will toil at Mount Doom throughout most of daylight and that games of soccer and tennis ball will be rare and brief. He watched the flock passing overhead, and turned his head to comprehend the news communicated to those below. He rushed to the lime green object at Frodo's feet, picked it up in his mouth, and held it to Frodo's hand for the requisite toss into the leaves atop the lawn at the Shire. "Hurry Mr. Frodo, there is a game afoot, and tennis balls to be returned. Hurry Mr. Frodo," said the Wonder Dog.
Frodo's preparation of the garden for the winter would have to wait. Sqirrels could scamper freely, and Mr. Beau Neau could wander unmolested as he wished, for the game would not be delayed. Frodo tossed the ball, aiming for the upper rim of a boulder which bounced the ball skyward, followed closely by the Wonder Dog using the same as a springboard to grasp the elusive ball with his back to Frodo. Twisting in midair the Wonder Dog would land facing Frodo, and the ball would be returned at breakneck speed albeit much more moist than but a moment before.
After several tosses and requisite retrieval, Mick found a cool spot to sit and rest. With great speed and leaping ability the Wonder Dog is hindered only by a lack of wind. The game, for the moment, is at an end, but both participants revel in its' outcome. Frodo returned to his tasks, and the cacophony continued overhead. Mr. Louis Armstrong had it right.