Mood: accident prone
Topic: "Toro, Andalay,Toro (2)"
The College of the Shire sits high on the Appalachian Plateau. From its' highest point, which happens to be in the Cemetery, Frodo was first tempted to follow the path to Mordor. On a brilliant October afternoon Frodo sat with Tom Bombadil and they contemplated the majesty of the land that lay before them (It should be noted that Frodo never again visited this idyllic spot unless he was with a Hobbit of the opposite sex).
Tom Bombadil pointed to the distant mountain, covered with snow, which stood beacon-like against the azure and green of Heaven and Earth. "Let's go there Mr. Frodo," said Tom, "and look at Earth from both sides now."
"But we have no motorcar," said Frodo, "and surely it is a journey of many miles."
"Agreed, but why not walk as far as we can, just to be closer to something so special, so rare," answered Frodo's companion.
"Well, we could cross the fences of farmers' fields and the distance would certainly be halved," Frodo suggested, "But we have to promise to turn back before sundown so we are not lost in alien land," he offered, with caution.
"Agreed," said Tom Bombadil, and the two kindred spirits were off in search of the mountaintop known as White.
It was a long walk, and crossing many fences soon put them into territory that was totally unfamiliar. As the afternoon wore on, it unsurprisingly grew colder all about, and the travelers became less than cautious of their surroundings. With no warning whatsoever, Frodo first noticed the hilltop observers monitoring the progress of the uninvited guests upon their land
and stopped dead in his tracks. Tom Bombadil, noting the silence and the apparent concern of Frodo, turned to look in the same direction, and he grew as silent as the wind toppling the blades of grass at their feet.
One of the bulls bellowed, as if he were signaling all to charge, for that is what they did. Down the hill they came, at a furious clip, twenty or more, directly toward the frozen vagabonds who had inadvertently wandered into the pastures of an Agricultural Experimental Station. Neither Tom nor Frodo knew exactly what to do, but there was a tree in the middle of the field, and Frodo knew that he could reach the base and scamper skyward in the time available. Tom was not so sure, but he followed as fast he could behind Frodo, only to freeze at the base of the tree with the words "I can't make it."
Frodo would not leave his friend, so the two backed against the tree and stared back at the onrushing bovine assassins. Tom was gurgling from deep in his throat when Frodo began to sing.
"I'd like to teach the World to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the World a Coke and keep her company. . ."
As Tom Bombadil swore for many years, as bad as Frodo sang, it seemed to have some impact on their attackers. Tom urged him on, and on, until the bulls seemed to universally find greater interest in blades of grass than obviously tone-deaf intruders. After an eternity the bulls turned, and moved far enough away that both Frodo and Tom were assured they could make the first barbed-wire obstacle faster than any creature with four legs. They were proven correct.
Much later they returned to their dormitory, and actually had time to catch the last line at the evening meal. Frodo begged off from Tom however, when he became acutely aware of the fact that he needed both a shower and a trip to the laundry.
Frodo learned that entering another's land without an avenue of retreat is a dangerous path to tread. It makes him wonder why such wisdom is confined to Hobbits.