Topic: "Snowiches" (6)
"Mr. Frodo, do you know why you'll never starve to death in the desert?," asked the sub-teen known to Frodo as "Beckham." Frodo pondered for a few seconds and surrendered to the future star of Manchester United or the Tottenham Hotspurs. "Because you can always eat the sandwiches there (sand which is there)."
Frodo thought of this "shellacking" by his neighbor in the Shire as he examined the structure of the frozen precipitation now declared as part of the "Weather of Northern Aggression" which has a stranglehold on all things good and southern. There is, at bottom, a frozen concoction which resembles a slice of ice cream cake. In the middle there is the fluffy whipped cream-like feature, topped by a thin layer of semi-solid ice. Examined in hand, it does appear more than edible. Frodo took a slice to his young friend, and asked him if he had ever eaten a 'Snowich"? Sensing treachery, he ran from Frodo with due haste and the snowball-like projectile fell harmlessly to his rear.
The Shire is at an absolute standstill, and not since the historic winter of '93 (which allows Frodo's reference thereto make him feel as if he were Gabby Hayes or some other super senior), has non-expressway transportation become an absent envy to Hobbits and Elves alike. Only the Riders of Rohan are able to adjust.
Frodo has learned a great deal about Cedar Waxwings in the past several days. Masked and traveling together in great swarms, they descend on berry-producing fauna of all kinds, and totally denude the plant of berries in a frenzy that would put the white shark to shame. Hollies, mahonia, photinia, and previously unidentified vines all lose their fat-rich produce to these colorful and excitable winter visitors to the Shire. Worrying about the resultant absence of food, Frodo has donated almost half a loaf of cornbread to the land beneath the bird feeders, in hopes that the visitors will find a healthy reason to stay a bit longer.
What does result however, is a truce. Squirrels and countless other avian visitors stand side-by-shoulder as they feast on the cornbread and the seeds which fall from the feeders. Frodo cannot turn the pages in his bird book fast enough to identify even a significant minority of the variety available. The exceptions being Fiona, and Mick, the Wonder Dog, who have taken note of the locations where cornbread crumbs can be consumed with impunity. Unwatched, they force their way into the throng, and begin to absorb great amounts of cornbread with a snort, and a smile. The snowiches form on their noses, and they retreat only when decibels are increased by the Hobbit.
The temperatures are brutal, and the darkness of the mini-forest about the Shire is a reminder of the threat to creatures of all shapes and sizes. It is serious business, and a moment taken to enjoy a few snowiches makes faraway places and hideous crimes seem remote.