Topic: "Lief, Leaf, or Loaf"(8)
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to contemplate falling leaves, to rake them into adjustable launching pads, or to merely acknowledge their existence is what plagues Frodo this afternoon. As one might expect, it is cool and dreary in the Shire, and considerable levels of clothing require association with a strong backswing in order to maintain one's presence out of doors. Frodo is however sick of television, and of no mood to read books while Newest Friend naps impatiently in the chair next.
Leaves, it seems, first appear as a single strand of maple floating and twisting not unlike any diver at an Olympic event in warmer climes. The pace quickens in the weeks that follow as first the dogwoods, then fruit trees denude themselves shamelessly. Suddenly the chestnuts, long since stripped of their fruit, carpet bomb the Shire much in the manner of those who once spread another orange agent on the small blue planet. At this point, activity becomes critical lest the Hobbit alienate every neigbor within a fortnights barefoot travel. Even after that effort is concluded the residue appears, perhaps in return from the irritated neighbor. We are at such a point, and Frodo knows that an uncomfortable effort out of doors will only yield another requirement a few days hence.
Sam is gone for the afternoon, and a nap would seem the wisest course of action. Perhaps Frodo will look back several hours from now and wish that he had taken the path least travelled by. It would certainly be different. He decides to wake the Dandy and tie him to the source of the greatest fall, allowing him to look over the Hobbit and to protect him while he works. It is, after all, his job, and soon to be merely a memory on some other day even less inviting.