Disclaimer: Stinkweed is the only character I developed on my own; I again thank Tolkien for everyone else. This story is drawn from the chapter “The Scouring of the Shire” in The Return of the King. It is also inspired by a dream I had. Enjoy!

The tale of May Gamgee & Robin Smallburrow.
Towards the end of the great War of the Ring, things in the Shire had drastically gone downhill. Saruman (who now called himself Sharky) and Wormtongue had taken over! What was worse, their headquarters were located in Bag End, the home of the beloved yet strange Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (people still thought of it as their home, rather than that of the Sackville-Baggins’, whom nobody liked and were sorry to see bought the home from Frodo), both of which were missed terribly as they were away. The used the Sackville-Baggins’ as a way into the Shire, first by being friendly and offering great rewards for helping them, then by rudely taking over their new home. Saruman even threw Lobelia into prison (along with many other hobbits who were much nicer than she), killed her husband Otho, and used and murdered their son Lotho. Here is where Robin and May come into the story. May was one of the Gamgee clan, all of whom are quite family-oriented. She was normally a passive hobbit, as most are, but something snapped when they threw her father, known locally as the Gaffer, in prison. Robin Smallburrow was one of the Shire shirriffs and an acquaintance of Sam and Frodo. He was a decent sort of chap but was forced to become law enforcement against his beloved family and friends when Saruman took over. He hated having to throw people in jail for even minor infractions but was too scared to rebel against Saruman–after all, he was twice as tall as most hobbits, so how could he even think about trying to fight him or rebel against him? It must be pointed out that of course these thoughts are not uncommon for hobbits when thinking about violent situations. However, Robin knew about Frodo’s moving to Brandybuck and how the Black Riders had bothered his friends there (he learned this from Fatty Bolger, whom he had had to imprison for eating too much).
May felt the same way about violence. But once she saw the horrible conditions in which her father was now living, she knew that she had to do something even if it meant getting killed. If her brother Sam could go off and risk his life with Master Frodo for heaven knows what reason, she could certainly do the same for a very good reason! She was scared to death and had no idea how to go about this seemingly impossible task. Then, she was caught in the once beautiful gardens of Bag End because she was trying to tend the neglected plants. Robin was the one to see her and hurried her away to a secluded spot.
“May Gamgee! I haven’t seen you in ages! What ever do you think you were doing, trying to weed the Bag End gardens? Don’t you know that no one is allowed on the grounds without approval from Sharky?”
“Robin Smallburrow! Let me go this instant, you big buffoon of a hobbit! You know good and well what I was trying to do. That stupid Lobelia Sackville-Baggins never takes care of this garden and I hate to see it going to waste!”
“Yes I know. I’m sorry, May. I actually brought you here so that they would think I was taking you to prison. I shouldn’t have said those things. I just didn’t know what to say or do. I am so tired of having to imprison people for Sharky! I know there is nothing wrong with doing the things I’ve imprisoned people for, but I have no idea how to stop it.”
“Oh, Robin. I’m sorry too. Thank you for not taking me to prison! I feel the same way; my father was put in prison yesterday and I’ve got to do something!”
Then a candle started glowing above Robin’s head (light bulbs were not invented yet!). “I know! You and I can gather people who oppose Sharky’s rule, and once we have a big enough army we can overtake them.”
“Capital idea!”
“Why don’t we give it one week and you scout around and see who you can find. I’ll do the same. Then next week meet me here in this very spot at midnight and we can discuss our findings.”
“Well at least it is something! Thank you for not taking me to prison, Robin. I’ll see you next week!” May skipped off to her home, quite excited that her father would soon be free.

I must remind my readers that hobbits are peaceful creatures. All they desire in life is to be happy, namely by eating lots of food! Of course they enjoy their work too. They are also excellent at throwing stones, which is normally used to gain a rabbit for supper or something of that nature, not to fight those who are against them. Thus when May and Robin were trying to find people to oppose Sharky and his horrible crew, they had little luck.
“Hello Robin!” May met him at the appointed time to share her unfruitful ventures. “I have to admit there are not many hobbits willing to stand up and fight that nasty Sharky. You would think they would want to do everything they could to get the Shire back to normal, but they are just too scared!”
“Oh, May! I found much the same thing. I’m at a loss of what to do, but something must be done or our beautiful Shire will be in ruins!”
They sat in companionable silence for several minutes. Then Robin turned to May, asking, “Look, I know I’m a shirriff and shouldn’t be seen with the general public, but could I walk you home today? I don’t feel like it’s safe for young hobbit-maidens to walk around by themselves.”
“Sure! That’s very kind, Robin, especially after all the trouble and worry I’ve caused you!”
“It’s what any self-respecting hobbit would do.”
Now this was the best day they could have picked to walk home! For this was the day that Frodo and company would return to the Shire and do just what Robin and May could not do by themselves. Robin was actually going back to work when he met with his four friends. One of these hobbits (Samwise, May’s brother, as you can guess) was an old friend and scolded him for becoming a Shirriff. (Please see The Return of the King, “The Scouring of the Shire” for more details on this event.)

After Frodo and company finished scouring the Shire, the men that were captured and refused to repent were put on trial. One of these men was a fellow named Stinkweed. He was the one Sharky used to do his dirty work. It was by his hand both Lotho and Otho Sackville-Baggins were murdered. So they had the very first murder trial in hobbit history. Gaffer Gamgee was chosen as judge, of course. Stinkweed was convicted for murder and put in jail until they could find a suitable punishment for him. However, he was a crafty man and escaped.
Two hobbits then had to be appointed to find and recapture Stinkweed, and they were none other than our friends May Gamgee and Robin Smallburrow. They were now esteemed almost as highly as Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin due to their bravery when Sharky was in control. They were much healthier than the foursome because they obviously had not been through nearly as many ordeals. Thus they went out, tracking Stinkweed. Hobbits are good at tracking things, usually rabbits for a stew, so a large man like Stinkweed was not hard to follow. He ran all over the Shire and ended up discovering a cave, which he thought would be a wonderful hiding place. Robin and May had to go in, risking their lives to find him. Thankfully Frodo and company allowed them to borrow some weapons after showing them how to use them, so they were well-armed in case Stinkweed put up a fight. As Robin led the way into the cave, a large hand reached out and grabbed him.
“Now I’ve got you, you nasty little hobbit! I’m going to have fun torturing you before I kill you with your own sword!” Stinkweed exclaimed.
“Never! I will fight you with everything I’ve got!”
Now Stinkweed was aware that at least one person was following him, but somehow he failed to notice May’s presence and she was able to sneak into a dark corner of the cave, hidden from his view. She was terribly frightened but did not make a sound, because she knew her beloved Robin would be killed if she did. (It was at this moment she realized that she was in fact in love with Robin and must marry him if they ever got out of that cave alive.) So she sat back quietly and thought about how she could rescue Robin. She finally decided the element of surprise would be best and waited for the right moment. Soon, Stinkweed had his back to her and she knew it was now or never. She jumped through the air and landed square on his back. Stinkweed was terribly surprised and stood motionless, which gave May time to stick a dagger on his neck.
“Slowly sit down, Stinkweed! You are a stench in my nostrils and I will not tolerate your hurting my friend. If you make one false move, you are dead!”
Stinkweed had never heard a female sound so vicious so he did exactly as she said. May and Robin were able to tie him up and take him back to jail. The verdict became that he should be hung, and he was, practically immediately.
Meanwhile, much happier situations were going on. For when Robin heard the sound of May’s voice as she attacked Stinkweed, he realized that he loved her and had been in love with her. He rather clumsily proposed to her on their way back to Hobbiton, and she accepted at once. They were planning their wedding as Stinkweed was being convicted because they wanted nothing more to do with violence. Their wedding was beautiful and was, of course, in May so that Robin could remember their anniversary. Thus they lived happily ever after until the end of their days.

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