Chapter 1: Something at Third Breakfast

Scaldo Chubb was a well-to-do Hobbit. He lived in a nice, old hole in the South Farthing left to him by his Grandma Chubb. She had pitied her grandson for his parents’ rather untimely deaths; his father was struck by a runaway manure cart and his mother died shortly afterwards, from overeating. (So they say.) From his father, Scaldo inherited a profitable pipeweed business, hence his being well-to-do.

Yet for all his well-offness, he did not, as was thought proper by the other well-to-do Hobbits, host meals or tea gatherings. Indeed, his heart and mind were in his stomach. A thought such as sharing his food out of courtesy was beyond his comprehension, so Scaldo earned the label of a social outcast. Not that he noticed; he was too busy eating. As can be imagined, he was rather fat and rather lazy. (Almost twice as wide as tall.) The only thing that came next to his fatness and laziness was his squashed-faced ugliness, and it was said (behind his chubby back) that troll blood ran in his mother’s side of the family; not that any of the inhabitants of the South Farthing knew what a troll was.

Enough about that. What this story is about is how Scaldo got off his fat bottom.

It began on a late summer day, about third breakfast. Scaldo was eating (as usual) when he spied something queer outside his summer-kitchen’s window. Queer as in it did not belong there and queer as in he did not get a good look at it before it was gone.

The decision between getting up and eating was no contest. Scaldo continued to chow down his morning cake. (He ate them two at a time.) Before he even reached a slice of the second, he again thought he saw something.

Under normal circumstances, he would ignore it, for precious time would be wasted relocating his bulk, but outside of his summer-kitchen grew his extensive garden, supplying fifteen percent of his needed sustenance. So it was a sense of necessity that drove him to heave off his chair and waddle to the window. There was nothing. Just rows of vegetables.

Scaldo shook his deformed head and turned back to his chair. Then he wondered if he could reach the food on the table from were he stood and save the trouble of returning. He stretched out his porky fingers. Nope.

Back on his seat, he cut a loaf of bread in half and jellied each side. No sooner had he licked the crumbs off his chin and wiped his hands on his vest that something brushed past the window. Yes, there definitely was something.

Annoyed, he got up to solve the mystery so he could continue a peaceful third breakfast.

Scaldo opened the window, just barely squeezing his fat face through.

“Sweet muffins!”

There in his beautiful garden (worked by the sweat and pain of his hired gardener) was a dwarf. The fellow was bent over, behind him a trail of chaotically scattered stems and vines. Now he was gorging on all of the lettuce as though the world would soon end. Already demolished were the carrots, the unripe pumpkin, the watermelon, and the tomatoes. The garden really was not so beautiful now, it was more like a compost heap.

Scaldo gained back his senses and shut his open mouth. He felt nauseated. As fast as his plump legs could carry him, he ran to the door. (Which really was not that fast.)

When he reached his garden – it looked twenty times worse now – the Dwarf had started on the asparagus.

“Stop! Stop! Oh help!!”

The Dwarf paused and went right back to eating handful after handful. All Scaldo could do was stare in a state of extreme shock. He had never seen someone stuff so much in his mouth at once. (And that was saying a lot.) Not even his famous uncle Limbo the Three Stomachs could eat so much so fast.

Soon the Dwarf had finished and smartly walked over. Most noticeable about him was his blue hood, so large it overshadowed his eyes. He wore also a light blue tunic, muddy boots, and a traveling cloak. His long beard (indeed, only a dwarf could wear such an awkward ornament) was brown, and the look of his girth was slim.

“Stop standing there with yer mouth agape and let me in. There are things to be done.”

But Scaldo was close to a faint and continued to tell himself this all was just a nightmare. To wake himself, he pinched his fingers into his soft flesh. “Oweee!”

“Eh, what did yeh do that for, stupid?” The Dwarf tapped a boot. “Now let me in and cook me some eats. I’m bleedin’ starved.

Disclaimer: I own none of Mr. Tolkien’s works, nor those of Mr. Jackson’s, and neither do I intend to profit from them.

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