Wanderlust, by Lbilover

Written for the Dictionary.com word of the day, wanderlust.


Bilbo Baggins returned from his Adventure a changed hobbit. When he stood on the front step of Bag End, pipe in hand, his gaze strayed past familiar fields and gently rolling hills, seeking snow-capped mountains. At dusk his ears unconsciously listened for Dwarf-boots stamping in the lane, or a soft tap at the study window heralding Gandalf’s arrival. Fits of restlessness seized him; donning his dark green cloak and hood, he roamed the fields and by-ways under moon and starlight.

The passing years did nothing to blunt Bilbo’s restlessness, and the worst of it was that there was no o

ne with whom he could share his wanderlust. Not a single relation who understood.

Until one autumn, on a visit to Brandy Hall, young Frodo Baggins, shaggy-maned and wild as a moorland pony, found him by the fire and asked if it were true that he’d seen a dragon.

‘With these very eyes,’ said Bilbo. ‘Would you like to hear about it?’

‘Yes, please,’ replied Frodo, sitting on the hearth rug and hugging his knees to him.

He listened raptly, burning blue eyes fixed unblinking on Bilbo as he spun the tale.

‘I should like to visit Rivendell and the Lonely Mountain someday,’ Frodo said when Bilbo was done.

Before Bilbo could recover from his shock at this unprecedented pronouncement, a voice said, ‘There you are, Frodo. Come away and stop pestering cousin Bilbo. It’s time you were in bed.’

‘But Aunt, do I have to? Cousin Bilbo has been telling me all about his Adventure.’

‘Filling your head with arrant nonsense, you mean,’ Esmeralda Brandybuck replied tartly.

‘It’s not nonsense, Esme,’ Bilbo protested.

Esmeralda ignored him, only saying sternly, ‘Frodo.’

Sighing with disappointment Frodo scrambled to his feet. ‘I don’t care what Aunt Esme says, cousin Bilbo. I believe you,’ he whispered before darting away.

Bilbo sat on by the fire, a delighted smile curving his lips. In Frodo Baggins he’d discovered what he’d long given up hoping to find: a relation who understood.

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