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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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A Chance Encounter in the Woods
Submitter: K.E.R. Date: 2006/10/30 Views: 116 Rate: 9.00/1
Summary: Summary: A crossover between The Hobbit and Jane Eyre. Bilbo Baggins and Jane Eyre meet in the woods, and share a few moments of discussion.
Disclaimer: The characters and places mentioned in this story are the properties of J.R.R. Tolkien, and of Charlotte Brontë.
A/N: This was a piece I did for English class. We were supposed to show Jane’s character through her interaction with a character from another book of our choice. I chose Bilbo Baggins. My teacher liked it, so I figured, hey, why not post it and see what other people think? (The last part of that sentence is a not so subtle hint for reviews, even if they’re just to say, “I think that whoever gave you permission to write anything so terrible should be locked up in a deep, dark dungeon until they repent, and you should burn all of your work and go jump off a cliff.”)
Keywords: hobbit bilbo jane eyre

Deep in thought, I walked though the peaceful woods near Thornfield. Mr. Rochester, my master, had left for the Leas, where he was to meet with various noble lords and ladies. I mulled over what Mrs. Fairfax had told me, especially what she had said about Blanche Ingram. I thought about my folly – how could I, a mere governess, disconnected, poor and plain, even hope to compete with the accomplished beauty that Mrs. Fairfax described? How could I even think that Mr. Rochester would show an interest in me? How could I have forgotten the differences in our rank? My thoughts continued in this vein until I was jerked out of contemplation by a call.

“Excuse me, miss, I hate to interrupt one so deep in thought as you, but if you could kindly tell me the way to the King of the wood-elves’ palace? I am hungry and tired, and my friends have been locked up in his dungeons, and now I can’t find my way back.” I looked around for a speaker, but found none.

“I am down here,” the voice said from right behind me. I turned around, confused, for I still could not see anyone. “Oh! Of course,” exclaimed the voice. The funniest little man then appeared in front of me, placing a ring in his pocket. “I had forgotten about the magical ring. Very useful things, you know. I’m Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire,” he said, “though I am starting to fear that I shall never see it again.” Startled, I replied with the only thing I could think of,

“I am Jane Eyre.”

“Jane, eh? I have a cousin twice removed on the Took side (though she really is a Proudfoot) named Jane. But that’s not the point, and if I don’t find my way back to the wood-elf king’s palace, I’ll never see Bag End or the dwarves again. If you would be so kind as to point me in the right direction?” He said, brushing sticks and dirt off his rather nice jacket.

“I would be glad to help you, if I could,” I replied, “but, good sir, there are no elves.”

“No elves?” he asked indignantly, “Then who are the people who’ve locked my companions up?”

“I am afraid I do not know,” I said, as I studied him more carefully. He was very short, around three and a half feet tall, and yet he was not what we would call a dwarf, for his head was proportionate to his body. He had very large hairy feet, and the look of someone who was unaccustomed to long forays into the woods, though he seemed to be on such a journey now. “Why are you traveling through these woods?” I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from the fanciful elves this little man had thought up.

“I don’t rightly know myself,” he replied miserably. “One moment I was sitting in my hobbit-hole, as comfortable as you please, eating my breakfast, and the next thing I know, I’m off with some dwarves, to steal their treasure back from the dragon Smaug, who lives in the Lonely Mountain. I’ve never been so uncomfortable and hungry in my life, traipsing around this cold, dark, and wet forest, always having to look over my shoulder for giant spiders and elves.”

I felt sorry for the poor fellow, and offered him a piece of bread that I happened to be carrying with me, in case Adele grew hungry during lessons. He thanked me most enthusiastically, sat down on a nearby log, and began devouring the bread as though he had not had food in weeks.

As I thought about his words, it seemed to me that this little man was mad, and yet, I could not reasonably explain his existence in these woods, nor the fact that at one moment he was invisible, and the next he was not. It then occurred to me that if he had a magical ring, and lived in a ‘hobbit-hole’ then perhaps he was also traveling with dwarves to go fight dragons, however outlandish it sounded. I almost laughed at the memory of Mr. Rochester calling me an elf – what would he say if he met Bilbo? No doubt he would say that Bilbo was one of my friends, come to confuse him and rob him of his senses. Then the thought of Mr. Rochester sobered me.

I wondered if he was with Miss Ingram now, laughing and talking with her and enjoying being in the presence of a beautiful and accomplished woman. How dull must I seem in comparison! Even now he might be thinking, “It is unfortunate that I only have Jane Eyre for company at Thornfield. I would never leave if one such as Blanche graced the halls, for she is charming, entertaining and beautiful, while Jane is blunt, dull and plain.”

It seemed to me that Bilbo picked up on my mood, for he asked me what was troubling me so. Before I even realized what I was saying, my whole story spilled out, including all of the events at Thornfield, beginning with when Mr. Rochester’s horse had slipped on the road, to now. Bilbo considered for a while, and then smiled a bit. “I have seen already in these short few minutes that you are kind, for you gave me food, and I have seen that you are practical, for you were carrying food with you! From how you speak of your conversations with this Mr. Rochester of yours, you must be entertaining, for didn’t he call for you again and again? Now, I’m not one to talk about beauty, for we hobbits are not known to be an especially fair race, but even so, beauty isn’t the only good quality, and you don’t need to be beautiful to be happy. The best thing is to have a comfortable home, with very little adventure, where you can sit in the inn with your friends and eat your six meals a day.”

His answer lightened my spirits, partially because of his emphasis on food – six meals a day? Who would think that one so small could eat six meals a day? – but also because he had good points, and the air of contentment around him when he talked of his home was palpable It helped to tell someone what I was feeling instead of keeping it inside.

As he finished the bread, I stared off into space, musing about his answer. “Yes,” I decided, “I will go back to Thornfield, and be happy that Mr. Rochester has found someone that he loves. And if I am no longer needed after he marries her, I will go, and I will find my own little ‘hobbit-hole’ where I can live in peace and contentment. Perhaps I will even start a school.”

“Well now,” he said, getting up and brishing the crumbs off his lap, “I really must be going. I thank you for the bread and company, both were most enjoyable!” With that, he turned and walked to the other side of the glade.

“Goodbye,” I called after him. He waved cheerfully, and took the ring out of his pocket. He slipped in on, and vanished.

I sat for a few more moments, before beginning to return to Thornfield, and as I walked, I walked with a lighter heart.

finis

The preferred spelling of the plural of ‘dwarf’ is ‘dwarfs’, however in Tolkien’s work, ‘dwarves’ is used. This is stated in the preface to The Hobbit.

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