Diary ~ Entry 1 ~ Back Home Forelithe 10th, 2010 After months of travelling it is nice being back home. Back home in the Shire, and especially back home in Needlehole. Needlehole used to be my whole world. It always felt so big, and full of wonderful things. Having seen much more of Eriador in the last months, it now seems so small. Still, it is my home and nowhere and never have I tasted anything better than Ma's catfish pies, and the best place for fishing in the whole wide world still is the little spot of riverbank under the willow tree, right below our little house, on the other side of the river. There may not be 50-pound salmon to catch, but then, small fish are fine for making pies and other meals - and cleaning them up is so much faster. Auntie Iris gave me this small leather-bound diary. I guess she is curious to hear wether I learned some new recipes on my travels - and she is afraid I could forget something. She looks a little older, but still is the very same nice lady she always was. And we were talking as if I had left only yesterday. I have to pay her a visit tomorrow; surely she still has her pantry full of those nice biscuits. But now that I think of it... that pie she had outside on her table for cooling smelled a little bit strange. Maybe she bought it from the dwarves though. The dwarves. I have to pay them a visit, too. They will be surprised to hear that I have seen Thorin's Hall and Khazad-dûm, and that I have even worked at the forges there! I won't tell Ma though, I think she would faint. She never liked me visiting the dwarves - oh, if she had known that I even used to sneak into their house through the small door behind the stables. The guestroom for travelling dwarves was a great hiding place. When they did not have guests they used it as storage for interesting things. I remember Ulfar caught me once when I tried to lift his pickaxe. I guess I've been five or six then. And how shocked Ma was when he knocked the very next day and gave her a tiny version of a pickaxe for me - perfectly appropriate for the hands of a little hobbit lass. Ma says I had a dwarfish heart since that day. She also complains that on our strolls I used to get lost right in the middle of a conversation - and was found somewhere in the bushes, digging for ore. She just stuck her head in and asked me to catch something for the second supper, so I'll go out to my beloved willow now, and this story will be continued another time.