Extract from the journal of Ranhold, Champion from Dale.
Gods… The Shire… If anywhere makes me wish I were back in the Old Forest being chased by rancid bears, screeching bats, howling wolves and murderous trees it surely is The Shire. Oh there’s nothing wrong with the Shire itself. Lovely rolling hills, babbling brooks, shaded glades; the whole landscape is the very antithesis of the dead Barrows or the wild Forest, but its residents are infinitely more maddening!
From the moment I arrived in Brandybuck I have been assailed by half-pint Hobbits seemingly intent on driving me to the brink of madness with their incessant wittering about food and drink or their endless empty-headed gossip about the wrong-doings of other Hobbits or failings of various family members. And if they’re not chundering on and gossiping then they are dipping into what seems to be a bottomless well of errands they require doing and appointing me their odd-job man and all-round run-around! And they only seem to pay in food!
By all that is holy, I’m a warrior! My line can be traced back to Arnor and the nobility of Annúminas and yet these halflings ask me to deliver their mail (avoiding the ever-eager eyes of their kind’s nosiest gossip-mongers, of course) or collect spoiled fruit pies (all the while staying away from the ever-twitching noses of their kind’s perpetually hungry, naturally)!