A Shorter Cut

by Eonwë-(Valar)
October 26th, 2022

Farmer Maggot scratched his head. "I just don't get it."

He stood in front of his mushroom patches in the morning light, where there were a great deal fewer mushrooms than yesterday. Whole clusters that were just about ready to be picked were gone! He'd found a handful missing yesterday, so he'd set his dogs to guard the patches overnight. He found all three this morning tied to a tree! Who could've managed that one? What could've managed that one?

"Someone's stealing my mushrooms, and that someone has to be some sort of wizard to get my dogs not to chase them off. Old Gandalf doesn't go stealing mushrooms though, and he's the only wizard who comes 'round these parts. I just don't get it."

A faint, eerie laughter echoed through his field. Old Maggot stiffened. His eyes darted around, but he didn't see anyone. What he did see when he turned back to his mushrooms froze his blood. The biggest mushroom he had was now hovering in the air in front of him, swaying too and fro, taunting him. He fought to make his arms move, and when they finally worked he snatched at the mushroom. It dodged him and moved further away. He followed and snatched again. It almost sounded like the mushroom was laughing!

The farmer froze again, powerless to stop the mushroom. He watched wide-eyed as a chunk disappeared from the mushroom's cap, then another until the stem was all that was left. With a faint glimmer of light, the stem disappeared and the laughter began again.

Old Maggot ran back to his house. "Ma! We've got ghosts in our mushrooms!"


Frodo woke up and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He looked around at his room and began to chuckle to himself as he remembered his dream. "That has got to be about the silliest use for old Bilbo's Ring."