BAD HOBBITS ARE HARD TO BREAK

Written by DTYarbrough

The Adventures of Sir Timothy in the Land of Tomorrow Story #4
Copyright 2010 All rights reserved

BAD HOBBITS ARE HARD TO BREAK
Written by DTYarbrough

Liz and Tim had just returned from the land of the dwarfs and Tim had just awakened from a long nap. "There's another problem that Merlin needs us to solve," said Liz as she entered his room. "Ole Dan the hobbit is up to his old ways again." "What sort of problem is Ole Dan causing?" asked Tim. "Picking fights and wrecking the tavern. He can't seem to hold his Elderberry wine," said Liz. "And he does love to drink." "What does Merlin expect us to do about it?" asked Tim. "I have an idea and this will give you a chance to meet some more of the inhabitants of the land of Tomorrow. You have heard of hobbits, haven't you?" asked Liz. "I've read The Lord of the Rings, if that's what you mean. But I've never met a real hobbit," said Tim. "Well, here's your chance. Feel like another adventure?" asked Liz. "I can't wait. When do we leave?" said Tim. "Right away. No time like the present," said Liz. "Let's get some supplies from the magic store, and we'll be on our way." As they entered the magic store, Tim was amazed. Spider webs were everywhere. Snakes crawled among the shelves stocked with all sorts of herbs, spices, minerals and assorted eye of newt and bat's wings. Tim half expected to see a witch behind the counter. "How may I help you?" asked Billy Goat as he peered over his reading glasses. "Liz, could I interest you in the latest edition of the wizard's handbook?" "Sure, and here's a list of other things we will need. Just put it on Merlin's account," said Liz. "You know I can't sell wormwood to a minor. Merlin will have to pick this up himself," said Billy.
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"Is that going to be a problem?" asked Tim. "We'll just have to find some on a trip," said Liz. "It will be good experience for you." "Why won't he sell it to minors?" asked Tim. "He's afraid we'll smoke it," said Liz. "It's makes you act foolish and attempt dangerous stunts." "And that's okay for grownups?" asked Tim. "I guess so. There's no law against it," said Liz. "Are we going to the stables?" asked Tim. "No, we'll give the horses a rest. We'll take a canoe for most of this trip," said Liz. "Ever paddled a canoe?" "I've ridden in one, but I've never paddled. I was too young," said Tim. "Well, you're old enough now. And there's nothing to it, at least until we hit the rapids," said Liz. "After that, you'll be an expert, if you don't drown." "Sounds exciting," said Tim. "That's the spirit," said Liz. ........................ "This isn't so bad," said Tim as he sat in front of the canoe and rowed. The only ripples in the water were those made by the oars. "You did secure everything, didn't you?" asked Liz. "Of course, but I don't think we have anything to worry about," said Tim. "What's that noise?" "That would be the rapids I told you about," said Liz. "Just keep us between the big rocks, and I'll keep it straight." "Big rocks?" asked Tim. "Oh, those big rocks!"
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"Don't worry about speed, we'll be going plenty fast enough," said Liz. "Just keep away from the rocks." Tim quickly swung from side to side, paddling first on one side, then the other. Barely missing one rock then another, the canoe tossed and turned, gaining more speed by the minute. Finally it was over. The stream was calm again. "What 's that roaring sound?" asked Tim. "Don't you just love the sound of a waterfall?" asked Liz. "Waterfall!" yelled Tim. "Not a waterfall!" "We'd better head for shore. We'll have to walk around this one," said Liz. "You don't have to tell me twice," said Tim as he pointed the canoe toward shore. Tim hopped out and pulled the canoe ashore. "Let's hide the canoe," said Liz. "We won't need it again until we head back." "Are we taking all the supplies?" asked Tim. "No, leave about half of them for the trip back. It's much slower going back. It's upstream and will take much longer," said Liz. "I could sure use a rest," said Tim. "How much farther is it?" "Half a day's walk. Just beyond the horizon," said Liz as she pointed to the top of a large hill. Looking down from the ledge next to the waterfall, Tim exclaimed. "Are we going way down there?" "Yes, but not all at once. We'll follow this path. It will gradually lead us down there," said Liz. "Okay, let's get a little rest before we start, and a bite to eat." ........................ Following the winding trail along the rock cliff, the mist from the
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waterfall made it hard to see and very slippery. The noise also made it hard to hear each other. A large bear came around a corner and Tim found himself in a tricky situation. Standing face to face with the bear, Tim listened as the bear insisted that he move aside. Since there was no place for Tim to move, he looked back at Liz. "Go between his legs," said Liz. "Push him off the ledge? I don't think I like that idea," said Tim. "Neither do I," said the bear. "She said to go between my legs." "Oh," said Tim. "Now that's a good idea if it's okay with you." "Go ahead, don't dilly dally," said the bear. "I don't have all day." "Whew, that could have been much worse. Quick thinking, Liz," said Tim. "Maybe you had better let me lead the way, at least till we get on level ground," said Liz. "I've got it covered," said Tim as he turned to see a giant heading up the trail. "Okay, you first, if you insist. Should we make a run for it?" "Don't worry, everything will be fine," said Liz. The giant walked up to Liz and Tim. Gently picking them up, he placed them on the trail behind him and continued on his way. "How did you know he was a good giant?" asked Tim. "They all are, unless they find you trespassing in their home," said Liz. "Now you tell me," said Tim. ........................ Liz paused near the bottom of the waterfall. "Do you see that driftwood floating near the shore?" said Liz. "That's wormwood. We need to collect a few pieces."
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"I'll get it," said Tim. "Are we going to do a spell?" "Not yet. It's too wet to burn right now. But I can show you another spell if you're ready," said Liz. "What kind of spell?" asked Tim. "I'm always ready for a new spell." "This is an alteration spell. You can change any object into another similar object for a short period of time. This spell only requires two ingredients. The duration is controlled by how long you can concentrate," said Liz. "What ingredients do I need?" asked Tim. "Mercury and black rose petals," said Liz. "Any magic words?" asked Tim. "No, just concentrate on what you want to change the object into," said Liz. "Point the wand at the object and blink one eye." "What if I blink both eyes?" asked Tim. "Then you can change two objects at once," said Liz. "We'd better be on our way. We want to get there before Ole Dan gets into more trouble." "Help me ... can someone help me?" came a voice from the side the trail. "Why, it's Toby Tortoise," said Liz. "My goodness Toby, what happened?" "Turn me over," said Toby. Liz reached down and flipped Toby over so that he was upright again. "I was coming down the road, and I had just pulled over to pass a snail, when this road hog ran me off the road. I believe it was Homer Hog. He was in a real hurry and never looked back. I've been here for hours, waiting for that snail to come along and give me a hand," said Toby. "Well, all's well that ends well," said Liz. "You'd better slow down
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though, you might not be so lucky next time." "That's all I ever hear, slow down Toby. I have places to go, and things to do," said Toby. "Well, be careful," said Liz. "Come on Tim, the excitement's over." As they topped the hill, they could see the village in the valley below. "Welcome to Ravenshire" read the sign. "We need to stop at the hotel and get a room. We'll need privacy to perform this next spell," said Liz, "and a couple of bottles of elderberry wine and a gallon of goat's milk." ........................ "Just put those bottles on the table. See if that wormwood is dry," said Liz as they entered the room. "No, I'm afraid it's still quite damp," said Tim. "I'll set it over here near the fireplace so it will dry out faster." "Okay, we can get some rest while it's drying," said Liz. "I'll take the couch, you can have the bed." "Will you be warm enough on the couch?" asked Tim. "Help me push it over by the fireplace," said Liz. ........................ "Wake up, Prince Charming. I need a kiss," said Liz. "I'm sleeping beauty." Tim awoke to find Liz sitting on top of him. Smoke was rising from the fireplace. "The wormwood!" Tim thought. "It's smoking." "You've got to let me up," said Tim. "Liz, it's the wormwood. You're acting silly." "Not until you kiss me?" said Liz. "Hold still." Tim rolled over quickly and Liz went sprawling onto the floor. Tim grabbed the wormwood and tossed it out the window. As he turned around, Liz threw her arms around him and kissed him. At first Tim
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tried to push her away, but something made him stop. He returned the kiss. After a few minutes, Liz pulled away. "What are you doing, Tim? Did I say you could kiss me?" said Liz. "It's the wormwood," said Tim. "It was too close to the fireplace." "Where is it? I don't see it. Did it all burn up?" asked Liz. "I don't think so. I tossed it out the window," said Tim. "Should I go get it?" "Yes, and hurry. We're going to need it for the spell," said Liz. In a moment Tim returned with the remaining wormwood. "Bring it over to the table," said Liz. "Here, taste this." Tim took a sip from the wine bottle. "Yuk. That tastes like sour milk," said Tim. "Try this one," said Liz. Tim took a sip from the milk bottle. "Tastes like wine," said Tim. "Good," said Liz. "Pour it into the waterbag." Tim removed the cork and carefully filled the waterbag from the milk bottles. Liz sprinkled some of the wormwood ashes into the waterbag and shook it up before putting the cork back in. "Okay, let's go find Ole Dan," said Liz. ........................ Tim and Liz entered the tavern. "There he is. Ole Dan Druff. Let's go on over but let me do the talking," said Liz. "Hello Dan, I brought you a bottle of elderberry wine. I was wondering if we could ask you a few questions?" "Why thank you. My bottle just happens to be empty," said Dan. "That bottle is from the latest batch of elderberry wine. We've had some complaints. It seems that some people have an allergic reaction. We were wondering if you would taste it for us and give us your opinion," said Liz.
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"Anything for scientific research," said Dan as he took a large gulp then quickly spit it out, all over Tim. "That tastes like sour milk." "Oh, my. That's too bad. You're allergic." said Liz. "But lucky for you, we've developed a cure, just for people like you. Here, try this." Ole Dan took a drink from the waterbag. "Now that's more like it, Let me just check something." said Dan as he handed it back to Liz. "No, you keep it. After you drink it all, you will be cured," said Liz. "Why thank you. That's awfully nice of you," said Dan as he stood up and started to walk around. Dan stumbled and landed on his butt. "That's some really good stuff." "Well, we had better be going. Come along Tim," said Liz. ........................ "When he drinks it all, he'll just go back to his old ways again. What did we accomplish?" asked Tim. "But he can't drink it all. That waterbag has a spell on it. And the wormwood will make him act foolish, just like wine, but he won't be of any harm to others," said Liz. "Where will all that sour milk come from? I didn't think you could make something from nothing," said Tim. "When people's milk goes sour, they just pour it out. Instead of letting it all go to waste, some of it will magically appear in the waterbag," said Liz. "Congratulations, Liz. Who says bad hobbits are hard to break?" said Tim. "Changing his boots into rollerskates was a good touch, too," said Liz. "But isn't that wormwood dangerous, if it will make him do foolish things?" asked Tim. "It won't make you do anything you don't want to do. It just gives you the nerve to do it," said Liz.
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"Oh, really," said Tim. "Isn't that interesting?"

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