Page 6

The sun pierced Balamor’s sleepy eyes as he fixed himself a cup of tea the next morning. He started for the front door, trying to keep his tea from spilling as he walked. The short circular door swung open as Balamor stepped out to breathe the morning air.

He stood atop a wooden porch which rose a foot off the ground. It covered the front of the Wisebeard home; thick floorboards were cut to make a semi-circle. A roof stood five feet high posted on oak beams, each one carved by the hands of Barris Oakfoot. He took pride in his work, but his modesty kept him from boasting.

He stood quietly on the porch front beside his son. His brow lowered in anger, his nostrils flared with heavy breaths. The storm the night before caused him to change his plans to teach his son. His patience broke in a fit of rage.

"It's always something! Now the town needs to be rebuilt and the saw mill is destroyed! Great, just great!" He rambled on as Balamor sipped his tea trying to grip with the situation.

"What a storm huh? Surprised I slept through it." was Balamor's reply.

Ignoring his comment, Barris turned to the door and stormed inside.

       Balamor observed the Raehl as he wiped the sleep from his eyes. The village was a small but highly organized community. Hobbit holes poked through the small hillsides dotting thin dirt roads. Each hole seemingly the same as the next. Some of them with porches and others with lush gardens. Although the storm had damaged the village structures, the hobbit spirit and sense of the community was strong.

It wasn’t because of the destruction that they were a close-knit people, that trait was there even in the most mundane times. He gazed at his people fixing the village, always in large groups but performing as one. Just off to the left he watched six men who were reconstructing the roof to a porch.

Three of them stacked atop their shoulders from the ground to the rooftop, where a fourth was perched; each of them performing a separate task. The man on the bottom was the heftiest of the three; he held a bucket of nails in his left hand and a small hammer in his right. His job, position the beam correctly and nail it to the foundation of the porch. The man above him was working a chisel into the beam staying with it as it swayed to and fro. Little taps of his hammer carved out a design similar to the one on Balamor’s own porch.

The third man was working with the fourth atop the roof. He too carried a hammer and nails, finishing off the work of the other two as he anchored the roof to its rafters. As the four men worked systematically from stud to stud, two others off to the left were sizing and cutting lumber. Barris swung the front door open and quickly joined the two men pointing out mistakes and taking new measurements. He mumbled orders to the two men as he began checking the quality of the wood.

The End

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