Thursday, 9 January 2020

Pouncella's Song

When I was born, I was born to pounce
To reach the skies that lie so high above
I can’t just go walking, it’s sooo very boring
So when I am out, I pounce like I am soaring

When I worked at the Post, things went all wrong
The ales I delivered all turned into foam
I guess it’s because I pounce all the time
It might get messy, but it’s not a real crime
How I love to pounce
I don’t care if the others think I am daft
I just love to pounce
I will do it until I am all wrinkles and old

When I worked at the Dragon, as a waitress
All my duties ended up in a huge mess
Pouncing inside is quite a talent
It’s something that I never have learnt
I tried my best at the Hobbiton fields
But I pounced them veggies into mushy squeeze
I wonder if there’s a fitting job for me
A reckless lass who likes to pounce free
How I love to pounce
I don’t care if the others think I am daft
I just love to pounce
I will do it until I am all wrinkles and old

But then again, after all these past mishaps
I don’t really mind my dear obsession to pounce
When all I’ve angered chase you all around
I can escape, thanks to my pounce
How I love to pounce
I don’t care if the others think I am daft
I just love to pounce
I will do it until I am all wrinkles and old
I will do it until I am all wrinkles and old

About the song

If you ever see a pouncing lass in the Shire, that's probably me! I don't know why, but for some reason I love to pounce almost all the time. The following song has been inspired by this obsession of mine. It is best sung to a tune by Arcade Fire: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).


Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The collective Yule calendar entry for 2019: show us your Yule food!

Last year, we put together a slide show of Yule tree pictures sent by members of the LOTRO community. The result was very lovely and atmospheric. So it would be nice to make a similar slide show this year as well... with Yule food!

Please send a picture of a Yule food/meal/feast. It can be an old picture from a previous Yule. Please make sure that the picture is taken/owned by you, and/or you have rights to use it. You can tell where the picture has been taken (state/country), so that we can add it to the slide show. It is always nice to see how widely spread the community is!

Please send your Yule food pictures to Pycella by Quickpost to pycellawoodberry(a) on 15th December at the latest.

(EDIT: The deadline for sending the pictures has been extended.)

Friday, 25 October 2019

The Hobbity Yule Calendar 2019

Are you dreaming of a hobbity Yule?
Let’s make that dream come true – together!

In the past two years, the hobbits of the Grand Order of the Lost Mathom kinship have put together a hobbity Yule calendar, sharing their Yule-themed pictures, recipes, songs, poems and videos to others each day from 1st to 24th December. The calendar has been quite popular, getting people into a cheerful Yule mood. So it would be lovely to organize the calendar this year as well!

This time though, we would need your help. Do you have something to add as a calendar entry? Here are some examples of entries:
  • A Yule-themed picture, LOTRO screenshot, slideshow, drawing, or a video made by you
  • A Yule poem, story, or a song
  • An introduction to a local Yule tradition you’d like to share to other hobbits
  • Your favourite Yule recipe
  • Yule decoration ideas, riddles, games…

Feel free to get creative as well! Each entry is valuable, so don’t be shy to share your stuff. For inspiration, you can take a look at the previous Yule calendars from 2017 and 2018.

Let the Quickpost deliver your entries to pycellawoodberry(a) Please send your entries as early as you can, so that the calendar preparations can be made in time. This year, the Yule calendar will be hosted as a blog, and not on the kinship forum. More information to come!

Please help us make the hobbity Yule calendar and spread cheer among hobbits and other folks!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Dye Seller the Brave

It all started a long time ago in the Shire.
At that time, the King Arvedui of Arthedain called for aid from all good peoples, also from hobbits.
Master Merimas Whitfoot was occupied with arranging his dyes at the market, when the King’s messengers arrived.
”Hear ye hear ye!” they shouted and started to read a message from a very long piece of parchment.
”We, King Arvedui of Arthedain, hereby call all free peoples to defend us in the battle against the evil forces of Angmar.”
They went on for quite some time, but Master Merimas did not listen to the summons.
He had more interest in having his dye phials in a proper order at his booth.
But then, the messengers arrested the dye seller's attention too.
”It will be a great honour to make your own people proud of you – we should all be ready to die for a noble cause!”
”Dye for a noble cause?” Merimas repeated and jumped out from his booth.
”Where can I enlist?” he shouted over the crowd.
Everyone cheered for this brave volunteer, and Merimas felt already proud of himself.

That simple lad never realised what the mission was actually about...
”I bet they have a huge shortage of colour up north!” he pondered.
”I am going to bring my very best dyes along with me!”
Someone also mentioned that the hobbits should bring a bow…
So he selected his most colourful bow tie and put it proudly around his neck.
”I will show them the proper way to dye!” he declared, as the company of hobbits departed from the Shire.
The others gave him an odd look, and no wonder…
Dozens of colourful phials were strapped onto his backpack, all clinging like bells as he went.
But as the oncoming battle was weighing heavily on their minds, no one paid much attention to the dye seller.

As they approached the northern realm, it was already quite beaten up after centuries of war.
The land was bare and and deserted, the buildings were in ruins.
This didn't upset Merimas.
”This land certainly is lacking colour! I will make millions dye sales here!”
Finally, they reached the battle fields and joined the western forces at a campsite near Fornost that was taken by the evil sorcerer.
Merimas immediately started to offer his dyes to the generals, but they didn't seem to have any interest in his high quality products.
Merimas was a bit disappointed, but he didn't despair.
”These fellows already have nicely coloured banners and clothing, so I need to find another customers,” he thought and left the camp.

It was quite dark when he reached another camp, surrounded by dark banners and an awful smell.
The camp was set up outside a great city wall, towering up towards the grey, gloomy skies.
”What a mess this place is,” Merimas sighed. ”It needs decorating!”
So he entered the camp and looked at the place. It looked empty, but there was all kinds of gear around.
”Looks like armour, shields and weapons,” Merimas observed.
”And no colour on them! They will just blend into this dull environment. I cannot allow that!”
”Good thing I brought a lot of yellow dye. That will stand out a mile!”
So, he started to paint all the stuff he found: shields, helmets, spikes and other stuff that lacked colour.

Suddenly, he heard someone approach. It was a big warg, coming right at him!
”What are you doing here, maggot?” the warg snarled.
”Well, I am here to dye!” Merimas replied, not forgetting his mission.
The warg looked a bit surprised; it certainly hadn't expected this kind of courage from a small hobbit!
”What a cheeky little creature you are!” it said. ”You want to try it on with me, silly maggot?”
”If you want to!” Merimas answered and, without further ado, he smacked one yellow dye phial at the warg's face.
The warg didn't look too happy about it, so Merimas decided that it was a good moment to run for his life.

As Merimas darted out from the enemy camp, he was closely followed by a pack of wargs, who had been summoned by their newly-dyed lieutenant.
But Merimas only cared about his dyes:
”I am not yet finished with dying!” he thought. ”I need to accomplish my mission!”
And so he took his backpack and threw it down on the ground as he was running down a steep hill.
All the phials cracked and the dyes spread on the ground.
He continued running, but the wargs slipped on the slimy dyes and rolled down the hill, ending up into a furry pile.
But Merimas just kept running until he was happily back at the western forces' camp.

As the western forces marched into battle the next day, Merimas was gone, probably looking for safer dye markets in other lands.
But his deeds did not go totally wasted.
For when the enemy army approached, it could easily be spotted, brightly coloured as it was.
The hobbit archers that were positioned on a hill could clearly see their targets.
Besides, the rainbow-coloured wargs didn't look that scary to the soldiers on the battlefield.
And as we know, the enemy was forced to retreat on that day.

So, what is the moral of the story? I think that...
Even if you are not brave nor bright, you might still accomplish great deeds that matter.
As an old saying of dye sellers goes:
”All that is gold does not glitter, but that can be solved with dye.”
The End.

The Grumpy Hobbit Goes Yellow

(The grumpy pictured above is not related to this story, despite the many similarities.)

I know a story about Staddle. The hobbits who live here are much like the ones who live in the Shire. There are wild tweens, lazy burrowers and of course, grumpy hobbits. This is a story about a grumpy hobbit who lived here.

There was this grumpy old hobbit lad. You never spotted him in a good mood. He just went around, complaining about everything. He was annoyed by most of the things, especially loud, lively, cheerful things. They gave him a headache. Also things like bright colours annoyed him. That’s why he always dressed up grey.

Needless to say, the fellow was a bit lonely too. It’s hard to get friends if yer grumpy all the time. Whenever he was out, the others tried to avoid him and never talked to him much. It bothered him a bit and just made him even grumpier. But one day, one single mishap changed things for him.

The grumpy hobbit didn’t have a wife to help him with the daily chores at his burrow, but the friendly neighbour helped him with some, like doing the laundry. This lady was very good and diligent with the laundry… except for one time.

This time, when the grumpy hobbit returned to get his washed clothes back, the lady was blushing.
“I am sorry, sir, but I think one of my youngsters had put a pot of honey among yer laundry,” she said.
The grumpy hobbit looked at his clothes, all bright yellow now. “Goodness!” he exclaimed. Them were all his best clothes, all now disgustingly bright yellow.

For the next week or so, the grumpy hobbit just hid inside his burrow, ashamed and angry. Then he run out of food, and was forced to go out to the marketplace. In his bright yellow shirt. He was almost unrecognisable!
“I look like a fool”, he thought. “Everyone will just laugh at me now.”
But they didn’t. To his surprise, everyone was suddenly smiling at him and talking to him merrily.
“What on Middle-earth is going on…” he thought, when a vendor had reverse-haggled the price of the taters she had sold to him.
He never had experienced friendliness like this. “Could it be the yellow colour of my shirt?” he pondered. Maybe wearing a merry colour didn’t hurt after all.
And more was to come. When he was inspecting the cauliflower offerings, a tall lass from Bree-town walked to him. She started a nice conversation with him about the harvest and such. She was a bit tall and even a bit burly, but there was something in her eyes that made the hobbit lad’s heart beat faster. And that dark voice of hers... It was like there was some magic in the air…
When the hobbit returned home, he thought about all what had happened.
“The yellow colour really pays off,” he concluded. “I will wear it next time as well!”
And so he did. Each time afterwards, he received friendly service from the market vendors. And each time, the tall lass was waiting for him with a smile on her face.

Then, one time, things went further… The lass asked if the hobbit would like to join her at a private picnic! The hobbit blushed, but couldn’t say no… It was a new situation for him. Feeling merry, gettin’ some attention from a lass… Anyway, it would just be a harmless picnic. They took some food and drink from the market and headed to a nearby hill, where there was a secret picnic spot. The hobbit enjoyed the food and drink, but the lass just looked at him dreamily. The hobbit started to feel a bit anxious. He didn’t know how to act in these situations… He just knew how to be grumpy, that’s all.

Now, the lass was moving closer and closer to him.
“You know,” she said with her dark voice. “I really do love that shirt of yours, it really suits you.”
The hobbit gulped and looked at the lass. She was drooling.
Suddenly, the hobbit realised that her feet were more hairy than usual. The whole lass was a bit hairy… And she was suddenly growing a lot burlier… Very much like….

A bear! With horror, the hobbit realised that the lass he had met had turned into a huge beast that drooled at him! Only now he realised that this bear-woman had only taken interest at the honey-scented shirt he had on! He didn’t want to know if she was interested in his dear body parts as well... So he jumped up and ran away as hard as he could. He ran down the road and saw a tall tree there, in the middle of the road. He climbed up and sat there… Some say that he threw his shirt to the beast and was left in peace after that. But according to a legend he never got down from the tree…. And now, the tree is always yellow, throughout the year. And for some reason, the tree is often surrounded by bears.

True story, I tell yer.
The end.

Hobbits at Heart

We hobbits love our peaceful lives
Away from folks of other types
Dwarves, elves, and longshanks men
Make us scared like Sandson’s hen
But this thing I’ve known right from the start:
Deep inside, all they’re hobbits at heart.

I saw an elluf near Woodhall
In a glade, hiding from us all
Eyes shone a light old as the sun
Full of memories, times that are gone
Morning come, birds began a song
The elf stood up and hummed along
Paying homage to the early lark
He was a true hobbit at heart.

A ranger sits down with a pint
Stares into it, sucks his pipe
His face is scarred, his eyes so sad
Seen many fates that ended bad
Then a bard strums a merry beat
The ranger smiles, taps his feet
Even the saddest man beneath the stars
Was feeling like a hobbit at heart.

A grumbling dwarf once passed me by
A lass had pulled his beard, who knows why
He claimed to be an important dwarf
Who wouldn’t bear this silly stuff
But as I gave the dwarf a slice of pie
The joy came back into his eyes
And when we munched that tasty tart
I saw he was a hobbit at heart.

We’re all different as day and night
But it is no excuse for a fight
The stranger who might seem quite odd
Might have a heart worth of gold
Don’t judge by looks, and you can come far
For we all are hobbits at heart.

The Biscuit Crumbler

Who rides, so late, through the night?
It is a hobbit, holding tight
A biscuit jar, well in his arm
He holds it safely, he keeps it warm.

“Dear jar, what does make you shiver?”
“Oh, the Biscuit Crumbler’s gettin’ nearer!”

“Don’t yer see it standing in the rain?”
“Dear jar, ‘tis the mist rising over the plain.”

Says the Crumbler: “Oh jar, follow me”
“To the biscuit heaven I bring thee”
“Where days are warm like oven’s heart”
“Oh, come with me, it will be smart.”

Cries the jar: “Master, don’t you hear”
“What the Crumbler whispers in me ear?”
“There’s naught to fear, my biscuit jar”
“The winds just whistle from afar.”

Says the Crumbler: “Heed my call”

“Come, escape your own downfall”
“In my land you’re so secure”
“No hungry hobbits to endure.”

“Dear Master, please, don’t yer see?”
“The Biscuit Crumbler, between the trees?”
“My dear jar, no need to take fright”
“The aged grey willow deceives yer sight.”

“I’ve called thee, praised with odes”
“You're not willing, so I’ll use force.”
“My master, the Crumbler grabs me fast!”
“’Tis my end, he will hurt me at last.”

It horrifies the hobbit; he swiftly rides on,
Holding the jar, ‘til break of the dawn
Reaches his home, pauses on his lawn:

But in his lap, the jar is… gone…

((This is based on an old poem by Goethe, Erlk├Ânig. It is one of my favorite scary poems, so I wanted to make my own adaption of it... Maybe not that elegant, but boy doesn't it make you shiver at the end?))