This week I read the next 100 pages in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.
In Chapter 3 (Shortcut to Mushrooms) Frodo, Pippin, and Sam have just left the company of Gildor the elf and are continuing on their way to Buckleberry. And of course the Black Riders are still on their trail.
After they meet up with Merry they all go back to Crickhollow, where Frodo finds out that not only did all of his friends know exactly what he had been up to this whole time but they also knew a great deal more then he would have ever guessed about the Ring. This was a nice part of the book because I really liked one of the speeches that Sam makes...
You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin - to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours - closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.Aw, good old Sam!
Anyway, after they decided to all stick together, they leave Crickhollow by way of the Old Forest. While there Merry and Pippin fall asleep leaning against The Great Willow and the Willow nearly kills them and then it is TOM BOMBADIL TO THE RESCUE!!!
All you really need to know about Tom is that he is not quite man, not quite hobbit, he is the master of the forest, and he sings absolutely everything! Oh yeah, and there is this moment where we learn that Tom can hold the Ring without being overtaken by desire for it, and he can wear it without becoming invisible. The moment may seem odd because in the books it was never quite explained. It was really barely even mentioned. But Tolkien later wrote that Tom was an entity older then time and his origins were meant to be a mystery. Because of being an entity and all, it then becomes Tom's job to visit with the hobbits, feed the hobbits, give them a place to stay for a bit, and then take them by pony out of the Old Forest and on their way to the Prancing Pony.
Once they get to the Prancing Pony, the hobbits visit with the barkeep and then Frodo does get to visit very briefly with Strider, but we don't get to hear more about him until chapter 10.
I thought, for a moment that my Life Lesson was going to be that I need to be more trusting. But then I thought about it some more and my conclusion was...Hell No! I embrace my jadedness! I embrace my skeptical and cynical side! So, instead, here is my lesson I decided to take away from these chapters...
Life Lesson #2
Never trust the trees!
I'm telling you guys now, those people over at Disney who created Pocahontas lied to you! Not all willow trees are like the kindly grandmother to Pocahontas (*News Flash* this is not the only lie that can be found in Pocahontas). They don't all sing songs and charm animals and give guidance and blah blah blah... Some of them, like the Whomping Willow, will literally try to bash your skull in! And the rest of them are like The Great Willow in Fellowship of the Rings, where they enjoy kidnapping and swallowing and trapping those individuals that fall asleep on their roots!
I know my love of the movie My Girl always left me with the impression that weeping willows were terribly friendly and somewhat sad kind of trees, but now I am learning that they are lethal, deadly, wolves in sheep's clothing kinds of trees. They are not to be trusted!