Thank you to everyone that entered September’s Rewrite Tolkien contest – there were a lot of great entries! Unfortunately we could only chose one winning entry, which was read live by TOR.n’s own Quickbeam on tonight’s TOR.n Tuesday broadcast. We did, however, have a couple of entries that we thought deserved to be read, so scroll down for our runners up. And stay tuned for our October contest details tomorrow.
September’s winner is – Nick Green of Hertford, U.K.. Congratulations, Nick!
Six Eyes, Eight Legs, One Sword By J R R Tolkien and Dr Seuss, as dictated to Nick Green (Hertford, UK)
Mirkwood was murky as murky could be
Murk lurked in each slirkily-leafed shrubbery
With cobwebs and shlob-webs that swagged every tree
In loomings and gloomings of dark sorcery.
No sunbeam could slip through those corpsickly pines
No glow could untangle the strangulous vines
There wasn’t a glimmer! There wasn’t a glim!
Oh, never had Bilbo seen forest so dim.
The dwarves all were grumbly with rumbling tums,
For most of their food was now chowed down to crumbs.
The hobbit was famished with ravenous fam
Their poultry was paltry, they’d finished the ham.
They tried shooting squirrels as black as coal tar
But which tasted the same, and one doesn’t go far.
Those thirteen-plus-one had no lunch, not the least –
When suddenly – wondrously! – there lay a feast!
A shizzling of torches blazed out of the wood
Which moments ago had been black, and a good
Smell of cooking, and singing! came winging this way,
And “We’ll have some of that!” Bilbo heard Thorin say.
You go!” said the dwarf, “For of you they won’t be
Quite so scared.” (Although Bilbo thought, “What about me?”)
So the hobbit crept into the glade to say “Please”,
But the second his hairy foot trod through the trees
In one puffulous puff every lantern went snuff!
Here was darker than There, and There was dark enough
Of revelers merry was left not a hint,
Not a glint of their fires, not an After Eight mint.
And Bilbo lay dizzified, mazed in a dream
Of scrumptible hot cakes and roasted ice cream
A sumptuous banquet his friends could not share
Till, waking, he cried out in fear, “Are you there?”
To find the dwarves gone was one ghastly surprise
Not so bad as the next one: a red pair of eyes!
But two eyes were lonely, so here gleamed two others
Right over a third pair, as close as six brothers.
“Insect eyes!” Bilbo cried as he jumped up to flee
(For he was no wiz at entomology)
Then flat on his face he fell, fuddled with dread
In a mesh and a muddle of thick spider thread.
In no time at all he’d be wrapped up with cord
But Bilbo, thank goodness, remembered his sword,
That short elvish pen-knife of just the right size-
Out it swished with a swash, and he slashed at those eyes.
Well, if ever you’ve poked out a spider’s six peepers,
You’ll know they don’t like it; it gives them the jeepers
(It’s on their hate-list after plugholes and slippers).
This giant arachnid, attacked in mid-meal,
Went bonkers berserk, till a fresh flash of steel
Quite abolished its abdomen, thorax or head –
Anatomy schmatomy, that thing was dead.
The hobbit stood shaking, alone in the night,
Chalk white from his bug-eyed long-leggedy fright
And wishing, I’m sure, for more friends, light, or height.
But he wiped on the grass the beast-blood from his blade
And slowly began to feel not so afraid.
Bilbo gazed at his sword in the gloom glistening –
“I will give you a name,” he said. “I’ll call you Sting.”
Runner Up – Smaug/Bilbo Seussified by Rachel VanderWoude (Calgary, Alberta Canada)
The dragon Smaug looked fast asleep.
He snored and snuffled breathing deep.
But Bilbo crept a stealthy creep:
For Smaug’s red eye was not asleep –
No sir! It opened just a peep.
“I must not make a sound!” he thought.
“For that would really get me caught!”
But even as he thunk this think
He heard a clunk.
And then a clink.
He turned in fright,
And saw a sight!
A horrid, awful, scary sight!
Smaug was not dead, not dead by half.
He sniffed a sniff
Then laughed a laugh.
“I smell a thief!
I smell a rat!
A sneaky, theivy
Rat at that!
I smell your smell
Upon the air.
I can’t see you
But you are there.
Come help yourself,
There’s gold to spare!”
But Bilbo knew it was a ruse.
“Tremendous Smaug, I must refuse.
The one wonderful thing that I came here to see
Was if you’re as great as they said you would be!
I’ve heard of your grandness, O master of fires,
And I’m quite glad to say that my friends are not liars!
“Ah, is that so?” the worm replied.
(And sounded rather satisfied.)
“Good manners for a thieving pest
But I must ask a small request:
You seem to know my name quite well,
But I cannot quite place your smell.
Where are you from, and what’s your name?
Be quick, or you shall feel my flame!”
“Under hill is where I’m from,
And over other hills I’ve come.
Over ground and through the air,
And walked unseen most everywhere!”
“This may be true
But all the same,”
The dragon said,
“It’s not your name.”
A Fly stinger.
A chosen lucky
A bag I’m from,
A bag I be,
But no bag
Did go over me.”
“Lovely names,” the dragon sneered.
“The oddest that I ever heared.”
Bilbo was proud,
He was proud of his wit,
And was no longer frightened—
Not one little bit!
“I have more names, O Smaug!
I am many more things.
I am Friend of the bears,
And of birds with great wings.
I am Wearer of luck,
And companion of kings,
I am Rider of barrels
And winner of rings!”
Now dragons always like to guess
At riddles and at cleverness.
(I don’t know why this thing is so.
You want to know? Go ask your bro!)
But Bilbo knew just what to say
To hide his name and make Smaug play.
Smaug was quite smart and he well understood
That most of the names would do him little good.
But one thing he took from the thief’s witty words:
In Esgaroth, barrels were common as birds.
“I haven’t been there for an age and an age,
I haven’t been there since I grew old and sage.
But that will soon change”,
Thought the worm in a rage,
“I’ll burn them to bits like they’re mice in a cage!”
“Was Barrel your pony? Then he tasted quite good.
So did the five others, just like ponies should.
Pony, you know, is a marvellous treat.
You boil it up nicely and chop off the feet
And barbeque crisply the rest of the meat,
Then chew it up nicely: it’s crunchy and sweet!
(Making it right is a difficult feat
But if you can do it, it’s scrumptious to eat!)
Those nags were quite good, so I’ll make you a deal.
I’ll tell you a thing in return for the meal.
You may walk unseen, but you don’t walk alone!
And Dwarves are worse friends than a stick or a stone.”
“Dwarves!?” cried poor Bilbo, pretending surprise,
With his heart in his stomach and fear in his eyes.
“Yes, I know the smell, and the taste of nice Dwarfs,
I know when I’ve eaten a Dwarf-ridden horse.
I could smell Dwarf in the thickest of fog,
Don’t insult me, Ring-winner, for I am Great Smaug!”
Now Bilbo was brave,
But he was in a cave…
(And you’d be scared too,
If he switched spots with you.)
He thought to himself,
“You will get yourself stewed!
If you keep going on
In this sort of a mood!”
“I hope you know, Smaug, it was not only gold
Which brought us from out of the world to your hold—”
“Aha! So it’s true!”
Said the dragon with glee.
“You admit to the us!
You admit to the we!”
Why don’t you say fourteen, I quite know it’s true!
Why else would you have fourteen ponies with you?
I expect you feel clever, and sure of reward
For finding them things like that cup from my hoard.
Did they tip you for that?
Did they take it away,
And tell you they’d pay you
On some other day?
And if they do pay you, what then, goodness me!
Did they offer to help you take back your whole fee?
Why think of the cartings! The haulings! The rollings!
Think of the guards, and of paying the tollings!”
Poor Bilbo was speechless! He hadn’t at all
Given thought to the riches that he’d have to haul.
But from small Hobbit heart to his feet, soft and furry,
He meant to stay true to his friends, and not worry.
“I’m rather afraid that you’re all in a mix
About who’s kidding who, and who’s playing the tricks.
Surely, O Smaug, unassesably wealthy,
You must know that hate can get rather unhealthy.
We journeyed o’er hill, not for gold and lozenge;
Oh no! Our main mission, you see, was REVENGE.
Then Smaug laughed a laugh that was dreadfully loud.
Bilbo fell to his feet and quite terrified, bowed!
(Forgetting of course, that he couldn’t be seen,
Or else I don’t really know where he’d have been!)
“Revenge?” said the dragon.
“Revenge,” he did smirk.
“King under the mountain is dead, that’s my work.
I ate up his kin like a wolf among sheep!
I gobbled the women before they could weep!
My claws are like spearheads, my armour like shields,
My wings beat a hurricane, flattening fields.
My breath is like death, it is fiery hot:
Revenge? I have never heard such utter rot!”
“I’ve heard,” squeaked our hero, “That dragons are dressed
In the finest of waistcoats: all but the – er – chest.”
“You’ve heard rather wrongly,” said Smaug, anger-filled.
“I’m armoured all over: I cannot be killed!”
“I do wish you’d show me,” the Hobbit sighed sadly.
“For really, I do want to see your hide badly!”
The dragon rolled over and crowed, “No indeed!
There isn’t a sword that could make this worm bleed!”
There’s no thing on this earth
That could render you pawless!
But inside he was scornful, and thought, “You old fool!”
There’s a spot on your belly without any jewel!
That’s a mighty fine place for an arrow to stick!”
Then he thought about how to get out of there, quick.
“Smaug the magnificent, I am afraid
That I’ve talked long enough and am quite overstayed!
I hope you have fun catching ponies tonight,
For you won’t catch this burglar!”
And with that he took flight.
But as Smaug’s angry fire came flaming behind him,
His common sense finally really did find him.
“Bilbo, you foolish and silly old Baggins!
I’ll just tell you once: never laugh at live dragons!”
Runner Up – What the Bee Saw by Arlothia (Washington State)
The Bumble Bee looked up
From his garden of pollen
To see a grey hat—
A wizard come a-callin’!
“What’s this?” asked the Bee
To himself as he flew,
But he soon saw the grey hat’s
Companion—there were two!
He was a short little man
With fuzzy wuzzy toes.
A Hobbit he was
And his name was Bilbo.
“Who are you?” asked Beorn
“And what do you want?”
So the wizard sat down
And told of their jaunt.
And oh what a tale!
What adventure! What danger!
But just at the good part
There came a cliff-hanger.
The wizard gave a whistle
And the Bee looked around
To see two colored hoods
Approach at the sound.
They were Dwarves the Bee saw
As they came in a queue.
One hooded in purple,
The first in sky blue.
“I’m Thorin! And Dori!”
They said as they bowed.
And Beorn, quite grumpy,
Said “My! What a crowd!
I do not like guests,
No I don’t! No siree!
You, wizard, have brought me
Not one, two, but three!”
Please let me continue!”
Said Gandalf the Grey.
“Once you hear all our tale
You will want us to stay.”
“Then go on with the telling!”
Said Beorn, quite gruff.
The Bee settled down.
This was really good stuff!
But their story of mountains
And Goblins and chases
Was stopped once again
When appeared two new faces!
“We come at your service,”
Said Nori and Ori.
“Sit down,” said the Bear-Man,
“Let’s get on with the story!”
The new purple and grey hoods
Did not waste time stallin’.
But just at that moment
Came Balin and Dwalin.
In proper Dwarf fashion
Red and green hoods were doffed
But they didn’t get far
Before their wagging was stopped.
That’s what you are, see?
Popping up on my doorstep
And disturbing my bees.
Do you have any more?
Will there come one more pair?
Two more Dwarves somewhere out there
To tangle in my hair?”
And just at that moment,
As I’m sure you have guessed,
Came Fili and Kili,
Running after the rest.
“Sit down and be quiet
You matching blue hoods.
No ‘Hellos’ or bowing
Is that understood?
Now go on with your tale,
You wizard of grey,
Despite your bad manners
I’ll hear what you way.”
So Gandalf continued
But the Bee then looked down.
Up came Oin and Gloin,
A white hood behind brown.
“Well now you’re a dozen.
I hope there’s no more.
Housing this party
Has become quite a chore.
Hurry up! Hurry up now!
Your tale is not done.
There were Wargs and blue fire!
Now what is to come?
But the story must wait
For the Bee had just seen
Bouncing hoods of bright yellow
Then, puffing, pale green.
Bifur and Bofur
And Bombur at last!
And now with these three
We have filled out our cast.
“That’s it!” said the Bear-Man.
“That does it I say!
Fifteen is rather
Too much for one day!”
“Let me finish!” cried Gandalf.
“Right quick! On the double!
Let me finish! I’ll tell you
How we got out of trouble.
The Eagles swooped in—
On their backs we went flying.
Their timing was perfect
Or else we’d be frying.
To the Carrock they flew us,
Right up to the top.
Then we walked our way here
And right here we have stopped.”
“My, my! What a story!
Quite a good one I’d say.
But the day is now ending.
You’d all better stay.”
Then they all went inside,
The Bee watched them all go:
The grey-hatted wizard
Then the Hobbit, Bilbo.
They paraded inside,
First the blue hoods, then white.
Then brown, grey, and purples.
Watch them go! What a sight!
The red followed yellows
Then last came the greens.
It was the strangest hood party
That you’ve ever seen!
To his garden of flowers
The Bee then took wing.
“I’m done for today.
Now I’ve seen everything!”