((Here follows the diary of Marigold Proudfoote, a ten-and-a-quarter year old hobbit recently orphaned. The youngest of eleven (count them, eleven!) children, she was living with her oldest sister Verdigris until recently, when her tantrums got to be too much for her sister to manage. She’s spending some time living with her other sibs for a while at the Bolger Dairy Farm just outside of Bywater. The Bolgers, a well-to-do older couple, have taken on the entire Proudfoote brood. Miss Marigold has been gotten a tutor in hopes that learning her letters properly and keeping a diary might help her come to terms with her change in circumstance. Included is a cast of characters to help all this make sense.
“Mama” Centifolia and “Papa” Alfiric Bolger – the older couple who adopted the Proudfoote orphans.
Tobbold Proudfoote – The actual father who drowned in the peat bog where he was a Frogmorton peat miner. He was, as usual, intoxicated.
Peridot Chubb Proudfoote – The mother very recently deceased following a long struggle with severe (and ultimately fatal) depression following an encounter with a horrid black rider in her vegetable garden. She thwapped the Witch King’s horse on the nose with a rolled-up mosquito net.
Bounder Tobelo (Toby) – The Bounder who found the Bolgers to adopt the Proudfeet. Secretly in love with…
Verdigris – the oldest sister, an accountant in Breeland and mathematical genius. Sadly, she can’t cook and will never catch a husband. She’s only thirty-one, but the Breelanders don’t know that makes her underage.
Pearl – the twenty-nine year old sister, and the pretty one, which is saying a lot in a startlingly good-looking family. She’s a phenomenal cook and works weekday shifts at the Green Dragon as a cook’s assistant.
Amber – twenty-six and already an accomplished baker, blonde and sweetly quiet.
Jade – twenty-four and rambunctious, she shouts and runs wild in an unladylike fashion.
Pyrite – the twenty-one year old, a clever girl with a taste for books, not that she’ll admit to it. She only ever saw books in the Floating Log before now, and she lives in the Bolger’s library these days.
Lapis – the nineteen year old who loves to sew and has a passion for high fashion. Now that she’s in Bywater, she’s been stalking the seamstresses to the wealthy in hopes of gaining a coveted apprenticeship.
Anthracite [Annie] – the wallflower of the family and a stutterer, seventeen year old Anthracite suffers under the burden of her horrid name.
Firkin & Pipkin – the fifteen year old twins and the only boys, this lot is also the least motivated segment of the Proudfoote family. They’re great fans of bird-nesting and playing truant. And now they really can play truant since the Bolgers can afford tutors.
Dandelion – a painfully shy 12 year old with a rich imagination that nobody knows about because she hardly ever talks. She wants to live with the elves when she grows up.
Marigold – The prettiest, most talented, most charming hobbit in the world, at least according to her. Her life goal is to marry a Baggins and be filthy rich.
Tessa – Marigold’s bestest best friend in the whole world. It’s not her fault she’s a big person either. Tessa has a weak heart following a fever, but Marri wants her to come live with her and whatever Baggins she marries.
Mr. Boffin – the tutor. A rather pleasant youngish scholar with a fondness for children and the bane of Marigold’s existence currently since he’s determined to make her use her considerable intellect for something other than Baggins hunting.
Assorted big people, all of whom exist to adore Marigold for being adorable.
Mama Bolger says I’d best sit down to be thinking me life out afore I turn out spoilt. Mr. Boffin got me a word-book what has the right spellings in it and he won’t let me go out to play until I write things proper. He’s no fun, but it’s right what he says. Bagginses all rite real fine like and I’ll have to be riting my Baggins all the time, so I’m practicing because I want to and not on account of Mr. Boffin be making me.
I’m on a farm now right near Hobbiton. It be so posh and everyone speaks so proper, even the gardeners a bit. I bet it’s posher even than Tuckborough, and that be the poshest place in the whole wide Shire! But it hasn’t got nothing on Bag End and that’s a fact. Mama Bolger says she can take me to see it when she goes to Lobelia’s tea party next week.
Mama Bolger is nice but she aint me Ma. Ma weren’t posh, and she shouted a lot, and I didn’t like her much. If I’d been nicer, she’d not have gotten so sad she died. Nobody says it, but I know that’s what they’re thinking. The humans don’t know and that’s why they like me so much, I bet. I like humans lots better than hobbits.
I be hungry now. Goodbye.