The Tale of Bartolo Boffin and The Great Barrow

Harnkegger Games Silver Medalist

I share with you now, an original composition, often told around the fire at my  favorite tavern, The Green Dragon Inn on stormy nights  when the trees are a’ rattlin and the wind is a’ blowin’!

The Cautionary Tale of Bartolo Boffin and the Great Barrow

The tale I tell today ‘tis true

Of a Ne’er-do-well who came to rue

The day he set out from the shire

With dire plans did he conspire

To ferret out a fortune far from farms where up he grew

(In fact, his friends were far and few..)


Bartolo, a Boffin born

A bully whom the Baggins scorned

Was a trial to kith and kin

For sins too sundry to begin

And so at 33, out he was tossed and none did mourn

(Not even Uncle Bingo was forlorn…)


Rather than soil his lazy hands

A daring deed instead he planned

To raid the Tomb of Othrongroth

(At tales of the dead, he’d often scoffed)

And live a life of leisure laced with loot that he would land

(Think Furry Toesies in the Sand…)


So he set out ‘cross the Marish

Swam the River (nearly Perished!)

Hauled from Dock, and crawled cross Buckland

(Quaffed a few brews from a Pub he ducked in)

Steeled with Liquid Courage to face Forest Old and scarish

(In fact, it was nightmarish!)


In fever dreams he finally emerged

From frenzied forest fears discouraged

But he knew that he’d found the Barrows

And harrowing cold seeped in his marrow

As he shied from shambling shades reciting dirges

(Poor pathetic Perian, beset by scourges!)


At last at mighty Othrongroth

Edain Burial Mound of Wroth

He hesitated on the doorstep

No riches could compel one more step

And amid his dark despair, he turned his eyes aloft

(And on the air, faint echoes of a warming whistle waffed…)


A whistle heard now clearly keened

Stronger still and pure and clean

Afore the wound of Othrongroth

It brought memories of his family’s croft

A soft and gentle touch of home serene

(and suddenly he knew how stupid he had been!)


But before he could turn away

A shade of Cardolan’s dismay

Screamed and reached to draw him in

Lights fury flashed amid the din

And he felt his mind slipping away

(A feeling he sore remembers to this day!)


When at last his wits he found

He descried two eyes a-twinkling down

Smiling at his form supine

Upon the banks of the Brandywine

“You Halflings sure find trouble by the pound”

(and o’er the hills the odd man capered with a bound)


So Bartolo staggered home that day

A hobbit changed in most every way

He joined the Bounders burly band

And always gave a helping hand

Ne’er again to speak of his journey’s way

(But the hair on his toes was ever more white than grey!)


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