One of the lovelier sights of any hobbit homestead are the numerous ponies around. Given that most hobbits keep a few ponies, and since garden space is precious, you often see our equine friends roaming freely through the villages. Herds of them. Galopping down the roads. Feeding in flower beds. Whinnying and running around all night, thundering hoofbeats keeping even stone-deaf hobbits awake. Come to think of it, perhaps it is not such a lovely sight after all. There have always been tensions between gardeners warding their flower beds and ponies seeking a quick meal, but lately the conflict has escalated to such levels that even the bounders were bound to notice it. The bounders leaped to action and has been debating the issue over ales at the local inns ever since. However, rumours are spreading that an enterprising band of northerners currently look to establish a stable somewhere in the Shire. Hobbits from the North Farthing have always been praised (or cursed, depending who yer ask) for their shrewd business sense, and it is said that this particular group aims to provide a place for ponies to stay, feed and enjoy good care while their owners are busy elsewhere, for a very modest fee. As to where the stables will open is currently unknown. An elderly hobbit in Overhill noticed quite a few carts and wagons heading south the other day, and he has nagged his neighbours about it ever since, only keeping quiet during his seven meals each day.