This is a story about a retired hobbit, Master Shyloc, who lived in Michel Delving. Despite of his name, Shyloc was everything else but shy: he was a very outgoing gentlehobbit. He lived near the Michel Delving square where everything was always at hand: market, ale and gossip, among other things. It was a late summer evening, as Master Shyloc laid his head on his pillow, about to fall asleep. But the peace was disturbed by a loud, terrible noise which streamed in from his bedroom window. It sounded like five cats being forced to take a bath. Master Shyloc jumped up and peered out from the window. The sound came from the Michel Delving Square. It wasn't five cats, but five Badgers, all playing bagpipes like maniacs! "Dear heavens," Master Shyloc muttered. "Every time that yellow-dressed lass is away, those Badgers go mad! They should be called 'the Mad Badgers'!" Master Shyloc was about to close his window to avoid the noise when he heard a scream. It was his neighbor, Marigold. "Better go and see what's happening there", Master Shyloc thought and took his cloak. He found his neighbor in her own garden, crying her eyes out. "What on earth is happening here?" Shyloc spat out, being too tired to be polite. "Oh dear Master, this is a scandal!" Marigold explained, sobbing. "All my begonias are gone, root and all!" "What?" Master Shyloc. "I assume those are some type of flower, eh?" "Of course they are, old fool!" she hissed. "These were prized red begonias, worth of a fortune and more!" Master Shyloc spotted some movement at the corner of his eye. A cow was crossing the road leading to Little Delving. "You should probably ask that cow how "prized" they tasted," Master Shyloc muttered and strutted back to his burrow. But apparently, it wasn't the cow who ate those flowers. Next evening, Master Shyloc had already fallen asleep when he heard a female screaming - again. This time, it was another neighbor, Miss Roseanne, who was cursing and stomping angrily in her garden. "Some **** rascal has pushed out all my roses!" she shouted. "Calm down, Miss," Shyloc said, "Your screaming will wake up the whole town, even the bounders." "They should wake up! This is thieves' work here!" Roseanne grumbled. Something caught Shyloc's eye. It was Master Rumblebelly who seemingly was on a very late walk. "Probably you should ask Master Rumblebelly there," Shyloc said to Roseanne. "He is known for his ROSE dyes, if you know what I mean." Then he returned to his bed, leaving the poor Master Rumblebelly in the claws of Miss Roseanne. But Master Rumblebelly wasn't the one who took the roses. Another night came, but Master Shyloc wasn't asleep. He was doing brandy tasting at the Bird and Baby. When he was finished with the drinking activities and gossip, it was already very, very dark. As he wobbled down the road, he heard strange commotion coming from a nearby yard. First he thought he saw some kind of animal digging the ground, but then he saw a red-haired fellow digging the ground. "Oi! What are you doing there?" he shouted at the digger. Taken by surprise, the digger let out a short cry and darted away from the yard. Without hesitation, Shyloc started to chase him, still driven by the power of brandy. Then the chase came to a halt - the digger was gone. Shyloc was huffing and puffing. He was standing in front of Mayor's quarters. He looked around and tried to spot the digger. "It must be the flower thief!" Shyloc concluded. "He or she must be hiding here somewhere..." Then, Shyloc saw a tiny hole in the garden fence. "Maybe the thief is hiding there, in Mayor's garden." When Shyloc got through the tight whole, losing some of his buttons in the process, he saw it. It was the biggest flower garden he had seen in his life. There were all kinds of flowers there. There were begonias and roses too. And there was a shaking, squeaking young hobbit lad who was trying to hide behind a pile of goat dung. "No use to hide anymore, lad," Shyloc said. "I know you're the one stealing those flowers." "Sweet sir, please don't let them know!" the lad sobbed. "I am just trying to help the Mayor with his garden!" "By stealing other people's flowers? That's not gardening, that's stealing!" Shyloc scolded the fellow. "Please, try to understand!" the lad begged. "I am a very poor gardener... I... I always kill those poor flowers." "Mayor hired me as a gardener, but I cannot do the job probably. The flowers just die away..." "I thought I would borrow some flowers from others, so the Mayor wouldn't notice anything..." Master Shyloc nodded and took his pipe out of his pocket. He smoked in all peace for a while, lost in his thoughts. At last, he spoke. "I think I know how to solve this," he said quietly. "But I need your help, lad." They were up all night, working hard and silent. When the sun rose, there was a loud knock on the Mayor's door. "What now, at this hour?" Mayor Whitfoot grumbled, rising slowly from his bed. When he came to the front door, he faced a huge crowd. Still wearing his nightgown, the Mayor felt himself a bit agitated. "What is it?" he asked. "We came to thank you for that lovely surprise! It is lovely!" Marigold said. The Mayor was baffled. "What do you mean?" "Oh, don't be so modest! The new park is absolutely wonderful!" Roseanne said and pointed at the Michel Delving square. Then the Mayor saw it. Out of nowhere, a huge flowery park had appeared around the Bounder's Statue. The Mayor wobbled to the place to take a closer look at the mysterious park. "But... These are my... My flowers!" he realized. "Well, we already figured that one out, didn't we", Roseanne said. "I can see you borrowed some of my roses too." "Dear Mayor," Marigold said, "if I had known it was you who took our flowers from our gardens, I wouldn't have been so angry!" "But it was all worth it! It is so lovely to have all these flowers here where everyone can see them!" Roseanne said proudly. The Mayor was feeling totally lost, but said nothing. "No one has never been so happy with me," he thought. "I'd better just pretend I'm behind all this... They may give me some food!" Master Shyloc and a rather tired-looking young gardener watched the scene from a little distance. "You are a genius, the gardener said. "You really saved me." When the night came, Master Shyloc looked out of his bedroom window. The town was peaceful. No screaming, no shouting... And no... Master Shyloc saw how five Badgers gathered in the new park for some bagpiping. But even as they started playing, only a faint sound of tooting reached Master Shyloc's ears. "I really am a genius," he thought. "Those flowers and bushes dampen the noise quite effectively!" And so he went to his bed and fell asleep. The end.