A ballad about a young lass who worked at Tuckborough Hall, as told as part of the 9th Historical Field Trip! PART ONE Now Letti Sweettoe was a lass Who lived by Tuckborough Hall And every Sunday she would work At cleaning round Great Smials For with her duster in her hand She'd sweep and wipe all round The dust was blown from off the books And cobwebs brushed all down One day whilst cleaning off some books One fell upon the floor When Letti reached and opened it A map was what she saw But Letti couldn't read so well So knew not what it told But seeing pictures of a chest She thought it lead to gold! She hid the book within her coat On leaving work that day Deciding rather eagerly She'd hunt it right away But where to start she was not sure For words she could not read Yet lines were dotted on the map To treasure they must lead! She recognised a picture first A drawing of the Smials And jagged lines from out the door Led Eastward to the fields Was that the symbol of a wood? Perhaps the willow tree? She made her aim to head there first To see what she could see She prodded at the Willow's roots And hunted round and round In bushes and beneath the rocks No treasure could be found This eager searching left her tired And time began to creep So resting up against the trunk She had a little sleep Her dreams were full of gold and gems Of necklaces and rings And splendid coloured silken clothes Such fancy special things But Letti startled from her dreams As voices she did hear And down the path she saw in dread Some brigands skulking near! She dived behind a nearby bush And hid there just in time Too late though Letti realised The book she'd left behind! And horror struck as she then saw The brigands picked it up The leader of them studied hard And started speaking up... "This book it tells of boundless wealth It's held at Tuckborough Hall Let's get our clan and then attack So we can claim it all!" And when the brigands sauntered off Young Letti turned to run "I have to warn the Thain!" she cried "Oh what is it I've done!" PART TWO So, Letti ran and ran and ran Until she reached the hall And knocking on the oaken door She gave a mighty call "Oh Thain", she cried, "Please come at once, "For Tuckborough is in strife!" "And brigands come this very way" "With axes, clubs and knives!" The Thain tried calming Letti down "Now lass, what's this you say?" "It must be nigh on fifty years" "Since brigands came this way" So, Letti paused and took a breath And told the story true How brigands had now got the book And what they planned to do The Thain's old face turned ashen white He knew that doom was near Determination then took hold He said "We must not fear!" Beside the door there was a bell The Thain he rang it loud Then bounders from around the town Did form an eager crowd The Thain addressed the bounders there "Do heed what now I say" "For trouble comes to Tuckborough Hall" "We must defend this day" He turned to face young Letti next "It best that you now hide" "Fear not, we'll foil the brigands plans" "To raid what lies inside" The brigands came within the hour Their voices full of spite They smashed apart the wooden gates The bounders then gave fight! And trembling deep within the hall The noise made Letti weep The clash of arms on shield and stone And cries that pierced deep The battle lasted many hours But with the setting sun The brigands had not broke the line The hobbits had now won! Though bruised and battered, cut and scratched Such evil they had braved But now they stood triumphantly And Tuckborough Hall was saved! The Thain stood proudly by the Hall With Letti by his side "It's time, my dear, for you to learn" "The treasure that we hide" "Not gold, nor gems, but something more" "So come and take a look" "It's knowledge that we treasure most" "That's held within these books" So Letti never would forget She heeded what she heard And soon she learnt to read and write To treasure all the words And poems were her favourite She came to write in time Perhaps it was young Letti then Who wrote this very rhyme....?