I hear that my former nanny, old Miss Almi visited the Dragon yesterday. She told a story from her youth and let me put it here too! It is a story about a hobbit lad, pies and love! This is a story about a hobbit called Will. When Will was born, his mother soon took notice of the boy's love for all edible things. Even among hobbits who love food above everything, Will stood out with his endless appetite. He could easily clean up a fully laden feast table of food all by himself. He licked the dishes so clean that the dishwashing seemed unnecessary. That made the dishwashers happy, but the mother was exhausted. She had to cook like a storm for the boy. Wiping sweat from her brow, she used to say: "I just wait for the day when that boy is grown up and marries a sweet lass." "Then I can pass all this cooking on to her!" But getting a lass for Will wasn't an easy task. You know, all that eating had a great impact on Will's appearance... To put it kindly, he was a bit plump. And therefore, he was not that popular with the girls. At least the ones that could cook. But that didn't bother Will for a long time, because he only had eyes for one thing: food. When Will reached the end of his tweens, he suddenly realised that he had fallen in love. The lucky lass was one of the most esteemed pie bakers of the Shire. The only problem was that the lass was already engaged to another lad. She had no eyes for the plump hobbit, even though Will visited her pie shop on a daily, sometimes even on an hourly basis. But Will didn't give up hope. "She is not married yet," he thought. "There is still hope!" But all too soon, the wedding day dawned. The whole Shire was invited. And all came, at least to gobble down the pies. There were at least a hundred pies, all baked by the talented fiancée. Will was there too, looking shyly at the pies and their pretty baker. All of a sudden, the baker lass gasped and broke into tears. "Oh my! I have lost my wedding ring!" she cried. "It must have gotten into one of those pies while baking!" "The wedding is ruined!" she wept. It seemed impossible to find the ring, as there were so many pies. But not too many for one particular hobbit lad... "Do not worry, Miss. I will find that ring for you," Will said. "But how?" the baker lass asked. Without an answer, Will walked to the first pie table and started eating. He chewed each slice carefully, trying to spot a possible ring inside it. Folks gaped at him while he ate the pies like there was no tomorrow. "How can he take that all?" they whispered. "One more slice and he will explode! And I will lose my appetite!" someone groaned. And many said... "He never stops eating! A disgusting display...but that reminds me, I am rather hungry! Where is supper?" But Will didn't explode nor stop; he went on, determined. Then, suddenly, people saw him frown. "Oh no! He will heave now!" the guests gasped. But Will didn't heave; he just opened his mouth, full of pie, and pulled something out... Will wobbled to the baker lass and kneeled in front of her, holding a ring in his hand. Will tried to say something, but his mouth was still full of pie and he could only mumble. Everyone watched the scene with excitement. Did Will propose her? The baker lass took the ring and gasped: "Oh, Will!" But all that the guests could hear was: "I will!" And so they started to cheer and congratulate. The baker lass blushed, realising the awkwardness of the situation. "Oh well," she thought. "Who could be a better husband than Will?" "He ate all those pies for me, despite the risk of being humiliated himself." So she said, this time loud and clear: "Yes, I am happy to have you as my husband!" That made Will very happy. After the wedding incident, he no longer was a joke among hobbits; he gained some respect too. And so, one day he even reached a notable position in the Shire. By now, you should know whom this story has been about... Yes, our Mayor Will Whitfoot, the Old Flourdumpling. May he will happily ever after, and never stop eating. The End.