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I’ve met many reserved people along the way, especially my mother when it comes to strangers. She had learned from experience what happens when weaknesses are shown. The boy was the same, for consciousness of fear, he did not speak on our way to the fair. I stop myself from asking any questions, as he looked unsettled as it was. “Cover your ears”, he obay quickly to my warning, putting his hair over them and adjusting his clothes. “Why don’t you hide them?” he asked, not looking at me, far more interested in the view and possible dangers. I consider for a minute telling the truth and confess that I no longer fear judgments or troubles. “They know me” was a better answer, “They may not like me, but know well I mean not harm”.

The market came into view not long after. From afar, you could see the slow and constant jolly movement of hobbits and a few merchants setting their goods. Others were already set and yelling at his goods in hopes of getting customers. I guide us to my usual spot, greeting my fellow vendors and not waiting to start to work. The moment I started unloading the herbs and vegetables, he moved along with me, not waiting for orders. When all set, I gave him my lunch, which he didn’t need to know it was. A basket of fine bread, cheese, and fresh fruits he accepted carefully with a ‘Thank you’. Glad of not been rejected, I put myself to work letting him know his help was not needed yet.

Market day was one of the highlights of my week. It was a morning of celebration, and hobbits knew how to indulge themselves. A big congregation of them was an amusement for any outsiders who had never heard the music play along dances and puppet plays for kids who lost interest in the middle of the story and started running around with new or old toys. I breathe deeply, making my serf part of a culture that can easily forget the turmoil of life. Very few minded the ones going around with judging faces at the ‘scandalous’ behavior. Enjoyment was the order of the day.

From time to time Tuks from beyond the hill came to see their relatives. Usually, Baggins give them happy exchanges of hugs and invitations that I’ll never know will happen, but in that merry moment were shared as if they long each other company. During the day, I recognize Primula Baggins following her son Frodo, who has stolen some of the flowers she had perched a moment before. Seeing them smiling made my heart ache with advanced melancholy, for I’ve seen her destiny. While handling a pumpkin to miss Ruby Bolger, It felt like watching memories I hope Frodo could remember in years to come.

The kid took the task of wrapping the items. Along the day, his features started to change, obviously feeling the effects of the contagious environment with a full belly. I saw him smile for the first time when Frodo approached our stall, looking at the green apples with big eyes. The blond stood up slowly looking at him and handling the biggest piece he found, making little Frodo smile while taking the fruit with both hands as a precious thing. He went running to show his friends his humble treasure.

“I’ll pay for it,” the kid says, getting back to his seat, number expression back on his posture, probably thinking I’ll get mad. I was resting myself with one hand on the stall and the other on my waist, looking at him, failing to hold my smile. As if I could be angry for such a gesture with one of the families I’m the fondest of. “You are a silly one, aren’t you?” I moved to take an apple and throw it to him. He barely missed it. “You never denied such things to kids or someone in need” I turned away, putting some things in order as the evening started to come. The sound of a bitt was heard behind me.

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