As was to be expected, we’ve got trouble.
As the four hobbits travel, they come to a wide-topped hill with some sort of depression in the middle. Northwards they can see far off what appears to be the tree-lined East Road. Things are looking up! If they’re within sight of the road, they can certainly make it there before too long. In the middle of the hollow on top of the hill is a single stone, and seeing as it’s around noon, the hobbits stop for lunch, sitting against this mysterious monolith.
Without knowing what’s happened, the hobbits wake up from a slumber some hours later. The sun is low in the west, and mist covers the northern, eastern, and southern sides of the hollow.
Thus, our most persistent antagonizing force so far? Unexplained sleep. We saw it before with Old Man Willow, and here it rears its ugly head again. Apparently these hobbits are assailed by their weariness more than anything else. I’m sorry, but do you ever have the problem of suddenly falling asleep without any reason? I don’t seem to run into that.
Undoubtedly there are nefarious forces at work here. I mean, I know there are nefarious forces at work here, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering why sleep tends to be so difficult for these four to overcome. It’s all more fodder for why the ultimate success of the hobbits (especially Frodo and Sam) is so much of an achievement.
In addition, something I’ve noticed: the sun is referred to in different ways depending on whether it is mentioned by a character or included as a part of the narration. I remember bringing up a long time ago how the “Sun” was labelled female, and I wondered if this was true of every character, or only a certain select few. From what it looks like, every character refers to the “Sun” as female. However, whenever it’s brought up in the narration, the “sun” isn’t capitalized, and is neutrally gendered. Just interesting to note.
And, don’t worry, I’ve kept track of the ponies. They’re still there.
“Their ponies were standing crowded together with their heads down.”