Way back in the day I used to be very curious about the Tolkien craze that was hitting in the ’80s. Being short of money I drew the line at getting all the ‘History of Middle Earth’ collections that would come out every so often.
Recently I found quite a few volumes on display at a low price bookstore in the area and picked them up, and probably my ‘completist’ tendencies will make me get them all.
This book is a collection of stories, most of which are not really part of the Middle Earth cycle, but are instead normal fairy stories. Roverrandom, about a toy dog that is a real one under enchantment is a bit ‘young’ for my taste, but Farmer Giles of Ham is very good. Giles is an accidental hero who in the end, instead of slaying the dragon makes a deal with him. This turns out to be useful when the local king gets to heavy-handed about collecting the loot for himself.
Smith of Wootton Major is another nice one – about a gift that allows a child and man to enter Fairie, but in the end has to be given up and passed on to another. But my favorite is Leaf by Niggle. I won’t say much about that one except if this isn’t based on how Tolkien felt about his own life I’ll eat my hat.