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Can You Sing?

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“I wonder why they don’t say anything,” Happy whispered, glancing down at the trio of Dwarves far below him.

“They’re more bashful than I am,” Bashful murmured.

“Definitely!” Grumpy snorted, just loud enough that the eldest of the newcomers looked up. “I thought some new faces would be interesting!”

“Yeh, but they’re all just the same old boring silents as the rest,” Doc sighed. “Unless...hey, you there!” He pointed to the middle child of the three. “Can you sing?”

Bofur glared at the other Dwarves who were looking down at him, the ones who had been making remarks about him and his family for hours. Instead of answering verbally, he took up a small hammer and the broken metal handle of a pick and began tapping the stone. Sharp, high-pitched notes rang out in succession and then he announced defiantly, “We dig-dig-dig-dig-dig-dig-dig in our mine th’ whole day through! T’ dig-dig-dig-dig-dig-dig-dig is what we like t’ do!”

Bifur picked it up. “It ain’t no trick to get rich quick—”

“—if you dig-dig-dig with a shovel or pick.”

“In a mine!” In a mine!

“In a mine!” In a mine!

“Where a million diamonds...”

“Shine!” Bombur shouted, startling them all.

As he, Bifur, and Bombur sang, Bofur smirked in response to the other Dwarves’ looks of impressed astonishment. He checked the time and then swiftly lowered his mining swing to the ground, striding confidently over to the work bell.

Ding! Ding! Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!

“Heigh-ho!” Bofur called, his voice and the work bell reverberating through the cavern together.

“Heigh-ho!” Bifur and Bombur hollered back in unison.

“Heigh-ho!” Bofur encouraged in lilting tenor.

“Heigh-ho!” Bifur intoned in his deep bass.

“Heigh-ho!” Bombur crowed, easily the loudest and shrillest. “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s home from work we go!”

The other seven Dwarves gaped in disbelief as Bifur and Bombur lowered their swings and met Bofur on the ground, singing the whole time. Then, settling their tools on their shoulders and whistling the same merry tune, they marched out the door.

Even though the Broadbeams left that range of the Mountains soon afterward, the song was never forgotten and neither were they.