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The Origin of Hobbits

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Yavanna did not make hobbits.

Not in the same sense her husband made dwarves.

Not even in the same sense she helped Eru make her treefolk to protect what her husband’s children kept destroying.

(She loves her husband endlessly and in ways mortals can’t even begin to comprehend - but he’s foolhardy and stubborn and doesn’t always think to look around him, away from his own work. Doesn’t think of the consequences, and simply acts.)

Yavanna doesn’t care much for the other gods’ creations. She’s content in watching and caring for her own - most of the new sentient beings are too restless for her liking.

Elves are alright, most of the time. They live long and are therefore more patient than dwarves or humans, and the joy they find in singing about the world around them delights her.

Dwarves she only likes for the things they share with their maker - their love for hard work and their devotion for their Ones’ are things she knows and loves in her husband.

And humans… humans are fleeting creatures with hurry written on their hearts, always needing and wanting and changing. They use her creations with the same lack of respect dwarves do, but they don’t share traits with her husband, and so there’s even less space in her heart for them.

That’s why she’s so surprised when after one tiny village on the far ends of human settlements burns down, its residents don’t flee or join the war that destroyed their home.

(Oh, war. The most terrible side of humans. Yes - the elves have spread their share of blood and destruction as well, but humans. Humans. It almost seems like war is in their very nature, so eager they are to fight each other in pursuit of whatever insignificant thing it is that they desire at the moment.)

They stay.

And more than that. They build. They nurture. They heal.

They grow.

Yavanna is fascinated by this small community and the amount of love and patience they show towards each other and the world around them. She watches them rebuild their village and plant trees in the ashes that surround it.

She watches - - and falls in love.

 

The love of a goddess is a powerful thing.

The newly planted trees seem to grow faster than is strictly normal. The crops the villagers tend to survive even the dry and cold years. Where a while ago was nothing but ash, there is now new life.

All around them, everything is beginning and blossoming.

Except… maybe it was all that smoke the people inhaled during The Burning, or maybe it is something else entirely, but…

There’s no sign of new human life.

Years pass and the village is rebuilt. The nature around it flourishes.

Not a single human gets pregnant.

There is no crying babies. No bright laughter of a three-year-old. No tiny feet in tiny shoes running through the streets.

 

The love of a goddess is a powerful thing.

Yavanna doesn’t know anything about birth, but she loves these humans, and wants to help them however she can.

So she does something she hasn’t done since she helped plant the Ents - - she walks amongst the mortals of Middle-earth.

Yavanna doesn’t know anything about birth.

But she does know growing.

Yavanna grants her blessings to the people of the village in the form of seeds. Seeds, which will, when planted and cared for, grow into plants - and eventually, children.

And oh, these children she blesses most wonderfully;

She blesses them with feet that don’t need shoes even in the winters.

With hearts satisfied with simple joys of life. Ears more keen than their parents’. Few more years to their life spans.

And, most importantly, she blesses them with love.

(It doesn’t necessarily take love to plant a seed, but it does take love to care for a seedling for two winters. No child grown from seeds blessed by Yavanna will live without love.)

Yavanna watches as her favoured humans plant their new seeds and take care of their plants. She watches flowers and vegetables and trees and bushes start growing. She watches small children with pointed ears and hairy feet emerge from gardens. Watches them learn to walk and talk and dance. Watches them live.

All children grown from a seed are born with at least one Seed of their own, ready to be planted when they have reached adulthood and are ready to grow their own children with someone.

Seed-children are smaller than the humans they were first grown by, since there is a limit to what can grow from the Earth in just two winters. But they are healthy and happy and lively. They sing and dance and work and smoke. They cry and love and grow.

At some point, other humans start calling this new tribe halflings, and Yavanna has to shake her head and sigh. Seed-children might not be humans anymore, but they aren’t half of anything either. They are their own thing.

Whole and good.

 

She watches them, and smiles.

*

Yavanna did not make hobbits.

But they are her children.