‘In a hole in the ground there lived a holbytla’, began Theodwyn, her children snuggled up against her.
‘What are holbytlan, mother?’ asked Eomer.
‘They’re small folk that dwell in holes in sand-dunes, just as the name says. They avoid men, usually. They can vanish in a twinkling and change their voice to resemble the piping of birds.’
Eowyn clapped her hands, eyes shining.
‘How can I find them, mother?’
‘They’re just a story’, said Eomer, with brotherly superiority.
‘No, they aren’t! Are they, mother? I believe in them!’ said Eowyn. ‘One day I’ll speak to one, Eomer, you’ll see!’