Frodo always had enjoyed the stories Uncle Bilbo told about his travels with the dwarves and the decade or two he had stayed in the mountain kingdom.
Now that Bilbo was living in the Shire once again, it wasn’t unusual that a letter or two from the dwarves found its way into their mailbox. Those were always the most fascinating pieces of mail and their frequency had increased the closer they got to September.
The past few months Frodo caught his uncle, on several different occasions, smiling at long letters written in rough, yet beautiful handwriting. If he had to guess, the correspondence was most likely from the dwarf-king: Thorin Oakenshield.
Frodo hadn’t seen the dwarves in over ten years. The last time Thorin’s company visited The Shire it had been Bilbo’s one-hundredth birthday.
Now with another birthday of special significance upon them, Frodo couldn’t help but wonder if the dwarf-king would make an appearance once again.
After he’d hung Bilbo’s sign, Frodo stood up straight.
"Do you think he’ll come?" Frodo asked Bilbo, curiously.
"Who?" Bilbo returned the question.
"Thorin, of course." Frodo supplied hastily.
"Oh, he wouldn’t miss a chance to visit his favorite hobbits. He’ll be here," Bilbo assured his enthusiastic nephew. "Dwarves are quite fond of our parties, you know." Frodo beamed up at his uncle.
"Right, then. I’m off." Frodo turned and started down the path.
“Off to where?” Bilbo called after him and Frodo paused and looked back.
"East Farthing woods! I’m going to surprise them." Frodo waved before continuing down the path.
"Go on then!" Bilbo put his hands on his hips. "You don’t want to miss him!"
It wasn’t long before Frodo heard the sound of pony hooves on the road. He jumped up and hurried through the forest towards the road and met several ponies and their dwarf mounts. The company pulled to a halt, the young hobbit startling them.
"Frodo," Thorin greeted with a small smile.
"You’re late!" Frodo laughed. The dwarf had aged considerably in the past ten years. His grey-streaked dark hair was almost completely silver now and the wrinkles lining his face were much more pronounced.
"A King is never late, Frodo Baggins." Thorin retorted, cheekily. "Besides, you didn’t think I’d miss your uncle’s birthday, did you?"