A Walk in Middle Earth

One of my graduate assignments was to create a description of the bedroom of a favorite character. Being a Tolkien fan, I chose Radagast as he was not a thoroughly fleshed out character. My description then could be somewhat original. Here is my attempt at writing in Middle Earth.

After finding a dwelling so large hidden inside the cavity of an enormous tree, nothing should be shocking. But with a keen eye, the opening can be glimpsed on the far wall opposite the front door. It is more a darker darkness recessed within branches woven from ceiling to earth. Drawing closer, however, this second door reveals itself, though any visitors first must descend three steps to the lower level. Curious, indeed, how this split-level was not obvious upon first entering the dwelling, but the fact is that this home is full of surprises.

The doorway opens into a semicircular room about half the size of the main living area. Much is dug into the earth surrounding the great trunk revealing the aged roots that have anchored the behemoth for hundreds of years. Light spills into the room from a single porthole in the eastern most wall (were anyone to take enough interest into the structure of the dwelling, they would find the porthole is viewed from the exterior as an oversized knot-hole in a large root sprouting from the base of the tree before tunneling back into the bowels of Rhosgobel, south of the Mirkwood Forest.)

The loam and rock-strewn floor is sparse save a single bed against the southern wall. It is a bed only in the sense of function—the tree’s roots have grown up and twisted together to create a natural, organic surface should the wizard decide to rest his aching bones. The headboard, or what serves as one, is a carved recess into the side of the earth. It takes several looks to determine that there is indeed a family of five opossums dangling from their tales within the space resembling a grotesque candelabra. Closer inspection reveals that the writhing roots entangled in the bed frame are, in fact, snakes who have taken an interest in sharing the living quarters. The walls are heavily matted with various colored mosses and fungi with the occasional chirping of birds being traced into one of many nesting recesses. A large shelf of Artist’s Conk dominates the center of the western wall and provides the perch of a large, pale-colored barn owl. It’s striking visage reminiscent of a large hanging clock waiting to announce the hour with its characteristic hooting.

H Shipley II