Aphelion Issue 227, Volume 22
April 2018
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When the Hobbits Fade to Grey

by Sven Kloepping

When the Hobbits fade to grey, everything changes. First, of course, the colour of their hair (it fades to grey, to white, or to the 'undefinately sort of nothing'), in order to follow the natural illness of things. Second, but much more important, is the fading of their words, when they grow old. - Yes, any word ever spoken out into the world is fading away with the passing of time. - And as the hobbits' culture and every aspect of their live is influenced by words and founded on the knowledge of the elders, this aspect of fading is very essential for them.

What is the fading of words, right now? Some people say, it's like the burning-out of a famous library in ancient times. The whole library, all kind of books crumble into dust in a sudden flash of destruction. The books of inestimable worth - Puff! - dust. But that's not exactly what the fading of the words really means - it's more slowly, unrecognizeable. Perhaps something like pollution or the allpresent hole in the ozone layer. It works slowly. Unstopable. The fading is in progress, but nobody recognizes it.

Perhaps you'll ask a hobbit after a thousand of years, when he's skating on his skateboard or on his inline-skates: 'Who was the master of the ring?' - And he'll shrug his shoulders and leave you without any answer!

© 1999 Sven Kloepping

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