Softfoot Family History — Volume 4: The Tighfield Softfoots
By Grigory and Meril Softfoot
Chapter 1: The Softfoots and how They Stole the Shire (Temporarily)
Chapter 2: How the Softfoots came to live in Tighfield
You skim over the first two chapters and find them to contain nothing of real interest. It appears that Grigory Softfoot had little time to sit down and write the first two chapters of this book. The Chapters that follow appear to be written by Meril however, and look to be a little more informative.
Chapter 3: Grigory Softfoot, Tansy Roper and How the Ropewalk Tied Them Together.
Every year in Tighfield a fest is held celebrating the success of the rope weed harvest and beginning of the twisting season.
Now Grigory Softfoot was a crafty, stealthy, but over all quiet hobbit, and he was as love struck on Tansy Roper as a hobbit could ever get. Problem was that Tansy Roper was the sister of Anson Roper, and was in on half of the legacy of Andwise “Andy” Roper Gamgee. Andy being the son of Hobson Gamgee , and Brother of Hamfast “The Old Gaffer” Gamgee (Father of Samwise Gamgee, who has reportedly disappeared from the Shire along with Frodo Baggins, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took-
we suspect wonderful adventure, but others believe Gandalf the wizard of Fireworks had everything to do with it, just like poor Old Bilbo Baggins.) In any case, Tansy was a higher up in town her father being the chief rope maker of Tighfield, and Grigory, being the “finder” of many a lost article had little or no opportunity to impress her and express his love.
So the Festival came and so did the Annual Rope Walking contest. Anson Roper was the returning champion and Grigory saw his chance to win the attention of the lovely Tansy. The day of the contest came and Grigory had been practicing on rooftops and such. Anson began as returning champion breaking his previous record of 6 laps to and back to the starting pole. Other competitors tried and failed to break his score, and then it came to be Grigory’s turn. He climbed the pole swiftly with confidence and began walking to and fro on the rope with no hesitation, 13 laps he made and he realized the number so again he strode to and fro to avoid the unlucky number. He made it and then went half way again and found Tansy in the crowd. He winked to her, and gave a bow and threw the rose he had been keeping in his pocket to her.
And so after 7 months of courtship the two were wed in May of 1378 SR(Shire Reckoning)
Chapter 4: Of the birth and childhood of Drakoe and Meril Softfoot.
Grigory and Tansy came to live happily and quite richly (as hobbit standards go) in a large residence, Middlefoot, in the middle of Threwfoot lane in Tighfield. Grigory put his skills to good use, and became the most successful locksmith in the shire, as well as running some other operations (His mother always did say he had a knack at finding “lost” things.) Tansy was not without her contribution to the family’s wealth however, she was still to have half of the rope yard as inheritance and was coming up with new ways to make jewelry and luxury items from rope weed daily, while Anson stuck with the more practical part of the business.
After the while, life got a bit tedious, and the Softfoots wished to travel before they got old, so they went off, Grigory taking some “jobs” as they went.
A few years of happy marriage later, after various trips to the sea, breeland, and other locations around the shire, the Softfoots got word of Andy Roper’s retirement, and the two returned to their Tighfield home. Soon after, Tansy and her brother Anson began their duel management of the rope yard with their cousin, Hamson who had come to help Anson and Andy whilest the two had gone on their adventures.
Tansy gave birth to their son Drakoe in 1381 and four years later (1385), their daughter Meril. In these happy baby years, little did Tansy and Grigory know how their children could give them grey hairs yet keep them young at the same time.
The pair, as one might have guessed were rather lively, pulling all sorts of stunts. Whenever something went missing in the neighborhood, the first place you checked was the Softfoot’s burrow. If it was food, you were largely too late however, and if it was an animal, or say an animal’s hair well… One of the Softfeet’s elderly neighbors, Mr. Broadbelt had a very cranky cat. One day the pair caught him, and very carefully shaved him, and then painted him a very charming shade of red. Mr. Broadbelt was none too happy about it. (As a side note, later on the children put the cat hair in their bathwater to make their mother think that they were loosing their feet hairs… another very hair graying experience for the poor woman.)
The children a handful, but as they were, there were many hands there to raise them. Along with their Grandfather Andy of whom they have very fond memories of, Their second cousin Hamson (Sam’s eldest brother), who was about their Uncle Anson’s age, and Uncle Anson himself all had a hand in teaching the children about the world, and how to be hobbitish. Important lessons in second and third breakfasts, unbirthday present giving, blowing smoke rings and basic hobbit know how insued.
Tansy and Grigory also played their parts, though young hobbits are oft to scoff their parent’s lessons—Drakoe listened none at all to his father’s lessons of stealth and lockpicking, and Meril would have rather not been learning about the fine details of rope making. All ended well because the love and want of acquisition of shiney objects is an innate trait and the lessons that all teachers were stored in some corner of their little hobbit heads for future use.
The want of adventure however came from no figurehead adult hobbit in Meril and Drakoe’s childhood though, but rather tales that their second cousin Sam told them of his father’s Employer Biblo Baggins, as well as the tall folk that sometimes came around for some of the rope yard’s best stock.
The dunedain rangers brought an allure of the world that shaped all future events in the lives of Drakoe and Meril, though Drakoe would never admit to it. The stories that they told the children of dragons, lost kings, and swords, never failed to amaze the children, even though they never did learn they didn’t have to sneak into the rooms of these rangers and hold ransom valuable objects in order to hear said tales.
Thus childhood shaped the young hobbits into young adult hobbits, and some how their mother survived it.
Chapter 5: The departure from Tighfield.
When the two were 23 and 19 respectively Grigory began taking Drakoe with him on business trips, and Tansy attempted to stir up interest in rope making in Meril.