A Short Cut to Mushrooms

From Tolkien Gateway
A Short Cut to Mushrooms
Chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring
EventFrodo and company come to Farmer Maggot's house; they move on and find Merry.
Date25 September 3018
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A Short Cut to Mushrooms is the fourth chapter in the first book of The Fellowship of the Ring.


When the adventurous Hobbits got up in the morning, they found that the elves had already left, leaving breakfast for them. Frodo decided to take a short cut through the woods, in order to avoid the Black Riders on the road. They heard strange and frightening noises along the way, and hurried along till they came to the farm of Farmer Maggot.

As a youngster, Frodo had been caught many a time stealing mushrooms from these fields and he was now afraid of Farmer Maggot and his dogs. His fear was eased when Maggot and the dogs greeted them and offered assistance. Farmer Maggot told the travellers that a stranger resembling the Black Rider had been asking questions about Frodo. Old Maggot advised Frodo not to get mixed up in these adventures, but he realized that Frodo would not change his mind. He offered to drive them to the ferry.

After supper, the travellers set off in the thick fog. Along the road they encountered what appeared to be a cloaked man atop a large horse. Assuming it was the Black Rider, they attempted to hide in the back of the wagon. The mysterious rider was in fact only Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck who had been on the road in search of the group. Farmer Maggot gave Frodo a basketful of mushrooms and bade them farewell.