Tom Bombadil's Swan-Wing Feather

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

Essentially a LOTR fan fiction about a very under-appreciated character.

Submitted: August 29, 2018

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Submitted: August 29, 2018



Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow;

Bright blue his jacket was and his boots were yellow,

Green were his girdle and his breeches of leather.

He wore in his tall hat a swan-wing feather.


In the springtime Tom went down the Withywindle,

Near the Barrow-Downs where the stream began to dwindle,

Singing and dancing in the rainy weather

When up came a gust that blew away his feather.


Tom sang, "Come dol merry dol, ring-a-ding dillo!

That belongs to me, old Tom Bombadillo.

Calm your rushing wind, sooth your gusty billow!

You'll only catch yourself in the leaves of Old Man Willow."


But the wind did not stop and kept on a-blowing,

Carrying his feather and kept it a-going.

Through trees and over the Withywindle flowing,

Wise Tom Bombadil saw his swan-wing feather going.


Off Tom went, a-dancing and a-jumping,

After his precious feather, twirling and a-humming

Back into the forest thick with trees and shrubs and flowers.

Following the woodland wind for a couple hours.


"Come dol derry dol merry dol, my darling!

Why be you a-going?" sang Tom like a starling.

"The sun is setting soon, a coldly night is falling.

Hearken to my voice, return to my calling."


"Where are you going?" Asked a voice from the water.

It belonged to Goldberry, the fair river-daughter.

She sat upon a root dipping into the stream

And wore a long dress of silvery green.


Tom said, "West after wind that escaped through the valley.

Perchance you have seen it, golden river-galley?"

"I may have," she said, "but why chase airs?

Stay here with me and forget all your cares."


"Come dol derry dol Berry dol my hearty!

I've no time for trick'ry, I'll only be tardy.

Please tell me what you know! A hint will suffice.

What the wind took from me cannot have a price."


With a sigh she pointed down the winding river,

Toward the setting sun bursting pink with a shiver.

Tom bowed low then went on his merry way,

But soon found his feather was still leagues away.


His feet were tired and his knees started sinking.

Night already set and the stars were out twinkling,

So Tom raised his voice and sang out with a bellow,

"Old Tom Bombadil is a weary fellow!

He's traveled fast and far from the eastern barrows;

Through trees and over the Withywindle narrows.

But not far enough, he must still go west.

So come to his song and bring him through the forest."


As Tom's voice faded hoofbeats he then heard.

A shimmer sped through the bough as fast as a bird,

And out leaped a plump pony, orange as a pumpkin.

It was Tom's dogged steed, loyal Fatty Lumpkin!


Tom whispered in his ear and climbed onto his back.

Off they went, an orange shimmer speeding down the track.

Trotting over vines and roots, hopping over heather,

Mighty Tom Bombadil went to get his feather.


So long he rode until he reached a clearing,

And discovered there just what he was fearing.

Old Man Willow stood in the center on a hill,

And a blue dot shimmered in his leafy frill.


Tom stepped forward, approaching the gnarled wood,

Noticing every knot and contortion that he could.

Over him the ancient bark and wizened figure loomed,

And in a deep, cold voice Old Man Willow boomed,


"O Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo,

What brings you here to this old, withered Willow?

Perhaps you have lost something, something very dear?

I see your hat has no feather, that much is clear."


"You know quite well why I'm here," said Tom with a snap.

"Don’t think me dumb, I will not be caught in your sap!

Just return to me what is mine and all shall be well;

Lest I become angry and your trunk I shall fell."


"Calm your rage, I will return what is yours.

If you can answer my riddle of course,

For this feather came to me,

and we shant part so easily."


"Fine," responded Tom, "I agree to your game.

I shall get my feather back all the same,

So do your worst and don't pull any blows.

There are many riddles that this one knows."


The Willow spoke:

Face Changer, Month Maker

Day Hater, Monster Waker

Sky Sailor, Light Taker

Tide Tailor, Darkness Faker.


Tom paused and sat down, thinking as hard as he could,

While a quiet laughter resounded from the dark wood.

Then his eyes grew wide and he shouted with a boom,

"Why, that's an easy one, the answer is the moon!"


The willow-wood grew angry and his voice turned sour.

He straightened his trunk and rose like a tower.

"Now now," cooed Tom, " I have solved your riddle,

You should know my strength is not so little."


Old Man Willow grumbled and shrank as the feather descended.

Tom swiped and slipped it in his hat—now mended.

He turned back and skipped away from the west.

Made his way back home for a nice, long rest.

© Copyright 2018 noahshachar. All rights reserved.

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