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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienIt’s December and, I must say, it feels like I have a month-long holiday ahead. Life is calm and cozy. Perhaps I feel a little bit like Bilbo before the thirteen dwarves showed up unannounced and started talking about all sorts of adventures.

My son and I are reading The Hobbit over the holidays. As he’s only five, I figured I would share some of the highlights (or lowlights) of this experience.

This following scene brought on a long-lasting fit of laughter:   

“We shall soon before the break of day start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us (except our friend and counsellor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf) may never return…”

This was Thorin’s style. He was an important dwarf. If he had been allowed, he would probably have gone on like this until he was out of breath, without telling anyone there anything that was not known already. But he was rudely interrupted. Poor Bilbo couldn’t bear it any longer. At may never return he began to feel a shriek coming up inside, and very soon it burst out like the whistle of an engine coming out of a tunnel. All the dwarves sprang up knocking over the table. Gandalf struck a blue light on the end of his magic staff, and in its firework glare the poor hobbit could be seen kneeling on the hearth-rug, shaking like a jelly that was melting. Then he fell flat on the floor, and kept calling out “struck by lightning, struck by lightning!” over and over again; and that was all they could get out of him for a long time.

Now all one of us has to say is “struck by lightning” and we’re off again. It is so good to giggle with him.

What stories have you and your child(ren) enjoyed together? Anyone else reading The Hobbit with your kids before the movie muscles into the imagination? When is the last time you’ve laughed until you cried?

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