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At last the time came for [Bilbo] to say goodbye to his friends. ‘Farewell, Balin!’ he said, ‘and farewell, Dwalin; and farewell Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur! May your beards never grow thin!’ And turning towards the Mountain he added: ‘Farewell Thorin Oakenshield! And Fili and Kili! May your memory never fade!’

–Chapter 18, The Hobbit

At long last our journey has come to an end. We are happy our hobbit is home again, but how hard it is to say farewell to friends! Have you ever had that experience at the end of a book? A sense of sadness the story is over? Or sorrow at the thought it may go on, but without you?

Looking back, our fondest memories are of the dwarves:

Bilbo never forgot that flight, clinging to Dori’s ankles. He moaned “my arms, my arms!”; but Dori groaned “my poor legs, my poor legs!” –Chapter 6

[Bombur] woke up suddenly and sat up scratching his head. He could not make out where he was at all, nor why he felt so hungry… When he heard that there was nothing to eat, he sat down and wept, for he felt very weak and wobbly in the legs. “Why did I ever wake up!” he cried. “I was having such beautiful dreams… there was a great feast going on, going on for ever…” –Chapter 8

Poor fat Bombur!

“I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!” said Fili. “My tub was full of it. To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move and are cold and sick with hunger is maddening. I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end– but not an apple!” –Chapter 10

My son likes to quote this last one best (I could eat anything for hours on end– but not an apple!). And we giggle when we say common sentences, but in our deep dwarfish voices (My shoes! Where are my shoes!).

May these memories never fade.