POV – Bilbo/Frodo
In which someone gets Rory’s goat, Bilbo recites a poem about flower and fruit, wolves are noticed in Northfarthing, and a rat, a snake and a badger have a little chat.
Wintermark begins in earnest and the family is (temporarily, I’m sure) on relatively good behavior.
Bilbo gets to declaim some poetry, which he is supposed to have done all the time, irritating everyone around him. I wanted to show how, just maybe, it wasn’t so tedious. He’s telling them how others celebrate the winter solstice, and of the history behind it, but the hobbits are too parochial to understand. It’s just Mad Baggins spouting nonsense.
The sacrifice of the goat is another nod to their previous nomadic culture, and you get a hint that the current domesticity of the Shire has some deep, visceral roots.
Frodo is going to have an evening of unsupervised interaction with a wide variety of relatives and friends. He will not be the same hobbit when the sun rises.