"Oh bother," the Hobbit repeated, making a movement as if to imitate his departure. The momentum sent her tumbling again. She waved her arms and kicked her legs. As she flailed, her cape twisted about her body and soon she looked like a flying cocoon. All of a sudden, she was still.
The crew looked at each other in puzzlement. Had she suffocated in her own cape?
Slowly, a small fur-covered hand peeked out. The crew sighed with collective relief. The hand moved toward a loose edge of the cape and slowly pulled it aside to reveal two large brown eyes staring at the assembled audience. They laughed. It was not every day that one would see a small Hobbit, wrapped like an insect in the state of metamorphosis, floating about the space station. The small hand disappeared beneath the cloth and the cocoon continued to float.
Slowly, the other small hand appeared. It also moved to the edge of the cloth and again the large brown eyes stared out at them. The crew laughed again, this time more loudly, and the second hand disappeared as quickly as the first. After a moment of tumbling, the little bag began to make noise. Small little giggles were coming from beneath the cloth. The sounds got louder. Suddenly, high pitched, unmistakable laughter could be heard. The gleeful sounds were somewhat muffled by the heavy cape.
A little voice asked, "Should you not be helping your guest hang up her cloak?" By now, the crew was rolling with laughter. Vivian helped unwrap the little Hobbit and slowly positioned her onto a harness. She sat very still for a moment. Then, unexpectedly, as the crew observed, she lifted her little bare feet toward her head. She formed her little body into an "O" and floated about the room like a lazy smoke ring. She changed position and brought her feet to the back of her head. Again, she formed an "O" and floated about the room, changing direction with precise movement of her little body or an occasional bump against an immobile object.
The crew watched in amazement as the little Hobbit attempted different acrobatic moves. She glided with grace as if she had been born in zero gravity. After a time, she stopped moving and, pushing off lightly from one of the walls, she directed herself towards the assembled crew, pausing in mid-air a few feet away.
"Perhaps we could have a bit of tea," she politely suggested. Javier answered, "Oh my, so terribly sorry! Não á problema! I will prepare some quickly!" Not knowing what else to do, the crew waited for him to prepare the tea. Javier himself felt dazed, but he found the little Hobbit fascinating.
"If the Hobbit wants tea, Ill give it to her," thought Javier. He made his way to the Galley, which was where the meals were prepared and eaten. Javier opened the cupboard for a packet of Old English tea and placed the bag inside a drinking container. He inserted the container in the water dispenser. With a press of a button, hot water began to flow into the bag of tea. As Javier was about to head back to the Mukai lab, he realized that tea would not be tea without biscuits. Quickly grabbing a pouch full of non-crumbly irradiated cookies, he brought the small set-up to the awaiting company. However, the Hobbit had already passed around tiny cakes from her straw basket. The wonderful aroma of the buttersquash cakes reminded him of lazy summers at his family's country farm.
"My name is Califa, Califa Bolson. I was told to expect an adventure and I guess this was what Mr. G had in mind. Have you seen him? He is a most amusing fellow! He comes and goes without warning, promising adventures and then disappearing. He is a wizard you know. He is a very powerful wizard. Oh, but do not let that frighten you. He uses his powers only for good. I am very proud that he came to my home and selected me for this adventure! Of course, I think he would have had a hard time convincing anyone else in La Colina to agree to an adventure. My people are quite content to stay home, thank you very much. They prefer to sleep in a comfortable warm bed, wake up to a larder full of cakes and other delectable foods. They do not care for adventures. Well, most of them do not care for adventures. My kinsfolk are a little different. Several have had wonderful adventures. Well, maybe the adventures were not so wonderful when they were happening, but they made wonderful stories to tell. Tales of dragons and treasures and giant spiders and giant rats and elves singing and trolls..."
"Yes, yes! I know! I've read the books!!" Tony was most thrilled by the unceasing monologue. He glanced at his colleagues who were beginning to look catatonic. "Do Hobbits breathe," he asked? "Do you ever stop talking?"
The crew broke into loud spontaneous laughter and the Hobbit began to giggle uncontrollably.
Read Califa's Biography!
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