“Farming’s the backbone of Shire life!” Bilbo exclaimed as they rode down the lane into the farm on which Paladin Took and his family dwelt. “Without farms, where would we obtain our food?”
For days Frodo collected eggs with Pervinca, fed the stock with Pimpernel, wielded a hoe with Pearl, smeared liniment on sheep with Eglantine, mucked stalls with Paladin and the hands, went over accounts in the evening, and kept little Pippin under watch between times. Before they went to sleep the fifth night, Bilbo examined his hands. “Each blister’s a badge of honor, Frodo-my-lad.”
Frodo smiled in satisfaction.