Homeless shelters across the city struggled to house hundreds of displaced hobbits this winter after artist Patrick Dougherty's installation behind University Hall was taken down.
Many hobbit families had moved into the sculpture which incorporated both man-made and natural features of the green. The hobbits received the name "hole-dwellers" from their ancestral homes, underground holes. Recently, however, they have been moving above ground into wood and brick houses. The art exhibit, although a radical departure from traditional hobbit architecture, had served the halflings extremely well.
"The removal was so sudden," said a distraught Samwise Gamgee, a prominent figure in the hobbit community. "It seemed like we had to move out as soon as we moved in. I haven't been this shocked since Frodo had his finger bit clean off."
"It's hard enough raising kids when you're living in a hole in the ground,literally," added his wife Rose. "We had such a great home under this tree, not to mention a beautiful garden with a fence and a wonderful clothesline. Now what do we have? They didn't even leave us with the pieces of paper we taped to the trees!"
"We should've stayed at the Shire. That damned Gandalf," cursed Mr. Gamgee. "He's responsible for sending us here, that old relic. Just wait 'till I get a hold of that stupid beard of his." Both Mr. Gamgee and his wife declined to comment further.
Many students, in order to help as many hobbits as they could, began hosting hobbits in their dorm rooms, and the halflings's presence could clearly be felt by the Brown community.
The Verney-Woolley Dining Hall was overrun by hobbits, who usually enjoy six meals a day, not including snacks, of course. The Gate experienced an unexpected shutdown after encountering a myriad of problems from supply shortages to overworked students.
Several students were asked about the effects of the hobbit settlement.
"Look at their feet," exclaimed Dan Cadarette '10. "I mean, I thought I was a hairy guy, but then I saw their feet. Makes my puny chest hairs want to shrivel up and go back into my body. Wow."
Many students exhibited a decrease in stress and tension after hosting hobbit families. Students also seemed unusually relaxed during the normally high-pressure period at the end of the semester. Other students have attributed this phenomenon to the ancient variety of tobacco that the hobbits love to smoke, referred to as "pipe-weed," reportedly better than anything on the East Coast.
Some were not as comfortable with the new community members.
"You look in the windows at The Gate and you see no panini line, so you go, 'Hey, let me go get a sandwich.' But then, whabam! They were there the whole time, you just couldn't see 'em because they're so short," complained Juan Vasconez '10, a Gate regular. Similar complaints could be heard from the employees of the Gate, who were hassled on occasion by seemingly bodiless voices.
"Well," one of the employees went on, "as long as they keep bringing that pipe-weed and brewing their own beer, I guess they'll just naturally blend in with the rest of the