Debate Magazine

Tolkien: a Smile for Little People

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Are you a “little” person? Are your passions and pursuits unimportant? If you don’t count to the “big” people, this short story is for you. To the artists, the gardeners, and all the people of little value (all the dearest to me), I encourage you to find a copy of Tolkien’s short story, “Leaf by Niggle,” and read it to the end. I will not give you any spoilers; this is worth a quiet hour of your time. Your heart will thank you. ~ TD 


Leaf by Niggle

by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien


© J.R.R.Tolkien, 1964


jrr-tolkien1

There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations.

Niggle was a painter. Not a very successful one, partly because he had many other things to do. Most of these things he thought were a nuisance; but he did them fairly well, when he could not get out of them: which (in his opinion) was far too often. The laws in his country were rather strict. There were other hindrances, too. For one thing, he was sometimes just idle, and did nothing at all. For another, he was kind-hearted, in a way. You know the sort of kind heart: it made him uncomfortable more often than it made him do anything; and even when he did anything, it did not prevent him from grumbling, losing his temper, and swearing (mostly to himself). All the same, it did land him in a good many odd jobs for his neighbour, Mr. Parish, a man with a lame leg. Occasionally he even helped other people from further off, if they came and asked him to. Also, now and again, he remembered his journey, and began to pack a few things in an ineffectual way: at such times he did not paint very much…


Well that is all I can give you with good conscience. Of all the people who’s intellectual property rights I do not want to trample, JRR Tolkien is highest on my list. 

The following link will take you to places where you can find the whole story. 

https://www.google.com/#q=leaf%20by%20niggle

 


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