"This seems so frigtfully tree-ish," said Merry, "You can't imagine animals living here at all, or staying for long."
"No, nor hobbits," said Pippin, "let's make for that hill so we can see which way to go."
After much effort, they found themselves at the foot of the hill, and made their way up a sort of rough staircase to a shelf under a cliff. There they stood by an old gnarled tree, examining the landscape.
"The wind is changing, and the sun will be covered again soon," said Pippin. "What a pity! This shaggy old forest looked so different in the sunlight. I almost felt I liked the place.
"Almost felt you liked the Forest! That's uncommonly kind of you," said a strange voice.
Turning around, they found they were looking at a most extraordinary figure--somewhat man-like, almost troll-like, resembling a great tree more than anything. The most noticeable feature, though, was its eyes, which held the depths of the ages.
Pippen felt a curious supsense under those eyes. "Please, who are you? And what are you?"
"Hrum, now, I am an Ent, or that's what they call me. Fangorn is my name according to some, Treebeard others make it. Treebeard will do. But what sort of creatures are you? I first thought you were small orcs, but can tell now that was a mistake. You don't fit into any of the old lists."
"We always seem to have got left out of the old stories," said Merry. "We're Hobbits. My name is Meriadoc Brandybuck, though most people call me just Merry."
"And I'm a Took, Peregrin Took, but I'm generally called Pippin."
"Hm, now, but you are a hasty folk. What are you doing in all of this. I can tell there is much afoot. And what is Gandalf up to, and these Orcs, and young Saruman down at Isengard." Merry and Pippin told Treebeard of the fall of Gandalf, and of their journeys, and of the Orcs of Isengard who had captured them.
The Ent took them to his home so they could speak more of these things.
Treebeard's home was cut into the side of a hill. Water bubbled forth from a spring high up on the walls. It ran down and gathered in a basin, from which a stream ran out along the path to join the Entwash.
Treebeard offered the Hobbits a drink of an invigorating liquid, and they told him their news. He was interested in everything: in the Black Riders, Elrond, the Old Forest and Tom Bombadil, but especially their description of the Shire.
"Have you ever seen any Entwives in your country? It sounds like the sort of land they would like."
The Hobbits did not know what he meant, so he told them the story of how the Ents and Entwives had been seperated ages ago, and of the long sorrow of the Ents.
As they continued to dicuss the outside world, Treebeard became agitated at the news of Saruman. Saruman's Orcs had been destroying the trees, and he decided to do something about it.
The next day Treebeard took the Hobbits to an Entmoot, a gathering of Ents. This was a strange affair for Merry and Pippin. They were most surprised to find that different Ents looked very different from eachother.
The Ents took a long time to come to any conclusions. The Hobbits spent two days wandering about with a young Ent named Quickbeam. He told them much about the forest, and how the Orcs of Saruman had destroyed his beloved trees.
On the third day, however, they heard a great crash and singing voices.
"To Isengard! Though Isengard be ringed and barred with doors of stone,
Though Isengard be strong and hard, as gold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door!"
The time for debate was over. The dam had broken. The ents were marching, marching to war.
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