The diminutive Hobbits of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth dwell in the pastoral idyll of the Shire, squelching their hairy toes across the fields and dales of this bucolic homeland. For Tolkien, who had a well-known love for the English countryside, the Hobbits of the Shire embodied a kind of primordial innocence, free from the ruin and corruption of an industrialized world. That unblemished goodness helps Frodo Baggins, the main protagonist of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, cope with the burden of the quest he and his fellow Hobbits take on, outdoing wizards and warriors far greater (and taller) than them. But the Hobbits aren't just sappy do-gooders they're fun-loving little folk with voracious appetites, a penchant for bursting into song and an incurable habit of smoking that magical Shireweed.