The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 May 2008
  • Updates planned: 2


One of the Travellers' ponies

One of five ponies owned by Meriadoc Brandybuck, used by Merry and his companions in their journey out of the Shire. When the Hobbits became lost among the Barrow-downs, the ponies fled to safety at the house of Tom Bombadil, where each acquired a new name from Tom. 'Bumpkin' was one of these1 (if the ponies had any names before this, they are not recorded).

After Tom had rescued them from their troubles among the Barrows, the Hobbits took Bumpkin and the other ponies on to Bree. Overnight, their stable was a attacked and the ponies scattered. The Hobbits thought them lost, but eventually - long after Merry and the others had left Bree - they found their way back into the hands of Barliman Butterbur of the Prancing Pony inn.



Tom gave each of the other four ponies a name that matched some individual quality: Sharp-ears, Swish-tail, White-socks and Wise-nose. Bumpkin's name breaks that pattern, apparently to form a rhyme with the name of Tom's own pony, Fatty Lumpkin.

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