Toes

I am about to eliminate “toes”, as “toe” is in the Ten Thousand, but wanted to share a delicious tidbit.  We see “toes” twelve times before chapter ten and only twice thereafter.  I believe that, like “eyebrows”, toes are funny and just not the right tool for the job when the tale moves to high register.

  • 01.006 that reached nearly down to his woolly toes
  • 01.089 may the hair on his toes never fall out!
  • 02.060 and he picked him up by the toes
  • 02.065 Hold his toes
  • 02.080 and down to his toes.
  • 04.017 even than when the troll had picked him up by his toes.
  • 05.050 and fell on Bilbo’s toes.
  • 05.106 but suddenly he struck his toes on a snag
  • 05.133 he stubbed his poor toes again,
  • 06.046 My toes are all bruised
  • 06.086 when he looked down between his dangling toes
  • 08.043 sank back into his toes:
  • 16.011 I would give a good deal for the feel of grass at my toes.’
  • 19.028 as well known to him as his hands and toes.

Note that in chapter 16, as Bilbo has made up his mind to return things to rights, “toes” return; then again we have “toes” in chapter nineteen “when they were in sight of the country where Bilbo had been born and bred,”

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