Leaf By Niggle

This Trinity Forum Reading features J.R.R. Tolkien’s beautiful short story “Leaf by Niggle,” with an insightful introduction by Alonzo McDonald and foreword by visual artist Makoto Fujimura.

This charming and haunting story, which Tolkien used to demonstrate what he called the “mythopoeic” power of fairy-stories, addresses the question of our life’s purpose and legacy. Not only does the story illustrate Tolkien’s own struggles with the writing process—his desire for perfection, struggle to achieve a vision always beyond his grasp, and frequent procrastination—but also speaks to deeper issues that haunt us all—the meaning of our work and relationships, our hunger for beauty, the worth of our creative endeavors, and our own eventual preparation for eternity.


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