|'The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the-Water' -- © The Tolkien Estate|
He paused, silent for a moment. Then without another word he turned away from the lights and voices in the fields and tents, and followed by his three companions went round into his garden, and trotted down the long sloping path. He jumped over a low place in the hedge at the bottom, and took to the meadows, passing into the night like a rustle of wind in the grass.
Frodo and Pippin jump over the same low spot seventeen years later (FR 1.iii.70). Now I had never really thought about this until now, but we're talking hobbits here. That must have been a very low spot indeed for Bilbo and the others to jump over it.
Think about it.
Like a foot tall.
More of a shrubbery, really.
With Tolkien's eye for detail it is no surprise to find just such a low spot (⇧) in the hedge in his painting of the Hill. I would like to thank Kate Neville and her eagle eye for pointing me to the correct "low spot" when I had initially believed it was another. (see Kate's comments below.)