From Dungeons and Dragons: Monster Manual I, the Halfling was adopted from J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Hobbits”. The Lord of the Rings inspired humanoid was described in the manual as revered in the Lord of the Rings films.
“Halflings are basically hardworking, orderly, and peaceful citizens …”
The adventures I mastered were never a “Rings” universe. Partly because I never read a Tolkien novel and it would be nearly another 30 years before the films. Therefore, the Halfling made rare appearances. Not they weren’t up to size of a great story, they were simply never popular. No one wanted to play a Hobbit. Not even fans of the book.
If you want to give a little wink and nod to the characters you’re Dungeon Mastering, a cameo appearance will do.
DM: “Trampling through a deep forest of tall trees, you come across a village where the inhabitants are little folk, speak their own language, and are invisible in their natural terrain. “
Paladin: “You mean Ewoks?”