Into the Wonder: Your name is Danny…?
Danny: If it’s all the same to you, Professor, sir, I’ll just stick with Danny.
ITW: Your Kind seem to be a bit touchy about names.
D: Yeah, well. You try living amongst folk who can…do things…if they know your name.
ITW: Fair enough.
D: Oh, your everyday name is usually pretty safe. Not much magic in it, at least compared to your true name. But if you’re really gonna share this little talk with the whole Topside world…
ITW: Yes, I see your point. And is that why Your Kind object to the word “faery”?
D: That’s part of it, I suppose. It’s not really a bad word, so to speak. Just a little forward, you know? Say your boss is named Charles. You don’t just go around calling him Charlie—not to his face, anyway!
ITW: And Your Kind consider yourselves our bosses?
D: I ain’t never said that! Oh, the Gentry’ll take that attitude, I admit. But most of us don’t. We got more sense than that. But anyway. Yeah, “faery” just don’t sound right. We’ll use the word to describe our animals, our magic, stuff like that. But ourselves? Forget it!
ITW: You prefer “fae.”
D: Most of us, anyways. A fella down in South Carolina explained it to me once. You see, fae comes from an old French word, faé. “Enchanted.” I don’t exactly know how you spell it, though.
ITW: Don’t worry, I’ll spell-check it later.
D: Thanks. So, if you look at it scientifically, faery relates to fae the same as witchery relates to witch or knavery relates to knave.
ITW: So it’s not a person. It’s a concept? A characteristic?
D: You got it. It’s the whole shebang. It ain’t just Our Kind; it’s the realm we share with all kinds of magical creatures.
ITW: But it’s also those creatures themselves, right?
D: Right. Call one of Our Kind a faery, you’re lumping him in with everything in the Wonder: the plants, the animals, the whole deal, you see? How’d you like it if I called you by the same name I called your dog?
ITW: That’s very helpful. So it’s fine to talk about faery dogs or faery horses…
D: Some of my best friends are faery dogs and horses.
ITW: Just not…uh…faery faeries.
ITW: Thank you, Danny, for taking the time to visit. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
D: Just that Our Kind are just like Topsiders. We can be some of the friendliest, most helpful folk you’d ever want to meet. But we can also be cruel, selfish, petty, and destructive. You’ve got to take the good with the bad.
ITW: That’s a lesson all of us could learn.