Interview: Tradition

Into the Wonder: Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, Mr. Fountain.

Mr. Fountain: My pleasure. Can I offer you something to eat?

ITW: I think I’ll pass. You’ve lived in the United States for some time, I take it?

Mr. F: There was no such thing as “the United States” when I got here. Just a jumble of colonies up and down the coast.

ITW: And you came over because…?

Mr. F: Where I come from, we have a saying: “Where your ancestors do not live, you cannot build your house.”

ITW: I’m sorry. I don’t think I follow.

Mr. F: Let’s just say there were plenty of folk arriving on these shores that could use an ancestor or two.

ITW: You’re an ancestral spirit?

Mr. F: Oh, maybe not in any literal sense. But yes, that’s an apt description. You might say I’m a symbol of the past. A lot of culture got lost in the Middle Passage. If I can help folk remember the old ways, get in touch with who they are, where they come from…well, that just does my heart good.

ITW: That’s very commendable.

Mr. F: There’s a reason for tradition, young man.

ITW: Yes, sir.

Mr. F: You don’t want to throw it away on a whim. Might just throw away something you need if you’re not careful. Sit up straight, son! Have some respect for yourself.

ITW: Yes, sir.

Mr. F: That’s better. So many folk these days suffer from a lack of proper upbringing. I could tell you about a pooka I know, but I won’t belabor the point.

ITW: Of course not. But speaking of pookas, it seems like there are a lot of different types of fae. Do you all get along.

Mr. F: Son, you really are new to all this, aren’t you?

ITW: Well, it’s just that…

Mr. F: Let me tell you, most of us get along just fine if we’re left alone. You start trying to get us organized and before long you’re going to have a goat rodeo on your hands. That’s why there’s no central government among Our Kind. Whenever one of our chiefdoms grows too big, it either splits up or they find a way to share power so no one faction can lord it over the others.

ITW: You’re talking about the faery Courts?

Mr. F: That’s more of a Eurocentric thing, but you’ve got the idea. The nunnehi have a different arrangement, but it serves the same purpose. I’m not sure what the jogaoh do; I’ve never traveled that far north. Personally, I try to ignore all of them.

ITW: And they don’t object?

Mr. F: They know better than that. I have something of a reputation, you might say.

ITW: You seem very passionate about your beliefs.

Mr. F: Have you ever met one of Our Kind who wasn’t passionate about something?

ITW: Not really, but I’ve only met a few.

Mr. F: Well, let me tell you. You don’t want to push a fae’s buttons. Ever.

ITW: No, I don’t believe I do…. Thank you once again for your time, Mr. Fountain. This was very helpful. I wish there were a way I could repay you.

Mr. F: Don’t worry, son. I’ll think of something.