Snow-cone brought to her grandfather a cup of Cage. He sipped it slowly. When he seemed at peace with himself, she asked her questions and worries about sickness and spirits. He did not immediately reply.
Then he spoke, slowly ….
In the long ago when before – that still is – the world is/was varied in many ways. Great parts were separated by vast seas. In some places, the little people were skilled with different relationships to the green – upper – world, and the dark – lower – world of the caves and roots.
Similar to our people, the little people had tribes, whose allegiances – to the growing and dying and becoming – varied. When other peoples – of our kind – came here, they brought with them aspects of their previous little folk, and the two (or three or more) tribes had to confer, and see just what was the right way to interact, to love and respect.
These included ceremonial dancing, and some shared libations, given the intoxicating nature of life that is wild.
Inter-marriage was not uncommon, although places were different and these differences were not simple. The flowing waters, of mineral existence, were among many different kinds of other-currents. Sailing these currents was an art all in itself.
It is important, granddaughter, for you to leave to these folk such worries. They are better practiced in these arts, and trust of the world is needed in order for the world to trust us. We meddle far to much, and our ignorance brings pain&loss everywhere.
Be grateful the little people are there, hard working and loyal. Almost to a fault, yet that is what was asked, and is now being freely given. We are the beneficiaries of these wonders.