Author: Adam McDaniel

In the world, there are many secrets–those  that bare themselves to the mighty, those that bare themselves to the wise, and those that bare themselves to the fool.

The mighty find the will to lead. The wise find the strength to rule. The fool only finds himself.

And on the night the breeze fell down the mountain to tempt the moon’s light to bed, there were no mighty armies making camp in the glen. Nor pilgrim or sage waiting for divine whispers on the night wind. There was only a fool.

A fool, lost and lonely.

It is a fact that the many earthen spirits of the valley, the mountain, and the sky revel in the revelation of the fool. Some think this because none would believe them should they reveal it to others. Others say the mind of the fool, unconditioned by the bulwark of reason, is particularly open to the lessons of the otherworld. Or, that the foolish possess the disposition of children, whom many spirits envy and appreciate.

These are only partial truths, some (depending on the otherfolk) more true than others. But there is a truth that is pervasive enough throughout that it bears mention:

Though you may stare at the naked nymph and watch as her thin and creeping fingers course through her hair and down her neck as it stretches–do not think yourself unseen.

For she sees through the eyes of every beast in the forest and knows from the gossip of the trees and stones the location of any wanderer in her domain. And if she did not wish to be seen, you would not see her.  And if she did not want you to watch, she would not bathe.

The fool bridles himself with the guilt of the watcher, without the fear of being watched. For if the fool were aware of her sight, there would be no secret to be revealed.

It is the secret of nakedness which drives foolish men to watch. In the guilt of their watching, such fools act as beasts. Their eyes smolder and burn at the sight of the mistress of the forest, and she bends herself to tease the gaze until the guilt of society is superseded by the furious lusting of a beast.

Thus her wonder dances ‘round the fool’s bestial want, and just as she sees through the fox, the meadowlark, or the bear, so too does she see through the eyes of the fool.

There is nothing more powerful than a secret. And there is nothing more costly than power.

And it is perhaps the greatest secret of all, that which leads the fool to believe he has seen something which is not meant to be seen. For anything put before a fool’s eyes is to be looked at, yet not everything a fool sees is to be believed.

The spirits who would sell their secrets to fools often demand a price much more steep than those pandering to the mighty or wise. For both the commander and the king seek the spirits’ audience fully aware of what they have to lose, yet the fool barely knows what they have to gain.

So when the breeze proceeded down the face of An Mhangarta to follow suit with the moon in its disrobing, and happened upon a lonesome fool… in the breeze, it’s said, howled the cry of a hungry wolf.