Interview with Bantryd from Sea Changes by Gail Graham
BANTRYD: I’ll be fifteen next month, but I look older. I live at the bottom of the sea with my Uncle Xaxanader. I’m a vestigant. I’m the last one, you know. That’s why they’re all so protective. I’m the only link we have between my world and yours.
AUTHOR: What’s a vestigant?
BANTRYD: Vestigants can breathe air or water, so they can move back and forth between the real world – I mean, our world — and your world. Not that any of us are particularly interested in your world. I don’t mean to be rude, but we’re much more advanced than you are.
AUTHOR: How do you mean?
BANTRYD: We don’t spend all our time trying to find food, the way you do. We already have enough of everything we need. So we can focus on more important things, on history and philosophy and ideas. We spend our lives developing our minds and our higher senses, accumulating wisdom.
AUTHOR: And what do you do with all that wisdom?
BANTRYD: We preserve it. We create Tellings, places where wisdom is stored. We know everything that ever happened.
AUTHOR: Yes, but what do you do with it? Do you build tall buildings? Do you send rockets to the moon? What do you do with all your wisdom?
BANTRYD: See, that’s what I mean? You don’t even know the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what you learn.. Everything that’s alive accumulates knowledge, or it couldn’t live. Whales have knowledge. Coral has knowledge. But wisdom is different. You don’t seek wisdom because you want to do something with it. You seek it for its own sake. (A pause) I don’t think you seek it at all, in this world. I didn’t think it would be like this, you know.
AUTHOR: What did you think it would be like?
BANTRYD: I don’t know. More advanced, I guess. More like us.
AUTHOR: Why did you come?
BANTRYD: It was because of my parents. They were vestigants and when I was a baby, my mother had to come here, to your world. But she never came back, so my father went looking for her. He didn’t come back, either. So that’s why I came. I need to find my parents. At least, I need to find out what happened to them. Xaxanader wouldn’t let me come alone. It said it was too risky. But then Sarah said I could come back with her. She said she’d help me.
AUTHOR: But Sarah thought she was dreaming.
BANTRYD: Yes, I know. But she wasn’t dreaming, was she? Here I am. And you’re here, talking to me.
AUTHOR: I suppose I could be dreaming, too.
BANTRYD: But you’re not! You know you’re not. I don’t know what’s wrong with the people in your world. You don’t see anything, your minds are so closed. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live the way you live. And you’re all so angry with one another. You don’t get along. And the place is a mess. Your world, I mean. It’s ugly.
AUTHOR: You’ve only seen a tiny piece of our world. There’s a lot more to the world than Sydney, Australia.
BANTRYD: Now you sound like Sarah. That’s what she keeps saying. But you know what? I think Sarah would be a lot happier with us than she is here, in this ugly place. Xaxanader thinks so, too. He’s hoping that’s what will happen, that she’ll come back.
AUTHOR: What do you think will happen?
BANTRYD: I don’t know. I haven’t read your book, yet. But anything is possible.