Today, we begin a series of interviews as part of a study of individuals with sensory impairments. The purpose of the study is to determine a universal method to aid those with sensory impairments (blind, deaf, mute) to navigate, survive, and thrive in life living independently. Our first test subject is Miss Lucey Lightfoot, a young, blind woman of Bree. Below is the recordings of interviews conducted by various scholars and healers collecting data for this study.
Subject: THE LIGHTFOOTS
I = Interviewer, L = Lucey
I: Hello Miss Lightfoot and welcome.
L: 'Ello. Ye don' need to call me Miss...Lucey be fine.
I: Thank you Lucey. I am going to ask you a few questions and I need you to answer them as honestly as you can. Can you do that for me Lucey?
I: Thank you Lucey. First, we need a little information about you and your family. First question is about you Lucey. Were you born blind or was this the result of an accident or illness?
L: I were born this way.
I: Do you mind people asking you the cause of your blindness?
L: No. I don' mind none. If I'm talkin' to a group o' folks or one person....don' matter which....someone will ask were I born blind. It ain' never failed yet. I think most folk ain' never met none like me afore...think they migh' be curious abou' me...kind o' like ye.
I: Have you always lived on your own?
L: No....I lived on me family's farm with me Mum, Da, and me brother Linus.
I: What happened to them?
L: Brigands attacked our farm...burnt everythin' down...I could smell the wood burnin'....hear the crackle...feel the heat...it got so hot....Me brother hid me where they wouldn' find me. They caugh' him tryin' to find a hidin' spot for himself....told me he be righ' back once everythin' got quiet....He never came back.....I heard wha' they did to me Da and Mum from me hidin' spot....I stayed hid for three days. Were too scared to move....when I heard 'em leave I made a run for it....got lost....were found by a nice man an' his wife....they brough' me to Bree. Been on me own for three months now.
I: I'm so sorry to hear that Lucey. Thank you for sharing that with me. Tell me about your family. Were any of them blind too?
L: No. I were the only one.
I: What was your father like?
L: Da...were patient....kind...he told the best stories abou' Knights and Dune-e-dain an' Kings o' old. He weren' much for readin', bu' he heard stories from folks he met and told 'em to me. He loved me Mum....I could hear it when he talked to her...he talked to her differen' 'an the rest of us...his voice changed. I could hear the smile...the love...the...somethin' else in his voice tha' said he were mad for her. Said she were the prettiest lass he ever saw. Da were lovin' to everyone. Met everyone with kindness. Though....he were harder on Linus 'an anyone else I ever heard....felt he aught to be doin' more...workin' harder. Always expectin' so much more from Linus 'an me or any o' the other work hands.
I: Why do you think that was?
L: I don' know....maybe he were preparin' Linus for takin' over the farm some day....? For takin' over carin' for me....? Probably both....
I: What was your mother like?
L: Mum were real sweet....gentle-like...had love for everyone an' everythin'...man or beast. She taugh' me to cook an' clean....how to clean fast and still have it look clean....how to birth a foal or help one o' the goats or pigs when they had some troubles....Mum had a way with animals. She had a way with everyone. She knew how to calm Linus when he an' Da got into it. They were always buttin' heads....She knew how to talk to folk to get them to see common sense. Specially me Da....She would change the sound o' her voice an' he would listen....he always said me Mum had the prettiest voice....She did too. Sang real pretty....She would sing when she were cleanin' or bakin' bread....she got goin' real good when she did the washin'....She said she would teach me to sing like her...bu' we never got to it.
I: What was your brother like?
L: Linus were....a good lad. Had him a temper and I don' think he liked me much. He were nice to me bu' didn' have as much patience as Da or a gentleness abou' him like Mum....He were a wild thin'....wanted to go off with his friends on adventures...chase lasses...He hated spendin' time with me...I always heard him talkin'...arguein' with Da or Mum abou' havin' to watch me all the time....I though' he hated me til he led me to the hidin' spot....He...told me he loved me....he were goin' to keep me safe...he promised....He died savin' me....the brigands asked him where I were....He wouldn' tell 'em...with his last breath he didn' tell 'em....He were the bravest man I ever knew. I miss him.
I: Did you help your brother work the farm?
L: Aye. We did everythin' together....except when he had to go help Da in the fields....then I helped me Mum inside the house...cookin' or cleanin'.
I: What sort of work were you able to do on the farm?
L: I helped Mum inside like I said....I helped bring in the harvest when Da needed another set o' hands an' didn' mind puttin' someone near me to keep an eye on me....I helped tend the animals mostly. Ye know...chickens, cows, pigs, one real ornery goat, and the horses me Da bred.
I: Do you find animals easy to work with?
L: Aye. Much better 'an people. They be easier to understand....easier to get along with....I always done better with animals. I think tha's why I like farmin' so much. Workin' with the animals makes me happy...it be relaxin'.
I: Have you thought of getting an animal trained to help you get around?
L: Aye! A met a man called himself Hound-Friend tha' mentioned hounds or pups could help lead blind folks like me abou'. I gots me another friend says he will keep an eye ou' for any pups and we'll see if Miss Ellie Cutleaf or if Mister Hound-Friend could train it up...Tha' way I can gets around Bree or anywheres I wan'a go an' I always gots someone lookin' out for me tha' won' leave me....We can take care o' each other.
I: Have you decided what you will do now that you don't have your farm?
L: I wan'a get it back. Friend rode by me farm an' says them brigands be still there. I gots a few friends says they will help me get it back from them brigands.....then Im goin' to fix it back up real nice an' get to workin' it again. Make it a nice home for me an' me new pup.
I: Have you ever thought of starting your own family? Getting married and having children of your own?
L: No....I ain' never though' abou' none o' tha'....well...now I have. Me friend Emanda keeps bringin' it up whenever we talk abou' lads. I ain' never though' no lads would ever like me...didn' even cross me mind they would wan'a marry me. So I never though' abou' it.
I: Why do you think men would not like you?
L: Cause its harder bein' aroun' me. I learned tha' from me brother. Carin' for me...watchin' me...takes alot of work....takes time from doin' other thin's. With me ye can' get up an' go on big adventures....no' really even little ones and leave me alone...Da said I always need someone watchin' me....Linus hated it. Made me feel like a burden....like I were holdin' Linus back from fun...from livin' his life. He had to do all tha' cause he were me brother....no lad goin' to wan'a do all tha' for me when there be other lasses abou' tha' don' need as much care or attention. I said as much to me friends when it come up....like it sometimes do when me friend teases me about lads....
I: What did your friends say?
L: They said any lad tha' don' wan'a be with me or calls me a burden be a fool...tha' Im pretty an' nice an' any lad be happy to be with me...
I: After speaking to your friends, did you change your mind about marriage?
L: No....I think they are sayin' tha' to be nice...or cause they don' really know wha' life be like with me since they ain' with me all day. Even if there is a lad tha' really thinks Im pretty an' nice an' loves me...really loves me an' wan's to take care of me...be with me........even then....I don' think I would.....
I: Why not? What makes you think that?
L: I don' know....wha' if whatever made me blind when I were born gets passed down to me bairns? Wha' if they be born blind? Carin' for me is enough work...I wouldn' ever ask anyone to do tha'....but addin' a wee one tha' be blind too....I couldn' ask tha' o' anyone.....it be too much.
I: What if whatever caused your blindness at birth wasn't able to be passed down to your children? Would you rethink marriage and children then?
L: .....I....I don' know.....no one asked me...so it don' matter....Why's this so importan' to folks....?
I: Would you let us call in a Healer from Rivendell to examine you to maybe determine the reason you were born blind?
L: Me Mum an' Da asked folks to look at me when I were a wee bairn....no one knew wha' happened...said it couldn' be fixed....Met a man called Siegvard tha' said the elves migh' know how to fix me....I were thinkin' o' takin' him up on his offer to meet his friend, bu' he left....like everyone leaves....I think I would really like to find ou' why Im like this an' if it can be fixed.
I: Thank you Lucey. We will send the letter out and let you know when we hear back. I believe we will conclude today's interview on that note. Thank you for coming and we look forward to speaking with you again soon.
End Interview Subject: THE LIGHTFOOTS. Next Subject: RELATIONSHIPS