The Enchanted Dream-Shaker

I had had entered the Great Forest in order to discover myself. Well, that’s not strictly true – I had entered the Great Forest, in rather a hurry, in order to get away from the mob who were chasing me, with a view to wreaking their very tangible anger on me. It’s fair to say – I suppose – that I had upset them rather a lot! They wanted to kill me – that’s the standard format. Everything always reverts to the standard format. No matter what the situation, before very long it always comes back to this – a bunch of very angry people are chasing me, wanting very badly to kill me, and I am running away…


They were looking at me with ugly eyes, eyes that oozed casual malice, and they were leading me down the overgrown path in the forest to meet the end that they had prepared for me. As we walked they made coarse jokes to each other, grinningly indifferent to my fear. Even greater than my fear was my loathing for them. I found everything about them vile and repugnant – it astonished me that human beings could be as low as this. They were my reception committee and they were always waiting for me. They knew they would get me in the end and so they didn’t care how many times I escaped, how many times I broke free and ran. They were in no hurry at all – they knew that everything always reverted to this one inescapable scenario. They knew there was no escape for me.


Every scenario always ended up in this same place, in this same situation. It didn’t matter how things started off; it was like a pack of cards that was shuffled anew every time – no matter what cards I started off with I always ended up with the same hand at the close of play and it wasn’t a good one. It was the worst hand it was possible to get – no hand dealt could ever be worse than this, no situation less enviable…


The Dream-Shaker was shaking out dreams everywhere. It had gone mad, it had gone crazy. The devil himself had gotten into it! Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake shake shake, went the Dream-Shaker. Shaking out dreams everywhere. Shaking out all sorts of crazy dreams all over the shop. “Hey, go easy with that Dream-Shaker,” you might feel like saying, “Be a bit more bloody careful with it would you…” But you’d be wasting your breath if you did say that. The Dream-Shaker’s possessed and there’s no stopping it – nothing you nor me nor anyone else can do is ever going to stop it!


Full of trepidation I had entered the Great Forest. It was dark and gloomy there even though it was the middle of the day. Silence grew in that darkness like a strange unearthly mushroom. Or like a poisonous toadstool more like. The single forlorn cry of some hapless woodland creature meeting its end rang out from the depths of the forest and then was abruptly cut off. Following this interruption the silence bloomed around me all over again, deeper and more impenetrable than ever. I grew afraid even to think – imagining that any predator out there would surely hear my thoughts. The silence blossomed like a dark flower both inside me and outside me. Silence within and silence without – a Great All-Consuming Silence. I was struck by the very odd feeling that I was both everything and nothing, at one and the same time…





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