Are dreams real or are they fiction? I’ve included this posting in the “fiction” folder of my blog because the events happened in a dream. But dreams are real things, aren’t they? It’s a debatable point, but I generally dislike debate, so I’ll just tell my tale and let you draw your own conclusions.
Last night I had one of my all-time weirdest dreams.
In my dream, I’m walking down the street, minding my own business when in the distance I see two former friends, Bob and Bernie (both now deceased) arguing. Well…maybe it was more like a heated disagreement rather than an argument as such. As I approach them, they notice me but they do not include me in their talk. I decide to just watch, listen, maybe learn something – I don’t know – it was a dream.
Bob says to Bernie, “You’re telling me that a chicken killed a duck. ”
Bernie says, “As sure as I’m standing here. ”
Bob says, “Chickens don’t kill ducks, and they wouldn’t be able to kill a duck even if they wanted to.”
Bernie replies, “Not so! This chicken killed a duck! Here’s how it all went down.”
“I was living and working at my sister’s farm. They had lots of different animals. There was this one chicken that used to like to go downtown and …”
“Hold it right there!” says Bob, “You had a chicken that used to like to go downtown?”
“Yep, go downtown!”
“What did the chicken do downtown?”
“Hey man, when you’ve got a chicken that can go downtown and come back on its own, you don’t ask questions, so let me tell you the rest of the story, and then you can ask me all the questions you want.”
Bob nodded, but said nothing. Bernie continued his tale.
“So as I was saying, this chicken liked to go downtown. Anyhow, one day the chicken spots a duck that has bus tickets. The chicken asks the duck to buy him some bus tickets. Duck says “No.” Chicken asks for one of the duck’s bus tickets. Duck says “Buy your own.” Chicken says, “I would buy my own but they don’t sell bus tickets to chickens.”
Duck says, “Too bad! I bet you wish you were a duck.” Chicken tries to reason with the duck. Chicken says, “You can fly. I’ve seen you fly. You don’t need bus tickets at all. I need the bus tickets. Buy some for me or give me two tickets. I want to go downtown, and I don’t want to walk there and back.”
The duck refuses. The chicken jumps on the duck and beats him up. Duck dies. Dead duck. Chicken takes his tickets, goes downtown and comes back, happy as can be until he runs out of bus tickets.
Bob says, “That’s quite a story, Bernie. Whatever happened with that chicken?”
Bernie gives Bob a look that says, ‘Are you for real?’ Then he replies, “We ate it.”
Bob’s eyes widen in surprise. In an incredulous tone, Bob says, “You ate a chicken that could kill a duck, use a bus, go downtown and return on its own?”
Bernie gives Bob an exasperated look as he intones the obvious, “It was a chicken!”
I awoke. I had slept much longer than I normally sleep. Light was brightly framing the window in my bedroom through the small cracks that surround my room-darkening shade. I’m not sure what I learned. But I recall an interchange I’d have with Bernie from time-to-time. I’d tell him about some event, usually political in nature, and I’d say, “It’s not what it appears to be.” Bernie would then invariably reply, “Nothing is what it appears to be!” Bernie didn’t have much faith in the certainty of empiricism. Bernie might have said, “If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, you’ve got a creature that walks and talks like a duck.”
Bob seemed to enjoy the entertaining peculiarity of Bernie’s tale, just as I did.
Aren’t dreams wonderful?