Last night, or rather, early this morning, I had a terrible nightmare. It was so frightful that, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually woke up to find myself in bed, thrashing my limbs about, and screaming for help. What was this terror? Well, the setting was one of those oddly strange yet familiar places. It’s hard to describe. It was a dream after all. I was in a room in a house and I feel like I’ve been in this room before but I could not pinpoint its location to save my life. Really, it was probably just an amalgam of man rooms with which I am familiar. I heard a familiar voice. Again, it was most likely a composite voice for I cannot identify the speaker. The voice said t me
Ooh, look! An emu! We should pet it.
Have I mentioned that I don’t think I’ve ever laid eyes on an emu – either in real life or in a picture? No, I know what they are – large, flightless birds, cousin t the ostrich. Them I’ve seen. Either way, not knowing a thing about the temperament of emus, nor caring much, I complied. I reached over to pet the emu and the damn thing started attacking me! Interesting side note: when I shared this story with my students later in the day I also re-enacted the attack. Apparently it was quite amusing because a student captured the whole thing on her “Vine” and tweeted it to several thousand followers. Back to my story…
I think my wife has just come to expect strange things from me in my sleep. I already know that I talk in my sleep. I found out when I got married that I snore and like a freight train at that. Perhaps I do thrash about like a circus ape in my sleep and just never knew it. She might be so used to it that she just doesn’t say anything anymore. I told her all about the emu in the morning. “That’s so weird!” she said. “Let me tell you about my dream.” Turns out that Mrs. Harvey had dreamed that we had just moved into our new house and a snake was trying to attack her. “Aw,” I said, “Thinking of me in your sleep. I’m touched.” After admonishing me to remove my mind from the gutter we both went our separate ways, she to take the kids to school and I to work.
Later in the day the lightbulb clicked for both of us at about the same time. We texted each other almost at the same time. How could we have been so blind?! It was Buddy! Yes, friends, Buddy the dog, my mother-in-law’s Jack Russell terrier had spent the night in our house. In fact, he had spent the night in our bed! Near as we can figure, fido was probably rolling around near us, perhaps nipped at my fingers, maybe licked my wife’s toes. Basically, the emu and the snake were how our brains interpreted the sensory data of the dog’s actions. Boy, dreams can be strange. You know what else can be strange? Telling this to your students and watching as they all take out their phones to see f there’s a dream interpretation app. And we had just covered the chapter on why divination was a violation of the first commandment.