I have too many of them. Dreams. Everyone has them, you say? Oh, but then I am not talking of the open-eyed kind, rather those seen with eyes closed. Vivid dreams, in great detail, some funny, most weird and/or scary. Whatever their nature, the L&M, who is the one I regale with details of the dreams, finds the whole thing amusing, so much so that the minute he hears ‘I saw a dream last night…’ (or ‘during my afternoon nap’), he starts laughing even before I have elaborated. So here’s one of the latest dreams, and you can decide for yourself whether you want to laugh or not.
There we all are (in the dream), by ‘we’ I mean my family and also those of my brother and sister. It is an unfamiliar house which I don’t recognize, but apparently it is mine. In the living room, stretched out on a sofa as cool as you please, is a lion. A bally LION. Not as huge as the ones in the wild perhaps, but a lion all the same with thick, dark mane, long tail and make no mistake, all the rest of the trappings of a true-blue lion.
It seems so normal to have him sprawled on the living room sofa. No one is paying any attention to this huge animal relaxing in the tiny drawing room. In my dream though I do wonder that the L&M is not making a fuss as he would in real life if Luci were to make herself comfortable on the sofa. Hair, hair, everywhere! I suppose everything goes in dreams. Or may be lions don’t shed as much as Labradors. Anyways….
Out of the corner of my eye I observe the lion eyeing Luci speculatively. She on her part is oblivious to the lion and is sitting with her back to him, more interested in the treat about to materialize. I dip into the goodies bag to pull out what she’s waiting for so eagerly when Luci yelps in pain. It cuts me to the core and I look up. The lion has gotten off the sofa and now has Luci’s tail in his mouth. What’s more, he is pulling for all he is worth, trying to drag her towards the open front door.
In my dream I imagine Luci having to go through life with half a tail, or with none at all. And also, what if the lion didn’t stop with her tail? I’d end up with a pile of bones licked clean. Like hell was I going to let that happen. Livid with rage at the affront (Living in my house and attacking my baby in front of mine own eyes!), I shout at the lion to leave Luci alone. Umm… that’s not exactly how it is. It is a more like a thunderous roar: LEAVE LUCI ALONE, NOW! DO YOU HEAR ME, YOU STUPID LION?!
The world comes to a standstill, or so it seems. All the chatter stops, the house has fallen silent. The lion, shocked out of its wit, immediately lets go of Luci’s tail and backs off. It quietly slinks away into the night through the open front door, tail between its legs.
Now I realize we have a bigger problem on our hands. We have let a hungry lion loose in the neighborhood. What if it hides behind a car or the dustbin and jumps at a neighbor and scares them? Worse still, what if it kills and devours someone? We’ll go to jail, I blurt out to the L&M. We have to go look for him before anything untoward happens. There is still the problem of the lion jumping out of wherever it is hiding and making a meal of us, but what other option do we have? None. It is either us or one of the neighbors.
It is dark outside, except for the streetlights. We get ready to go search the neighborhood, in open garages, behind parked cars, in the bushes and backyard gardens, for the missing lion. Just as we are about to leave, who should sidle in, all shamefaced, through the open door? The lion, no less. It quietly goes over to the same sofa and spreads himself on it as if nothing has happened. The L&M and I look at each other and sigh in relief. I hurry off to get his food from the refrigerator and pull out a huge, really huge piece of meat (I didn’t know I had such a big fridge!). Never again, I promise myself, never again will I ever be late in feeding him. That is the only way to keep my
lamb Luci safe.
©Shail Mohan 2018