I don’t have memorable dreams all that often, which might speak to my lack of imagination, or perhaps just poor memory, but whatever the case, I had a peculiar series of dreams near dawn this morning.
So all you armchair shrinks out there, sharpen your No. 2 pencils and dust off your psychoanalysis reference manuals: Here we go!
So I hear some sort of scritch-scratching, which is pretty familiar to me because of the occasional rodent invasion in my drafty, 80-year-old house. We even had a bat visit us once. I managed to catch it with the aid of a towel and safely evict it. But I digress. So I’m dreaming about hearing a familiar scritch-scratching. Only in this dream state it’s not a room I actually recognize as a room in my house, but that’s not really important because it’s a dream, after all, right?
So I’m on a couch or bed and there’s a dimly lighted window behind me, which is where I hear this scritch-scratching of some sort of critter moving about. There’s a wrought iron and glass shelf between the bed-couch and the window, so actually seeing the critter is tricky at first. And this being a dream, logic and whatnot are highly optional. So I grab a butter knife and fling it down where I think the critter is stirring.
Where did I find a butter knife so conveniently in what ostensibly is my bedroom, you might wonder. Well, that’s the beauty of dreams. Things just happen. So the knife landed.
Up the wall/window/bookshelf crawls one Henry the Squirrel with No Tail (follow link for background story if you’re not familiar). Yes, I have documented Henry beyond what might be considered healthy. But that’s not important right now.
Anyway, I have not seen old Henry scurrying about the neighborhood recently, and the other day it occurred to me that Henry might have shook off his mortal coil in the past year. Which might explain the appearance of said tailless squirrel in my dreams. To say I was obsessing over a squirrel might be going to far. Let’s just say I was mildly concerned. So there you have it. In the dream, Henry emerged unscathed. And his tail appeared to be growing back! It was still a stump, more or less, but a larger stump. Certain lizards (more on that later) have the capability of growing back tails that have broken off as a defense mechanism (more on that too) when attacked by predators. But I am not aware of any rodents possessing the ability to grow back amputated tails.
Oh, did I mention Henry was holding the blade of the butter knife in his squirrelly teeth?
A very talented squirrel, this Henry is. Up to this point, I only knew of his ability to hop about in a bunny-like fashion sans tail, to forage and climb trees like your average fully equipped squirrel, and to avoid large birds of prey. At least until recently.
At least in my dream, Henry is OK. Except that he’s in my house, which will not do. So naturally I try to catch him, bearing in mind that being a squirrel and all he might bite my hand. So in typical dream fashion, my attempts to grab Henry are hampered by that dream-state paralysis that happens to often when you’re being chased by some fearsome creature and you can’t seem to get away from it. Well, this same horrid fate applies when you’re the fearsome creature as well, apparently.
End of that dream segment (as far as I remember).
Strange Dreams, Part II
So that familiar scritch-scratching returns, and apparently I’m in the same room.
Wife and kids sound like they’re getting near the room so I decide to leap into action lest they be accosted by whatever is scritch-scratching near the window this time. I spot it. It has a long, whiplike tail and a narrower profile. Hmmm, a lizard? Hard to make out the shadows of dimly lighted dream windows.
So it starts climbing up the wall, and this time I grab it! I start heading toward a door that magically materializes (aren’t dreams great? They’re like watching cartoons while you sleep!).
Well, remember how I mentioned “defense mechanisms” that critters sometime deploy? Losing a tail is not the only defense mechanism lizards and other critters use.
Sometimes they pee. Or poo.
Or both. These defense mechanisms can be quite effective. I mean, Ewww!
I know, I’ve had my share of encounters with lizards and snakes and frogs and toads, etc. And politicians. (I know, cheap shot. At the lizards.)
Well this critter appeared to be a gecko, or perhaps a smallish iguana (iguanas can get to be 4 feet and longer with an intact tail!). Either way, it did its little peeing trick, which motivated me to get to the door faster.
Typically in the real world the pee amounts to a small puddle of a few teaspoons (I am guessing here – I did NOT actually ever attempt to measure a lizard’s output of defense-mechanism pee or poo).
Well this little gecko-iguana uncorked a gusher! It was like this thing turned into a miniature fire hose! So this episode ends with me struggling to open the door before this little Old Faithful floods the entire room. Yeah, that woke me up, and I am happy to report, bone dry.
So what do you make of that, armchair psychoanalysts? Herr Freud? Jung? Gestalt? Bueller? Anyone?
Speaking of Bueller, here’s a gratuitous link to that Super Bowl ad featuring Matthew Broderick reprising a Bueller moment or two.