Can you remember what you dreamed about last night? If you can, was your dream a weird and wonderful one? I bet it was – they usually are!
Well, elves are no different from you and I. When elves sleep, they dream of the most bizarre and amazing adventures too – just like us all. However, elven dreams are different from human dreams. When groups of elves sleep, their separate dreams merge into one big adventure so that the sleeping elves interact with each other within their own individual dream times. Their adventures and stories often remain bizarre (like all good dreams are) but each individual elf contributes to the plot of the major dreamtime, in the same way that the ingredients of a meal contribute to the overall taste of the finished dish.
Maxwell and Skippy were two typical young elves and they had the most amazing shared dreams when they slept. Allow me to tell you of one:
As the sun wearily dipped his glowing head below the western horizon, at the end of a long day, the moon cautiously peeped her face over the opposite edge of the nighttime sky.
Maxwell and Skippy took their two cats, The Vampire King and Queen, to stargaze at the myriad of twinkling stars. Soon they all became memorized by the beauty of the full moon.
“Is the moon really made of cheese?” Skippy enquired of his older brother, pointing upwards into the night sky.
“Of course!” replied Maxwell, with a wry smile.
“In that case,” continued Skippy optimistically, “we really ought to take The Vampire King and Queen out there, some time soon. I bet it is crawling with mice!”
Maxwell looked at his younger brother and a spark of inspiration flashed across his eyes.
“Great idea!” he exclaimed to the younger elf. “We could take a rocket there!”
The two elves looked at each other and a smile broadened across both of their faces. They switched their gaze from the rising full moon and down to the two vampire cats standing by their feet.
“This could be quite an adventure for them,” smiled Maxwell to his brother. “I am sure that the moon is covered with mice!”
The two vampire cats gazed lovingly up at their young masters and began to imagine a feast of scurrying mice upon a cheese moon. This could be quite an adventure!
Maxwell took Skippy’s hand and together the two of them ran down to the bus stop, followed by their two vampire cats. They could see a pair of red double-decker buses down the road, travelling in unison towards them.
“Perhaps taking a bus might be easier than going by rocket,” suggested Maxwell.
Within a few seconds, the first bus (a number eight) pulled in to the stop and eagerly the four of them clambered on.
“Two halves and two cats to the moon (return) please,” called Maxwell to the conductor, displaying one bent penny in his free hand.
“Sorry, little’un,” replied the bus conductor. “This doesn’t go as far as the moon …”
Maxwell’s head sunk to his chest and a tear began to well in the corner of Skippy’s eye.
“… you want the 15B that’s behind me!” he continued, with a cheeky wink.
With a beaming smile and a cheery “thank you” the party of four quickly dashed to the rear of the number 8 and boarded the second bus. Its display boldly read “Number 15B: Moon (Via Clapham Junction)” and the metalwork of the polished chassis sparkled with the same vibrant glow of that of the stars of the midnight skies.
“Two halves and two cats to the moon (return) please,” repeated Maxwell to the second conductor, as he again waved the bent penny cheerfully in payment.
“Halves? How old are you?” enquired the bus conductor curiously.
“One hundred and five …” replied Maxwell innocently.
“… and seventy!” added Skippy, with a youthful squeal.
“You won’t be needing halves,” he smiled, with a gleam appearing across his broad face. “Over-sixty-fives travel free.”
And with that, he ushered them onto the bus, pulled a frayed ivory-white cord that ran along the ceiling of the bus and then pulled it again sharply. A shrill double-ring echoed throughout the bus interior and immediately the engine of the bus began to rev and the vehicle jerked forward with a shudder.
Soon they would be passing through Clapham Junction and onto the Moon.
The bus trundled onto the Sea of Tranquility and, with a gentle thud, it landed near to a static flag that was held horizontally in the life-less lunar atmosphere. The two elves and their pet cats jumped off the platform of the bus and onto the surface of the moon.
Maxwell softly tapped the glass visor of Skippy’s helmet, pointed to the nearby flag and then the four of them trekked across to take a closer look. As they walked, the desolate lunar skyscape loomed menacingly over their heads, shrouding the skies with an inky-blackness in which thousands of tiny stars danced and sparkled without impediment. The two of them switched on their lunar communications.
“It’s so bleak up here,” murmured Skippy, as he sat by the base of the flag pole and trailed his index finger through the cheese dust, etching small loops and curves through the myriad of adult footprints that could be found randomly scattered around its base.
Maxwell’s eyes scanned across the distant inky horizons in search of signs of rodent life.
“I can’t see any mice,” he declared, deliberately stubbing his toe into a single distinct well-formed pair of footprints, next to the ancient markings of a past Apollo landing.
Skippy continued his doodling in the cheese dust (with a “Skippy and Maxwell were here” scribble using the tip of his index finger) and then looked up at his elder brother.
“”I don’t think,” he replied sadly, “that there are any mice here at all.”
Maxwell gazed down at his brother, sitting on the ground, and he shrugged.
“I guess they can’t survive without air,” he sighed. “Such a shame as The Vampire King and Queen were so looking forward to a chase!”
The two of them glanced across to their cats, which were bounding and bouncing through the craters and crevices of the lunar landscape. Despite the lack of mice, the two small cats were enjoying the opportunity of the quarter-sized gravity of the moon and were playing a simple game of chase.
“Time for tea?” suggested Maxwell as he snapped off a small chunk of cheese from a nearby outcrop and handed it to Skippy.
The two elves carefully unpacked a picnic hamper and laid a square tartan rug upon the lunar surface. They both removed a selection of dried crackers from the hamper and placed the cheese on top. Then they looked at the closed visors of their astronaut helmets.
“Perhaps, we could save this for tea later, eh?” suggested Maxwell, with a blush.
Skippy smiled, nodded and the two of them packed their picnic goodies back into the hamper carefully.
“Shame there’s no mice,” repeated Skippy.
Maxwell glanced up at the life-less barren skies and shrugged.
“No air,” he moaned. “They could never survive here.”
The two elves felt the distant vibrations of the number 15B returning and they hurried back to the stop.
Within minutes they had mounted the bus, to return to earth (via Clapham Junction) and there was nothing left upon the lunar landscape except some new etchings in the footprints and the gentle hum of the solar wind drifting in from the sun.
However, the distant vibrations did not decrease as the bus vanished into a dot: in fact the vibrations grew and grew into a crescendo. Soon the whole lunar surface shook and trembled with a multitude of vibrations that rang out from every crater, that echoed through every valley and that reverberated into every crevice. From behind each crater, each crevice and each cranny – there appeared a tiny mouse, rolling within a small plastic exercise ball. A million tiny hands rose in unison and waved back into the bleak inky darkness of space.
“Bon voyage!” they squeaked, “Bon voyage!”
The hands of the clock turned to half past seven and the alarm rang. Maxwell and Skippy awoke with a start from their shared dream times. Wearily, the two small elves sat upright in bed and began to rub the sleep from their eyes.
“I just had the most amazing dream last night,” Skippy yawned, as he stretched his arms above his head.
“I know, I know,” Maxwell sleepily replied with a smile. “ I was there too.”
Can you remember what you dreamed about last night? If you can, was your dream a weird and wonderful one? I bet it was - they usually are! Well, elves are no different from you and I. When elves sleep, they dream of the most bizarre and amazing adventures too – just like us all. However, elven dreams are different from human dreams. Find out what Maxwell and Skippy dreamed about in their slumbers. This story is beautifully illustrated with numerous magical images, composed by Skippy Beresford.