The Pegasus Child
Dreamed 1982/4/4 by Wayan
1: MEET THE FAMILY
A couple shows me their kid--a literal kid, a baby goat. But a tall strange one. Though they look strange too--Dad seems human, more or less, but Mom's some weird mix of owl and lynx. Foster parents for sure.
"Stand back!" they tell me. The kid shits--diarrhea. Quite a mess! But once all that shit's out, the kid feels much better--frisky in fact. Looks less goatlike now--leggier. Like a small, lightly built colt. He chases one of his guardians toward me, then realizes I'm a stranger, and spooks playfully. Leaps high in the air--and doesn't come down. Spreads wide wings and flaps round the field. A Pegasus colt!
Wobbly, but he keeps airspeed. Up a full minute now.
But his two guardians keep fussing--sound both angry and scared. "Come back down here!" shouts Dad. "Don't! It's dangerous!" yells Mom. I'm annoyed. They even try scolding me for "scaring" him into the air, when he was playing. Like it's BAD for a Pegasus to try his wings! Yet they privately admit to me "He's never flown so far, so long..." Why scold, then? Inconsistent.
The foal returns at last, wheeling in huge as a vulture... with a gull in his mouth he caught mid-air. He offers it to his foster-mom like a cat proudly displaying a mouse! Though Mom's a predator herself, she looks disturbed and sorry for the poor gull, who's still alive if a bit stunned. Has to be a shock--midair, you don't expect to be gummed by a pony.
But Mom honors the generous impulse too--politely takes the food-gift, pretends to swallow it, then surreptitiously lets the gull go.
I feel a bit better about these foster parents. Fussy, but good-hearted beneath. And it can't be easy with an impulsive kid who flies.
I soon learn just how hard it is to rein a flying child--his fosterparents leave me to babysit him.
Once they're gone, Pegasus asks "Did Mom actually EAT that poor bird? Ugh!" Repelled at the idea--never intended to hurt the gull. Just wanted to give her a present.
"No, she was just pretending, like you."
We look at each other, suddenly amused.
"Let's see what's up in their tower" shouts Pegasus. Snooping on his fosterparents' secrets? As if I could stop him, now that he can fly!
I do convince him to take the stair rather than try diving through a high window--landing's the most dangerous part of any flight. In return I reluctantly agree to stand watch and yell if his parents come back early...
But I find myself climbing the stone spiral stair too, trailing Pegasus, curious--and lured on by the fabulous views. The higher we go, the wider I can see...
Unfortunately, I'm not me. I'm a WC Fields character, Egbert Souse, fat drunk and cynical--TOO fat to fit up the tightening spiral stair as the tower narrows near the top. So I turn off into a bathroom. Can't reach the top till I lose some weight!
And then I hear the colt's guardians return, below... uh oh! I'll be in for it now. Snooping in their tower. And letting Pegasus get above himself again. Bet he's jumping off the roof right now... though that's pretty safe for HIM. A springboard into the sky!
Then... a Presence stands in the room, a female spirit. I sense it though I'm facing away from her. She's not being elusive--I REFUSE to turn and face her. Don't want to acknowledge her.
But all else will be shadowed till I face her. I hate to do it, since it gives her the power of knowing she's harassed me successfully... that haunting works.
I turn to face her... and of course there's no one NOW. As always.
When I first built the World Dream Bank I didn't post this one, despite its striking, funny images, because I wanted to show dreams could be great stories, and it lacks a climax--I end up stuck, not confronting the ghost or the overprotective guardians, or taking wing myself. But as I've noted in The Ill-Formed Tale, landmark dreams may violate waking story-forms and still get their job done. Pegasus Child lacks a big showdown, yet he...
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