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Torfaen Tales

The Dreamcatchers

The Sioux Indians use the dream catcher as the web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in their home to sift their dreams and visions. The good in their dreams are captured in the web of life and carried with them, but the evil in their dreams escapes through the hole in the centre of the web and are no longer a part of them. They believe that the dream catcher holds the destiny of their future.

“Am I read for this break? What a night! Would you believe it? Twenty one of them dreaming about winning the lottery, fifty seven are on golden sands and swimming in blue seas and a hundred and six are so confused I haven’t been able to categorise them. And I’m sure my sector’s got more than its fair share of insomniacs. Half of them haven’t even got to bed yet”

“Take it easy”, said the overseer. “I know that area, another half an hour and everyone will be tucked up in bed. Then you’ll have to work quickly to get them all catalogued. Now what did you do about the ones you couldn’t categorise?”

“I referred them up to the line manager like you said, better safe than sorry. Mind you I don’t know how you managed in your day, without computers. It must have been a nightmare.”

“Just count yourself lucky we don’t record ‘nightmares’ here”, the overseer said. “If you move into that sector you’ll know what hard work is.”

“Oh I’ve just remembered. That old lady who is quite poorly. The one you told me to keep a special eye on because she was due to pass over quite soon. You know the one, no family of her own. Usually dreams about her childhood. She’s dreaming about her mother tonight.”

“Well you had better send a memo then, let them know. It would be nice if they can arrange for her mother to be the first person she sees.”

“There’s one thing that still bothers me though.”

"What’s that?"

“Well I finished my work experience yesterday and passed the assessment, so tomorrow morning I’ll be able to recommend which dreams come true. And it’s so hard. Some of the others say I shouldn’t stress. Just take a lucky dip. Any dream will do they say. But it doesn’t seem right.”

“Why don’t you tell me a little bit about the ones you’re thinking of recommending.”

“Well, there’s a little girl, lives in a squat with her Mum. The Dad took off when the bailiffs repossessed the house. She dreams the same dream every night. A room with a bed, clean clothes, you know the sort of thing – and it doesn’t seem too much to ask does it?

Then there’s the young chap looking after his mother. Gets her up every morning, helps her wash and dress, puts out her lunch on a tray, then when he comes home he cooks the dinner and does the housework. What kind of life is that for a youngster? He dreams about going out with his pals to discos and pubs and meeting girls. And why shouldn’t he. But I worry that his dreams are too ordinary to be considered.

And I’ve lost track of the mothers who dream about having a little holiday, the unemployed dads who dream they are back at the factory bench and the sick people who dream they are well again.

I thought this job would be great. What could be better than making dreams come true. But truth to tell I don’t think I’m cut out for it.”

“I tell you what”, said the overseer. “Come and see my this time next week and we’ll talk some more.”

One week later ...

“Well how has it been?”

“It’s been wonderful. You remember that little girl I told you about? Well the council gave them a flat and a woman from the Salvation Army helped them with furniture and stuff. You should see her, she’s happy, her Mum’s happy – it’s great. And that lad, well Social Services have put a helper in three times a week. He went out last night for the first time with pals from work – got a little bit merry to tell you the truth. Listen to me going on and I bet you’ve heard it all before – but this job, for me it’s like a dream come true.

By Kath Haughton

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Jack and the Beanstalk

16 - 25/02/2018
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