Dream 20030306, 6:00 AM:
As this dream begins, I am driving a big tractor along a grassy bank. I am following someone else in some other piece of construction equipment. The seat of the tractor I’m driving is way high up, almost like the passenger cabin of a lifting crane. We are going around a right-hand curve, and looking down at the grass bank, I see a couple of box turtles on my left. I am momentarily concerned about whether the other drivers are watching out for them. Then, I see some more off to the right, and I stop the tractor and get down to look at them. I pick one up, but the top of the shell comes off in my hand; I look down, and realize that the top and bottom aren’t joined like a real turtle is, but are separate, like the foot plate of a snail. I look at the bottom plate, which is “tortoise shell” colored on both sides (instead of how it would really be, attached to the turtle guts on the inside) and there are no marks or dents where it attaches. The turtle is inside the top part of the shell, and it looks like a pudgy lizard just holed up in there.
Then, I look down, and see a *tiny* turtle – it’s about the size of a baby anole, only an inch or so long. I reach down and pick it up, and now somehow it’s in shallow water. The bank was dry earlier. I pick it up and look at it, and as it’s stretched out on my finger, I realize that it’s not a turtle at all, it’s more like a salamander – but then looking closer, I realize that it’s shaped like one of the water-dwelling dinosaurs, but in tiny miniature. It wiggles and I put it back in the water where it came from. Now, the body of water is a ditch-like thing leading into a medium-sized pond. I look down into the water, and see a large brown shadow moving there – someone says something about it being a turtle, but it looks like a crocodile. I look closer, and see that its nostrils are placed wrong for a crocodile – it’s a dinosaur! It is a dark solid brown, and probably fifteen feet or so in length. I really can’t see any details of its body, because the surface of the water is shimmery, so I just see a blurry brown shape.
There are some family members here with me now. I point out the dinosaur to Uncle Walt, but he is too busy to look; he’s working on something. I show it to Mom. I feel very excited, but the rest don’t seem to be as excited as I am. Most of what we see of it, is various dark shadows sluicing through the water. Then, it moves upward through the water and part of its back surfaces – it has short sharp conical spines protruding from its back, reminds me of the horns of a horny toad. I say something to it, and it pops up over near where I’m standing – except now it has a woman’s head. She is blond, kind of elfin-looking, and her skin starts out kind of lizardy brown, but as the dream progresses she looks more like a normal woman. She has arms like a person, but I don’t recall her having a human shaped torso. Later in the dream, I remember her looking mostly normal from about the belly-button up, and the rest still distinctly dinosaurish.
I talk with her, and ask if she is a plesiosaur. She says that yes, she’s a plethyosaur mermaid (emphasizing the difference in pronunciation). I say that I haven’t seen her here before, and she says that she appears the third weekend of each month – I am trying to figure out which day she means, and she says that it’s always at least fifteen days away from God. There is a little booth here now, reminds me of a place at Sea World where you could watch and pet the dolphins – the mermaid is leaning up against the glass to talk with me. I tell Chris I wish I had a picture, and she points to a stack of paper sheets – they are like forms, and there is a space to attach a souvenir photo, and it says something like, “Attach your silly-assed commercialized photo here.” Chris runs off to get a camera, and comes back with one.
There are some other guys with us here in the water, and a couple of them are going to pose with us in the picture. One of them gets into the water, and I tell him that it isn’t smart – the mermaid can control you if you do that! He doesn’t jump out, and seems to get by unscathed.
There is a sensation of time passing. Each month, I go to visit the mermaid – it’s a very intense relationship, although nothing sexual or romantic. There is a girl here, she seems like a high school girl. She is jealous of the mermaid, because she’s getting all the attention. Apparently one of the guys who has been visiting her as well is the girl’s boyfriend. The girl poisons the little lake on one of the days when the mermaid appears, by pouring a huge bottle of dish soap into it. I watch her do it, but it’s like a news story – a voice-over explains that she poisoned the mermaid and all the carra (which are apparently fishes) in the lake. The same voice explains that many of the ducks in the lake had to be washed in several chemicals before they would ever settle in a pond (or some other name for a body of water) again – others needed to be washed off in dish soap.
I am talking to the sickened mermaid, who lies gasping at the pond’s edge. The edge of the pond is now only feet away from the ocean (not how it was before), and I ask her if she could escape to the ocean. She says that she would, but then she would be a mermaid forever. She dies.
Then, I see another little “newsreel” of one girl delighting in stealing another girl’s boyfriend – after watching for a minute, I recognize that the girl doing the stealing is the mermaid! She has been somehow punished for this act by being forced to be a mermaid; it’s like she suffered the punishment backward in time from the crime, although it could be that I was just seeing the rest of the story as a flashback. The feeling of it is very poignant – like the feeling of one of those fairy tales where the heroine has to die, but you feel sad about it.