Dream of: 16 September 1996 "Tractor Ride"
I was with Jo Alice (the mother of my friend Jon) who looked like her normal robust self, tall and strong. We were on a farm which she owned, walking around in a rough rocky area. I was interested in some of the vegetation of the area, typically Texan, and wondered if there was enough here to provide pasture for livestock. I could see some prickly pear cacti, and thought about how I had seen on television that in times of drought, some cattlefarmers used blow torches to burn off the thorns of the prickly pears so the cacti could be eaten by the cattle. I wondered if that were possible here.
Alice however was engaged in other activity: she was busy catching snakes. I wasn't quite certain why she was gathering the snakes; but I had heard that pigs liked to eat snakes, and I thought she might be gathering them to feed to some pigs. I had realized this was a particularly fertile area for snakes, but even I was surprised by how many I saw here. I was also apprehensive, for I knew almost nothing about snakes, and I had no idea, from the many different kinds I saw around me, which ones might be poisonous. So even though I found the snakes interesting, and I tried to focus on the intricate patterns I saw on some, my apprehension prevented me from fully appreciating their beauty.
As I was cautiously admiring one small brown specimen which was lying on the ground in front of me, Alice walked up, and I asked her if she knew what kind it was. She quickly responded that it was a common garter snake, and that it posed no danger whatsoever. Feeling rather embarrassed by my cowardice, I reached out to pick up the snake. But just as I had the end of its rubbery body in my hand, it turned its head around toward me, and I quickly dropped it. I realized that however harmless the snake might be, I had no desire to actually hold it.
Instead I saw some other small animal which caught my attention. It looked like a small lizard only a couple inches long. When I came close to it, it was able to blow itself up into a little ball, with a brilliant green back and a dazzling red underside. I was quite impressed by the creature itself, and especially by the brilliant colors it displayed, and I pointed it out to Alice, thinking she would also appreciate the animal's beauty. Alice quickly informed me that she didn't care for the animal, that the area was thick with them, and that they apparently had no practical use.
Alice and I continued walking until I was surprised to see that we had come to several small houses, in fact a village, out in the middle of this farm. Stranger still, I recalled that I had been to this little village once before, although I couldn't remember exactly when. It appeared that the village was now deserted, but Alice informed me that some of the houses actually were still inhabited. She then led me into a small store, which appeared to no longer be in business. Inside I was surprised to find the store fresh and clean, filled with displays of different kinds of candy. Finding a candy store out in the middle of a barren farm seemed odd, but there it was. Alice explained that the store wasn't in operation any more, but that all the candy was still good. I had the feeling that she hoped to open the store again one day.
As we left the store and headed out of the village, I thought if I ever needed a place to live, I could go to Alice and ask her if I could live in one of the uninhabited houses in the village. Since she owned all the houses, and since she liked me, I thought she would have no problem with my living in one of the houses. However, living there wasn't an idea which particularly pleased me. The area had little to recommend it, and I knew I would only go there if I just had to.
As we left the village, we were riding a tractor which Alice was driving. And as we began driving alongside a muddy creek, I realized I recognized this area: this looked exactly like Symmes Creek, in an area which flowed through the Gallia County Farm. The two farms – Alice's farm and the Farm – seemed one and the same. But I didn't have time to dwell on this fact, because my attention was drawn to something in a swampy area along the creek just a few feet from us: a giant crocodile probably three meters long. I vaguely recalled that some crocodiles had been introduced into this farm, but I had had no idea that they had grown to such size. I was sitting over the back wheel of the tractor, holding on tightly, as we passed by the monster. I thought to myself that walking in this area certainly wouldn't be safe. And that thought made me ask Alice whether she allowed hunters on the farm. I advised her that allowing hunting on the farm wouldn't be a good idea. Besides the fact that I hated hunters, and I didn't want them on the farm for that reason, I told her if something happened to one of the hunters, for example if one were attacked by a crocodile, she might be held liable.
Alice made no response, but directed the tractor up the side of the hill which abutted Symmes Creek in that area. It seemed to me a little dangerous to drive the tractor up the side of the hill, but we were enclosed in cab on the tractor, and Alice seemed to know what she was doing. I thought there was no danger of the tractor turning over. But once we were almost half-way up the hill, I saw just how wrong I was. The hill had become almost perpendicular, and Alice just kept trying to go up. Suddenly the front wheels of the tractor began coming off the ground, and the tractor started to tip backwards. I looked back down the hill and saw how far it was to the bottom, and I realized that nothing could now stop the tractor from turning over and falling all the way down the hill. In a flash, I knew that the chances were good that I would be killed, or at the least, seriously injured. I tried to see if there some way I could jump out of the cab; but I was trapped. Maybe I could somehow jump out the window; but it looked doubtful. I was probably going to crash to the bottom of the hill.
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