A Strange Dream



In my road yesterday there was an advertising poster  “The Circus Z is coming to the village, come and visit the menagerie and see the show starting at 4pm”.  So ended my afternoon nap.  My grandchildren (twins aged 5), insisted on going to the circus.  I really dislike this sort of thing but in the countryside on a Sunday in summer, there is not much to do, so I gave in.  The menagerie was unbelievable, in 35° in an improbable swimming pool a walrus was bathing.  The grandchildren were enjoying themselves “look grandpa, it looks just like you!”

In fact, my favourite sculptor, one affectionate day, modelled a bust of me with moustaches (mine) and there was rather a similarity with the tusks of this extravagant beast and my moustaches.   A facetious gallery owner had for a long time attributed my name to this animal.

That night my sleep was disturbed.  I have worked a lot with animals (horses), and I dreamt (or had a nightmare), that I was on night duty with this big walrus and was resting close to his caged pool.  Suddenly the marine mammal jumped over the side of the pool, shoved me out of the way and escaped towards the river.  I followed in hot pursuit and together we created havoc in the waves.  Of course, I didn’t make the weight and the walrus rolled me in the water, amused itself by lifting me and throwing me up in the air and tormenting me with its tusks that definitely looked like my moustaches, and generally making fun of me.  Eventually, with heavy hearts, we returned to its horrible prison and breakfasted together.
I fell back to sleep and again it escaped, it was without end…….  In the morning, in front of my coffee, I found myself face to face with a drying sculpture (Walrus and Little Girl), the latest creation of my wife.

Inwardly I call this work Le Horla (a short horror story written by Guy de Maupassant).

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