In the deepest, darkest corner of Moonswallow Hollow, on a night just like the one before this one, everything was so hushed.
The deer, the creek.
And the four little dreamers in the little red tent.
Side by side they slept, side by side: Otis and Melvin and Sally and Callie.
All upsnuggled in their sleeping bags, sleeping and snoring and sleeping and snor-snor-snoring like a pig might (well, just Otis).
“Otis … Otis!”
And as they slept, their thoughts tiptoed out of the tent and wandered into the spiderweb that some people call dreams.
And at that very moment, in a place just past the star you can’t quite see, Dreamkeeper Periwinkle awoke.
Dreamkeeper Periwinkle – or D.P. Winkle, as she was called by those who knew her better – sat up in bed and looked about the many-rounded room where she and the other dreamkeepers slept. The others were gone already, tending to dreams and making them not-so-scary (and sometimes, on nights when the wind was especially sweet, even making dreams come to life).
It must be very late, thought D.P. Winkle. I wonder if there are any dreams left for me.
D.P. Winkle put on her frock of wildflowers and hurried from the dreamery.
She whisked about, searching for any little dreams that might be calling. Across the waters, over the cliffs, into the forests, until at last she saw a little dream that had just taken its place among the stars.
Inside the little dream, sparkling in the night, was a … no, it couldn’t be … simply unthinkable … am I seeing right? …
A lovely slice of bread.
How strange, thought D.P. Winkle as she hovered around it, touching both sides (it was not toasted) and the edges.
And then what should bump up against that lovely slice of bread but a second little dream, all fresh and gleaming, a … my goodness … a …
A jar of homemade jelly (boisenberry, it seemed).
Close behind, another little dream … thick to the touch … peanut butter!
Then one last little dream there alongside the others … another lovely slice of bread … hmmm, that’s two of those … (she had no idea that Sally and Callie were twins and shared their dreams).
A whiff of wind puffed up. A sweet one at that. Aaaah, thought D.P. Winkle, a most fortunate time for these little dreamers. She set to work.
The next morning, Otis was the first one out of the tent.
“Hey,” he thought, “What’s that doing there? We didn’t bring that!”
He took it into the tent.
“Look what I found. Whose is it?”
“Not mine neither.”
“Don’t look at me.”
“Well, somebody put it there. AND took a bite out of it.”
Tasty, thought D.P. Winkle.