One American Dream…


A man went to his psychologist one day. The man made himself comfortable (as he always had during previous sessions) and began. “Doc, last night I had a dream and I need you to tell me what it means:

In my dream I found myself in a beautiful village surrounded by marvelous countryside. There were lushly forested patches, along with fields, streams, rivers, and lakes. In places, there were meadows in which the most wonderful cattle and sheep were grazing. They seemed content, almost happy (if that can be said of animals).

The village itself was pristine. In the center square was a fountain that ran quite clear and many of the villagers were around it, some drinking from cups while others filled larger vessels. The buildings were well-kempt; neither a crack nor crumble. All the available stones were being used to line paved streets and walkways, no stone was out of place. Dogs and chickens and cats were about their usual business (as dogs and chickens and cats are known to do). I wondered at what this place was, so I hailed a nearby villager and asked him, “What is the secret of this place? How does it remain so beautiful?” The villager came near and spoke softly, “Come. I show you.”

I followed him for some distance outside the village proper. When the sounds of the people faded into the distance, a different sound became apparent. We rounded a bend and the sound became louder and slightly more cacophonous. “What the devil am I hearing?” I demanded. The villager only raised his hand – silencing me – and led on. After some minutes, the sound was even louder, and the top of a deep pit came into view. Rising out of the pit I recognized the backs of elephants. “What are they doing?” I asked him. He only motioned and said, “Look closer.” I walked up to the edge of the pit and looked in. What I saw within were every kind of donkey on the planet. They were in all sorts of positions: some on their side, some standing, some running wildly around the perimeter of the pit, some on their backs with legs kicking all about them, their desperate brays rising up like haphazard gusts of wind until a few stomps from a nearby elephant brought about their last breath, and each fell silent in turn. “Doesn’t that hurt the elephants’ feet?” I asked. The villager told me, “They know that it is for a good cause, so they tolerate the pain in their feet. Also, we rotate them so that they can rest before returning, smiling (if elephants can be said to smile), to their task.” I pondered this somberly for a moment, then articulated my ruminations, “Oh, so… elephants stomping donkeys keeps this place running smoothly, and it’s always beautiful, and everyone’s happy and content?” The villager smiled widely at my recognition of the employed system. “Ah, you are a quick learner, mister! I am quite pleased to have made your acquaintance.”

“When I awoke, all I could remember was ‘elephants stomping donkeys…’ What does it all mean, Doc? Tell me!”

The psychologist held up his hand and muttered, “Hold on a minute.” The man thought that the doctor seemed angry. “Is he angry about something in my dream? Has he even been listening to me?”, the man wondered, confusedly. The psychologist picked up the receiver of one of the two phones on his desk – it was red, the other was black. Without dialing, he waited a few seconds then spoke into it gruffly, “It’s me; put him on!” After a short while he spoke into the red phone’s receiver again, this time nearly shouting, “You, sir, are an idiot! You can go to HELL!” Then the psychologist slammed down the receiver, stood up, turned himself around, and leapt forward, crashing through his office window, to fall to his death thirteen floors below. Just then the door flew open and the receptionist ran into the room. “What happened?”, she demanded. The man tore his gaze from the broken window (he had been staring at it) and answered her with a slight shrug of his shoulders, “I don’t know. He just jumped out of the window.” Then, gathering a modicum of composure, he added, “Uhmmm… will I be billed for this session? I didn’t really get an answer regarding the purpose for my visit today, and…” The man was suddenly interrupted by the sound of children’s voices rising up through the broken window from somewhere below. They were beginning their school day:

Quoth they, “… and to the Republic, for which it stands, …”