Have you ever wondered where dreams come from? I know I have.
Bertie says that our dreams are given to us by a fairy called Queen Mab. And he says that if you don’t believe him, you should check out the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare where it’s all explained in one of the speeches.
Queen mab is no bigger than your thumbnail, and she flies in a hazelnut shell that was made into a coach for her by squirrels. It’s pulled through the air by gnats. She can land on your nose while you are asleep, and put all sorts of silly ideas into your brain, unless she tickles you so much that you sneeze, which is quite dangerous for her as she’s so small.
Shakespeare tells us that she makes lovers dream of kisses and lawyers dream of fat fees. So that’s good, everyone can be happy when they are asleep.
A while ago, Queen Mab was flying over a pond. There were loads of silly tadpoles, and she made them all dream that they were playing leap frog. There was a posh swan who dreamt that she was a princess. And there was a grumpy old fish, who dreamt that he was a judge and had sent all the other podlife to prison, and lived happily on his own with nobody to bother him.
And then there was a frog, who had once been a wicked queen. She was only pretending to be asleep, and when Queen Mab flew by she stuck out her sticky tongue and caught her on the end of it. Snap! She pulled the poor fairy into her mouth, but did not swallow.
“Help! Help!” called out Queen Mab.
“Now, don’t get me wrong,” said the wicked queen frog – well she didn’t actually say it because her mouth was full, what she said was :
“Ma, na, ma, na mum.”
“Bother!” she thought, “and then she realised that as Queen Mab could understand dreams, she could probably read thoughts too, so she rolled out her tongue and looked at the hapless Queen Mab who was still stuck on the end of it. Actually she saw her double because she was looking at her cross-eyed. She thought out loud,
“I’m very tempted to swallow you down because I’ll get a warm feeling in my tummy and I might ingest some of your magical powers.”
“Oh please let me go. I’ll pay you back with bags of sweet dreams for ever more,” replied the frightened fairy.
“I don’t want to overdose on sweetness, thank you very much,” said the frog queen, “but I do want you to give some special dreams to two humans who live in the Royal Palace. Their names are Prince Bertie and Princess Beatrice, you know them right?”
“Oh yes,” said Queen Mab, “Bertie likes to dream that people laugh at his funny jokes.”
“Dream on Bertie!” exclaimed the Queen. “His jokes are famously unfunny. And what does Beatrice see in her sleep?”
“Oh it’s a pleasure to give her dreams, she wants to do kind things, like saving old donkeys from cruel farmers, and giving Royal Pardons to prisoners who promise to be good.”
“URG!!! Same old silly, soppy, softie waste of space!” commented the Wicked Queen. “Now listen well. If you want to go free you must promise to give Bertie and Beatrice the exact dreams that I tell you. So what’s it to be? Deal or dinner?”
“Deal Deal!” called out Queen Mab. I’m only 621 years old, far too young for a fairy to be your dinner.”
“Right-oh,” said the Wicked Queen Frog, as she unstuck her captive and set her on the grass. Poor Queen Mab was shivering with fright and was all wet with froggy saliva.
“Now listen well, you pathetic fairy, if you want to live for a few more hundred years, you will follow my instructions to the letter. This is what you must put into Bertie’s head. Let him dream that he has a new Royal Yacht, the biggest, most luxurious, and most expensive boat in the world. He decides to spend his life on this floating hotel, where all his meals including his eggy soldiers and his fish and chips are prepared by a five star michelin chef. He has a personal butler, who squirts toothpaste on his brush for him, and all the many servants and sailors bow and scrape and call him “Your Royal Highness.” He spends all day playing on his tablet and sunning himself around the pool, and in the evening a choir sings him to sleep with ‘All Hail Prince Bertie’. Got that?”
“Yes, got it,” said Queen Mab sadly, who thought it was a very spoilt sort of dream to give a prince and might make him rather horrible.
“Now this is the dream you must give Beatrice. In her dream she realises that she hates being a princess and living a life of luxury, and all she really wants is to be ordinary. She gives away all her lovely clothes, moves out of the palace, changes her name to Maurine, and finds contentment working as a waitress in a tea shop. Got that too?”
“If you are really sure that’s what you want,” said Queen Mab.
“Don’t you dare doubt it!” screeched the Wicked Queen frog, and Queen Mab felt so scared that she did not doubt it for a second longer. In fact, she flew straight to the palace where she gave the sleeping Bertie and Beatrice the exact same dreams that the Wicked Frog had described.
Now, as you know, Beatrice and Bertie are sweethearts and are engaged to be married. They have promised to hold no secrets from each other, including their inner-most feelings and dreams. In the morning, over the breakfast table, Beatrice said:
“Bertie, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we both had the same dreams?”
“Yes, it would,” said Bertie, “In fact, last night I had a most amazing dream about living the life of luxury on board a brand new, super-duper Royal Yacht. Now I’m willing to bet an entire box of Greedy Bars that you had the exact same dream, my darling.”
“Well, actually,” said Beatrice blushing, “My dream was more profound.”
“Great,” said Bertie, “I’m all ears… What does ‘profound’ mean by the way?”
“It means it was deep and meaningful, ” said Beatrice, “In fact, in this dream I discovered my true heart’s desire.”
“That’s where I come in, right?” said Bertie.
“No, Bertie, it wasn’t that sort of true heart’s desire.”
“In this dream, I realised that I simply hate being a princess, living a life of luxury and privilege, and all I really want is to be ordinary.”
“Ordinary?’ said Bertie. “Boring!!!!!!!”
“There is honesty in hard work and daily toil and struggle,” insisted Beatrice.
“Oh, I see,” said Bertie, “Poor Beatrice, you had a nightmare.”
“Bertie, has it ever occurred to you that it’s simply not fair to have all these lovely clothes, a beautiful room in a palace, servants ready to run and jump at my every whim, invitations to balls and amazing events, and delicious food at every meal, when other people have to work and struggle for a living? I want to be ordinary so that I can live among ordinary people and share their hopes and fears.”
Bertie scratched his head,”That was some dream,” he said, “I don’t suppose I would ever have one like that myself.”
“Well that’s the trouble,” said Beatrice, “when two people have separate dreams, they can’t be together for the rest of their lives. I’m breaking off our engagement and moving out of the palace as soon as I can rent a room in the town.”
“Beatrice, darling, you can’t really mean that,” pleaded Bertie, but she did meant it and she ran back to her room in the West Tower and locked the door.
Bertie was certain that her strange dream would wear off by lunchtime. He got on with his busy schedule. That day he was opening a new wing of the town hospital and visiting a school to talk to the children and give them encouragement. Normally Beatrice would have come with him, but he made excuses for her, saying that she had a cold.
In the evening, when Bertie got back from his appointments, Beatrice was gone. The palace nurse said she had packed one suitcase and left in a taxi. He found a note under his door saying,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the fairy tale romance, but now I know that my true dream is to live in the Real World.”
“Oh dear,” said Bertie, “this is more serious than I thought.” He sent a text message saying, “Beatrice my darling dear, everyone missed your loveliness today, especially me.”
But Beatrice did not read Bertie’s message because she had bought a new sim card for her phone and changed her number as well as her name. She told people that she was called Maureen.
And that is where we leave the first part of Bertie and Beatrice’s Dreams. Do you think that Beatrice is right to say it’s unfair for a prince or a princess to have so many lovely things? Is she wise to give it all up and to become ordinary? Tell us what you think in the comments, and come back to Storynory.com soon to find out how she gets on in next part of our story.
Music by Premiumbeat and illustration by Shutterstock.