July 4th, 1995: A Dream

In my dream, I was taking care of Marie's baby. The baby had no name or sex, as far as I can tell. Like all other young human infants, it looked like a very large crawdad.

We were in the back yard of my mother's house in Columbia, and a black cat with white paws grabbed the baby in its mouth and tried to run away. I stopped it, but the baby didn't move, and at first I thought he/she might be dead. But then I noticed two meaty legs, like crab legs, lying torn off beside it.

I was in grief because he/she had been crippled (I couldn't remember if an injury like this was temporary or permanent; do human babies regenerate their limbs?), until I realized a surgeon could reattach the legs. I wanted to hurry, both because limb reattachment surgery should be performed promptly and because I wanted to get it done before my sister got home, so she wouldn't worry as much. So I tried to decide whether I should go to the emergency room or a veterinarian. I knew it was undignified to take a baby to the veterinarian, but I thought that would be faster, so I decided to do it.

I was concerned about using the proper terminology to describe the baby. I couldn't remember if it was acceptable English usage to call a human baby a crawdad. I don't remember ever finding an answer to that question, but I did learn that a human infant in this stage of development was technically known as a hero, which I thought was interesting.

I also wasn't sure if a veterinarian would be open. It took me longer than you would think to find the Yellow Pages (but this was a dream, so there is some excuse). There were two veterinarians in Columbia, although just now I realized I looked up pet shops; evidently one of the rules of this dream was that every pet shop has a veterinarian, and vice versa. Both were closing soon, and I wasn't sure if I should risk going to them first.

David and Susan came home and called down the stairs, telling me that dinner was ready. Leftovers from lunch: sourdough pudding and bread salad. I didn't want to tell them what had happened.

Then I realized that human infants are not shaped like crawdads. I'd known for some time that I was dreaming, but this broke my train of thought. After a few minutes I got up and wrote this down so I'd remember it.

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