The BFG laid down his pencil and placed one massive ear close to the jar. For about thirty seconds he listened intently. 'Yes,' he said, nodding his great head solemnly up and down. 'This dream is continuing very nice. It has a very dory-hunky ending.'
'How does it end?' Sophie said. 'Please tell me.'
'You would be dreaming,' the BFG said, 'that the morning after you is saving the teacher from the river, you is arriving at school and you is seeing all the five hundred pupils sitting in the assembly hall, and all the teachers as well, and the head teacher is then standing up and saying, "I is wanting the whole school to give three cheers for Sophie because she is so brave and is saving the life of our fine arithmatic teacher, Mr Figgins, who was unfortunately pushed off the bridge into the river by our gym-teacher, Miss Amelia Upscotch. So three cheers for Sophie!" And the whole school is then cheering like mad and shouting bravo well done, and, for ever after that, even when you is getting your sums all gungswizzled and muggled up, Mr Figgins is always giving you ten out of ten and writing Good Work Sophie in your exercise book. Then you is waking up.'
'I like that dream,' Sophie said.
'Of course you like it,' the BFG said. 'It is a phizzwizard.' He licked the back of the label and stuck it on the jar. 'I is usually writing a bit more than this on the labels,' he said. 'But you is watching me and making me jumpsy.'
'I'll go and sit somewhere else,' Sophie said.
'Don't go,' he said. 'Look in the jar carefully and I think you will be seeing this dream.'
Sophie peered into the jar and there, sure enough, she saw the faint translucent outline of something about the size of a hen's egg. There was just a touch of colour in it, a pale sea-green, soft and shimmering and very beautiful. There it lay, this small oblong sea-green jellyish thing, at the bottom of the jar, quite peaceful, but pulsing gently, the whole of it moving in and out ever so slightly, as though it were breathing.
'It's moving!' Sophie cried. 'It's alive!'
'Of course it's alive.'
'What will you feed it on?' Sophie asked.
'It is not needing any food,' the BFG told her.
'That's cruel,' Sophie said. 'Everything alive needs food of some sort. Even trees and plants.'
'The north wind is alive,' the BFG said. 'It is moving. It touches you on the cheek and on the hands. But nobody is feeding it.'
Sophie was silent. This extraordinary giant was disturbing her ideas. He seemed to be leading her towards mysteries that were beyond her understanding.
'A dream is not needing anything,' the BFG went on. 'If it is a good one, it is waiting peaceably for ever until it is released and allowed to do its job. If it is a bad one, it is always fighting to get out.'
The BFG stood up and walked over to one of the many shelves and placed the latest jar among the thousands of others.
'Please can I see some of the other dreams?' Sophie asked him.
The BFG hesitated. 'Nobody is ever seeing them before,' he said. 'But perhaps after all I is letting you have a little peep.' He picked her up off the table and stood her on the palm of one of his huge hands. He carried her towards the shelves. 'Over here is some of the good dreams,' he said. 'The phizzwizards.'
'Would you hold me closer so I can read the labels,' Sophie said.
'My labels is only telling bits of it,' the BFG said. 'The dreams is usually much longer. The labels is just to remind me.'
Sophie started to read the labels. The first one seemed long enough to her. It went right round the jar, and as she read it, she had to keep turning the jar. This is what it said:
TODAY I IS SITTING IN CLASS AND I DISCOVER THAT IF I IS STARING VERY HARD AT MY TEECHER IN A SPHESHAL WAY, I IS ABLE TO PUT HER TO SLEEP. SO I KEEP STARING AT HER AND IN THE END HER HEAD DROPS ON TO HER DESK AND SHE GOES FAST TO SLEEP AND SNORKLES LOUDLY. THEN IN MARCHES THE HEAD TEACHER AND HE SHOUTS 'WAKE UP MISS PLUMRIDGE! HOW DARE YOU GO TO SLEEP IN CLASS! GO FETCH YOUR HAT AND COTE AND LEAVE THIS SCHOOL FOR EVER! YOU IS SACKED!' BUT IN A JIFFY I IS PUTTING THE HEAD TEECHER TO SLEEP AS WELL, AND HE JUST CRUMPLES SLOWLY TO THE FLOOR LIKE A LUMP OF JELLY AND THERE HE LIES ALL IN A HEAP AND STARTS SNORKELLING EVEN LOWDER THAN MISS PLUMRIDGE. AND THEN I IS HEARING MY MUMMY'S VOICE SAYING WAKE UP YOUR BREKFUST IS REDDY.
'What a funny dream,' Sophie said.
'It's a ringbeller,' the BFG said. 'It's whoppsy.'
Inside the jar, just below the edge of the label, Sophie could see the putting-to-sleep dream lying peacefully on the bottom, pulsing gently, sea-green like the other one, but perhaps a trifle larger.
'Do you have separate dreams for boys and for girls?' Sophie asked.
'Of course,' the BFG said. 'If I is giving a girl's dream to a boy, even if it was a really whoppsy girl's dream, the boy would be waking up and thinking what a rotbungling grinksludging old dream that was.'
'Boys would,' Sophie said.
'These here is all girls' dreams on this shelf,' the BFG said.
'Can I read a boy's dream?'
'You can,' the BFG said, and he lifted her to a higher shelf. The label on the nearest boy's-dream jar read as follows:
I IS MAKING MYSELF A MARVELUS PAIR OF SUCTION BOOTS AND WHEN I PUT THEM ON I IS ABEL TO WALK STRATE UP THE KITSHUN WALL AND ACROSS THE CEILING. WELL, I IS WALKING UPSIDE DOWN ON THE CEILING WEN MY BIG SISTER COMES IN AND SHE IS STARTING TO YELL AT ME AS SHE ALWAYS DOES, YELLING WOT ON EARTH IS YOU DOING UP THERE WALKING ON THE CEILING AND I LOOKS DOWN AT HER AND I SMILES AND I SAYS I TOLD YOU YOU WAS DRIVING ME UP THE WALL AND NOW YOU HAS DONE IT.
'I find that one rather silly,' Sophie said.
'Boys wouldn't,' the BFG said, grinning. 'It's another ringbeller. Perhaps you has seen enough now.'
'Let me read another boy's one,' Sophie said. The next label said:
THE TELLYFONE RINGS IN OUR HOUSE AND MY FATHER PICKS IT UP AND SAYS IN HIS VERY IMPORTANT TELLYFONE VOICE 'SIMPKINS SPEAKING'. THEN HIS FACE GOES WHITE AND HIS VOICE GOES ALL FUNNY AND HE SAYS 'WHAT! WHO?' AND THEN HE SAYS 'YES SIR I UNDERSTAND SIR BUT SURELY IT IS ME YOU IS WISHING TO SPEKE TO SIR NOT MY LITTLE SON?' MY FATHER'S FACE IS GOING FROM WHITE TO DARK PURPEL AND HE IS GULPING LIKE HE HAS A LOBSTER STUCK IN HIS THROTE AND THEN AT LAST HE IS SAYING 'YES SIR VERY WELL SIR I WILL GET HIM SIR' AND HE TURNS TO ME AND HE SAYS IN A RATHER RESPECKFUL VOICE 'IS YOU KNOWING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?' AND I SAYS 'NO BUT I EXPECT HE IS HEARING ABOUT ME.' THEN I IS HAVING A LONG TALK ON THE FONE AND SAYING THINGS LIKE 'LET ME TAKE CARE OF IT, MR PRESIDENT. YOU'LL BUNGLE IT ALL UP IF YOU DO IT YOUR WAY'. AND MY FATHER'S EYES IS GOGGLING RIGHT OUT OF HIS HEAD AND THAT IS WHEN I IS HEARING MY FATHER'S REAL VOICE SAYING GET UP YOU LAZY SLOB OR YOU WILL BE LATE FOR SKOOL.
'Boys are crazy,' Sophie said. 'Let me read this next one.' Sophie started reading the next label: