Mixing the Dream

It was dark now. The night had already begun. The BFG, with Sophie sitting on his hand, hurried into the cave and put on those brilliant blinding lights that seemed to come from nowhere. He placed Sophie on the table. 'Stay there please,' he said, 'and no chittering. I is needing to listen only to silence when I is mixing up such a knotty plexicated dream as this.'

He hurried away from her. He got out an enormous empty glass jar that was the size of a washing machine. He clutched it to his chest and hurried towards the shelves on which stood the thousands and thousands of smaller jars containing the captured dreams.

'Dreams about giants,' he muttered to himself as he searched the labels. 'The giants is guzzling human beans ... no, not that one ... nor that one ... here's one! ... And here's another! ...' He grabbed the jars and unscrewed the tops. He tipped the dreams into the enormous jar he was clutching and as each one went in, Sophie caught a glimpse of a small sea-green blob tumbling from one jar into the other. 

The BFG hurried towards another shelf. 'Now,' he muttered, 'I is wanting dreams about gigglehouses for girls ... and about boggleboxes for boys.' He was becoming very tense now. Sophie could almost see the excitement bubbling inside him as he scurried back and forth among his beloved jars. There must have been fifty thousand dreams altogether up there on the shelves, but he seemed to know almost exactly where every one of them was. 'Dreams about a little girl,' he muttered. 'And dreams about me ... about the BFG ... come on, come on, hurry up, get on with it ... now where in the wonky world is I keeping those? ...'

And so it went on. In about half an hour the BFG had found all the dreams he wanted and had tipped them into the one huge jar. He put the jar on the table. Sophie sat watching him but said nothing. Inside the big jar, lying on the bottom of it, she could clearly see about fifty of those oval sea-green jellyish shapes, all pulsing gently in and out, some lying on top of others, but each one still a quite separate individual dream. 'Now we is mixing them,' the BFG announced. He went to the cupboard where he kept his bottles of frobscottle, and from it he took out a gigantic egg-beater. It was one of those that has a handle which you turn, and down below there are a lot of overlapping blades that go whizzing round. He inserted the bottom end of this contraption into the big jar where the dreams were lying. 'Watch,' he said. He started turning the handle very fast.

Flashes of green and blue exploded inside the jar. The dreams were being whisked into a sea-green froth.

'The poor things!' Sophie cried.

'They is not feeling it,' the BFG said as he turned the handle. 'Dreams is not like human beans or animals. They has no brains. They is made of zozimus.'

After about a minute, the BFG stopped whisking. The whole bottle was now full to the brim with large bubbles. They were almost exactly like the bubbles we ourselves blow from soapy water, except that these had even brighter and more beautiful colours swimming on their surfaces.

'Keep watching,' the BFG said.

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Quite slowly, the topmost bubble rose up through the neck of the jar and floated away. A second one followed. Then a third and a fourth. Soon the cave was filled with hundreds of beautifully coloured bubbles, all drifting gently through the air. It was truly a wonderful sight. As Sophie watched them, they all started floating towards the cave entrance, which was still open.

'They're going out,' Sophie whispered.

'Of course,' the BFG said.

'Where to?'

'Those is all little tiny dream-bits that I isn't using,' the BFG said. 'They is going back to the misty country to join up with proper dreams.'

'It's all a bit beyond me,' Sophie said.

'Dreams is full of mystery and magic,' the BFG said. 'Do not try to understand them. Look in the big bottle and you will now see the dream you is wanting for the Queen.'

Sophie turned and stared into the great jar. On the bottom of it, something was thrashing around wildly, bouncing up and down and flinging itself against the walls of the jar. 'Good heavens!' she cried. 'Is that it?'

'That's it,' the BFG said proudly.

'But it's ... it's horrible!' Sophie cried. 'It's jumping about! It wants to get out!'

'That's because it's a trogglehumper,' the BFG said. 'It's a nightmare.'

'Oh, but I don't want you to give the Queen a nightmare!' Sophie cried.

'If she is dreaming about giants guzzling up little boys and girls, then what is you expecting it to be except a nightmare?' the BFG said.

'Oh, no!' Sophie cried.

'Oh, yes,' the BFG said. 'A dream where you is seeing little chiddlers being eaten is about the most frightsome trogglehumping dream you can get. It's a kicksy bogthumper. It's a whoppsy grobswitcher. It is all of them riddled into one. It is as bad as that dream I blew into the Fleshlumpeater this afternoon. It is worse.'

Sophie stared down at the fearful nightmare dream that was still thrashing away in the huge glass jar. It was much larger than the others. It was about the size and shape of, shall we say, a turkey's egg. It was jellyish. It had tinges of bright scarlet deep inside it. There was something terrible about the way it was throwing itself against the sides of the jar.

'I don't want to give the Queen a nightmare,' Sophie said.

'I is thinking,' the BFG said, 'that your Queen will be happy to have a nightmare if having a nightmare is going to save a lot of human beans from being gobbled up by filthsome giants. Is I right or is I left?'

'I suppose you're right,' Sophie said. 'It's got to be done.'

'She will soon be getting over it,' the BFG said.

'Have you put all the other important things into it?' Sophie asked.

'When I is blowing that dream into the Queen's bedroom,' the BFG said, 'she will be dreaming every single little thingalingaling you is asking me to make her dream.'

'About me sitting on the window-sill?'

'That part is very strong.'

'And about a Big Friendly Giant?'

'I is putting in a nice long gobbit about him,' the BFG said. As he spoke, he picked up one of his smaller jars and very quickly tipped the struggling thrashing trogglehumper out of the large jar into the small one. Then he screwed the lid tightly on to the small jar.

'That's it,' he announced. 'We is now ready.' He fetched his suitcase and put the small jar into it.

'Why bother to take a great big suitcase when you've only got one jar?' Sophie said. 'You could put the jar in your pocket.'

The BFG looked down at her and smiled. 'By goggles,' he said, taking the jar out of the suitcase, 'your head is not quite so full of grimesludge after all! I can see you is not born last week.'

'Thank you, kind sir,' Sophie said, making a little curtsey from the table-top.

'Is you ready to leave?' the BFG asked.