Black dogs, ghosts, and dreams

25 Nov

I woke up from a nightmare, first just drowsily, then with a start, as Greg’s figure was silhouetted in the door way.  With a faint screech, I probably scared him more than I was already scared.

It was a danged weird dream.  First of all, I wasn’t me, yet I was, and if that isn’t confusing, keep reading!

In the dream, I was the granddaughter or grand niece of Queen Victoria…I think anyhow.  Not sure who it was for sure, but she was a very haughty woman and her name was Victoria.  Everybody addressed her as Queen, so…I am assuming she really was a queen.  I was wearing long skirts and an apron, and I was certainly more than a lady in waiting to someone.  I was apparently also in charge of the kitchen.  It was also Christmastime, and I’m not even sure that Christmas was actually celebrated in her day.

First, we had a discussion, me and several other people and then me and the queen about some songs about Princess Terry.  I was stating that these stories and songs were about Queen Victoria as a child, and that she had then been called “Terry”, not Victoria, for short.  I have no idea what the songs were now, but for some reason, I think it was a version of “Blackbirds in a pie” which featured a “terry” in it.  The queen gave an elegant snort at the minor detail of her life being dredged up.  I felt vindicated though, for my father had firmly stated that Princess Terry WAS Queen Victoria, and all of the songs and stories were really about her.  In the dream, there was a feeling of kinship beyond the legal relationship, as Queen Victoria, as I also did, had a feminized version of a man’s name to wear her as her own.  She wasn’t impressed by our shared burden either.

So with that delicate snort, she went on her way, and I returned to the kitchen, where I was entering a pantry or closet.  There, on the floor was a cat, which began to hiss angrily at something behind me.  I started to spin around just as I felt an ominous tugging on my skirt.

There, behind me, was a vicious black dog attacking me, snarling.  It looked like a lab mix, with the half mast ears that are so commonly seen in mixed versions of the breed.  In the dream, the dog was attacking me because of my connection with Queen Victoria.  Even so, the attack woke me, and an instant later, Greg was silhouetted in the doorway, finishing my waking.

I could not find anything about a Princess Terry online.  I don’t think it was real.  I don’t know of any actual connection between the names “Terry” or “Teri” or “Tarry” and Victoria.  I never heard any song about princesses named anything resembling that.   None of the ghost dog stories fits my black dog either, instead portraying the black dogs as being evil omens or foretellers of death.  I’m not crazy about evil omens OR oncoming death, so…we’re going to ignore those.

It’s not the first ghost dog appearance in my life though.  The initial one was in the 1970s, and the apparition was far less threatening than the dream version.  It was late at night, I was alone downstairs doing dishes.  I felt someone looking at me and spun around.  There, on the opposite side of the kitchen, was a man and a black dog, appearing to be a labrador retriever.  The man was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, nothing particularly dating about either one.  I think he had a cap on, but I can’t swear to that either.  They were both looking at me, but I knew they hadn’t entered the house through any normal doorway, so I sidled out of the kitchen and then ran from the room.  I was a teenager then, and had never seen anything like that before.   I’m ever so much more than a teenager now, and come to think of it…I have never seen such a thing since either.

So my weird dream sort of left me unsettled.  I got little sleep the rest of the night.  It’s amazing how much less aggravating all of that is with a fresh cup of hot coffee liberally laced with real cream, and a stack of fresh, hot pancakes though, isn’t it?  Yeah, this morning was sort of a red letter day for breakfast!

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