How a Dream Became a Fairy Tale – by Juanita Havill
I’ve kept dream journals for years and they provide inspiration, characters, and plots. One in particular, about a glass bed, led easily into a story…
The boy I was babysitting didn’t want to go to sleep. “I’m afraid,” he protested. He balked. I insisted. Still he wouldn’t move. So naturally I turned to an alternate bed, that is, a glass bed. I don’t recall exactly why I had the glass bed with me, but what a relief!
As soon as I rolled the heavy glass bed into his bedroom, he lay on it, stretched out, and fell asleep without the comfort of sheets, pillow, or blanket.
The headboard of the bed impressed me mightily. Thick glass, it was carved with images of children, youths, deer, rabbits, and foxes. I watched him snooze for a while to make sure that he was not feigning sleep. The warm glow from the little boy’s night light illuminated the glass carvings. Satisfied, I woke up.
I don’t always wake up from dreams satisfied. Often times I’m anxious, puzzled, or fearful, but not this time. I wrote a quick account of the dream in my journal, and a few years later I turned the dream into a short tale for a children’s magazine and “The Glass Bed” was published.
Such is the waking mind that the story became a fairy tale in which a young prince refuses to go to bed at night and neither king nor queen nor princess nor court wizard can come up with a solution.
Although the court jester’s idea of a glass bed is scoffed at, finally the transparent bed with its solid glass headboard is installed in the prince’s room.
The prince continues to have frightening dreams, but because he is no longer alone, he is able to sleep. Why isn’t he alone? Because everyone at court crowds into his bedroom to watch the prince’s scary dreams projected across the glass headboard.