The dreamer leaned on the fence and gazed out over the tall grass, sprinkled with red poppies. In the distance the forest treeline wavered and shimmered in the late afternoon sun. The dreamer sighed with contentment, her gaze fixed on the beauty before her.
She began to populate the empty field with glorious, mythological creatures. A smile curved her lips as a unicorn, its pearly horn catching the sunlight, cantered by. A shadow passed overhead and she glanced up at the gleaming scales of the dragon, as it flew past, the downdraft of its wings causing the poppies to dance with their grassy partners.
Then Reality arrived in the form of a scowling man. He flung himself up against the fence on which she leaned, jarring her out of her peaceful contemplation. He waved a stubby hand at the now empty field.
‘What the hell are you doin’ ‘ere, there’s work to be done. Quit day dreaming and face up to reality for once!’
The Dreamer turned him a side glance. ‘Reality is overrated,’ she replied. ‘In order to face up to it, one has to have dreams.’
The Realist snorted. ‘Rubbish! Life is hard and needs to be controlled. Only relentless work gets you anywhere.’
The Dreamer raised an eyebrow. ‘Work is necessary,yes. But relentless? What’s the point of working until you die of exhaustion.’ She gestured at the field. ‘What harm is there in taking a little time to breathe in the beauty of the day? Why let all this pass you by?’
Face now red with anger, The Realist shouted, ‘Because it doesn’t put food on the table, or clothes on your back!’
The Dreamer smiled. ‘It provides food for the soul,’ she murmured, ‘without which the body is a mere shell, empty of love, happiness and generosity.’
The Realist lost his temper altogether and seized The Dreamer by the arm. ‘I’ll teach you the real meaning of life!’ he roared and raised a fist.
Overhead the sunlight dimmed. A gust of wind almost blew the pair off their feet, separating them from one another. The Dreamer staggered back, one hand raised to protect her eyes from the whirl of dust and leaves. She saw the look of terror on The Realist’s face and took a step forward. But she could do nothing to save him. She could only stand and stare as the dragon flew off into the sunset, prey clamped firmly between its jaws.
With a sad shake of her head, The Dreamer returned to her contemplation of the now serene field.
‘So much for reality,’ she murmured and smiled, as once again the creatures of her mind, trotted and gambled amidst the grass and poppies.