Channelling Roald Dahl

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Mary. One night she was rudely snatched from her bed by a giant. The giant told her that he had kidnapped her so that she could make dreams dreams for him and his giant friends. The giant (whose name was Seymour) told Mary that giants don't have any dreams - they just go to sleep at the start of the night and wake up in the morning without the feeling of any time having passed.

Seymour explained that he and the other giants saw humans dreaming and saw how much they talked about their dreams when they were awake. They realized that humans considered these dreams to be very valuable and important things and the giants were jealous that they didn't have these valuable night experiences. They decided that perhaps a human would be able to give them some of her dreams and Mary seemed to be an excellent candidate as she had dreams to spare.

Despite feeling a little bit scared of the giants and sad that she was away from her home and her parents and her baby brother, Mary decided to try to help the giants as best as she could. It was the only way she could be sure that they would send her home, and besides which she felt a little bit sorry for them.

"Okay," she said, "find a bed for me and I'll go to sleep in it and then when I'm asleep you can take some of my dreams from me. Don't take them all, though, or there will be none left for me!"
"How do we take your dreams then?" replied Seymour.
"I don't know - I'm just a little girl. This was your idea - you figure it out" replied Mary.
"All right then."

Once Mary was asleep it soon became clear to the giants that she was dreaming - a little smile appeared on her face and her eyelids twitched. Seymour picked up the sleeping girl by one of her legs, held her over his head and shook her up and down like a salt shaker, hoping that the dreams would sprinkle out of her head and onto him.

Mary, of course, woke up right away.

"Arghh!" she screamed. "How can I sleep when you're shaking me like that?"
"Sorry," replied Seymour. "I suppose dreams aren't like salt after all. I should have thought this out before I took a little girl from her home."
"It's okay, Seymour," Mary said. "We'll just try something else."

Mary thought that maybe dreams come in cakes. Dreams could be lots of fun and cakes are also fun so this made sense to her. So the giants took her to their kitchen and she helped them make a cake. She was too small to hold the giants' wooden spoon, or to pour the flour and sugar from the huge bags that the giants had, so she just told them what to do while they did the work. She knew how to make cakes because she often helped her mother to make cakes at home.

The cake was as big as a table and as tall as Mary herself. Once it had cooled, the giants sliced it up and each ate a slice. They were delighted as they had never had cake before. Mary picked up a crumb the size of her fist and ate as well - it was delicious.

Full of cake, the giants drifted off to sleep and - wouldn't you know it - they started to dream! They dreamed about flying, and eating cake and other things that giants like to do. But as they started to dream, they gradually got smaller and smaller. By the time they woke up, they were no bigger than you or me. That's why there aren't any giants any more.

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