McPhee, Charles Ph.D. (2000 April) The Dream Doctor. Electric Dreams 7(4).
Retrieved July 14, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams
Dear Dream Doctor,
I was standing watching a pony in a paddock with no feed. I seemed to keep
putting off moving it or feeding it hay. In my mind, though, I could visualize
what I wanted for the pony - lush pasture, rolling green hills, a sparkling
I stood watching it for a long time. Suddenly a girl I used to go to primary
school with appeared. (She was my best friend back then but I haven't seen her
for about 10 years). She told me off angrily. Unfazed I replied, "Yeah, I'm
going to do something about it..."
She snapped furiously, "It will Starve to death!" Then she
I felt a bit cross and guilty. I let the pony into the next paddock (which
wasn't much better). I walked around finding it food. There was an old house
(appeared abandoned) with a decrepit veggie garden outside. In it were some
remnants of lettuces. I fed some leaves to the pony. It moved into the garden
and ate some more. There wasn't a complete fence around this paddock so later I
had to put it back in the old paddock...
My overall feeling that I can recall was frustration or not knowing what to
do, also a strange reluctance or inability to act. The pony meanwhile was not
blaming me in any way but just getting on with its business (of trying to
scratch up scraps of food). It didn't necessarily even appear distressed. It was
delighted with the lettuce scraps I fed it later in the dream and went actively
seeking more itself.
After going over this dream many times I began to feel, first that the pony
was a young female, and later that it represented my daughter. This horrified me
as naturally I would not like to think I am neglecting my child in any way!!!
However there are problems at the moment involving her schooling. She is very
bright and far ahead of her class mates. My repeated attempts to get the school
to provide an appropriate program for her have been fruitless.
Therefore I certainly feel like I am standing helplessly watching her search
for scraps in a barren paddock. I think it is a shove to provide
"sustenance," in the form of learning, myself.
The following night I asked for a dream to "explain" the pony dream
and received a much simpler dream without symbols referring mainly to my
daughter's school and her work.
Well, those are my feelings...what do you think!?
- Angie, Age 29, Warrnambool, AUSTRALIA
Hi Angie -
If your daughter takes after her mom, I have little doubt that she is a
straight-A student! I think you did a great job of interpreting your own dream!
When we awaken from an emotionally puzzling dream whose meaning is not
immediately visible to us - we need to know some simple dream skills to help us
unravel the dream's message. In your case, you took all the right steps. You
reviewed the dream several times in your mind, allowing yourself to feel your
feelings and noting any associations and memories (no matter how bizarre) that
"popped" into your mind. Soon you began to get the feeling that the
pony was female, and eventually you decided that it was a dream symbol
representing your daughter, whose educational needs currently are not being met.
I agree with you that the pony symbolizes your daughter's educational plight.
I also think the sudden appearance of your "best friend from primary
school" confirms this hunch. Who else do we know, currently, who is in
Many readers no doubt are wondering why the dream - if it really was about
your daughter - would go to all the trouble to represent her as a pony searching
for food. It sounds complicated. For example, why not a simple dream where your
daughter appeared to you complaining about school? Or perhaps a simple image of
your daughter's school in a dilapidated and worn-down condition?
The answer to this excellent question is found in your very own comments upon
uncovering the symbolic meaning of the "hungry pony." You wrote,
"This horrified me as naturally I would not like to think I am neglecting
my child in any way!!!" It is apparent that, coupled with your awareness
that your daughter needs a more challenging school environment, a sense of
personal responsibility lingers. Specifically, you worry that you are not doing
enough for your child.
Accordingly, your dream is a fine illustration of the psychological
phenomenon of resistance: we all tend to avoid recognizing feelings and
awarenesses that we find uncomfortable or disturbing.
It is your desire to avoid this awareness - that you are "neglecting
your daughter" (be it valid or not) - that causes the dream to speak in
camouflaged and symbolic language. And indeed, your dream the following night,
which you wrote was "simpler" and "without symbols refering
mainly to my daughter's school and her work" confirms our theory. Once you
recognized the disturbing feeling that lay behind the first dream - there was no
more need for symbols or disguise.
Congratulations on being such a good student of your inner voice! I agree
that your dream is a "call-to-action" in regard to your daughter's
education. With your mind now fully attuned to the problem, I am sure you will
be much more effective in your efforts to move her into a "new
paddock" - one that does have a complete fence around it.
What is the message of this dream? To grow into healthy, happy adults, all
our ponies need lush pastures, rolling green hills, and sparkling streams... And
it is our responsibility to provide it for them.
Copyright 2000 Charles McPhee