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Dream of the Man with the Snake

Dreamed 2002/9/3, painted 2002, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan. A short brown man, nine snakes and a cat meet in a red rocky desert.


I am in a desert. A man and I are having a contest; we're seeing who can first accomplish a certain feat. Right now we are in the waiting phase, before acting. I am looking around, planning what I might do.

I see roundish rocks at intervals among low scrub and I think "I could jump from one rock to another."

He is collecting pieces of wood and arranging them in a circular pile. I think he has a dark snake around his neck.

Then comes the signal "Go!"--to begin the feat. He takes a metal weapon and brings it down on his pile of wood, scattering all the pieces.

"There," he says, "I've won the contest"--in just that brief time! I don't think this is fair, since he used the waiting time to make actual physical preparations, and he used a metal weapon.

I call to him--

"Man with the snake,
man with the snake,
that is unfair."
On the ground I see his snake join with more snakes, more and more. The snakes are gathering together in some kind of a radial or circular configuration. Detail of a painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan. Amid red rocks, Lulu the cat slips between snakes.

Among them I spot our cat Lulu! Now she's gone, now she reappears. I try to get her out--I'm afraid the snakes will hurt or kill her. Sometimes she scurries off, but then she's right back in there again... as if she wants to be. Maybe she knows what she's doing and won't be hurt.

"Called on account of rain" is traditional in shamanic duels, but "called on account of cat"?

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