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The Dream Thieves

This tale is written to enjoy reading aloud to your group. Don't forget to bring chalk with you to mark the locations on the ground.

Instructions

Start on the lower path leading down through the wood.
 
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Chapter one

The Beginning

Knock three times
Then knock once again
Knock upon the moor land streams
Knock upon the glen
Knock upon the upright stones
Knock upon the gables
Knock upon the blue bell knolls
Knock upon upon the tables

Knock with all your strength and might
Knock till your palms are red
Knock till the morning light
To keep them from our beds

For the thieves they creep
Below mire and creak
Beneath paving curb slab and stone
They come to peruse
Those criminal crews
Right in the heart of your town

To succour sweet from children's cheeks
Tis true I have been told
They gouge your dreams
Just leaving screams
They come in the night and the cold

The dream thieves
The dream thieves
Are stealing into town
The dream thieves
The dream thieves
Are stealing all around

Clawing at your window pane
Creeping across your floor
Over tiny cracks
In chimney stacks
Or slithering beneath your door

So before they come a pestering
In the dark of night
And thieving beneath your pillow soft
We'll chase them far from sight

We'll stomp our feet
And then stomp the street
And shake their homes underground

We'll find those thieves
Deep beneath the leaves
With only chalk in hand
Continue along the path.
 
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Chapter two

Pocket Full of Tins

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

The first one has yellowing warty skin
Short lanky hair and a crocheted cardigan
Well soiled socks in open toed sandals
And his nest is lit by stolen church candles
Which sits on a ledge just below your feet
Which can melt the snow with its meagre heat
And there he waits with his precious things
Scented erasers and pockets full of tins
Loom band broaches a chaffinches foot
Barbie doll heads and a rusty fishing hook

So first we scribe a circle
Deep and full and round
With silky toe
Wide and slow
Upon the trembling ground

Then make a simple chalky notch
Note the time
Check your watch

Then all can see it marks the den
So we can knock three times
And knock once again

So his home is marked
For the cross you've parked
Sits just meters from his squat
Now move on down
For the next is to be found
We won't stop till we have the lot
Continue along the path.
 
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Chapter three

The Grumpy Lot

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

Now this one is a grumpy lot
His eyes are white
Above a mouth like a slot
Mean and tight
And good for nothing
He's the one who always does the pushing

Grubby jeans patched with electrical tape
Shirt too tight as his belly button escapes
Out of which potatoes sprout
As well as his nose and ears and mouth
Which curl and twist like hanks of rope
But behind his eyes lies a spark of hope

So first we scribe a circle
Deep and full and round
With silky toe
Wide and slow
Upon the trembling ground

Then make a simple chalky notch
Note the time
Check your watch

Then all can see it marks the den
So we can knock three times
And knock once again

So his home is marked
For the cross you've parked
Sits just meters from his squat
Now move on down
For the next is to be found
We won't stop till we have the lot
Continue along the path.
 
Help
Chapter four

Bag-pipe Satchel

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

This one comes from the bottom of the ocean
And totters slowly with a swaying motion
With his bag pipe satchel over his shoulder
Carefully protecting his treasured toy soldiers
And collection of tiny porcelain cats
With slightly chipped ears
As they nock in his pack
And make a pretty clinking sound
You know he is coming
You'll know when he's around

So first we scribe a circle
Deep and full and round
With silky toe
Wide and slow
Upon the trembling ground

Then make a simple chalky notch
Note the time
Check your watch

Then all can see it marks the den
So we can knock three times
And knock once again

So his home is marked
For the cross you've parked
Sits just meters from his squat
Now move on down
For the next is to be found
We won't stop till we have the lot
Continue along the path.
 
Help
Chapter five

Filthy as a Midden

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

This one has a face like a worm
Pearls on his neck and a footballers perm
Threadbare shirts as filthy as the midden
He sucks at old tea bags
And likes to remain hidden
He moves quite slow in the corner of your eye
Is there something you see?
Was there someone you spied?

So first we scribe a circle
Deep and full and round
With silky toe
Wide and slow
Upon the trembling ground

Then make a simple chalky notch
Note the time
Check your watch

Then all can see it marks the den
So we can knock three times
And knock once again

So his home is marked
For the cross you've parked
Sits just meters from his squat
Now move on down
For the next is to be found
We won't stop till we have the lot
Continue along the path.
 
Help
Chapter six

Unearthly Gaze

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

This one is tall and mysteriously dark
And can sometimes be spotted at the edges of the park
He lumbers slow into the cruelest places
And leaves no prints nor foot step traces
His unearthly gaze and long black brow
Reminds me of week old cheesy towels
And in his heart the bleakest sadness swells
Which he keeps in check with his lucky white shells
So how is it some can become so lost
With neither wife nor son what a terrible cost
But you ignore his loss
And begin the chalking
Now is not the time for talking

So first we scribe a circle
Deep and full and round
With silky toe
Wide and slow
Upon the trembling ground

Then make a simple chalky notch
Note the time
Check your watch

Then all can see it marks the den
So we can knock three times
And knock once again

So his home is marked
For the cross you've parked
Sits just meters from his squat
Now move on down
For the next is to be found
We won't stop till we have the lot
Continue along the path.
 
Help
Chapter seven

Endless Bliss

With a whiskers twitch
And then a ticklish itch
We know the dream thieves must be close
So place your ear
On a tree trunk near
Or fence post deep and strong
And listen to the dream thieves' talk
As they mumble and rumble along

This one is crooked and painfully hunched
With cauliflower ears all popped and punched
And a face all clumpy like a pigeon's foot
Small leather hat and rusty tin cup
Tied with ribbon about his waist
And all this says that his luck has been misplace
As you knock upon his roof he is chased away again
Another broken sleepless night
As he hides away his pain

When you knock three times
Then knock once again
All his aches and woes are multiplied by ten

He picks up his coat and leaves his tiny nest
He just wants to dream
With simply those that dream the best
With their super soft pillows and enchanting lullaby tunes
Sung by fathers, mothers and sisters
Gentle songs which soothe his blisters
And bring forth the sunshine
On his shadowed soul
And fill his heart with grace
Before he retreats back to his hole

And a simple thought crosses you
As you look upon your chalk
And think of all the markings you've made
Over squats and holes and ports
Up the street and pavement long
Now was I right or was I wrong?
You hear the dream thieves' movements
As they slowly scuttle away
And drag their cumbersome bodies
Did they only come to play?
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