“Some children,” said Daddy, “were playing.”
‘Let’s pretend we’re awfully rich,’ said two of the children. ‘We shall have motor-cars and we shall have airplanes to fly in. We shall have quantities of people to give orders to. We’ll never have to tidy our rooms, and we’ll never have to run errands.’” So they began to play.
“Three other children said, ‘Let’s be very famous. We shall have all the people in the world swarm around us as the bees do around the flowers for the honey. They shall say how fine we are, how brave we are, and how noble. They’ll put up monuments to us.’
And still three other children wanted to play. ‘We want to play that we have a few animals. They are such fun! More fun than anything. And if we treat them right we’ll be loved so much. Yes, we shall play we have two dogs and a little pony.’
Now the Dream-King was sitting on a throne made of silver threads so beautifully woven that they held together and gave him the most wonderful of thrones. Over his head were little boys and girls flying about, and there were Fairies, Gnomes, Elves, Brownies. And that night the Dream-King sent dreams to these children. They all had their play-games made real in their dreams. The two children who wanted to play they were very rich, dreamed they were rich, but oh, how they hated it! All around them were butlers and servants in wonderful liveries. And they had great motor-cars which were driven by quiet, stiff persons who wouldn’t answer questions. They felt as if they owned absolutely nothing at all, for everything was taken care of by someone else. They weren’t allowed to play and get the least little scrap dirty, for they had to wear such wonderful clothes! Oh, it was a very miserable dream.
The children who wanted to be very famous dreamed they were surrounded by people who never let them move so they could play. They saw a monument put up in a park with their names written in stone. But the monument was too big to play with.
The children with the dogs and the pony were having the most gorgeous dream. They were taking such care of their pets and the animals loved them so.
But at last the Dream-King left them, and they awoke suddenly.
And one and all agreed that animals and games were fun, but that riches and fame were very, very dull.”