As a boy, I loved to dream. But more than anything, I would dream I had a dog. And not just any dog — a white one with black spots and floppy ears. Every night I would dream of the day he would jump right through the orphanage window and be my greatest friend.
One night, I was in bed when something dashed right through the open window. And I knew exactly who it was.
I crawled to the foot of my bed and there smiling back up at me was a little white dog with black spots and floppy ears.
“I knew you would come,” I said, “What took you so long?”
“What makes you think that I’m late?” he asked.
Then I jumped to the floor and gathered him in my arms. “I always knew that you could talk,” I told him.
“Do like to dream?” he asked me.
“I LOVE to dream,” I said.
So he began to sing:
“I am the king of dreams and I’ll show you everything!
The autumn leaves and the summer rain,
The sweetest songs and the strangest games,
The burning dusk and the breaking dawn,
I am the mighty Epsilon.”
“Can we dream your favorite dream?” I asked him.
“Of course!” he cried, “But just as long as you have a box.”
“A box?” I asked, “What kind of box?”
“Oh any box!” he said.
So I rummaged through my room and found a box about the size of my hand.
“Look inside”, he whispered.
So I looked inside and suddenly we were at the foot of the tallest mountain I had ever seen, on the edge of a plateau. As I walked to side of the cliff, the sun came up and a sea of golden light splashed across my face. I marveled at the beauty of it all and wondered how and why it would travel so far just to warm the coldest parts of me.
After that, every night we would dream of all kinds of things!
And I would ask him, “Why a box?” but Epsilon would never say.
Then one day when I was old enough, we left that orphanage and never went back. It wasn’t long until I found myself at the foot of that same mountain, only this time it wasn’t a dream. That day I saw a real sunrise, and as I fell to my knees, I realized that all our dreams were not only possibilities, but realities.
I begged him why he never told me and he simply said, “You never asked.”
So I cried out, “Epsilon, I want to know the world!”
And he said, “My boy, I’ll show you everything!”
So we dreamt of a better world. A world without hunger, a world without war. And we dreamt like that for years. We showed the world our favorite dream and it became a reality. But one day, I came home and waited for that song I had heard so many times before.
And it never came.
Epsilon, my greatest friend, was gone.
I cried that day but I didn’t cry for long because I realized I could dream without a box. Epsilon had taught me that I could truly dream of anything and make it my reality.
Even today, he roams the world looking for other little girls and boys that are waiting for him to jump right through their bedroom window. And they’ll say, “I knew that you would come! I always knew that you could talk!”
And if I try hard enough, I can still hear him sing.
~ Alex Masterson, Irving, Texas