THE HOLLY GROVE
This story is based on a dream that occurred in July 1997. The environment of the dream was surreal and left me with a
haunting feeling that there was something here that I understood but couldn't quite grasp. It certainly had all the
characteristics of being one of the archetypal dreams described by Jung, having as its cast a whole host of archetypal
characters and situations. I was an observer in the dream and, on waking, found it very difficult to describe what I had
THE DREAM: The Hare Transformation
The dream started with a young girl sat on a hillside and cuddling up to a man
who I assumed was her father. It was a very safe, comforting scene. She then got
up and wandered off, becoming possessed by an evil presence that was lurking in
the vicinity. She had gone off to rescue a young boy and had been captured
herself. Her father then discovered that he could fuse with one of these evil
beings; a hare. These evil beings were ordinarily invisible. He kept doing this but
he couldn't maintain the identity of the hare for more than a few seconds and kept
changing back into himself. However, the man changing into the hare must have
been a doppelganger because the real "him" was still there at its side. Other
people in the dream now had to be really careful because there were two identical
copies of this man and the one that was able to fuse with the hare was now evil.
The girl threw a talking, cardboard frog into the air as a decoy, trying to distract
the hare I think. A long time later, the young girl woke up. She realised, to her
relief, that everything that had happened had been a dream and everything was
how it had been when she fell asleep. She also realised that she now knew a lot
more about what was going on and would, therefore, be in a better position to help
rescue the others. Somehow she put a stop to everything that was going on,
(whatever that was), so that what had happened in the dream couldn't happen in
|Hare Morph by Megan Tittle (copyright 2001)
This dream contains many archetypal images that have been the stuff of myth and legend for thousands of years, for
instance; the trickster, the heroine/princess/maiden, the immortal child, a battle between good and evil, and the
transformation of people into animals. In the dream, the young girl is threatened by a nebulous unseen evil presence -
she reminds us of a child in a fairy tale; a princess captured by the dragon. Her father and, by association, her protector
comes to her rescue but is transformed into an evil animal that only wants to do her harm. Usually in traditional fairy tales,
it is the princess that saves the frog, but here it is the frog that saves the princess, not by a kiss but by distracting the evil
around her. Finally the heroine, having gained her freedom, resolves to do things differently next time. A lesson has been
The Holly Grove, being a work of fiction, is free of the constraints of the dream, i.e. that only the dreamer has the
authority to interpret it. So, I leave you, the reader, to decide for yourself the meaning of the story that has its origins in
THE STORY: The Holly Grove
Copyright JCHarthan (1997)
The girl’s hair flittered in the warm breeze, glistening and glinting in the summer sunshine. She lay beside her father, her
head on his shoulder, dozing peacefully in the buttercup meadow. Summer scents hung heavy in the air and the music of a
curlew’s lullaby filled the sky.
Slowly, like fog rolling in from the sea, a distant noise crept into the girl’s dream and wove its spidery web inside her mind.
Soft, silky threads wound around and around, making a dream catcher to trap the fluttering butterflies that were her
Suddenly she opened her eyes, startled into wakefulness. It was the sound of screaming that had disturbed her and she
shook her father to ask what it might be. She could not rouse him. There was no time to lose. Jumping quickly to her
feet, she ran through the meadow towards the screams, down towards the holly grove.
There she found a young boy standing alone in the centre of the clearing, surrounded by a circle of holly trees. His eyes
were wide, frightened. He told her he could not move, something was holding him fast.
“There’s nothing here my friend,” the young girl said, “Nothing but the gentle breeze blowing through the holly leaves.”
“I am trapped”, the boy screamed, “the terror that holds me cannot be seen by human eyes. Help me please.” He
reached out his arms, “Closer, closer”, he pleads, “You must come closer and take my hands, pull me free.”
She reaches out, their hands touch. Snap, the trap is sprung. The quarry captured. The boy laughs as he melts back
into the soft brown earth at her feet. The girl cries.
The father is jolted from his slumbers as the breeze carries her cries over the meadow. In a moment he is on his feet,
running and rolling down to where she stands, trapped in the middle of the holly grove.
“Stay away,” the daughter begs, “I am captured. A prisoner of the invisible. You cannot save me, I am lost.”
“Hold on, my precious, you are not lost.” the father soothes, “I have the power to make the enemy visible to your eyes and
then you can overcome the terror that holds you.”
He begins to chant a strange incantation. The sounds echo around the grove, haunting, chilling. They are words that
speak of pain, of fear, of dreams lost and forgotten in the mists of time. The words draw the unseen presence towards
him, it cannot resist the banquet that beckons. Such a feast of fear in comparison to the meagre morsels offered by the
child. The young girl feels it leaving her, feels it drawing away and taking the shadows with it. She watches, in
helplessness, as the unseen tormentor fuses with her father and is given form. She stares in silent horror at the
manifestation before her. Is this still her father? One moment he is a hare, huge brown eyes glaring, whiskers twitching,
sniffing the air. Sniffing her scent. The next moment, it is her father she sees, her protector, her saviour. His face
contorted and changing as he struggles to keep hold of his reality. She knows he fights for his soul.
“All is lost father,” she cries, “The boy is gone and so are you. What good to be free if I am all alone in the world?”
In the midst of the battle, she hears a loud noise like the crackle of a lightning strike. She turns, thinking of a new enemy, a
Her eyes come to rest on a nearby boulder. On top of the boulder sits the biggest, fattest, greenest frog she has ever
seen. He seems to smile as he croaks.
“I was once a tadpole,” he declares, “And look at me now. The finest figure of a frog you ever saw. I was a tadpole and
am now a frog, but I could be a Prince, little Princess, if you will help me.”
“I must help my father,” the girl cries, “I have no time to help frogs when my father is losing his soul.”
“You cannot help your father, only he can help himself.” The frog croaks with a firmness that seems to have been born
from centuries of wisdom. “His fate is in his own hands, and your fate is in your hands pretty child. Pick me up, little
Princess, and stroke my cool back. Gaze into my enchanted eyes and you will see another world. A world of secret
knowledge. A world of transformation, where hares are men and men are hares but where hares and men can be
whatever they want to be if only they knew it. Come, little Princess, come and find the door that will set you free.”
The girl stoops down and the frog leaps into her hand. Gazing into his eyes she remembers things she once knew and did
not even know she had forgotten.
“You can fly up to heaven with me, little Princess. You can fly wherever you wish.”
Raising her arm, she threw the frog high into the air. He twirled around and around, his wet body glinting in the sunlight.
He began to sing as he flew, a more beautiful song was never heard in the world of men. He sang with the harmony of the
ocean and the joy of a thousand angels. She watched as he grew wings and became an eagle, soaring higher and higher
into the summer sky. She watched until he was so high he was just a speck in the distance. Smaller than a gnat and yet
larger than the whole Universe.
The man was mesmerised.
The hare was hypnotised.
Only the child was free.
She awoke with a jolt and rubbed her sleepy eyes, realising it had all just been a dream. Her father was still sleeping
quietly beside her. She turned her face to look across the meadow. Was that a scream she could hear or was it just the
soft rustle of leaves as the breeze blew gently through the holly grove?