The three elves awoke from their slumber excitably the following morning.
“What a wondrous night of visions!” they each exclaimed to each other, “You’ll never believe the most amazing things I have dreamt!”
Clutching their dreams carefully, they delved into their pockets to produce a freshly laundered handkerchief and then delicately placed the dream safely into its folded creases.
“We must visit the Sandmen,” Kris stated with an air of authority, “Only they have the power to interrupt our dreams.”
And so, within minutes the three elves had packed their bags with provisions, clambered upon their unicorns and galloped off towards the Deserts of the Tumbling Weeds, leaving nothing but a trail of dust evaporating into the morning air behind them.
It was not long that they reached the Deserts and spied a small figure shuffling lowly through the deep bleached sands. The three elves knew at once it was a lone Sandman, searching through the minute grains, for a selected dream to chisel and hone. They galloped through the rolling tumbleweeds up to him and called out an elven welcome of respected greetings.
“Come you, to the Sandman see, hmm?” the small figure squeaked with a friendly mousen reply and he wiggled his long tongue to the three visitors in the traditional welcome that only the Sandman employ.
The elves dismounted their unicorn mounts and shifted through the sands towards the small fellow. He was much smaller than they had imagined and was covered with a soft spiny back, interlaced with jewels. He had in his hand a grizzled and ancient staff with which he used to help him keep his posture on the sandy footings and he kept his eyes low to the ground as he spoke, still glancing and searching the many grains in his quest for dreams. One-by-one each elf carefully unwrapped their handkerchiefs and delicately held them aloft so that the Sandman could see what lay inside.
“A meaning, each dream has, yes,” squeaked the Sandman in a mouse-like voice, “Interpret these grains, you wish me to, hmm?”
The three elves nodded in unison and the Sandman spoke to each one in turn, his eyes still distracted from the glints and shines of the multitude of grains that laid upon the ground around their feet. His voice was quiet and his speech was laboured.
He spoke to them about great and wondrous adventures that they would have and marvellous things they would see. He spoke of private goals they would achieve and many challenges they would face. He spoke of amazing folk they would meet and new friendships they would form – and all the time, the three elves stood in hushed silence and hungered after his every word.
After some time, the Sandman raised his eyes from the ground, looked the three elves squarely to their faces and wiggled his long thin tongue for one last time.
“Go then, I must, yes” he uttered to them mousely and he curled into a small ball of raised spines. He dropped to the ground and began to move towards a tangle of tumbleweed that had been caught by the dry desert winds. Then, so swiftly and elegantly, the Sandman rolled himself behind the blowing tumbleweed, using its swirling eddies as a means of reducing the efforts of his own movement, so that he was able to swiftly disappear from their sight in a matter of seconds. Soon, all that was left was the whispering echoes of the winds and the blinding deafness of the emptiness of the open desert’s expanse.
“Time to return home,” Kris smiled at his two brothers, “We have found the secret to our dreams and now we can look forward to the time that they may come true.”
The three elves turned and walked back to their waiting unicorns. The sun bore down relentlessly upon their backs and the winds nipped their ears with sharp twists – they looked forward to returning back to the sanctuary of their mellowed forest home and the echoes of what they had heard reverberated about their heads in wonderment.