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I had the craziest dream last night. I was with my mother, who has been gone from this world for about 20 years. She was younger than I ever remember her being, but how young, I can’t be sure because I saw only her legs from the thigh down. I was at her feet in a place that resembled an empty clothes closet. Nearby was a rectangular, tan, plastic pan. My mother was about to give birth and I was puzzled. How did she get pregnant? How could she possibly have a baby . . . now? Why didn’t I know about this earlier? Who was the . . .who?

My mother was determined to give birth from a standing position; no surprise there, as she always was an iconoclast, bucking conventional trends in health and medicine. Yes, of course, horses, cows, and sheep all tend to give birth on all fours. I was huddled at her feet, fearful, intimidated, confused, and fiddling with the plastic pan to position it to catch the . . . what? Blood? Water? Baby?

“It’s coming!” Mother announced, with no fanfare, no preamble, and absolutely not a whimper of pain. And from between her tented legs dropped not one, but two small dark forms. They were not human, they were a pair of fully grown Miniature Pinscher dogs, encased in afterbirth!

Their soft landing in my arms woke me. I have been giggling and puzzling over this electric vision ever since. I rarely remember dreams and even more rarely dream of my mother. Often I can trace elements of my dreams to events or visual cues from recent days. All I can trace this crazy sequence to is a recent exchange of messages and photos with a friend who gave birth at home about nine months ago and happens to have a pair of Min Pins.

A pair of pins

A pair of Pins

What convoluted Masala stews in my brain at night? What kind of dreams do you have?