At that time, hundreds of people simultaneously had the exact same dreams. Some were banal, others involved enormous shoals of fish with human faces. These collective dreams seemed to come in waves, emerging suddenly in specific regions, and especially thriving in more humid areas. They blossomed in spring, lost their impetus in the summer, started to disappear again in autumn, and they were completely absent in winter time.
The cyclic nature of these collective dreams led to the conclusion that they might be dream trees, or, to be more precise, dreams with botanic properties. And indeed, some of these dream trees seemed to grow every year, maintaining their form and developing the same themes, but elaborating on details, and gaining in precision, richness, ambiguity and emotional depth. In certain remote villages, one could witness children simultaneously waking up at night, howling and crying, for in their dream they had all been trying to escape an impending, giant hand about to crush them. On high floors of big city apartments one could hear women moaning like a distant choir, with only their sleep to cloak the precise source of their nocturnal raptures.
These collective dreams typically reached maturity around their forty-fifth year, which fact strengthened the belief that they were strangely akin to trees.
As the tree-like dreams branched out, opposition grew.
One especially fiendish individual put all his efforts in uprooting and eradicating them. He fiercely campaigned against them, mendaciously claiming that they were evil mental herbs, and proffering similar questionable pseudo-moral allegations. He used a violent herb-killer: by blasting the city sirens on fixed hours, he woke up the inhabitants, and by doing so was able to break, one by one, the branches and twigs of this noble dream plant.
It worked: after a few weeks only few and sparsely leaved branches remained, dwindling slowly deep down in consciousness. Nobody had anything in common anymore to tell each other in the morning.