KEYWORDS: container, chickens, church, way

Henry & the Container

David Berg

—By Father DavidDO90719 MARCH 1980

1. THIS IS A DREAM I HAD THIS MORNING IN THE WEE HOURS, & when I woke up I could remember it all pretty clearly. It was a rather odd dream. It may perhaps have some significance, & I've been lying here thinking about it for almost an hour trying to figure it out & what it could possibly mean, I think I've gotten a little bit of meaning or application out of it.

2. ALTHOUGH IT WAS VERY REALISTIC & PART OF THE TIME I WAS A PARTICIPANT & part of the time I was just an observer, I don't believe it could possibly be literal‚ but more symbolic.—Unless some of you folks have gone through such an experience, I don't know. But anyhow, it was quite a dream, very interesting, & I don't know whether to call it "The Container Shack" or "Henry," because it had something to do with both. But anyway, I can't really remember if there was anymore to begin with or not, but the part I remember clearly was that

3. WE WERE STANDING IN A BIG CHURCH & THEY WERE SINGING THE DOXOLOGY, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow", in closing & just about to dismiss. I said to this beautiful Systemite girl that was standing beside me, (at first I was thinking that maybe it was Maria & it might be symbolic of her, but apparently from what happened later I still didn't know her too well yet)‚ I whispered to her, "We've gotta get out of here quick before all these people start leaving the church! We've gotta sneak out this side entrance quickly before somebody sees us & recognises us when they dismiss!"

4. SO I TAKE HER BY THE HAND & WE QUICKLY GO OUT A SIDE ENTRANCE just before the song ends & the people start pouring out. We hurry down the street leaving the crowds behind us. But the people were pouring out in such numbers that we were still afraid we were going to bump into them on the street somewhere. It seemed to be just a small village surrounded by lots of woods & woodsy lots, & the streets were unpaved‚ more like country roads.

5. AND SO I SAID TO MARIA, OR WHOEVER IT WAS, "WE'D BETTER CUT THROUGH THE WOODS, we've gotta get away from these crowds coming behind us & hide out in these woods somewhere where we won't be seen!" So we started through the woods on the little foot paths & trails, when all of a sudden there appeared right in front of us on the pathway this great big beautiful rooster! Later when I asked what his name was, something said "Henry"!

6. HE SEEMED TO BE QUITE TAME, UNLIKE MOST ROOSTERS, & quite friendly. He walked up to us like he was somebody's pet & was lost, & he kind of nibbled on the ground around us like roosters & chickens do, & he just cocked his head on this side & looked at us with one eye & them cocked his head on the other side & looked at us with the other eye like roosters & chickens do, & he seemed to be quite happy to meet some human beings, as he seemed to be quite lost.

7. I SAID, "BOY, THAT'S A MAGNIFICENT BIRD! We'd better pick him up & take him with us," & he seemed to be quite happy to have us do that. So we picked up dear Henry & hurried on our way. We were sort of skirting the village‚ & by & by we came to a big supermarket on the edge of the village with a high fence around its backyard.

8. JUST OUTSIDE THE FENCE WAS THIS HUGE BIG SHIPPING CONTAINER, a great big thing almost as big as a box car! You've seen them probably around ports & railways or trucking yards—they ship a lot of furniture & goods in these big shipping containers nowadays, & they usually keep them around the container depots. This one, however, seemed to be kind of old & abandoned & didn't seem to be in use. It looked like somebody had just left it outside the fence of the supermarket after having emptied it of whatever goods it had in it.

9. ONCE IN AWHILE YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THEM STANDING AROUND LIKE THAT, especially the old ones that look like they haven't been used for a long time. I'd say it was about 15 feet long & about 7 or 8 feet wide & about 7 or 8 feet high‚ which is, I think, about the usual size of those big shipping containers. They're usually made of metal, but oddly enough this one was made of wood like sometimes they ship furniture in.

10. I GRABBED YOU BY THE HAND & STARTED TO PULL YOU INSIDE, saying‚ "This would be a good place to hide!" But you seemed to be a little bit reluctant at first, like well, after all, who was I?—You didn't know me that well!—& all of a sudden‚ instead of a participant‚ I was the observer at this point! And I was watching this story from someplace up in the air just a little bit above the container!

11. I WAS WATCHING THESE TWO YOUNG PEOPLE DISCUSSING & ARGUING ABOUT WHETHER SHE SHOULD COME INTO THE CONTAINER & HIDE with him. Like she was a little bit leary of it, that it would be a little bit scandalous for her to join me in the container, because it was obvious we were going to hide there & sleep together & going to live in that container together. You somewhat finally hesitantly consented. Reminds me of when I was trying to persuade you to sleep with me in the early days!

12. ANYHOW, THIS BEAUTIFUL SYSTEMITE GIRL WENT INSIDE WITH HIM. It was a lot like the way Maria was when she was first with us, & then, by the way, we did live in a container, didn't we! We moved into the Ark, which was like a great big box car! In fact, this container was just about the size of a good-sized caravan, as I said, about 15 feet or maybe a little bit longer. And we hid inside the container, & apparently she did go to bed with me, & we had found a place to hide & a refuge. As I say now, I'm observing what's happening & I don't seem to be actually the participant, but somehow or other I seem to know it's me.

13. ALL OF A SUDDEN I'M A GROCERY BOY WORKING AT THE SUPERMARKET INSIDE THE FENCE! I've apparently gotten a job there or I already had a job there, & I'm carrying out the trash from the supermarket to the garbage incinerator which is in the backyard of the market‚ & it's after dark. Apparently the supermarket stays open late like most supermarkets do, till 9 or 10 o'clock‚ & I'm carrying out the broken boxes & dented cans & various damaged goods which they so often have in supermarkets.

14. WHEN WE WERE ON THE ROAD WITH OUR 125 HIPPIES we persuaded some supermarkets to save us their damaged goods. We'd go around everyday at the end of the day & collect them with one of our trucks or vans. And they often had quite a bit of dented cans & broken cartons with the contents spilling out, & things like that. Well, here I am working at the supermarket & carrying out these damaged goods & trash & all. And what do I do with them? Guess!

15. EVERYTHING THAT I THINK IS AT ALL USEABLE LIKE THE BROKEN CARTONS & DENTED CANS, I TOSS OVER THE FENCE right in front of the door of our container which faces the backyard of the supermarket & is only something like 6 feet away from the fence! I'd toss them right over the fence in front of the door, & you were waiting out there & you would quickly stash them away inside the container!

16. APPARENTLY WE'D FIXED THE CONTAINER UP TO QUITE A NICE LITTLE HAPPY HOME & we were living off the food in the broken boxes & dented cans, the damaged goods of the supermarket. Reminds me a little bit of the way we spoiled Egypt when we were hippies once upon a time. All this time we had Henry, we were keeping him around & in & out of the container. Oddly enough, all of a sudden,

17. OUR CONTAINER GOT TO BE QUITE A CURIOSITY WITH THE LOCAL TOWN'S PEOPLE! They came out visiting us to see how we were living in this container. At first they were not only curious but rather admiring us for being able to live like that, & because we had fixed the container up so pretty inside into such a nice little cabin, & they really were sort of praising us for having done such a good job!

18. REMINDS ME OF THE WAY THE PUBLIC TREATED US AT FIRST AT TSC & the Los Angeles skid row hotel, & how they came out in awe & wonder to see how we lived, amazed that we were able to live like that! So at first we were quite a wonder & curiosity in the local town, but then, as usual, some people began to complain about us living there under those conditions, in that container in rather primitive conditions‚ &

19. THEY BEGAN TO COMPLAIN TO THE TOWN AUTHORITIES THAT IT WAS INSANITARY & blah blah blah, just like they used to do about us camping out in our caravans on the road in that big convoy & at TSC & various places that we camped. I said, "Well, we've got to do something about this, I don't know what!" But for a little while the heat sort of cooled off, & I thought, "Well,

20. "WE'LL STAY AS LONG AS WE CAN TILL THEY RUN US OUT!" MEANWHILE HERE WE HAD HENRY, this great big huge beautiful rooster, & he was just like a pet‚ & I thought, "Poor Henry! He hasn't got any henery—he hasn't gotten any hens! We've gotta get some hens so we can furnish him with a nice little harem that'll furnish us with some nice little eggs & maybe some nice little baby chicks!" I thought "Well now,

21. "IF WE'RE GOING TO RAISE CHICKENS WE'VE GOTTA LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT IT!I don't know much about it!" We used to have some chickens on the ranch, but Aaron used to take care of them. I said, "We've gotta find out something about raising chickens." So I came hurrying back from the library one day exclaiming excitedly, "Guess what? You know what the library has?

22. "THEY'VE GOT THREE WHOLE BOOKS ON HOW TO RAISE CHICKENS!"—Then I woke up, just like that! Crazy dream, huh? I lay here in the dark wondering why I would have such a crazy dream as that! It couldn't possibly be literal‚ because that's never happened to me & Maria literally. I don't expect it to happen, I'm not young anymore, I couldn't be a grocery boy!

23. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND‚ COULD IT BE SYMBOLIC, COULD IT REPRESENT SOMETHING? Oh yes, I forgot to tell you!—As we were leaving the church there was a big fire in the vacant lot in front of the church where there was a lot of brush & underbrush!

24. THIS BIG FIRE WAS RACING RIGHT TOWARDS THE CHURCH AS EVERYBODY WAS LEAVING! That was one reason why everybody was hurrying away so fast, because it looked like maybe the church would catch on fire! So we were all hurrying away, & I was curious about what was going to happen to the church, & I was telling Maria that I'd like to go back & see what happened to the church, but she kept tugging me by the hand & said, "No, you can't go back there, somebody might recognise you! You can't go back there, let's just forget it!" So we kept running.

25. WELL, IN A WAY, ALL THAT IS QUITE SYMBOLIC as I got to thinking & praying about it afterwards. Maria & I really first were both Systemites. We used to be in church, right? Yet we fled the church! Sort of in advance of the rest, we left the church. We were far out ahead of them‚ that's for sure! And there certainly is a fire raging, especially in the U.S., & racing towards their System there, that's going to destroy it!

26. WE FLED INTO THE WOODS, SORT OF LIKE INTO THE WILDERNESS like we did when we left Huntington Beach & hit the road, right? And we did find a big container to live in, the Ark, which really is a great big box-shaped thing! It's about the size of a small boxcar or one of those big containers. And for quite awhile we did sort of spoil Egypt, the System‚ and

27. WE DID LIVE OFF THE STUFF THE SYSTEM WAS THROWING AWAY! What Henry represents, I haven't the faintest idea! All I could remember is in the dream when I wanted to know him name it just came to me that it was "Henry, the rooster"! Can you possibly imagine what in the world he means? Well, in a way‚ all I could figure is that maybe he & all of his hens that we got, the eggs that we got, &

28. THE BABY CHICKS THAT WE GOT‚ WERE ALL SORT OF LIKE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, OUR FOLLOWERS! The way some of them dressed & wore their long hair, I must say they would have looked like a rooster with all those feathers! But as we fled the System, so to speak, we picked up this rooster on the way, just like we used to pick up converts & hippies on the way, & took them right into our home with us! Some of them actually lived & slept right in the Cruiser with us, or the Ark!—Then they did bear fruit!

29. THEY DID ACQUIRE SOME FOLLOWING OF HENS, QUITE A FEW GIRLS‚ IN FACT, WHO LAID QUITE A FEW EGGS & have had quite a few chicks! In those days they helped us to survive by helping us to provision. We were sure ripping off the System‚ living off what they threw away—unused sandwiches & Country Fried Chicken & dented cans & broken boxes & damaged goods from supermarkets & all that sort of thing! So it really is quite a parable! And then, it was so funny, I woke up at that point. I had a feeling like something woke me up before the dream was over. Oh, the books! The books! That's what the books were about!

30. THE BOOKS ARE THE MO BOOKS!—HOW TO RAISE CHICKENS!—The three whole books on how to raise chickens! We certainly have written a lot of books on how to raise chickens!—All of our little chicks around the world! So praise God! We discovered the MO Books & how to raise chickens!

31. BUT I WAS LYING HERE IN THE DARK THINKING ABOUT THE DREAM & wondering how it ended, since I think that part about the chickens & the MO Books was sort of a flashback to something maybe that had already happened before the furor of the towns people arose & seemed to be about to drive us out. So as I was lying here wondering how the dream ended & feeling sort of disappointed I didn't get to see the end,

32. ALL OF A SUDDEN I SAW THIS BIG CRANE ROLL UP & PICK UP THE CONTAINER & US IN IT & OUR CHICKENS who seemed to be living right with us & in our yard, & put it on the back of one of those big monster huge trailer trucks, which roared away to a great big freight yard where we were loaded on some flat cars with some other containers, kind of like what we're doing now in going mobile in caravans‚ & the train sped away to a distant port where we were then loaded onto a ship that sailed away across the sea! That's the last I got on the dream. So maybe that has to do with the future or what's happening now.

33. WE'RE GOING MOBILE, & THERE'S NOT JUST ONE CONTAINER, but it seemed like all these other containers had people who were living in them too! It was like our whole Family had gone container–wise & we were being moved from one place to another, & finally we escaped across the sea! Maybe that symbolises what we're going to do, that some of our caravans & campers are going to roll onto ships & sail away! (Maria: Maybe the rooster represents literal...) Yes, survival, survival! (Maria: What's the best animal to have, to provide meat & eggs?)—Chickens!

34. THE CHICKENS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE POOR MAN'S MEAT, THE LEAST EXPENSIVE TO BUY & RAISE, & chickens constantly feed you! Everyday they lay more eggs for you, so they make good suppliers of food constantly while you're feeding & fattening them. Then when they finally get too old to be good layers, you use them for nice roasting chickens or boiling chickens or fried chickens! (Maria: And they don't require very much land either.)

35. THEY DON'T REQUIRE VERY MUCH LAND, THEY DON'T REQUIRE VERY MUCH CARE REALLY, & they're constantly supplying you with food‚ & they're fruitful if you have a rooster & quite a few hens or even a few, or even just one hen & one rooster! You will not only have a hen that'll usually lay an egg every day for breakfast‚ but by & by, & if the rooster is doing his job, she'll lay quite a few eggs & she'll start sitting on them & try to hatch'm, & you'll have a whole family of little baby chicks that'll grow up to be nice hens that will lay more eggs & so on & so on! So that has to do with survival, too.

36. IT COULD BE HENRY WAS A PART OF OUR MEANS OF SURVIVAL he & his little flock or harem! Anyhow, it's sure a funny dream, huh? I do have some of the craziest dreams! But that's the story of Henry & the container shack, really quite symbolic of our history, in a way!