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Ostow, M. (1959). A Primal Horde Dream. Psychoanal Q., 28:470-480.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:470-480

A Primal Horde Dream

Mortimer Ostow, M.D.

The following is the dream of a twenty-five-year-old Jew, three and a half weeks before his wedding.

I was in a large forest. It was fantastic looking. A bunch of us were camping out. We all had rifles. Suddenly a moose came walking into view in the distance. He had an unusually long set of horns. We all take aim and fire. It falls down. We skin it, cut it up—cut venison and eat it. Then we heard the sound of an axe. Someone was chopping down trees, left and right. What would be left of this magnificent forest? He came into our section. He was very large. We asked why he was chopping down the trees. He said that he hates trees and likes to chop them down. We asked whether he uses the wood. No, he just feels like chopping. The group was a mixed bunch of people, from school, from business, from camp, and so on. A guy from school said, 'If you chop down any more trees, I'll kill you'. This guy threw his axe at him. He ducks. The axe hit a tree and the tree falls down. This guy gets out his gun and shoots the wood chopper. All the people on the hunting expedition were Jewish.

His first thought, after relating the dream, was that the day before he had been laughing about all the city officials who were being forced to give up their limousines. Then he asked: 'Most Jews don't go hunting, do they? Why is that? Do they hold any animals sacred?'

[Who was the wood chopper?] 'A Nordic looking type; he looked like my friend S. I was planning to have dinner with him tonight in Yorkville (a neighborhood inhabited principally by people of German extraction). I enjoy German food; I don't know why. I ate venison in Germany twice, and once in Luchow's (a local German restaurant). Venison doesn't do anything to my stomach—no gas. I hardly ever eat salami because it makes me belch.'

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