The years passed and the world grew and changed around him; forests grew ancient and then were cleared away; cities built up and crumbled down; whole civilizations rose and fell; all the while,
No one bothered him as he slept, as far as they knew he had always been there and always would be.
Whenever people came upon the old oak and the man sleeping beneath it, they would say that he dreamed the world up as he slept and if he ever awoke everything would wink out of existence.
So they would creep away as quietly as they could, for fear they might awaken Slumbering Sydney, and go back to their homes and tell others of him and to not wake up the old man by the oak, for they were all just his dream.
Then there came a time, when one civilization was coming to a terrible end, and a lost young child stumbled their way through the wastes that were the remnants of some long fought war, and they found
Sydney, still sleeping under his old oak
The child had heard the tales of how the world was only inside the snoozing old man's mind, but they had lost all of their family and would be glad to have the world, and their sadness, end.
So, they snuck quietly up to the snoring
Sydney and gently shook him awake.
He blinked a few times as he took in the scorched landscape spread out behind the child, and then regarded the young one silently.
"What were you dreaming of, old man?" The child asked hesitantly, fearing the answer.
spoke raspy after finding his voice. "I think I did dream of the world.
But not like this"
With help from the young survivor,
Sydney stood up and stretched out his
crackling limbs and spine then took the child's hand in his.
"It looks as though the world could do with a little rest itself." He declared as he waved his arm across the landscape. "Let's go see if you and I can't go try and tidy up a bit. I need a shave and you're a bit of a mess yourself."
He swiped his finger on the child's nose, cleaning a small smug of dirt off and gave a wink that made the child smile for the first time in a very long time.
As the two walked across the land, green life grew up wherever
and by the time they had reached the rising sun on the horizon, the once burnt
land was in full bloom. Just as Sydney