The Freud Museum


Hermann's Cherries

"Though we think highly of the happiness of childhood because it is still innocent of sexual desires, we should not forget what a fruitful source of disappointment and renunciation, and consequently what a stimulus to dreaming, may be provided by the other of the two great vital instincts... My nephew, aged 22 months, had been entrusted with the duty of congratulating me on my birthday and of presenting me with a basket of cherries, which are still scarcely in season at that time of year. He seems to have found the task a hard one, for he kept on repeating 'Chewwies in it' but could not be induced to hand the present over.
However, he found a means of compensation. He had been in the habit every morning of telling his mother that he had a dream of the 'white soldier' - a Guards officer in his white cloak whom he had once gazed at admiringly in the street. On the day after the birthday sacrifice he awoke with a cheerful piece of news, which could only have originated from a dream: 'Hermann eaten all the chewwies!'"

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