I don't remember the first part of this dream, but I'm sure there was. I only remember the part that disturbed me:
Anyway, what I can remember is that I was out on the East Coast with the rest of my family, as well as our pet fox terrier, which is unchained and running around. I don't recall being in the location that we are in, but I surely must have been here before once or twice (see below). It is some sort of city park, because we are in a grassy area with some woods nearby, but we are right off the street, in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
My sister and I are walking around together, and my parents are almost out of sight, behind a thin stand of trees. It is well into fall, and most of the trees have changed color.
Standing on one side the park's grassy area is an interesting tree. Its general shape is like a standard fruit-bearing tree: its trunk diverges low to the ground into several branches that radiate in a generally hemispherical shape. Its bark is a dark gray, almost black, and very smooth. Instead of having standard leaves, at the end of each branch is a long set of thick, stiff dark purple leaves, which come straight out of the end of the branch, then round in, so the branches seem to end in a rounded edge. As the wind blows through the tree, the branches seem to unulate like tentacles, and the leaf bunches separate slightly like little beaks.
I tell my sister that this tree was the inspiration for a recurring nightmare I had when I was a child: I was standing in front of a tree that actually had tentacles as branches, and one of them would reach out and bite me. She thinks that's cool, and reaches out to touch one of the leafy ends of the tree. I'm still not getting too close to it, however.
To one side of the tree is a low stone wall marking the boundary of the park, and I stand up on it to look at the upper branches of the tree. As I stand there, I see a tag located on one of the branches in front of me. It labels the tree as a "Black Speckled Oak". I am surprised to read this, because I see no speckles on it, and I thought that Oak trees were a lot taller. I see another tag in the upper branches, and I crane to read it. It states that the tree was planted in November of 1980. This is also surprising, because the tree seems pretty large for being only 20 years old. Defying my description above, this second tag seems to be attached to a branch that has evergreen needles on it.
At about this time a deer comes out of the woods. It is scruffy looking, and I think I see it limping. Our dog starts to run after it, and the deer starts to run away, still slowly. I am afraid that our dog will try to kill the deer, but instead it catches up to it and jumps at its side, clearly aggressively but not directly hazardous to the deer. I start to think that the deer is very sick, and I try to call the dog back, not wanting him to catch anything nasty from the deer. He does not listen to my calls, and continues to bully the deer. The deer looks clearly sick now, moving slowly and sometimes staggering along. In fact, only the size, coloration, general shape and geographic location of the animal lead me to believe that it is actually a deer.
It is at this point that I wake up.
What disturbs me, other than the general disturbing tone of the dream, is that I was so convinced in the dream that I had had earlier nightmares about a tentacle tree. I do not recall having had any such dreams now. I do not know which part of my mind to trust on this.