In the first chapter Lennie and George recite their dreams.
After they step off the bus a short distance from Soledad, the two men walk into the clearing and make camp. Lennie reminds George that they are going to work on a ranch, George replies, "Awright....But we're gonna sleep here because I got a reason." When Lennie asks for ketchup for their beans, George becomes upset, but Lennie is hurt. So, George comforts him, and reassures him that he wants Lennie to stay with him.
Then, Lennie pleads, "Come on George. Tell me. Please George...." George recites as his voice grows deeper with feeling. He mentions how the other displace men of the Depression are lonely and without family, but he and Lennie have someone to talk to and someone who cares about them.
"We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us....
Someday--we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and--
"An' live off the fatta the lan'," Lennie shouted. "An' have rabbits....
"...we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter,...we'll build up a fire in the stove and set around it' an' listen to the rain comin' down on the roof.
Lennie especially is greatly comforted by this "dream" of ownership and companionship. George does not really believe that they will attain it; nevertheless, he finds it comforting to recite what they might do, and, after a while, George begins to start believing that a little farm may just be a possibility, especially after Candy, the old swamper, asks to join in their plans.