Page:Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.djvu/61

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A CAUCUS-RACE AND A LONG TALE


“Please come back and finish your story!” Alice called after it. And the others all joined in chorus “Yes, please do!” but the Mouse only shook its head impatiently and walked a little quicker.

“What a pity it wouldn’t stay!” sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of sight; and an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her daughter “Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!” “Hold your tongue, Ma!” said the young Crab, a little snappishly. “You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!”

“I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!” said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. “She’d soon fetch it back!”

“And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?” said the Lory.

Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet: “Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice, you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!”

This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once; one old Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking “I really must be getting home; the night-air doesn’t suit my throat!” and a Canary called out in a trembling voice to its children “Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!” On

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