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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


“Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,” thought Alice. “I daresay
it’s a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.” (For,
with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion
how long ago anything had happened.) So she began again: “Ou
est ma chatte?” which was the first sentence in her French lesson-
book. The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed
to quiver all over with fright. “Oh, I beg your pardon!” cried Alice
hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal’s feelings. “I quite
forgot you didn’t like cats.”

“Not like cats!” cried the Mouse in a shrill, passionate voice.
“Would you like cats, if you were me?” “Well, perhaps not,” said
Alice in a soothing tone: “don’t be angry about it.

And yet I wish I could show you our cat Dinah. I think you’d take
a fancy to cats, if you could only see her. She is such a dear quiet
thing,” Alice went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in
the pool, “and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her
paws and washing her face-and she is such a nice soft thing to
nurse-and she’s such a capital one for catching mice-oh, I beg
your pardon!” cried Alice again, for this time the Mouse was
bristling all over, and she felt certain it must be really offended.
“We wo’n’t talk about her any more if you’d rather not.” “We,
indeed!” cried the Mouse, who was trembling down to the end of
its tail.

“As if I would talk on such a subject! Our family always hated cats:
nasty, low, vulgar things! Don’t let me hear the name again!” “I
wo’n’t indeed!” said Alice, in a great hurry to change the subject of
conversation. “Are you-are you fond-of-of dogs?” The Mouse did
not answer, so Alice went on, eagerly: “There is such a nice little
dog, near our house, I should like to show you! A little bright-eyed
terrier, you know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it’ll
fetch things when you throw them, and it’ll sit up and beg for its
dinner, and all sorts of things-I ca’n’t remember half of them-and
it belongs to a farmer, you know, and he says it’s so useful, it’s
worth a hundred pounds! He says it kills all the rats and-oh dear!”
cried Alice in a sorrowful tone. “I’m afraid I’ve offended it again!”
For the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could
go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it went.

So she called softly after it, “Mouse dear! Do come back again, and
we wo’n’t talk about cats, or dogs either, if you don’t like them!”
When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly
back to her: its face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought),
and it said, in a low trembling voice, “Let us get to the shore, and
then I’ll tell you my history, and you’ll understand why it is I hate
cats and dogs.” It was high time to go, for the pool was getting
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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