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... like little scrabbly mouse noises and Alice broke off immediately in fear that the kitten would hear her and think that she was actually a mouse burrowing under the covers.


‘Then,’ she thought, ‘I would be back in the same predicament of being hunted by my own kitten, which would be very embarrassing indeed.’


Just at that moment a thought struck Alice that left her feeling very cold and frightened.


‘What if I am making noises like a mouse precisely because I am a mouse?  What if I have inadvertently turned into a mouse without even thinking about it?  That would be so inconvenient under the circumstances!’ she added.  ‘Just imagine, a mouse seeking help from her own cat!


‘But how could I tell if I am a mouse?’ she asked herself.


‘I know!’ she cried.  ‘I could check to see if I have grown any whiskers,’ and with that she rubbed her face just to find out.


Thankfully, Alice found that she was not growing whiskers and, moreover, she was pleased to find that her hands were still hands and not paws.


‘That is a great relief,’ she sighed, ‘and now I can get on with calling for Kitty without worrying about being eaten by my rescuer!’


With this weight lifted from her mind, it occurred to Alice that she could clap her hands together as she did when she was calling for the kittens in the evening.


‘That way,’ she said, ‘Kitty will know that it is me


... and she will come running to my rescue.’


So Alice tried her new plan and let out three sharp claps with her hands.

‘But I won’t call out at the same time, as I usually do, on account of my voice being so squeaky,’ she added.

All at once, there was the sound of movement under the covers and it wasn’t long before Alice felt a familiar soft body pressed up close to her own.


Chapter II

Conversation with a Cat

In which Alice learns the art of being a cat

‘Why, Miss Alice!’ said the kitten, sniffing at her and placing a warm paw on Alice’s face just to make sure that it was indeed her.  ‘There you are at last and we have been looking all over for you!’


‘I am sorry, Kitty,’ said Alice, in her little squeaky voice, ‘but I really have been trying to attract your attention.’


‘Well, obviously not hard enough,’ said the kitten, taking charge.  ‘You have no idea how worried we have all been.  You really have been so very naughty, going off like that without telling anyone.’


‘I am so sorry, Kitty,’ said Alice, contritely, ‘but I don’t usually have to account for myself before doing this sort of thing.’


‘That is just where you are wrong,’ said the kitten, sternly.  ‘You are no longer in your own world and you must take great care that you don’t make a mistake or you may very well lose your head entirely.’


By now it was starting to get slightly lighter, and Alice could just make out some dim ...

To be continued next week 

‘You are no longer in your own world …’

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