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... do feel like a little fairy, being blown here and there without being able to control my flight!’ she said sadly, as she reached into her pinafore pocket for a handkerchief.  ‘How I do hope that Kitty gets back soon as it is so lonely here without her by my side.’

 

After a few minutes of self-indulgence, Alice came to her senses and thought, ‘Self-pity will get me nowhere.  I must think positive thoughts and come up with a plan of action if I am to get anywhere at all.  Now, what would Kitty do if she was still here?

 

‘Why, she would wash herself, of course!’ said Alice, answering her own question, and she immediately set about licking her hand and drawing it over her face just as Kitty had shown her.

 

Alice had to admit that washing herself in this manner was very comforting and, after a while, she began to forget about her predicament.

 

Instead, a new feeling of contentment started to come over her and she began singing again, this time in a more confident and satisfied manner …

 

‘My first is in mice and also in claw;

My second is in rat and also in paw;

My third is in soft and also in tail;

My all is a love that cannot fail.

‘I am sure that Kitty will be back very soon,’ she said to herself, ‘and my job is to wait here quietly for her to return.

‘That can’t be too difficult for me to do,’ she added, ‘and all that I need is the patience and resolve of a cat in order to do it.  Why, I have seen cats sit for hours, just waiting for something, anything, to happen.  Maybe I should imagine that I am sitting on the hearth in front of a warm fire in mid-winter with a full tummy of fish and a saucer of milk.

 

‘That is it!’ cried Alice, and she set her mind to imagining what it would feel like to be a cat under such circumstances.

 

‘Why, I could imagine that I have a little girl all of my own who can hug me and cuddle me whenever I want,’ she said.  ‘And she could bring me choice treats from her plate and feed me cream from the pantry when no one was looking.  And I would call her Meow so that she knew her name whenever I called out to her and she would come running right away.  How grand that would all be!’

 

All this felt incredibly comforting to Alice, and she resolved to stay where she was until the kitten returned.

 

Before too long, Alice started to get very sleepy again, so she yawned and stretched and made herself comfortable by padding the floor with both of her hands.

After a few minutes of this she curled up on the ground and closed her eyes.

In no time at all she was asleep once more.              

 

  

Chapter III

Rabbit in a Stew

In which Alice befriends the Welsh Rabbit

  

When she awoke, Alice found herself ...

To be continued next week

‘… I am sitting on the hearth in front of a warm fire …’