and what Alice
Looking-glass house, Lewis Carroll, Seite 1 ( von 6 )
One thing was certain, that the
white kitten had
had nothing to do with it: - it was the black kitten's fault entirely. For the
white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last
quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that
it couldn't have
had any hand in the mischief.
The way Dinah washed her children's faces was this: first she held the poor
thing down by its ear with one paw, and then with the other paw she rubbed its
face all over, the wrong way, beginning at the nose: and just now, as I said,
she was hard at work on the white kitten, which was lying quite still and
trying to purr - no doubt feeling that it was all meant for its good.
But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the afternoon, and so,
while Alice was sitting curled up in a corner of the great armchair, half
talking to herself and half asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of
romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been
rolling it up and down till it had all come undone again; and there it was,
spread over the hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the kitten running
after its own tail in the middle.
"Oh, you wicked wicked little thing!" cried Alice, catching up the
kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand that it was in
disgrace. "Really, Dinah ought to have taught you better manners! You
you know you ought!" she added, looking reproachfully at the old cat, and
speaking in as cross a voice as she could manage - and then she scrambled back
into the arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with her, and began
winding up the ball again. But she didn't get on very fast, as she was talking
all the time, sometimes to the kitten, and sometimes to herself. Kitty sat very
demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now
and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be
glad to help if it might.
"Do you know what to-morrow is, Kitty?" Alice began. "You'd have
guessed if you'd been up in the window with me - only Dinah was making you
tidy, so you couldn't. I was watching the boys getting in sticks for the
bonfire - and it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it
snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we'll go and see the
bonfire to-morrow." Here Alice wound two or three turns of the worsted
round the kitten's neck, just to see how it would look: this led to a scramble,
in which the ball rolled down upon the floor, and yards and yards of it got
"Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty," Alice went on, as soon as they
were comfortably settled again, "when I saw all the mischief you had been
doing, I was very nearly opening the window, and putting you out into the snow!
And you'd have deserved it, you little mischievous darling! What have you got
to say for yourself? Now don't interrupt me!" she went on, holding up one
finger. "I'm going to tell you all your faults. Number one: you squeaked
twice while Dinah was washing your face this morning. Now you can't deny it,
Kitty: I heard you! What's that you say?" (pretending that the kitten was
speaking.) "Her paw went into your eye? Well, that's
your fault, for
keeping your eyes open - if you'd shut them tight up, it wouldn't have
happened. Now don't make any more excuses, but listen! Number two: you pulled
Snowdrop away by the tail just as I had put down the saucer of milk before her!
What, you were thirsty, were you? How do you know she wasn't thirsty too? Now
for number three: you unwound every bit of the worsted while I wasn't looking!
"That's three faults, Kitty, and you've not been punished for any of them
yet. You know I'm saving up all your punishments for Wednesday week -