If you recall, we ended Alice’s last adventure with the birds and animals and Alice swimming from her pool of tears to shore. What a bedraggled, ‘queer-looking party’ stood on shore. (My! but our lack of self-control can have serious repercussions on so many others besides our self.) Thankfully,Mouse had a plan though on how to dry them out. He had them all sit in a circle and proceeded to tell them a very dry historical account of William the Conqueror. When that failed to dry them, Dodo proposed a Caucus Race. Each participant, starting at different points, ran in a circle for about a half hour until they were all quite dry and then Dodo called the race announcing each one a winner. Alice was appointed to hand out the prizes, comfits retrieved from her own pocket. Then Dodo presented Alice with a prize…her own thimble. (Alice thought this all so absurd. Yet it is interesting how we humans seem to need to be pampered with prizes, no matter how silly, in order to not be offended at being overlooked. Dodo may have been a very wise bird after all.)

Mouse then tells a tale that Alice understood as something about fury but mouse doesn’t feel that Alice is attending to his tale very well and goes off in a bit of offended fury himself. That puts a damper on things for they all wanted to hear him finish his story. Alice’s only solace is to focus on and speak about her own dear pet, Dinah the cat. And in her pet absorption in speaking of Dinah’s excellent bird catching abilities, she alienates her bird companions. They each make an excuse to exit her company quickly and she finds herself alone again. (If we stop to think why we may have no or so few friends perhaps the problem isn’t with others but lies with us and our inordinate habits and unlovely characteristics.)
Lonesome Alice cries again and then hears ‘footsteps pattering in the distance.’ We shall find out next time if Mouse changed his mind and has come back to finish his story.
Alice's Thimble Prize
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