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III. THE POOL OF TEARS.
Perhaps you think Alice must have been very much pleased, when she had eaten the little cake, to find herself growing so tremendously tall? Because of course it would be easy enough, now, to reach the little key off the glass table, and to open the little tiny door.

Well, of course she could do that: but what good was it to get the door open, when she couldn’t get through? She was worse off than ever, poor thing! She could just manage, by putting her head down, close to the ground, to look through with one eye! But that was all she could do. No wonder the poor tall child sat down and cried as if her heart would break.

So she cried, and she cried. And her tears ran down the middle of the hall, like a deep[10] river. And very soon there was quite a large Pool of Tears, reaching half-way down the hall.

And there she might have staid, till this very day, if the White Rabbit hadn’t happened to come through the hall, on his way to visit the Duchess. He was dressed up as grand as grand could be, and he had a pair of white kid gloves in one hand, and a little fan in the other hand: and he kept on muttering to himself “Oh, the Duchess, the Duchess! Oh, won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!”

But he didn’t see Alice, you know. So, when she began to say “If you please, Sir——” her voice seemed to come from the top of the hall, because her head was so high up. And the Rabbit was dreadfully frightened: and he dropped the gloves and the fan, and ran away as hard as he could go.

Then a very curious thing indeed happened. Alice took up the fan, and began to fan herself with it: and, lo and behold, she got quite small again, and, all in a minute, she was just about the size of a mouse!

Alice and a mouse in water

Now look at the picture, and you’ll soon guess what happened next. It looks just like the sea, doesn’t it? But it really is the Pool of Tears——all made of Alice’s tears, you know!

And Alice has tumbled into the Pool: and the Mouse has tumbled in: and there they are, swimming about together.

Doesn’t Alice look pretty, as she swims across the picture? You can just see her blue stockings, far away under the water.

But why is the Mouse swimming away from Alice in such a hurry? Well, the reason is, that Alice began talking about cats and dogs: and a Mouse always hates talking about cats and dogs!

Suppose you were swimming about, in a Pool of your own Tears: and suppose somebody began talking to you about lesson-books and bottles of medicine, wouldn’t you swim away as hard as you could go?
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