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Return to Wonderland by Various

Return to Wonderland by Various

Author:Various
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Pan Macmillan UK


‘You are simply enticing those poor prawns into a sandwich!’ burst out Tweedledee when the fish had finished. ‘Why, that practically makes you a cannibal!’

‘If you are going to be a cannibal, you may as well be practical about it,’ reasoned the fish smugly, smacking its lips grotesquely. But the self-satisfied expression disappeared from its face as a terrifying sound came from close by, somewhere away to the right.

‘KARK!’

‘The crow!’ panicked the fish, thrashing around in the pond like an overweight man in a paddling pool full of wasps. ‘Flee! Flee for your very lives!’ It eventually managed to flop its way out of the right-hand pool and began to roll itself across the clearing.

‘Where are you going?’ asked Tweedledee, hopping from foot to foot in panic.

‘The crow drinks from the enlargening pool,’ explained the fish as it rolled. ‘Flee!’ It flopped into the left-hand pond and began gulping at the water, growing noticeably smaller with each mouthful. Within seconds, it was the size of an averagely large fish – the sort that a fisherman might boast about catching. Then it was a size he would lie about. Then it was a size he would barely even mention. Then it was as big as a tadpole. Then it had vanished altogether.

‘It’s disappeared!’ exclaimed Tweedledum.

‘It’s disappeared from sight,’ corrected the monkey, which had climbed into a nearby tree and was hiding behind a large apple. ‘That’s quite different, you know.’

For a moment, Tweedledum pondered what had happened to the fish. It has shrunk so much that it’s no longer even a part of our world, he thought to himself. I wonder what it can see now? The fish was, indeed, now a very small fish in what was, relatively, an infinitely large pond. But there was no time to think about it any further. With a thunder of wings that shook the branches around them, the gigantic crow landed in the centre of the clearing like a nightmare that someone had managed to glue feathers on to.

‘KARK!’ it explained.

These are the times when you really discover what sort of person you are. When you are being menaced by a giant crow and all help has vanished; the pompous fish has shrunk to microscopic size, and the sailor-uniform-clad monkey is concealing itself behind fruit. These are the moments when you have to show what you’re made of. Tweedledum had spent his whole life being terrified of this black shadow that appeared out of the sky. But, suddenly coming face to beak with it in a forest clearing, he was surprised to discover that he was not afraid. Not as much as he’d expected to be, anyway.

The crow dipped its enormous head and took a great, slurping mouthful from the pool on the right of the clearing. It opened its wings and flapped them – and as the Tweedles watched, it visibly grew slightly larger.

‘It drinks from the Pool of Enlargenment!’ gasped Tweedledee, who had never been the fastest on the uptake. The rest of us had worked that out at least two pages ago.



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