The Lion and the Unicorn

henextmomentsoldierscamerunningthroughthewood,atfirstintwosandthrees,thentenortwentytogether,andatlastinsuchcrowdsthattheyseemedtofillthewholeforest.Alicegotbehindatree,forfearofbeingrunover,andwatchedthemgoby.

Shethoughtthatinallherlifeshehadneverseensoldierssouncertainontheirfeet:theywerealwaystrippingoversomethingorother,andwheneveronewentdown,severalmorealwaysfelloverhim,sothatthegroundwassooncoveredwithlittleheapsofmen.

Thencamethehorses.Havingfourfeet,thesemanagedratherbetterthanthefoot-soldiers:buteventheystumblednowandthen;anditseemedtobearegularrulethat,wheneverahorsestumbledtheriderfelloffinstantly.Theconfusiongotworseeverymoment,andAlicewasverygladtogetoutofthewoodintoanopenplace,whereshefoundtheWhiteKingseatedontheground,busilywritinginhismemorandum-book.

‘I’vesentthemall!’theKingcriedinatoneofdelight,onseeingAlice.‘Didyouhappentomeetanysoldiers,mydear,asyoucamethroughthewood?’

‘Yes,Idid,’saidAlice:‘severalthousand,Ishouldthink.

‘Fourthousandtwohundredandseven,that’stheexactnumber,’theKingsaid,referringtohisbook.‘Icouldn’tsendallthehorses,youknow,becausetwoofthemarewantedinthegame.AndIhaven’tsentthetwoMessengers,either.They’rebothgonetothetown.Justlookalongtheroad,andtellmeifyoucanseeeitherofthem.

‘Iseenobodyontheroad,’saidAlice.

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