Papa comforted his little daughter as papas know how to do. “Cheer up! little girl. We will find her after supper,” he said.
When the pleasant evening meal was over and all the family sat around the cozy fire, papa said: “I think I know how to make Topsy come, if she is in the house.”
“Oh, how?” cried Alice.
Papa said nothing but he puckered up his lips and began to whistle in loud, shrill tones. At the first note something stirred on top of the china closet. Then there was a short, protesting meow. Papa kept on whistling. Kitty stood up and began to stretch. As the shrill music continued, Topsy walked to the edge of the cupboard and looked down.
“Oh, there she is! there she is!” cried Alice. “Oh, my own dear kitty! But what a funny place to hide in!”
Louder and shriller grew papa’s whistling. Kitty jumped upon the screen and then leaped to the table. Still papa whistled on. Topsy sprang to the floor and, jumping into papa’s lap, began to rub her face against his breast. “Meow! meow!” she said. Still the shrill noise did not atop. Pussy put her front paws high up on papa’s chest and rubbed her face against his chin, at the same time nipping it gently with her teeth and calling, “Meow! meow!” which meant, “Stop! stop! Please, master, I am here. What do you want? Oh, do stop that dreadful noise!”
So papa stopped whistling and Alice and Topsy had a fine frolic before bedtime.
This was the first and only time that Topsy was ever lost; but to this day, she will sometimes steal away and sleep for hours on her lofty perch, heedless of coaxing or scolding, and only dislodged at night by papa’s shrill whistle.
V. TOPSY’S BABIES.
“I must teach the kittens some tricks,” said Alice one day. “They are getting so big and plump. Don’t you think they are old enough to learn to do things, mamma?”
“Well, little daughter, suppose you try teaching them,” said mamma.
So Alice went to the door and called: “Kittens! kittens! kittens! Come, Tip! Come, Trot! Come, kittens!” Now their real names were Tipkins and Trotkins, but Alice always called them Tip and Trot for short.
When the kittens heard their little mistress call, they came running as fast as their fat little bodies and their short little legs would let them come; for “Kittens, kittens, kittens!” almost always meant: “Here is some nice warm milk to drink.”
Alice gathered the funny little things up in her arms. They looked just exactly alike, for Tipkins had a black spot on the end of his tail, and Trotkins had a black spot on the end of his tail, too; Tipkins’ eyes were blue, so were Trotkins’; Tipkins’ nose was black, and Trotkins’ nose was black, too. Alice often wondered how their mother, Topsy, ever told them apart.