Coyote and the Blanket

[Note: I wrote this for my Writer's Craft class, and didn't want to upload it until I got my mark back, so no one would think I was plagiarizing or some such madness. The assignment was to write a missing chapter of Alice in Wonderland, and to write it in the style of Lewis Carroll. I got 90%. Go me. ^-^]

'What trial is it?' Alice panted as she ran; but the Gryphon only answered 'Come on!' and ran the faster, while more and more faintly came, carried on the breeze that followed them, the melancholy words:

'Soo-oop of the evening, Beautiful, beautiful Soup!'

Alice tried her very best to keep up with the Gryphon, but no matter how fast she went, the Gryphon kept getting farther and farther ahead of her, and just when she thought she might catch up, a root sprung up from the ground of its own volition, and Alice found herself quite on the wrong side of up, and rather dizzy.

'Oh dear,' said someone.

Alice looked up and saw that the owner of the voice was a Coyote, who was currently grinning down at her.

'That fall certainly looked nasty,' the Coyote went on conversationally. 'Are you quite alright?'

'I'm not entirely sure,' replied Alice cautiously from her position on the ground.

'Try reciting something, perhaps,' suggested the Coyote in a helpful tone. 'Then we'll know whether or not your memory was affected.'

Alice thought this a very sensible idea indeed, so she took a deep breath and began to recite:

How squishy is the tart! What tastiness for me!

The bestest of all things dessert:

It is warm, sweet, and fluffy, like pastry should be,

nd sometimes it dirties my shirt.

And the tart also has many flavours to try,

Like butter, lemon, or cherry.

All are squishy-sweet, sticky, and not at all dry;

They're so delicious it's scary.

So empty is life without copious friends,

For they are very much like the tart.

Squishy-sweet, sticky - the virtues never end;

The loss of friends could break a heart.

I love friends of all shape, colour, flavour, and size,

And tarts are my favourite treat.

But friends who are not like tarts, are friends I despise,

Because they're neither squishy nor sweet.'

'Oh dear,' said Alice in an anxious tone: 'I don't think that came out quite right.' She was beginning to worry that her memory had been affected after all.

'I thought it was a great improvement on the original,' said the Coyote in a pleasant voice. 'Here, let me help you up.' He nudged Alice with his nose until she was standing: this was his way of helping.

'Thank you very much,' said Alice politely, dusting herself off. 'I don't wish to trouble you any further: if you could tell me which way the Gryphon went, I'll be on my way.'

'You're going to leave?' asked the Coyote in an offended tone. 'But we've only just met! And you must help me get my blanket back: it's been stolen! It would be very rude of you to fall down right in front of me and then not even consider the trip worth the recovery of a blanket.'

'Well,' answered Alice with a small sigh, seeing no way around staying, 'I suppose I could help you get your blanket. But as soon as we've found it, will you take me back to the Gryphon? I shall miss the trial otherwise, and I couldn't do that because the Queen would have my head.'

'Oh, she's always doing that,' said the Coyote indifferently: 'she won't really have your head, you know.' He was walking off now, and Alice could think of nothing else to do but follow. Eventually the pair came upon a Rock sunning itself, and Alice noticed a piece of blue something amidst the grey of the Rock, which she thought very curious indeed.

'Ah-HA!' shouted Coyote furiously in the direction of the Rock. 'You're the one who stole my blanket!' The Rock rested conspicuously, and the Coyote gasped audibly and tugged at the piece of blue something.

'Is that your blanket?' asked Alice kindly, and the Coyote nodded solemnly. Tears began to well up in the poor creature's eyes as he tugged in vain and said sadly: 'It was such a softable blanket: soft, comfortable. Everything a blanket ought to be.'

'Now look here,' said the Rock in a rather worried voice: 'That most certainly is not your blue blanket, and I most certainly did not steal it this morning.'

'No, you look here!' said the Coyote crossly. 'It most certainly is my blue blanket, and I shall use the power of Wit to make it seem undoubtedly true!' The Coyote took several moments to collect himself, pawing at the ground for concentration. After there were sufficient holes in the dirt around them, he began: 'You see, my blanket is blue,' and here he paused for effect. 'You grant that?'

'Granted,' said Alice, eager to hear the conclusion.

'Granite,' said the Rock, and muttered something about always being taken for granite. The Coyote took no notice and continued: 'And that blanket is blue. You agree?' Alice and the Rock did agree, and the Coyote finished triumphantly: 'Well, there you have it: that is a blue blanket and my blanket is blue, therefore that blue blanket can only be my blue blanket!'

The Rock was becoming distressed: 'Goodness!' it said in an anxious tone. 'Your astounding Wit is much too much for me!'

'You give in, then, Rock?' said the Coyote challengingly. He tugged at the blue fabric with more heart.

'Yes, but that doesn't mean I shall give way.' And the Rock stubbornly refused to budge under the Coyote's tugging.

Alice thought this rather wicked of the Rock, and felt she ought to do something about it. So she tiptoed up to the Rock, who didn't seem to have noticed - it was still arguing with the Coyote - and picked it up. The Rock was so astonished at being moved that it left off arguing mid-sentence, and commenced to flailing around in Alice's arms, while the Coyote snatched up his blanket quickly and wrapped it around himself. At this point the Rock had managed to roll free, and Alice let it tumble back to down to the ground.

'My Goodess!' cried the Rock as it went: "I do believe I am on a roll!' It eventually settled among the soft, squishy sphagnum that seemed to never grow on it while it was rolling.

'This blanket is very inexplicable, you know,' said the Coyote gravely as they walked away: 'it's blue.'

'Yes, I can see that,' said Alice, because it was all she could think to say.

'And softable. The Gryphon is right there,' said the Coyote haphazardly, indicating a direction with his nose: the Gryphon was indeed there. The Coyote pulled the blanket over his face, walked into a lake, and disappeared cryptically. By now Alice was accustomed to curious things, so she shrugged and ran off with the Gryphon.

* * *

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them - all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other.


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April 11, 2006