"Too waggly?" was all I could say in so sudden an emergency.
"I'm not praticular," Bruno said, carelessly: "but I do like straight animals best----"
"But you like a dog when it wags its tail, Sylvie interrupted. "You know you do, Bruno!"
"But there's more of a dog, isn't there, Mister Sir?" Bruno appealed to me. "You wouldn't like to have a
dog if it hadn't got nuffin but a head and a tail?"
I admitted that a dog of that kind would be uninteresting.
"There isn't such a dog as that," Sylvie thoughtfully remarked.
"But there would be," cried Bruno, "if the Professor shortened it up for us!"
"Shortened it up?" I said. "That's something new. How does he do it?"
"He's got a curious machine "Sylvie was beginning to explain.
"A welly curious machine," Bruno broke in, not at all willing to have the story thus taken out of his mouth,
"and if oo puts in----some-finoruvver----at one end, oo know and he turns the handle----and it comes out
at the uvver end, oh, ever so short!"
"As short as short! "Sylvie echoed.
"And one day when we was in Outland, oo know----before we came to Fairyland me and Sylvie took him
a big Crocodile. And he shortened it up for us. And it did look so funny! And it kept looking round, and
saying 'wherever is the rest of me got to?' And then its eyes looked unhappy----"
"Not both its eyes," Sylvie interrupted.
"Course not!" said the little fellow. "Only the eye that couldn't see wherever the rest of it had got to. But
the eye that could see wherever----"
"How short was the crocodile?" I asked, as the story was getting a little complicated.
"Half as short again as when we caught it ----so long," said Bruno, spreading out his arms to their full
I tried to calculate what this would come to, but it was too hard for me. Please make it out for me, dear
Child who reads this!
"But you didn't leave the poor thing so short as that, did you?"
"Well, no. Sylvie and me took it back again and we got it stretched to----to----how much was it, Sylvie?"
"Two times and a half, and a little bit more," said Sylvie.
"It wouldn't like that better than the other way, I'm afraid?"
"Oh, but it did though!" Bruno put in eagerly. "It were proud of its new tail! Oo never saw a Crocodile so
proud! Why, it could go round and walk on the top of its tail, and along its back, all the way to its head!"