Adventures in Primaryland: An Ongoing Tale
The Mitten only held out a position paper when it saw The Primary Voter. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had VERY long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.
'Cheshire Mitt,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only pushed out the position paper a little further. 'Come, it's pleased so far,' thought The Primary Voter, and she went on. 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Mitten.
'I don't much care where—' said The Primary Voter.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Mitten.
'—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' The Primary Voter added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Mitten, 'if you only walk long enough.'
The Primary Voter felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. 'What sort of people live about here?'
'In THAT direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round, 'lives a Pizza Imaginer: and in THAT direction,' waving the other paw, 'lives a Coyote Killer. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' The Primary Voter remarked.
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Mitten: 'we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
'How do you know I'm mad?' said The Primary Voter.
'You must be,' said the Mitten, 'or you wouldn't have come here.'
The Primary Voter didn't think that proved it at all; however, she went on 'And how do you know that you're mad?'
'To begin with,' said the Mitten, 'a dog's not mad. You grant that?'
'I suppose so,' said The Primary Voter.
'Well, then,' the Mitten went on, 'you see, a dog growls when it's atop a car, and wags its tail when it's let down. Now I growl when I'm let down, and wag my tail when I'm atop. Therefore I'm mad.'
'I call it purring, not growling,' said The Primary Voter.
'Call it what you like,' said the Mitten. 'Do you play croquet with Queen Bachmann to-day?'
'I should like it very much,' said The Primary Voter, 'but I haven't been invited yet.'
'You'll see me there,' said the Mitten, and vanished.
The Primary Voter was not much surprised at this, she was getting so used to queer things happening. While she was looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.
'By-the-bye, what became of the Trump?' said the Mitten. 'I'd nearly forgotten to ask.'
'It turned into a pig,' The Primary Voter quietly said, just as if it had come back in a natural way.
'I thought it would,' said the Mitten, and vanished again.
The Primary Voter waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the Coyote Killer was said to live. 'I've seen killers before,' she said to herself; 'the Coyote Killer will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is November it won't be raving mad—at least not so mad as it was next January.' As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Mitten again, sitting on a branch of a tree.
'Did you say pig, or fig?' said the Cat.
'I said pig,' replied The Primary Voter; 'and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'
'All right,' said the Mitten; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the position paper, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.
'Well! I've often seen a Mitten without a position,' thought The Primary Voter; 'but a position without a Mitten! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!'