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"If a dozen men, working eight hours a day, had to dig a hole ten-and-a-half miles deep—how long would it be, including Sundays, before they put down their spades?"

The King's eyes shone with a cunning sparkle. He gazed at the Cat with a look of triumph. But the Cat had its answer ready.

"Two seconds," it said quickly, with a little flick of its tail.

"Two seconds! Are you mad? The answer's in years!" The King rubbed his hands together with glee at the thought of the Cat's mistake.

"I repeat," said the Cat. "It would take them two seconds. To dig such a hole would be utterly foolish. 'Ten miles deep?' they would say. 'Why, what on earth for?'"

P.L. Travers

Mary Poppins

The Cat that looked at a King.


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