THE RAINBOW BOOK
" How can it be ' and eleven days' if it's your birthday, your Worship ?" asked Cyril, thinking he'd go one better than Sire.
" Because, my Philosopher, I prefer the newfangled Calendar which puts one on eleven days; in that way, when I'm told I don't look my age, I know it's true, and not flattery. See ?"
The children were not quite satisfied with the explanation. Nevertheless, they were pleased to find it the most natural thing in the world to be getting chummy with a Fish-King.
" Now, do come below waves and have a cup of sea or something," he repeated, looking appealingly first at one and then at the other.
" Thank you very much," replied his little guests. " But," said the cautious Dulcie, " shan't we be drownded ? "
" You both have your catseyes on, I presume ?" And his Majesty stared anxiously in their faces. " Yes, I see you have. Very well, then. Sit steady ! Halloa there," shouting downwards. "Lift, please!" Then muttering, " It's high time we went," he smiled. His smile was so unutterably comic that it was to a merry burst of childish laughter that all the rocks descended as quickly as the tide rose above them, and the trio, smiling still, found themselves gently deposited at the bottom of the Ocean.