She sat down and started to cry again. After a time, she heard the sound of small feet and looked up.
' Perhaps it's the Mouse,' she thought.
Chapter 4 The White Rabbit's House
It was not the Mouse. It was the White Rabbit. He came slowly into the room.
' Oh, my ears and nose!' he said quietly.' The Duchess! The Duchess! She'll be angry! They'll cut off my head, I know! Oh, where is it ? Where did it fall ?'
'He's looking for his hat,' thought Alice.
She wanted to help him, but she couldn't see the hat anywhere. She looked round. Everything was different now. She wasn't in the long room any more, and there was no table or water. She was outside again, in the country.
The White Rabbit saw her. 'What are you doing out here, Mary Ann ?' he asked angrily.' Run home this minute and bring me a hat. Quick, now!'
Alice didn't say,' I'm not Mary Ann.' She felt too afraid. She ran fast and after a short time, she came to a pretty little house. Above the door were the words 'w. RABBIT'. She went in and ran up the stairs. ' This is very strange,' she thought.' I hope I don't meet Mary Ann. Why am I bringing a rabbit his hat ? Perhaps when I get home, I'll do things for Dinah. Perhaps I'll watch mouse-holes for her!'
She went into a small room. There, on a table, was a hat and a little bottle. Alice took the hat and looked at the bottle. It didn't have the words' DRINK ME' on it, but she drank from it.
'I know something interesting will happen,' she thought. 'When I eat or drink something here, it always does. I hope I get bigger this time. I don't like being small.'
She drank half the bottle. 'Oh, I'm getting much taller!' she cried.' Oh!' Her head hit the top of the house and she put the bottle down quickly.
' Oh no!' she thought.' I hope I don't get taller!'
She sat down. But after a very short time she was too big for the room. She had to put one arm out of the window and one foot in the fireplace.
' I can't do any more,' she thought.' What will happen to me ?'
She waited for some time, but she didn't get bigger.
'Well, that's good,' she thought. But then she tried to move and couldn't. She didn't feel well and she was very unhappy.
' I'm never going to get out of here,' she thought.' It was much nicer at home. First I get larger, then I get smaller, then larger ... Oh, why did I go down the rabbit-hole? But it is interesting here. Perhaps somebody will write a book about this place — and about me! Perhaps I will, when I'm bigger.' Then she remembered.' But I'm bigger now!'
She heard somebody outside.' Mary Ann, Mary Ann! Where are you ? Bring me my hat!' The words came from the garden, outside the window. It was the White Rabbit.
He came inside and ran up the stairs to the room. He tried to open the door. But he couldn't because Alice's back was next to it.
' I'll climb in through the window,' the Rabbit said.
'Oh no, you won't,' thought Alice. She waited and listened. One of her arms was outside the window. When she could hear the Rabbit outside the window, she moved her arm up and down. There was a little cry.
' Pat, Pat, where are you ? Come here!' shouted the Rabbit.
' Coming, sir,' somebody — or something — answered.
' What's that in the window ?' asked the Rabbit.
' It's an arm, sir,' Pat answered.
'Don't be stupid! How can it be an arm? It's too big!'
' It is very big, but it is an arm, sir.'
' Well, what's it doing up there ? Take it away!' said the Rabbit angrily.
Alice moved her arm again. Now there were two little cries. Everything was quiet for a short time, then something hard hit her arm.
' That hurt!' said Alice.
Something came through the window and fell on the floor. Alice looked down. It was a little cake.
'A cake ? Why did they throw a cake ?' she wondered.
Then she thought,' I'll eat it and perhaps I'll get smaller again. I can't get bigger!' So she ate the cake and two or three minutes later she was small again. She ran out of the house as quickly as she could.
The White Rabbit saw her. He ran after her but Alice ran too fast for him. After some time, she came to a wood. She was tired because she was very small now.
' I have to get bigger again,' said Alice.' But how ? I have to eat or drink something, but the question is — what ?'
That was the question. She looked all round her, but she couldn't see anything with 'eat me' or 'drink me' on it. There were some mushrooms near her. Some were white and some were brown.'I eat mushrooms for dinner,' she thought. 'I'll eat some mushroom and perhaps I'll get bigger again.'
One white mushroom was as big as Alice. She stood up tall and looked over the top. There, on top of the mushroom, was a large green caterpillar.
The Caterpillar looked at Alice for some time before it spoke. Then it said slowly,' Who are you ?'
It was a difficult question. 'I ... I don't really know, sir,' Alice said. 'I was Alice when I got up this morning. But then I changed — and then I changed again — and again.'
' What do you mean ?' the Caterpillar asked.
'I don't know,'Alice answered.' You see, I'm not me now.'
' I don't understand,' said the Caterpillar.
'I'll try and tell you,' said Alice.'You see, I change all the time. It's very difficult for me.'
' Why ? I can change very easily.'
'Well, perhaps it's not difficult for you, but it is for me,' . said Alice.
' For you ? Who are you ?' said the Caterpillar and laughed. ■Alice felt angry. 'It asked me that question before,' she thought. She stood very tall and said,' I will tell you, but first, you tell me. Who are you ?'
' Why do I have to tell you ?' asked the Caterpillar.
This was another difficult question and Alice could not answer it.
'This caterpillar isn't very friendly,' she thought. So she walked away.
'Gome back!' the Caterpillar called. 'I want to tell you something important.' Alice turned and came back again.
' Don't get angry,' said the Caterpillar.
' Is that all? 'Alice asked. She felt very angry with the Caterpillar.
' No,' said the Caterpillar.
It did not speak for some minutes, then it said, 'So you're different, are you ?'
'Yes, I am, sir,' said Alice.' I can't remember things, and my size changes all the time. Sometimes I get bigger and then I get smaller again.'
'So you can't remember things,' said the Caterpillar.'Try this. Repeat, "You are old, Father William."'
Alice put her hands behind her back and repeated:
'And your hair is now very white;
So why do you often stand on your head —
Do you think at your age it is right ?'
' You are old, Father William,' the young man said, 'You are old and really quite fat; But you jump up and down and turn round and round, Now what is the answer to that ?'
' That is not right,' said the Caterpillar.
' I know. Some of the words are different,' said Alice.
' It's wrong from beginning to end,' said the Caterpillar. It was quiet for a time. Then it asked,' What size would you like to be ?'
' I'd like to be taller,' said Alice.' Seven centimetres is too small.'
'Seven centimetres is a very good size,' said the Caterpillar angrily It stood up very tall.
' It's a good size for you, but not for me,' said Alice. And she thought,'Why does it get angry all the time?'
The Caterpillar was quiet for some minutes. Then it climbed down the mushroom. 'Eat from my mushroom and you'll get bigger. Eat from that brown mushroom there and you'll get smaller,' it said. It started to move away. A minute later, it vanished behind a flower and Alice never saw it again.
Alice looked at the two mushrooms and thought for a minute. Then she went to the Caterpillar's mushroom and broke off some of it with her right hand. She went to the brown mushroom and did the same with her left hand.
She ate some of the brown mushroom. Suddenly, her head hit her foot.
' Oh!' she cried.' I'm really small!'
She quickly ate a little from the white mushroom in her left hand. She started to get bigger. She ate some more, and got very tall. Then she ate some from one hand and some from the other. In a short time, she was her right size again.
She felt quite strange.' What shall I do now ?' she wondered.' I know! I'll look for that beautiful garden.'
She began to walk through the wood. After some time, she came to a little house. It was about one metre high.
' I can't go inside, I'm too big,' Alice thought.' The people in the house will be afraid of me. I know! I'll eat some of the brown mushroom.'
When she was 18 centimetres high, she walked to the house. She opened the door and went in.
Inside, a large, ugly woman sat with a baby in her arms. There was a cook by the fire and there was food on the table. Near the fire, there was a large cat with a big smile. This smile went from ear to ear on its face.
'I think that woman is the Duchess,' thought Alice.' Can girls speak to Duchesses ?' she wondered.
But the Duchess did not say anything to her, so Alice asked, ' Please, why is your cat smiling ?'
' Because it's a Cheshire Cat, that's why,' said the Duchess.
' So Cheshire Cats can smile. I didn't know that,' said Alice.
' You don't know much,' said the Duchess.
' That's not very polite,' thought Alice.
She started to say something. Suddenly, the cook threw a plate at the Duchess. The Duchess didn't move. The cook threw more things - plates, cups, spoons. Some of them hit the Duchess and the baby. The Duchess did nothing, but the baby started to cry. ' Oh, don't throw things at the baby!' cried Alice.' You'll hit its pretty nose!'
' You be quiet, it isn't your baby!' the Duchess shouted. She began to sing to it. These were the words of the song:
The cook sang the song too. When they finished, they sang it again. The Duchess started to throw the baby up and down. At the end of the song, she threw the baby to Alice.
'Here, you can have it now,' she said. 'I have to get ready. I'm going to see the Queen.'
The cook threw another plate at the Duchess. It didn't hit her, but she left the room quickly.
Alice looked at the baby. It was a strange little thing and not very pretty. She took it outside.' I'll have to take this child away from here, or they'll kill it!' she thought. The baby made a strange little sound and she looked at it again.
' Its nose is changing!' she cried. She looked at it very carefully. ' Its face is changing, everything is changing! Oh! It's not a baby any more, it's a pig!'
It was very strange, but the baby was now a pig.
' What am I going to do with it ?' Alice thought. The pig made another, louder sound. Alice put the little animal down and it ran happily away into the wood.
'It wasn't a pretty baby, but it's quite a pretty pig,' thought Alice.
She looked round her and jumped. The Cheshire Cat was up in one of the trees. The Cat smiled at Alice.
' It looks kind, but perhaps it will get angry. They all get angry in this place,' thought Alice. So she spoke to it very politely. ' Cheshire Cat, dear,' she said.
The Cat's smile got bigger.
'Please, can you help me? I want to go somewhere new,' said Alice.
'Where do you want to go ?' asked the Cat.
' Somewhere different,' Alice said.
'Somewhere different,' repeated the Cat. It thought for a minute or two. Then it said, 'Walk that way and you'll come to a house. A man lives there. He makes hats and he's very strange. We call him the "Mad Hatter".'
' But I don't want to meet a strange man,' said Alice.
The cat didn't answer her. It said,' Walk this way and you'll find the March Hare. He's strange too.'
'But I told you, I don't want to meet strange animals.'
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all strange here. I'm strange. You're strange.'
' How do you know I'm strange ?' asked Alice.
' Of course you are,' the Cat said. 'Everybody's strange here. I'm very strange. I laugh when I'm sad, and I cry when I'm happy. That's strange. Are you going to see the Queen today?She's quite strange too.'
'I'd like to see the Queen,'Alice said, 'but I haven't got an invitation.'
'You'll see me in the Queen's garden,' said the Cheshire Cat, and vanished.
'That's strange, but not very strange,' thought Alice. She waited for two minutes, and the Cat came back again.
' What happened to the baby ?' it asked.
' It changed into a pig,' Alice said.
' I knew it!' said the Cat and vanished again.
Alice stayed under the tree for a short time. ' Perhaps it will come back again,' she thought. But it didn't.
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