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two little shrieks, and more

sounds of broken glass. ‘What a number of cucumber-frames

there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I wonder what they’ll do next!

As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they could!

I’m sure I don’t want to stay in here any longer!’

She waited for some time without hearing anything more:

at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound

of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the

words: ‘Where’s the other ladder?—Why, I hadn’t to bring but

one; Bill’s got the other—Bill! fetch it here, lad!—Here, put

‘em up at this corner—No, tie ‘em together first—they don’t


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

reach half high enough yet—Oh! they’ll do well enough;

don’t be particular— Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will

the roof bear?—Mind that loose slate—Oh, it’s coming down!

Heads below!’ (a loud crash)—‘Now, who did that?—It was

Bill, I fancy—Who’s to go down the chimney?—Nay, I shan’t!

you do it!—That I won’t, then!—Bill’s to go down—Here, Bill!

the master says you’re to go down the chimney!’

‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has he?’ said

Alice to herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I

wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good deal: this fireplace is nar-

row, to be sure; but I think I can kick a little!’

She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could,

and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn’t guess

of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the

chimney close above her: then, saying to herself ‘This is Bill,’

she gave one sharp kick, and waited to see what would hap-

pen next.

The first thing she heard was a general chorus of ‘There

goes Bill!’ then the Rabbit’s voice along—‘Catch him, you

by the hedge!’ then silence, and then another confusion of

voices—‘Hold up his head—Brandy now—Don’t choke

him—How was it, old fellow? What happened to you? Tell

us all about it!’

Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, (’That’s Bill,’

thought Alice,) ‘Well, I hardly know—No more, thank ye;

I’m better now—but I’m a deal too flustered to tell you—all I

know is, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and

up I goes like a sky-rocket!’

‘So you did, old fellow!’ said the others.

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‘We must burn the house down!’ said the Rabbit’s voice;

and Alice called out as loud as she could, ‘If you do. I’ll set

Dinah at you!’

There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to

herself, ‘I wonder what they will do next! If they had any

sense, they’d take the roof off.’ After a minute or two, they

began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, ‘A

barrowful will do, to begin with.’

‘A barrowful of what?’ thought Alice; but she had not long

to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came

rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her in the

face. ‘I’ll put a stop to this,’ she said to herself, and shouted

out, ‘You’d better not do that again!’ which produced another

dead silence.

Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were

all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a

bright idea came into her head. ‘If I eat one of these cakes,’

she thought, ‘it’s sure to make some change in my size; and

as it can’t possibly make me larger, it must make me smaller,

I suppose.’

So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to

find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was

small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the

house, and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds

waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the mid-

dle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it

something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the

moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could,

and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘The first thing I’ve got to do,’ said Alice to herself, as she

wandered about in the wood, ‘is to grow to my right size

again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely

garden. I think that will be the best plan.’

It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly

and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not

the smallest idea how to set about it; and while she was peer-

ing about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just

over her head made her look up in a great hurry.

An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large

round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch

her. ‘Poor little thing!’ said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she

tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all

the time at the thought that it might be hungry, in which case

it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her coax-

ing.Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit

of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy

jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of de-

light, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it;

then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to keep herself from

being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other

side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled

head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, think-

ing it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse,

and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet,

ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of

short charges at the stick, running a very little way forwards

each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the

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while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its

tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.

This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her

escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was quite tired

and out of breath, and till the puppy’s bark sounded quite

faint in the distance.

‘And yet what a dear little puppy it was!’ said Alice, as she

leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself

with one of the leaves: ‘I should have liked teaching it tricks

very much, if—if I’d only been the right size to do it! Oh dear!

I’d nearly forgotten that I’ve got to grow up again! Let me

see—how IS it to be managed? I suppose I ought to eat or

drink something or other; but the great question is, what?’

The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all

round her at the flowers and the blades of grass, but she did

not see anything that looked like the right thing to eat or

drink under the circumstances. There was a large mushroom

growing near her, about the same height as herself; and when

she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind

it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what

was on the top of it.

She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the

edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those

of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms

folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the

smallest notice of her or of anything else.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Chapter V.

Advice from a Caterpillar

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some

time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah

out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy


‘Who are you?’ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversa-

tion. Alice replied, rather shyly, ‘I—I hardly know, sir, just

at present— at least I know who I WAS when I got up this

morning, but I think I must have been changed several

times since then.’

‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly.

‘Explain yourself!’

‘I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, ‘because

I’m not myself, you see.’

‘I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very

politely, ‘for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and

being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’

‘It isn’t,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,’ said Alice;

‘but when you have to turn into a chrysalis—you will some

day, you know—and then after that into a butterfly, I should

think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?’

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‘Not a bit,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,’ said Alice;

‘all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.’

‘You!’ said the Caterpillar contemptuously. ‘Who are


Which brought them back again to the beginning of the

conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Caterpillar’s

making such very short remarks, and she drew herself up

and said, very gravely, ‘I think, you ought to tell me who

you are, first.’

‘Why?’ said the Caterpillar.

Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could

not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed

to be in a very unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.

‘Come back!’ the Caterpillar called after her. ‘I’ve some-

thing important to say!’

This sounded promising, certainly: Alice turned and

came back again.

‘Keep your temper,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Is that all?’ said Alice, swallowing down her anger as

well as she could.

‘No,’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had nothing

else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her something

worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away without

speaking, but at last it unfolded its arms, took the hoo-

kah out of its mouth again, and said, ‘So you think you’re

changed, do you?’

‘I’m afraid I am, sir,’ said Alice; ‘I can’t remember things


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

as I used—and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes


‘Can’t remember what things?’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, I’ve tried to say ‘ How doth the little busy bee, ’ but

it all came different!’ Alice replied in a very melancholy


‘Repeat, ‘ you are old, Father Wil iam, ‘ said the Caterpil-

lar.Alice folded her hands, and began:—

‘You are old, Father Wil iam,’ the young man said,

‘And your hair has become very white;

^ And yet you incessantly stand on your head--

Do you think, at your age, it is right?’

‘In my youth,’ Father Wil iam replied to his son,

‘I feared it might injure the brain;

But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,

Why, I do it again and again.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘as I mentioned before,

And have grown most uncommonly fat;

Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--

Pray, what is the reason of that?’

‘In my youth,’ said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,

‘I kept all my limbs very supple

By the use of this ointment--one shil ing the box--

Allow me to sell you a couple?’

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‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak

For anything tougher than suet;

^ Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak--

Pray how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth,’ said his father, ‘I took to the law,

And argued each case with my wife;

And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,

Has lasted the rest of my life.’

‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘one would hardly suppose

That your eye was as steady as ever;

Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--

What made you so awful y clever?’

‘I have answered three questions, and that is enough,’

Said his father; `don’t give yourself airs!

Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?

Be off, or I’ll kick you down stairs!’

‘That is not said right,’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Not quite right, I’m afraid,’ said Alice, timidly; ‘some of

the words have got altered.’

‘It is wrong from beginning to end,’ said the Caterpillar

decidedly, and there was silence for some minutes.

The Caterpillar was the first to speak.

‘What size do you want to be?’ it asked.

‘Oh, I’m not particular as to size,’ Alice hastily replied;


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

‘only one doesn’t like changing so often, you know.’

‘I don’t know,’ said the Caterpillar.

Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contra-

dicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her


‘Are you content now?’ said the Caterpillar.

‘Well, I should like to be a little larger, sir, if you wouldn’t

mind,’ said Alice: ‘three inches is such a wretched height

to be.’

‘It is a very good height indeed!’ said the Caterpillar an-

grily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three

inches high).

‘But I’m not used to it!’ pleaded poor Alice in a pite-

ous tone. And she thought of herself, ‘I wish the creatures

wouldn’t be so easily offended!’

‘You’ll get used to it in time,’ said the Caterpillar; and it

put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak

again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah

out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself.

Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the

grass, merely remarking as it went, ‘One side will make you

grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’

‘One side of
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