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 anymore, 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 mushrooms 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.


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