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ALICE IN WONDERLAND
PAT – THE LIZARD
CROWD – CARDS
NARRATOR: It was a hot day in the forest, and Alice, a little and happy girl, started getting tired of being seated near her sister who was reading a book under a tree.
ALICE: How can my sister read a book without any pictures?. Oh, if it weren´t so hot I would be making a daisy chain.
NARRATOR: Then suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. The Rabbit said to himself.
WHITE RABBIT: Oh dear!. Oh dear!. Time is out, I will be late!.
NARRATOR: Alice was surprised, then she saw how the Rabbit took out a watch from his waistcoat pocket, and looked at it, and then ran away. Alice stood up quickly.
ALICE: A Rabbit with a waistcoat and a watch!. I have to catch it!.
NARRATOR: Alice ran across the field after the rabbit,and when she was about to catch it, the little animal went inside a large rabbit-hole under the hedge, and said.
WHITE RABBIT: I can´t be late!.
NARRATOR: Alice followed the Rabbit and went inside. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down.
ALICE: I am falling down through a very deep well… but I am falling very slowly! It´s strange, the sides of the well are filled with cupboards and bookshelves, and there are pictures and maps!. Over there, there´s a jar of strawberry jam, mmmmm, I´ll eat it!. Oh, it´s empty!. I´ll put it on the lower cupboard, because if I throw it away I can hurt somebody. When will this well come to and end!. I may have fallen miles and miles!.
NARRATOR: Suddenly the little girl, fell into a pile of dry leaves without getting hurt. Alice stood up, and there was another long passage, and there was the White Rabbit still running.
WHITE RABBIT: Oh my ears and whiskers, now I am really late!.
NARRATOR: Once again the little girl was about to catch it, when the Rabbit turned to a corner, and disappeared. Alice was in a great low room, very well lit up, and surrounded by doors of different sizes. She tried to opened them.
ALICE: All the doors are locked! How am I going to get out of here?… I should have brought my little cat, that way I wouldn´t feel so lonely!. Over there, in the middle of the room there´s a glass table. But where did it come from?. A few minutes ago it wasn´t there. I am sure of that! . Over the table there´s a tiny golden key, mmmm, it´s too small, it doesn´t open any door!.
NARRATOR: However, on the second time round, Alice saw behind a curtain, a very tiny door, she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight, the door opened. The door led into a small narrow passage. She knelt down and looked along the passage, the loveliest garden she had ever seen.
ALICE: Oh, I want to go to that garden!. But how could I?. I will never fit through the little door. Oh, if I could shut up like a telescope, then I could surely go to that garden. I´ll see if over the table I can find another key. Oh, well, there´s no other key!. But, what is this little bottle?. It wasn´t here before!. It´s says in the label, DRINK ME. I´ll see it it doesn´t say poison. No, nothing indicates it´s poison, I´ll taste it, mmmm, I like it, I´ll drink the whole bottle. I feel strange. I am getting smaller, just like a telescope.
NARRATOR: She was now only ten inches high. Then she went to the little door, hoping to get out to the garden. But, poor Alice, the door was locked, and she forgot the key over the table. She tried to get it by climbing up one of the legs of the table, but since it was made of glass, it was too slippery. Then she sat down on the floor, and cried.
ALICE: I am behaving like a fool. There´s no use in crying!. But, under the table there´s a little box!.
NARRATOR: Alice opened the little box, and said.
ALICE: It has a small cake that says EAT ME!. Well, I´ll eat it. Something marvelous has to happen. I have learned that in this place, everything is marvelous.
NARRATOR: She ate a little bite, but she noticed there was no difference, so she kept eating until she finished the whole cake. Then…
ALICE: I am getting bigger!. Good-bye dear feet! . You are almost out of sight, so far off!. When I want to change my shoes, I will have to send them with a messenger with a note that says: This shoes are a gift from Alice to her own feet. Oh, what nonsense I´m thinking!. What´s worse, is that I keep growing!. Oh! I hurt my head with the roof!. I am more that nine feet high! I am a big girl!. But now I can take the key.
NARRATOR: Poor big girl. But the only thing she could do was to lie down on the floor, and look through the door into the garden with one eye. Then she began to cry again.
ALICE: I should be ashamed of myself!. It´s not right that a great girl like me, cries like a baby.
NARRATOR: But she kept crying and crying, until there was a large pool of tears all around her. Then she heard some footsteps, and at last she stopped crying. There it was, the White Rabbit, very splendidly dressed, with a pair of white gloves in one hand, and a fan in the other.
WHITE RABBIT: Oh, by this time the Duchess must be savage!. I can´t keep her waiting anymore!.
ALICE: Mr. Rabbit!. Mr. Rabbit!. Wait Please!. Just a moment!. Listen to me!.
NARRATOR: When the Rabbit heard Alice, it got scared and dropped the white gloves and the fan, and ran away as fast as it could. Alice picked up the gloves and the fan, and since it was hot, she fanned herself, and said.
ALICE: What a day!. Yesterday everything was so normal. Oh, I am getting smaller again!. I wonder why!. Maybe it´s the fan!.
NARRATOR: She dropped the fan just when she was about to disappeared.
ALICE: Now I can go to the garden!. But what´s this?. I have fallen into salt water.
NARRATOR: The salt water was her own pool of tears she had wept when she was nine feet high.
ALICE: I wish I hadn´t cried so much!.
NARRATOR: She started to swim when she heard something splashing in the pool.
ALICE: Someone is swimming!. Oh, it´s a hippopotamus!. No, it´s a walrus!. Oh, it´s a mouse!. But since now I am small, I see it huge!. I will talk to the mouse, maybe it can answer me!
NARRATOR: So she said.
ALICE: Tell me, mouse, do you know the way out of this pool?.
NARRATOR: The mouse looked at her, but it didn´t answer. Alice thought that maybe the mouse didn´t understand English, so she said the only thing she could remember in French.
ALICE: Ou est ma chatte?.
NARRATOR: Which means where is my cat?. Suddenly, the Mouse got out of the water.
ALICE: Oh, please forgive me!. I forgot mice don´t like cats.
MOUSE: Look little girl!. I have my own reasons to dislike cats, someday I will tell you my story, and then you will understand how I feel. But let´s swim to the shore. Look!. We have company. The pool is full of creatures!.
ALICE: It´s true!. It´s a parrot, a duck, and eagle, and many more!.
NARRATOR: Alice swam near the little animals. After a while they were on shore.
ALICE: We are all wet!.
MOUSE: I agree with you!. What do you think, parrot?.
PARROT: I think we should have a race-course.
ALICE: A race course?. What´s that?.
PARROT: You don´t know?. Look, it´s a sort of circle, but the shape doesn’t really matter. When I say ready, everybody will start running. Ready!. Go!.
NARRATOR: Everybody started running, and half an hour later, the parrot said.
PARROT: Everybody is dry!. The race is over!.
MOUSE: Who won?.
PARROT: Everybody has won!. All of you have to receive a prize.
DUCK: Who will give the prizes?.
EAGLE: Yes, who?.
PARROT: The little girl, obviously!
NARRATOR: Alice didn´t know what to do. She put her hand in her pocket and pulled out a box of candies, and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round.
MOUSE: What about her?. Isn´t she going to receive a prize?.
PARROT: Of course she is!. Let´s see Alice, what else do you have in your other pocket?.
ALICE: Let me see. Only a thimble.
PARROT: Give it to me. Please accept this elegant thimble, as a prize.
NARRATOR: They all cheered. Alice thought that everything was so strange, but when she saw their faces so grave, she didn´t dare to laugh, so she just said.
ALICE: It´s an honor for me to accept this beautiful prize. My thimble was just what I needed. Dear Mouse, you promised to tell me your story, I will he glad to hear it.
MOUSE: I must tell you, that my story is very sad and long as my tail.
ALICE: Your tail is long.
NARRATOR: The girl was looking at the mouse´s tail, but she didn´t know why was it sad. Alice didn´t pay attention to the mouse´s story, so when the mouse finished talking, he said.
MOUSE: Little girl, you are not paying attention. What are you thinking of?. I have a knot in my throat!.
ALICE: A knot!. Oh, let me help you undo it!. I always undo the ribbon my cat has in her neck.
MOUSE: Young lady, you insult me and offend me!.
ALICE: You always get offended!.
MOUSE: You need more education!. I am leaving!.
ALICE: He´s gone!. Now can I talk with the parrot and the birds, about Dinah, my cat.
PARROT: Who´s Dinah?.
ALICE: Dinah is my little cat. She´s good at catching mice and birds!. Oh, I wish you could see her after the birds!. She eats them as soon as she looks at them!.
PARROT: Let´s go friends, we can´t talk with this girl. That´s why the mouse left. Follow me!.
ALICE: Please, don´t leave me alone!. They are gone!. I should have never talked about Dinah!. In this strange country nobody likes cats. Someone is coming, maybe it´s the mouse who changed his mind, but no… It´s the White Rabbit!.
WHITE RABBIT: The Duchess!. The Duchess!. Oh my fur and whiskers!. She’ll get me executed, as sure as two plus two are eight!. Where did I leave the gloves?.
NARRATOR: The Rabbit was looking for the gloves and the fan. Alice, wishing to help, began looking for them. But everything was changed since she was swimming in the pool. Like magic, the room had vanished completely. At last, the Rabbit noticed Alice, and said.
WHITE RABBIT: Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here?. Run home this moment, and bring me another pair of gloves and a fan!. Quick, now!.
NARRATOR: Alice was so frightened that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without trying to explain the mistake it had made.
ALICE: He took me for his housemaid, but I’d better take him his fan and gloves, that is, if I can find them.
NARRATOR: As she said this, she came upon a very beautiful little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate with the name White R engraved upon it
ALICE: White R?. Maybe it means White Rabbit. I will go in. I hope I don´t find the real Mary Ann. Anyway it´s funny!. I am the messenger of a rabbit!. Oh, how lucky I am, over the table there is a pair of gloves and a fan, and a little bottle!. I will drink it, and I hope I can grow large again, I am getting tired of being so small.
NARRATOR: In fact, as soon as she drank the little bottle, she grew so fast that she had to take an arm out of the window, and a leg up the chimney. Fortunately, the little magic bottle had now no effect. Still it was very uncomfortable, and, since there was no chance of getting out of the room again, she started crying. After a while she heard a voice outside.
WHITE RABBIT: Mary Ann!. Mary Ann!. Answer me!. Where are my pair of gloves?. Can´t you hear me?. What is going on!. The door is not opening. Mary Ann, tell me why you locked the door?. Answer me!. Very good, then I´ll go in through the window.
NARRATOR: The rabbit was just under the window, when Alice opened her hand, and made a snatch in the air, but she didn´t catch anything. Then there was a crash of broken glass, and the rabbit shouted.
NARRATOR: Next, the Rabbit with an angry voice, said.
WHITE RABBIT: Pat!. Pat!. Where are you?. Pat!. Pat!.
PAT: Here I am, digging for apples.
WHITE RABBIT: Come and help me get out of here!. Tell me what you see in the window.
PAT: I see an arm, your honor.
WHITE RABBIT: What do you mean, an arm?. Who has ever seen an arm that big?.
PAT: Well, I insist, it´s an arm.
WHITE RABBIT: Then, why is an arm there?. Take it away!.
PAT: I am scared of the arm.
WHITE RABBIT: Don´t be a coward!. Then go down through the chimney!. I order you to do it!.
PAT: Very well, I will go down the chimney.
ALICE: Oh, I will kick him.
NARRATOR: Alice kicked Pat so hard, that he flew through the air. Then she heard animal voices.
ANIMALS: Look!. Look!. It´s Pat
WHITE RABBIT: Hold up his head!.
ANIMAL 1: Don’t choke him.
ANIMAL 2: How was it?.
WHITE RABBIT: What happened to you?. Tell us all about it!.
PAT: I don´t know, suddenly I was thrown through the air like a sky-rocket!.
WHITE RABBIT: We could see that!. And since there´s nothing else we can do, we must burn the house down!.
NARRATOR: Alice could not see what was happening outside, but she could hear them, so she said.
ALICE: Wait! And you Mr. Rabbit, if you burn the house, I´ll set my cat Dinah at you!. I am warning you, she likes to eat rabbits!.
NARRATOR: There was silence instantly, and Alice waited for an answer. At lastShe felt a shower of little pebbles coming from the window, and some of them hit her in the face. Alice noticed that the pebbles were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright idea came into her head.
ALICE: I´ll eat one of these cakes, and I hope I will not grow bigger.
NARRATOR: She ate a cake, and she began shrinking. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house, and found a crowd of little animals around a lizard, which was Pat, who was in the middle of them. When they saw her, they chased her, but Alice ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a fores
ALICE: Now I have to eat or drink something to grow to my right size again. I wonder what it will be.
NARRATOR: Near her there was a big mushroom. She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and she saw a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top smoking a long hookah. The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each. At last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and talked to her in a languid voice.
CATERPILLAR: Who are you?.
ALICE: I suppose I don´t know. 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.
CATERPILLAR: What do you mean by that?. Explain yourself!.
ALICE: I´m afraid I can’t explain myself. But when you have to turn into a chrysalis, and then after that into a butterfly, you will feel like I do.
CATERPILLAR: Chrysalis… butterfly… I don´t like the idea. Now tell me, who are you?.
ALICE: IT´s better if I go, Mr. Caterpillar, or we will start the conversation all over again. Put the hookah into your mouth and start smoking again. See you!
CATERPILLAR: Come back!. I’ve something important to say!.
NARRATOR: Alice turned and came back again.
ALICE: What is it?.
CATERPILLAR: Keep your temper.
ALICE: Is that all?.
CATERPILLAR: Of course not. So you think you have changed?.
ALICE: I don´t think so. I don’t keep the same size for fifteen minutes together!.
CATERPILLAR: Are you content now?.
ALICE: Impossible. I would like to be a little larger. I must measure three inches height. It´s ridiculous!.
CATERPILLAR: It is a very good height!. That´s what I measure.
ALICE: Forgive me, Mr. Caterpillar, don´t feel offended, but I am not used to being so small.
CATERPILLAR: You’ll get used to it.
NARRATOR: The Caterpillar put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again. Then it took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned several times. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, and said.
CATERPILLAR: One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.
ALICE: One side of what?. The other side of what?.
CATERPILLAR: Of the mushroom, everybody knows that.
NARRATOR: As soon as the Caterpillar left, Alice stretched her arms, and cut a piece of the mushroom. One piece with her right arm, and another piece with her left arm. Then she ate a little from both hands until she was of normal size. Then she put some bread in her pocket, and kept walking through the forest. Suddenly she saw a large black cat who was grinning from ear to ear, it was Cheshire Cat.
ALICE: Oh, would you tell me, please, which way I have to go from here?.
CHESHIRE CAT: Ha, ha, ha, ha, that depends on where you want to get to.
ALICE: I don’t care that much.
CHESHIRE CAT: THEN it doesn’t matter which way you go.
ALICE: As long as I get somewhere. What kind of people live here?.
CHESHIRE CAT: To the north, lives a Hatter. And to the south lives a March Hare. Visit either you like, they’re both mad.
ALICE: But I don’t like mad people.
CHESHIRE CAT: We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.
ALICE: Why do you say that?. How do you know I’m mad?.
CHESHIRE CAT: Because you are here. Tell me, are you going to play croquet with the Queen today?.
ALICE: I like croquet, but I haven’t been invited yet.
CHESHIRE CAT: Anyway, you’ll see me there.
NARRATOR: And the Cat vanished. But it vanished quite slowly. First, its tail. Then, its legs. Next, its body, and finally its grim.
CHESHIRE CAT: Ha, ha, ha, ha.
ALICE: This is funny!. I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! I´ll go visit the Hare.
NARRATOR: She hadn´t gone much farther, when she saw the house of the March Hare. The chimneys were shaped like ears and the roof was made of fur. She walked toward the house, and ate a small piece of the magical mushroom. There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it. A Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion. The table was large but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. When Alice approached them, they said.
MARCH HARE, HATTER: There´s no room for you!. There´s no room!.
ALICE: Of course there is!. I´ll sit down in that armchair.
MARCH HARE: Then drink some wine!.
ALICE: How can I drink wine, if there´s only tea!.
MARCH HARE: I knew there wasn´t any wine.
ALICE: Then why are you telling me to drink it. You are not being polite!.
MARCH HARE: Well, it´s also not polite to sit down without being invited.
ALICE: I didn’t know it was your table, it’s set for more than four.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, the Hatter was looking at Alice silently. Finally he said.
HATTER: You should cut your hair, it´s too long.
ALICE: I can see that they they didn´t tell you not to make personal remarks.
HATTER: Tell me, why is a raven like a writing-desk?.
ALICE: I like riddles. I think I can guess that.
MARCH HARE: Do you mean you know the answer?.
ALICE: Yes, I do.
MARCH HARE: Tell me what you think. Say what you mean.
ALICE: I do, at least I mean what I say, it´s the same thing.
HATTER: It´s not the same thing. Is it the same thing to say I see what I eat, as I eat what I see?. …or I like what I have, as I have what I like?. Or I breathe when I sleep, as I sleep when I breathe?.
NARRATOR: There was silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks. Then the Hatter said while looking at his watch.
HATTER: What day is today?.
ALICE: It´s the fourth.
HATTER: This watch is wrong for two days. I told you March Hare, that butter wouldn’t work.
MARCH HARE: It was the best butter. Let me see your watch. I´ll dip it into the tea and I hope it works.
ALICE: What a funny watch. It tells the day of the month, but not the time.
HATTER: Does your watch tells you what year it is?.
ALICE: Of course not.
HATTER: Then I see nothing strange with mine.The Dormouse is asleep again, I´ll pour a little hot tea in its nose. Now that I remember, do you have the answer to the riddle?.
ALICE: No, I give up, what’s the answer?.
HATTER: We don´t have the slightest idea. Isn´t it right, March Hare?.
MARCH HARE: That´s right. We are getting bored. Tell us a story, young lady.
ALICE: Right now, I can´t remember any.
MARCH HARE: Then the Dormouse will.
ALICE: But the Dormouse is sleeping.
DORMOUSE: I´m not asleep. I heard every word you said.
HATTER: Tell us something.
ALICE: Yes, please!.
HATTER: Don´t talk, young lady!.
NARRATOR: Alice was angry at his rudeness, she stood up and walked off. Neither of the others tried to stop her, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.
ALICE: I don´t want to see you again!. Oh, in that tree!. There´s a little door!. I´ll go in. But what a beautiful garden!. It´s the one I saw through the little door in that room!. There are colorful flowers and cool fountains!.
NARRATOR: A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden. The roses growing on it were white, but there were three poker cards, who were gardeners. busily painting them red. Alice heard their conversation.
TWO: Look out, Five!. You´re splashing paint all over me!.
FIVE: It wasn´t me. It was Seven, he pushed me with his elbow.
SEVEN: You are always blaming me.
FIVE: Seven, be quiet. Yesterday, the Queen said you deserved to be beheaded!.
SEVEN: That’s none of your business, Two!. Look, a little girl!.
ALICE: Would you be so kind to tell me why you are painting those roses?.
TWO: You see, Miss, we made a mistake. We planted a white rose tree, instead of a red one, just as the Queen told us. So we are doing our best, before she comes.
SEVEN: Quiet!. The Queen!.
NARRATOR: The three gardeners instantly threw themselves to the floor, flat on their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps, and Alice looked around, eager to see the Queen. First came twenty soldiers carrying clubs; these were all shaped like the three gardeners, they were poker cards. Next the courtiers. After these came the royal children, they were ornamented with hearts, jumping merrily along hand in hand. Next came the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among them, the White Rabbit. Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King’s crown, and, last of all this grand procession, came the King and Queen of Hearts. When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said.
QUEEN: Who is she?. Nobody knows!. What’s your name, child?.
ALICE: My name is Alice, your Majesty.
NARRATOR: But she added, to herself.
ALICE: I shouldn´t be afraid, they are only a pack of cards.
QUEEN: And who are these on the floor?. All my courtiers are the same on the opposite side!. Answer me, Alice!.
ALICE: How should I know?. It’s none of my business.
QUEEN: Off with her head!.
CROWD: Yes!. Off with her head!.
KING: One moment, I the King have the right to speak. Don´t you see my dear Queen, that she is only a child?. Maybe she knows how to play croquet.
QUEEN: If she knows how to play, I will forgive her. Alice, follow me, stand beside the Rabbit.
ALICE: Hello, Mr. Rabbit, we finally meet again. Where´s the Duchess?.
WHITE RABBIT: Quiet!. She will be executed.
WHITE RABBIT: She was late, the Queen was angry, and the Duchess slapped her.
ALICE: Ha, ha, it´s funny.
WHITE RABBIT: The Queen will hear you!. We have arrived to the croquet-ground.
NARRATOR: The ground was strange. It was all ridges and furrows. The balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches. When the Queen shouted, people began running in all directions, tumbling up against each other. But when someone was about to beat the Queen, she shouted.
QUEEN: Off with his head!.
NARRATOR: Alice played as best as she could, but when she beat the Queen, she said.
QUEEN: Off with her head!.
ALICE: You can´t leave me without my head. I have the right to be judged!.
QUEEN: Very well, let´s go to my palace!.
NARRATOR: That´s how Alice entered the palace, accused of beating the Queen in a croquet game. There was a jury. The Hatter and the March Hare were the Members of the Jury. Alice imagined herself without her head, so she took from her pocket a piece of cake, ate it, and said to herself.
ALICE: If I grow to my full size, I will be safe. It´s my only chance. Yes, I am growing, I´m getting bigger and bigger!.
QUEEN: I will say the sentence first, then the verdict. Off with her head!.
ALICE: I don´t think you can make it, Queen of Hearts!. You´re nothing but a card!. And I am big!.
QUEEN: I order you to be quiet!.
ALICE: I will not be quiet!. All of you are only a pack of cards!. I am not afraid of you!.
NARRATOR: Then all the cards stood up and angrily came flying down upon her. The little girl tried to beat them off, but she couldn´t. She tried to stood up, but then she found out she had her head in the lap of her sister, and that everything had been a wonderful dream.
ALICE: Dear sister, I had such a curious dream!. Someday I will tell you about it.
NARRATOR: Suddenly, Alice saw a Rabbit.
ALICE: Look!. Look sister!. A White Rabbit with a waistcoat and a watch! I´ll follow him!. Come!. Come with me to wonderland!.
Author: Lewis Carroll
Adapted by K I D S I N C O
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Read the original story at: http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/results
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass byLewis Carroll. A classic children´s book. In the middle of the book was a letter written by Lewis Carroll in 1876 to the children who were reading his book. It comes at the end of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and it says:
An Easter Greeting
Every Child Who Loves
Please to fancy, if you can, that you are reading a real letter, from a real friend whom you have seen, and whose voice you can seem to yourself to hear wishing you, as I do now with all my heart, a happy Easter.
Do you know that delicious dreamy feeling when one first wakes on a summer morning, with the twitter of birds in the air, and the fresh breeze coming in at the open window–when, lying lazily with eyes half shut, one sees as in a dream green boughs waving, or waters rippling in a golden light? It is a pleasure very near to sadness, bringing tears to one’s eyes like a beautiful picture or poem. And is not that a Mother’s gentle hand that undraws your curtains, and a Mother’s sweet voice that summons you to rise? To rise and forget, in the bright sunlight, the ugly dreams that frightened you so when all was dark–to rise and enjoy another happy day, first kneeling to thank that unseen Friend, who sends you the beautiful sun?
Are these strange words from a writer of such tales as “Alice”? And is this a strange letter to find in a book of nonsense? It may be so. Some perhaps may blame me for thus mixing together things grave and gay; others may smile and think it odd that any one should speak of solemn things at all, except in church and on a Sunday: but I think–nay, I am sure–that some children will read this gently and lovingly, and in the spirit in which I have written it.
For I do not believe God means us thus to divide life into two halves–to wear a grave face on Sunday, and to think it out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a week-day. Do you think He cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only tones of prayer–and that He does not also love to see the lambs leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the children, as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from the “dim religious light” of some solemn cathedral?
And if I have written anything to add to those stores of innocent and healthy amusement that are laid up in books for the children I love so well, it is surely something I may hope to look back upon without shame and sorrow (as how much of life must then be recalled!) when my turn comes to walk through the valley of shadows.
This Easter sun will rise on you, dear child, feeling your “life in every limb,” and eager to rush out into the fresh morning air–and many an Easter-day will come and go, before it finds you feeble and gray-headed, creeping wearily out to bask once more in the sunlight–but it is good, even now, to think sometimes of that great morning when the “Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.”
Surely your gladness need not be the less for the thought that you will one day see a brighter dawn than this–when lovelier sights will meet your eyes than any waving trees or rippling waters–when angel-hands shall undraw your curtains, and sweeter tones than ever loving Mother breathed shall wake you to a new and glorious day–and when all the sadness, and the sin, that darkened life on this little earth, shall be forgotten like the dreams of a night that is past!
Your affectionate friend,
Tags: Alice, Alice in Wonderland, bottle, cake, cards, cat, Cheshire Cat, croquet, duck, Hare, king, mushroom, parrot, queen, rabbit, Wonderland