I. Through the Rabbit-Hole
[ 1 ] One summer afternoon, Alice was sitting on a riverbank listening to her sister read a book. She was beginning to get very tired of listening, because the hot day made her feel very sleepy and her sister’s book didn’t have any pictures or conversations in it.
[ 2 ] ‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without any pictures or conversations?’
Suddenly, just as Alice’s eyes were beginning to close, a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran past her.
[ 3 ] There was nothing very strange in that; nor did Alice think it was so unusual to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I will be late!’
[ 4 ] But when the Rabbit took a watch out of its pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried away, Alice jumped to her feet, for she suddenly realised that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a pocket, or a watch to take out of it.
[ 5 ] Full of curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it go down a large rabbit-hole.
[ 6 ] Alice followed the rabbit down the rabbit-hole, without thinking about how she was going to get out again.
[ 7 ] First the rabbit-hole went straight like a tunnel, but then it suddenly went down, and Alice found herself falling through the air.
[ 8 ] Either the hole was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had enough time as she fell to look around. First, she tried to look down and see what was at the bottom, but it was too dark to see anything. Then she looked at the walls next to her, and saw that they were filled with cupboards and bookshelves, with strange pictures and maps hanging next to them.
[ 9 ] ‘Well,’ thought Alice to herself, ‘after such a fall as this, I won’t be afraid of falling down stairs! How brave they’ll think I am at home! I won’t complain, even if I fall off the top of the house!’
[ 10 ] Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?
[ 11 ] ‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said out loud. ‘I must be near the centre of the earth by now.’
[ 12 ] Down, down, down. The fall was so slow and gentle, that Alice soon began to feel sleepy, and just as her eyes were beginning to close: bump! bump! Down she landed on a pile of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
[ 13 ] Alice was not hurt at all, and she jumped to her feet. Ahead of her was a long passage, and she could still see the White Rabbit far ahead, hurrying down it.
[ 14 ] Alice ran as fast as the wind, and was just in time to hear the Rabbit say, as it turned a corner, “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!’
[ 15 ] She was close behind the Rabbit when she turned the corner, but suddenly she could no longer see it. Alice found herself alone in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the ceiling.
[ 16 ] There were doors all along both walls, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying to open every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was going to get out again.
[ 17 ] Suddenly she found a little three-legged table, made of solid glass. There was nothing on it except a tiny golden key. Alice thought that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall, but, sadly, either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, for it would not open any of them.
[ 18 ] However, the second time around, she discovered a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high. She tried the little golden key in the lock, and it fit!
[ 19 ] Alice opened the door and saw that it led into a beautiful garden, full of bright flowers. But when she tried to go through the door, she discovered that it was too small, and she could not even get her head through it. She was only able to crouch down low to look through it. ‘If only I could become smaller!’ thought Alice.
[ 20 ] Alice went back to the table, hoping she might find another key on it, or at least a book of rules explaining how to become smaller. But this time she found a little bottle on the table, (“which certainly was not here before,” thought Alice,) and around the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words ‘DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on it in large letters.
[ 21 ] Alice was a very wise child and knew that it was not a good idea to drink something without first seeing if it was marked ‘poison.’ She had heard stories about children who had got burnt, or eaten up by wild beasts, or other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their parents had taught them.
[ 22 ] However, this bottle was not marked ‘poison,’ so Alice decided to taste it. It was very nice (it had a mixed flavour of cherry-tart, pineapple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast), and she had soon drunk the whole thing.
[ 23 ] ‘What a strange feeling!’ said Alice. ‘I must be shrinking.’
[ 24 ] And so, in fact, she was: she was now only ten inches high, and she became very happy when she realised that she was now the right size for going through the little door into the lovely garden.
[ 25 ] She was still holding the little golden key in her hand, and so she opened the door again, and easily walked through it into the garden.
[ 26 ] Soon Alice was walking down a little path with flowers on either side. But the flowers were much taller than her! They towered over her like trees.
[ 27 ] She suddenly heard footsteps, and she looked up just in time to see the White Rabbit running along. It ran past, and then turned around and walked slowly back again, looking around as if it had lost something. And she heard it speaking to itself, [ 28 ] ‘Oh dear! The Queen! The Queen! She’ll kill me, that’s for sure! Where did I drop my gloves?’
[ 29 ] Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, and called out to her in an angry tone, [ 30 ] ‘Mary Ann, what are you doing here? Run home this moment, and get me another pair of gloves! Quick, now!’ [ 31 ] And 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.
[ 32 ] ‘He thinks I’m his housemaid,’ she said to herself as she ran. ‘He’ll be surprised when he finds out who I am! But I should take him his gloves – that is, if I can find them.’
[ 33 ] As she said this, she arrived at a little house, on the door of which was a sign with the name “W. Rabbit” written on it. She went in without knocking, and hurried upstairs, afraid that she would meet the real Mary Ann.
[ 34 ] ‘How strange it seems,’ Alice said to herself, ‘to be doing work for a rabbit!’
[ 35 ] By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table by the window, and on it three pairs of tiny white gloves. She picked up one pair and was just going to leave the room, when she noticed a little bottle that was on a table near the mirror. There was no label this time with the words “DRINK ME,” but she opened it anyway and lifted it to her lips.
[ 36 ] ‘I know something interesting will happen,’ she said to herself, ‘whenever I eat or drink anything; so I’ll see what this bottle does. I hope it will make me grow large again, for I’m tired of being so small.’
[ 37 ] It made her grow larger, and much sooner than she expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, her head was touching the ceiling. She quickly put down the bottle, saying to herself, [ 38 ] ‘That’s enough! I hope I won’t grow any more. Already I’m too big to go through the door! I wish I hadn’t drunk quite so much.’
[ 39 ] But, sadly, it was too late to wish that! She continued growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor. In another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm around her head. Still she went on growing, and she had to put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney. ‘What is going to happen to me?’ she wondered.
[ 40 ] Luckily