Alice's Adventures in Wonderland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 98 pages of information about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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 something 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 hookah 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 as I used—­and I don’t keep the same size for ten minutes together!’

  `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 voice.

  `Repeat, “You are old, father William,"’ said the Caterpillar.

  Alice folded her hands, and began:—­

    `You are old, Father William,’ 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 William 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 shilling the box—­
      Allow me to sell you a couple?’

    `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.’

Project Gutenberg
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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