`Oh, you sing,’ said the Gryphon. `I’ve forgotten the words.’
So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their forepaws to mark the time, while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly:—
`"Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail. “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail. See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?
“You can really have no notion how delightful
it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join
`"What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied. “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side. The further off from England the nearer is to France— Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will
you, won’t you, will you join the
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the
`Thank you, it’s a very interesting dance to watch,’ said Alice, feeling very glad that it was over at last: `and I do so like that curious song about the whiting!’
`Oh, as to the whiting,’ said the Mock Turtle, `they—you’ve seen them, of course?’
`Yes,’ said Alice, `I’ve often seen them at dinn—’ she checked herself hastily.
`I don’t know where Dinn may be,’ said the Mock Turtle, `but if you’ve seen them so often, of course you know what they’re like.’
`I believe so,’ Alice replied thoughtfully. `They have their tails in their mouths—and they’re all over crumbs.’
`You’re wrong about the crumbs,’ said the Mock Turtle: `crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they have their tails in their mouths; and the reason is—’ here the Mock Turtle yawned and shut his eyes.—`Tell her about the reason and all that,’ he said to the Gryphon.
`The reason is,’ said the Gryphon, `that they would go with the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to sea. So they had to fall a long way. So they got their tails fast in their mouths. So they couldn’t get them out again. That’s all.’
`Thank you,’ said Alice, `it’s very interesting. I never knew so much about a whiting before.’