Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends in Little Bill Notes from Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends in Little Bill

The White Rabbit, searching for his gloves and fan, appears. Alice tries to find them for him, but she sees that everything has changed since she fell into the pool. The hall, the glass table, and the little door are nowhere to be seen. The White Rabbit sees Alice and mistakes her for his maid, Mary Ann. He scolds "Mary Ann" for being in these parts and sends her home to fetch new gloves and a fan. Alice is so frightened by his orders that she runs off without telling him who she really is.

Topic Tracking: Identity 2

Luckily, she finds a house whose door reads W. RABBIT, and she hurries in to find the Rabbit's things. Alice imagines what it would be like if Dinah ordered her about in this way and makes up a conversation with her cat. In the Rabbit's house, she finds a fan and some gloves, and also a little bottle. Even though it doesn't say DRINK ME, Alice drinks the liquid; by now she has caught on that whenever she eats or drinks anything, something interesting happens. She is hoping to grow large again, since she is still quite tiny from fanning herself in the hall of doors. Alice gets what she wishes for--she grows so big she can scarcely fit inside the Rabbit's house, and she keeps on growing. Fortunately for Alice, she stops growing before she gets hurt, but she's very uncomfortable.

In her awkward position, squashed up inside the house of a Rabbit who orders her about, Alice can't help but think how much nicer it is to be at home, where normal things happen. She realizes that she has had some amazing adventures and that she should probably write them down when she grows up. She worries that since she's grown up as large as she possibly can, she'll never grow any older and will forever have to be learning school lessons.

Topic Tracking: Knowledge 4

After a while Alice hears a voice outside calling for Mary Ann. The Rabbit comes into his house and runs up the stairs. The Rabbit cannot enter the room Alice is in because she completely blocks the door. He decides to go in the window, but Alice swipes her hand outside. The Rabbit is frightened and decides this is not going to work. So he calls for Pat and asks Pat to tell him what is preventing him from getting in the window. Pat (evidently the gardener) takes a look and tells the Rabbit it is clearly a very large arm. The Rabbit wants to get rid of this inconvenient addition to his house, and Alice wants to get out of the house altogether.

Pat calls for Bill, a lizard whom the Rabbit orders to go down the chimney. Alice's foot is already stuck partway up the chimney, so she gives a kick when she hears Bill scrambling down. Bill flies out onto the ground. The Rabbit announces that the only thing left to do is to burn the house down. Alice threatens that if he does, she will set Dinah on him. So the burning plan is abandoned

Soon the creatures outside start throwing pebbles in the window at her. These pebbles happen to turn into little cakes after they fall on the floor, and Alice eats one. She shrinks in size, runs out of the house, and escapes a group of animals who want to attack her.

At this point, Alice forms a plan. First, she must return to her proper size (as she is once again very tiny), and then she must find her way into the beautiful garden. The only thing wrong with this plan is that Alice has absolutely no idea how to accomplish either part of it.

Alice hears a bark overhead and looks up to see an enormous puppy peering down at her and trying to touch her. Alice tries to comfort the dog, but she is terrified that it might be hungry and will eat her up. She throws a little stick and the puppy plays with it; afraid of being trampled, Alice scurries off as far and as fast as she can.

Alice fans herself and laments that she is not the right size to play with and to teach the dog. Realizing that she really must get larger, she decides she needs to figure out what to eat or drink to bring about a change in size. Nothing presents itself, but Alice notices a large mushroom that is about her height. She checks underneath, around, and behind it, but sees nothing. She stretches up to look on top and finds herself staring into the eyes of a large blue caterpillar. This caterpillar takes no notice of Alice at all, but continues sitting on the mushroom and smoking a long hookah.

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