This time the Cheshire Cat vanished quite slowly. First its body went, then its legs. Then all of it vanished, and there was only its smile.
'There are a lot of cats without a smile, but a smile without a cat! Sow that's very strange! 'Alice said.
One hot summer day, Alice and her sister are sitting under a tree. Alice sees a white rabbit and runs after it. The rabbit goes down a rabbit-hole and Alice follows it.
Down the rabbit-hole, everything is different. Alice is in 'Wonderland'. Her size changes all the time. Caterpillars can talk and rabbits have watches. The Queen wants to cut off everybody's head. When the Queen sees the Cheshire Cat, she wants to cut off the Cat's head too. But there's a problem. The Cheshire Cat hasn't got a body ... What strange things happen to Alice, in Wonderland ? And how will she get back home again ?
Charles Dodgson was born in 1838. He went to Oxford University and then he was a teacher there. He was a quiet man and did not talk to people easily.
He wrote Alice in Wonderland in 1865. For him, Alice in Wonderland was not an important book, so he did not use his name for the book. He used the name Lewis Carroll. But the book sold very well and it was quickly very famous. At that time, children's books always tried to teach something. Lewis Carroll did not try to teach anything. He only wanted to tell a wonderful story.
Carroll wrote a second story about Alice in 1871. He died in 1898. Today, Alice in Wonderland is one of the most famous children's stories in the world.
Chapter 1 Down the Rabbit-hole
Alice and her big sister sat under a tree one sunny day. Alice's sister had a book, but Alice had nothing with her. She looked at her sister's book. There were no pictures or conversations in it.
'Why is she reading a book without pictures or conversations?' she thought. 'I'm bored. I know! I'll look for some flowers.' Then she thought,' No, it's too hot for that and I feel sleepy'
Suddenly, a white rabbit ran past her. It took a watch from its jacket and looked at it.' Oh! Oh ! I'm going to be late!' it said.
' That's strange! A rabbit with a watch!' said Alice.
She jumped up and ran after the animal. It ran down a large rabbit-hole, so Alice went down the hole too. She didn't stop and ask,' How am I going to get out again ?'
Alice fell down and down. But she fell very slowly and didn't feel afraid. 'What's going to happen next?' she wondered.
She looked round. There were cupboards in the walls of the rabbit-hole. Some of the cupboards were open, and there were books in them. Sometimes she saw pictures. She looked down, but she couldn't see any light.
Down, down, down. 'When will the hole end?' she wondered. Perhaps I'm going to come out in Australia! I'll have to ask the name of the country. " Please, madam, is this Australia or New Zealand?" No, I can't do that. They'll think I'm stupid.'
She thought about her cat, Dinah. 'What's Dinah doing? Will they remember her milk tonight? Oh, Dinah! Why aren't you here with me ? Perhaps there's a mouse here and you can eat it!'
Suddenly, Alice was at the bottom of the hole. ' That didn't hurt' she said and sat up quickly. She could see the White Rabbit and she ran after him again. They were in a different rabbit-hole now.
' Oh, my ears and nose!' the White Rabbit cried.' It's getting
He ran faster and vanished through another hole. Alice followed him through the hole. Now she was in a very long room. She looked round for the White Rabbit, but she couldn't see him anywhere.
There were four doors in the room, but Alice couldn't open them. Also, she couldn't see the hole anywhere.' How am I going to get out ?' she wondered.
Then she saw a little table. It had a very small key on it.
'Perhaps it will open one of the doors,' she thought. She took the key and tried to open each door with it. But it was no good. The key was too small.
' This key has to open something,' she thought.
Then she saw a very small door about 40 centimeters high. The little key opened it. She put her head down and looked through the door into a beautiful garden. She tried to walk through it, but she was too big. Sadly, she shut the door again and put the key back on the table.
'Why can't I get smaller?' thought Alice.' This is a very strange place - so perhaps I can.'
She looked at the table. There was a little bottle on it.
' That bottle was not on the table before,' thought Alice.
The bottle had ' DRINK ME' on it in large letters. Alice looked at it carefully.
' Is it all right to drink ?' she wondered.
' I'll drink a little,' she thought. She had some and it was very nice. So she had some more.' This feels strange,' said Alice.' I'm getting smaller and smaller!' - After a short time, she was only 25 centimetres high.
' Now I can go through that door,' she thought. She went to the door, but could not open it. The key was on the table. She went back to the table. But Alice was too short and she couldn't get the key. She tried to climb the table legs, but it was too difficult. The little girl sat down and cried.
'Alice! Alice!' she said after some minutes. 'Don't cry. It isn't going to help you. Stop now!'
Then she saw a little box under the table. She opened it. There was a cake inside. On it, she saw the words,' EAT ME'.
'Yes, I will eat it,'Alice said. 'Perhaps I'll get bigger and then I can get the key. Or perhaps I'll get smaller. Then I can get under the door into the garden.'
She ate some cake.
'Will I go up or down?' she wondered. She felt the top of her head with her hand. But nothing happened — she stayed the same size. So she finished the cake.