Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
dropped the white kid-gloves and the fan, and scurried away into
the darkness as hard as he could go.
Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she
kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking. “Dear, dear!
How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on
just as usual. I wonder if I’ve changed in the night? Let me think:
was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can
remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next
question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of
the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for
any of them.
“I’m sure I’m not Ada,” she said, “for her hair goes in such long
ringlets, and mine doesn’t go in ringlets at all; and I’m sure I ca’n’t
be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh, she knows
such a very little! Besides, she’s she, and I’m I, and-oh dear, how
puzzling it all is! I’ll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let
me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and
four times seven is-oh dear! I shall never get to twenty at that rate!
However, the Multiplication-Table doesn’t signify: let’s try
Geography. London is the capital of Paris, and Paris is the capital
of Rome, and Rome-no, that’s all wrong, I’m certain! I must have
been changed for Mabel! I’ll try and say ‘How doth the little-’,”
and she crossed her hands on her lap, as if she were saying lessons,
and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse and strange,
and the words did not come the same as they used to do:
“How doth the little crocodile Improve his shining tail, And pour
the waters of the Nile On every golden scale!
“How cheerfully he seems to grin, How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in, With gently smiling jaws!
“I’m sure those are not the right words,” said poor Alice, and her
eyes filled with tears again as she went on, “I must be Mabel after
all, and I shall have to go and live in that poky little house, and
have next to no toys to play with and oh, ever so many lessons to
learn! No, I’ve made up my mind about it: if I’m Mabel, I’ll stay
down here! It’ll be no use their putting their heads down and
saying ‘Come up again, dear!’ I shall only look up and say ‘Who
am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person,
I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else’- but,
oh dear!” cried Alice, with a sudden burst of tears, “I do wish they
would put their heads down! I am so very tired of being all alone
here!” As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was
surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rabbit’s little white
kid-gloves while she was talking.