Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
Normans-’ How are you getting on now, my dear?” it continued,
turning to Alice as it spoke.
“As wet as ever,” said Alice in a melancholy tone: “it doesn’t seem
to dry me at all.”
“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, “I move
that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more
energetic remedies-” “Speak English!” said the Eaglet. “I don’t
know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I
don’t believe you do either!” And the Eaglet bent down its head to
hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.
“What I was going to say,” said the Dodo in an offended tone,
“was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.”
“What is a Caucus-race!” said Alice; not that she much wanted to
know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody
ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.”
(And, as you might like to try the thing yourself some winter-day, I
will tell you how the Dodo managed it.) First it marked out a race-
course, in a sort of circle, (“the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said,)
and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there.
There was no “One, two, three, and away!” but they began running
when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not
easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had
been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the
Dodo suddenly called out “The race is over!” and they all crowded
round it, panting, and asking “But who has won?”
This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of
thought, and it stood for a long time with one finger pressed upon
its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in
the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the
Dodo said “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.” “But
who is to give the prizes?” quite a chorus of voices asked.
“Why, she, of course,” said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one
finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out,
in a confused way, “Prizes! Prizes!” Alice had no idea what to do,
and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box
of comfits (luckily the salt-water had not got into it), and handed
them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece, all round.
“But she must have a prize herself, you know,” said the Mouse.
“Of course,” the Dodo replied very gravely. “What else have you
got in your pocket?” it went on, turning to Alice.
“Only a thimble,” said Alice sadly.
“Hand it over here,” said the Dodo.