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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Alice said nothing: she had never been so much contradicted in all
her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.

“Are you content now?” said the Caterpillar.
“Well, I should like to be a little larger, Sir, if you wouldn’t mind,”
said Alice:
“three inches is such a wretched height to be.”

“It is a very good height indeed!” said the Caterpillar angrily,
rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).
“But I’m not used to it!” pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And
she thought to herself “I wish the creatures wouldn’t be so easily
offended!” “You’ll get used to it in time,” said the Caterpillar; and
it put the hookah into its mouth, and began smoking again.

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a
minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and
yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the
mushroom, and crawled away into the grass, merely remarking, as
it went, “One side will make you grow taller, and the other side
will make you grow shorter.” “One side of what? The other side of
what?” thought Alice to herself.

“Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it
aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a
minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and, as
it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question.
However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they
would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

“And now which is which?” she said to herself, and nibbled a little
of the right-hand bit to try the effect. The next moment she felt a
violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot! She was a
good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that
there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly: so she
set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was
pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to
open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a
morsel of the left-hand bit.

“Come, my head’s free at last!” said Alice in a tone of delight,
which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that
her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when
she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed
to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.
“What can all that green stuff be?” said Alice. “And where have
my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I ca’n’t see
you?” She was moving them about, as she spoke, but no result
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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