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“It’s a friend of mine-a Cheshire-Cat,” said Alice: “allow me to
introduce it.” “I don’t like the look of it at all,” said the King:
“however, it may kiss my hand, if it likes.” “I’d rather not,” the Cat
“Don’t be impertinent,” said the King, “and don’t look at me like
that!” He got behind Alice as he spoke.
“A cat may look at a king,” said Alice. “I’ve read that in some
book, but I don’t remember where.” “Well, it must be removed,”
said the King very decidedly; and he called to the Queen, who was
passing at the moment, “My dear! I wish you would have this Cat
removed!” The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties,
great or small. “Off with his head!” she said without even looking
“I’ll fetch the executioner myself,” said the King eagerly, and he
Alice thought she might as well go back and see how the game was
going on, as she heard the Queen’s voice in the distance, screaming
with passion. She had already heard her sentence three of the
players to be executed for having missed their turns, and she did
not like the look of things at all, as the game was in such confusion
that she never knew whether it was her turn or not. So she went off
in search of her hedgehog.
The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another hedgehog,
which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity for croqueting one
of them with the other: the only difficulty was, that her flamingo
was gone across the other side of the garden, where Alice could see
it trying in a helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree.
By the time she had caught the flamingo and brought it back, the
fight was over, and both the hedgehogs were out of sight: “but it
doesn’t matter much,” thought Alice, “as all the arches are gone
from this side of the ground.” So she tucked it away under her
arm, that it might not escape again, and went back to have a little
more conversation with her friend.
When she got back to the Cheshire-Cat, she was surprised to find
quite a large crowd collected round it; there was a dispute going
on between the executioner, the King, and the Queen, who were all
talking at once, while all the rest were quite silent, and looked very
The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to by all three to
settle the question, and they repeated their arguments to her,
though, as they all spoke at once, she found it very hard to make
out exactly what they said.
The executioner’s argument was, that you couldn’t cut off a head
unless there was a body to cut it off from: that he had never had to