The Nursery Alice

The Nursery "Alice" is a shortened version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adapted by the author himself for children "from nought to five".

Genre: Children's, Fantasy

I. THE WHITE RABBIT. Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Alice: and she had a very curious dream. Would you like to hear what it was that she dreamed about? Well, this was the _first_ thing that happened. A White Rabbit came running by, in a great hurry; and, just as it passed Alice, it stopped, and took its watch out of its pocket. Wasn’t _that_ a funny thing? Did _you_ ever see a Rabbit that had a watch, and a pocket to put it in? Of course, when a Rabbit has a watch, it _must_ have a pocket to put it in: it would never do to carry it about in its mouth----and it wants its hands sometimes, to run about with. Hasn’t it got pretty pink eyes (I think _all_ White Rabbits have pink eyes); and pink ears; and a nice brown coat; and you can just see its red pocket-handkerchief peeping out of its coat-pocket: and, what with its blue neck-tie and its yellow waistcoat, it really is _very_ nicely dressed. “Oh dear, oh dear!” said the Rabbit. “I shall be too late!” _What_ would it be too late _for_, I wonder? Well, you see, it had to go and visit the Duchess (you’ll see a picture of the Duchess, soon, sitting in her kitchen): and the Duchess was a very cross old lady: and the Rabbit _knew_ she’d be very angry indeed if he kept her waiting. So the poor thing was as frightened as frightened could be (Don’t you see how he’s trembling? Just shake the book a little, from side to side, and you’ll soon see him tremble), because he thought the Duchess would have his head cut off, for a punishment. That was what the Queen of Hearts used to do, when _she_ was angry with people (you’ll see a picture of _her_, soon): at least she used to _order_ their heads to be cut off, and she always _thought_ it was done, though they never _really_ did it. And so, when the White Rabbit ran away, Alice wanted to see what would happen to it: so she ran after it: and she ran, and she ran, till she tumbled right down the rabbit-hole. And then she had a very long fall indeed. Down, and down, and down, till she began to wonder if she was going right _through_ the World, so as to come out on the other side! It was just like a very deep well: only there was no water in it. If anybody _really_ had such a fall as that, it would kill them, most likely: but you know it doesn’t hurt a bit to fall in a _dream_, because, all the time you _think_ you’re falling, you really _are_ lying somewhere, safe and sound, and fast asleep! However, this terrible fall came to an end at last, and down came Alice on a heap of sticks and dry leaves. But she wasn’t a bit hurt, and up she jumped, and ran after the Rabbit again. And so that was the beginning of Alice’s curious dream. And, next time you see a White Rabbit, try and fancy _you’re_ going to have a curious dream, just like dear little Alice. II. HOW ALICE GREW TALL. And so, after Alice had tumbled down the rabbit-hole, and had run a long long way underground, all of a sudden she found herself in a great hall, with doors all round it. But all the doors were locked: so, you see, poor Alice couldn’t get out of the hall: and that made her very sad. However, after a little while, she came to a little table, all made of glass, with three legs (There are _two_ of the legs in the picture, and just the _beginning_ of the other leg, do you see?), and on the table was a little key: and she went round the hall, and tried if she could unlock any of the doors with it. Poor Alice! The key wouldn’t unlock _any_ of the doors. But at last she came upon a tiny little door: and oh, how glad she was, when she found the key would fit it! So she unlocked the tiny little door, and she stooped down and looked through it, and what do you think she saw? Oh, such a beautiful garden! And she did so _long_ to go into it! But the door was _far_ too small. She couldn’t squeeze herself through, any more than _you_ could squeeze yourself into a mouse-hole! So poor little Alice locked up the door, and took the key back to the table again: and _this_ time she found quite a new thing on it (now look at the picture again), and what do you think it was? It was a little bottle, with a label tied to it, with the words “DRINK ME” on the label. So she tasted it: and it was _very_ nice: so she set to work, and drank it up. And then _such_ a curious thing happened to her! You’ll never guess what it was: so I shall have to tell you. She got smaller, and smaller, till at last she was just the size of a little doll! Then she said to herself “_Now_ I’m the right size to get through the little door!” And away she ran. But, when she got there, the door was locked, and the key was on the top of the table, and she couldn’t reach it! _Wasn’t_ it a pity she had locked up the door again? Well, the next thing she found was a little cake: and it had the words “EAT ME” marked on it. So of course she set to work and ate it up. And _then_ what do you think happened to her? No, you’ll never guess! I shall have to tell you again. She grew, and she grew, and she grew. Taller than she was before! Taller than _any_ child! Taller than any grown-up person! Taller, and taller, and taller! Just look at the picture, and you’ll _see_ how tall she got! Which would _you_ have liked the best, do you think, to be a little tiny Alice, no larger than a kitten, or a great tall Alice, with your head always knocking against the ceiling? III. THE POOL OF TEARS. Perhaps you think Alice must have been very much pleased, when she had eaten the little cake, to find herself growing so tremendously tall? Because of course it would be easy enough, _now_, to reach the little key off the glass table, and to open the little tiny door. Well, of course she could do _that_: but what good was it to get the door open, when she couldn’t get _through_? She was worse off than ever, poor thing! She could just manage, by putting her head down, close to the ground, to _look_ through with one eye! But that was _all_ she could do. No wonder the poor tall child sat down and cried as if
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Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. more…

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