Reference > Fiction > Nonfiction > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Alice, the Pig-Baby, and the Cheshire Cat
By Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)
 
From ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’

“HERE! you may nurse it a bit, if you like!” said the Duchess to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. “I must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen,” and she hurried out of the room. The cook threw a frying-pan after her as she went, but it just missed her.  1
  Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs in all directions,—“just like a star-fish,” thought Alice. The poor little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when she caught it, and kept doubling itself up and straightening itself out again; so that altogether, for the first minute or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it.  2
  As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it, (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself), she carried it out into the open air. “If I don’t take this child away with me,” thought Alice, “they’re sure to kill it in a day or two: wouldn’t it be murder to leave it behind?” She said the last words out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left off sneezing by this time). “Don’t grunt,” said Alice: “that’s not at all the proper way of expressing yourself.”  3
  The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a very turn-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its eyes were getting extremely small, for a baby: altogether, Alice did not like the look of the thing at all,—“but perhaps it was only sobbing,” she thought, and looked into its eyes again, to see if there were any tears.  4
  No, there were no tears. “If you’re going to turn into a pig, my dear,” said Alice, seriously, “I’ll have nothing more to do with you. Mind now!” The poor little thing sobbed again (or grunted, it was impossible to say which), and they went on for some while in silence.  5
  Alice was just beginning to think to herself, “Now, what am I to do with this creature when I get it home?” when it grunted again, so violently that she looked down into its face in some alarm. This time there could be no mistake about it: it was neither more nor less than a pig, and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry it any further.  6
  So she set the little creature down, and felt quite relieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. “If it had grown up,” she said to herself, “it would have been a dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think.” And she began thinking over other children she knew, who might do very well as pigs, and was just saying to herself, “If one only knew the right way to change them —” when she was a little startled by seeing the Cheshire Cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.  7
  The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt it ought to be treated with respect.  8
  “Cheshire Puss,” she began,—rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. “Come, it’s pleased so far,” thought Alice, and she went on: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?”  9
  “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.  10
  “I don’t much care where—” said Alice.  11
  “Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,” said the Cat.  12
  “—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.  13
  “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”  14
  Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. “What sort of people live about here?”  15
  “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter; and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”  16
  “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.  17
  “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we are all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”  18
  “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.  19
  “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”  20
  Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on, “And how do you know that you’re mad?”  21
  “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”  22
  “I suppose so,” said Alice.  23
  “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”  24
  “I call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.  25
  “Call it what you like,” said the Cat. “Do you play croquet with the Queen to-day?”  26
  “I should like it very much,” said Alice, “but I haven’t been invited yet.”  27
  “You’ll see me there,” said the Cat, and vanished.  28
  Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so well used to queer things happening. While she was still looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly appeared again.  29
  “By-the-by, what became of the baby?” said the Cat. “I’d nearly forgotten to ask.”  30
  “It turned into a pig,” Alice answered very quietly, just as if the Cat had come back in a natural way.  31
  “I thought it would,” said the Cat, and vanished again.  32
  Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. “I’ve seen hatters before,” she said to herself: “the March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won’t be raving mad—at least not so mad as it was in March.” As she said this, she looked up, and there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree.  33
  “Did you say pig, or fig?” said the Cat.  34
  “I said pig,” replied Alice; “and I wish you wouldn’t keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.”  35
  “All right,” said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.  36
  “Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat!—it’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!”  37
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.