فصل 01

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فصل 01

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CHAPTER ONE

Looking-glass house

One thing was certain it was the black kitten that began it all. The white kitten had been unable to do anything for the last quarter of an hour because the old cat was washing its face very slowly and very careful.

But the black kitten was free to do what it wanted. And so while Alice was sitting in a corner of the great armchair half talking to herself and half asleep the kitten was playing a grand game with a ball of wool Soon the wool was lying in a terrible tangle all over the carpet with the kitten running after its own tail in the middle.

‘Oh you bad little thing’ cried Alice when she saw the wool She picked up the kitten and climbed back into the armchair ‘You really mustn’t play with the wool you know. It will take me so long to roll the ball up again. Why don’t you play chess instead Kitty? When I was playing a while ago, you were watching me so carefully. In fact, you look just like the Red Queen yourself.’

And Alice picked up the Red Queen from the chessmen on the table, and held it up to show the kitten. But the kitten tried to escape, and, to punish it, Alice lifted it up to the looking-glass above the fireplace ‘If you’re not good, Kitty,’ she said, ‘I’ll put you through into looking-glass house. How would you like that?

‘I do wonder’ Alice went on ‘if everything in that room is the same as in our room. The things that I can see look the same-except the books, because the words go the wrong way. But perhaps the rest of the house is really different and full of interesting things. Oh, I wish we could get through Kitty let’s pretend we can. Let’s pretend the glass has gone soft and… Why, I do believe it has It’s turning into a kind of cloud…’

Alice did not know how it happened but while she was speaking, she found herself climbing up to the looking-glass. And the glass was beginning to disappear, just like a bright silvery cloud.

In another moment Alice was through the glass and had jumped down into the looking-glass room. At once she began looking around and noticed that several things were very different from the old room. The pictures on the wall all seemed to be alive and the clock above the fireplace had the face of a little old man who smiled at her.

‘This room isn’t as tidy as the other one,’ Alice thought to herself as she noticed several chessmen on the floor by the fireplace. But the next moment with a little ‘Oh’ of surprise, she was down on the floor herself, watching them.

The chessmen were walking around, arm in arm!

‘Here are the Red King and the Red Queen, ‘Alice said, in a whisper, in order not to frighten them. ‘And there are two Castles walking together. And two of the Pawns, and a white Bishop reading a newspaper… I don’t think they can hear me or see me’ she went on ‘I wonder-‘

Then something on the table behind her made a noise. Alice turned to look and saw that one of the White Pawns had fallen over and begun to cry. She watched it with interest.

‘It is the voice of my child’ cried the White Queen by the fireplace ‘My dear Lily My sweet child!’ and she began to climb wildly up the table leg.

Poor little Lily was now screaming loudly. Alice wanted to be helpful, so she picked up the Queen and put her on the table next to her noisy little daughter.

The Queen sat very still, with her mouth open, for almost a minute. Then she called down to the White King, who was still on the floor by the fireplace. ‘Be careful of the storm!’

‘What storm?’ said the King, looking round worriedly.

‘There’s a terrible wind-it blew me up here in a second. You come up the usual way, and be careful’

Alice watched as the White King slowly began to climb the table leg. Then she said. ‘It will take you hours to get up. Why don’t I help you?’ Gently, she picked him up and moved him slowly upwards. The King was very surprised indeed. His eyes and his mouth got larger and larger, and rounder and rounder. Alice nearly dropped him because she was laughing so much.

When she put him down on the table, he immediately fell flat on his back and lay still. But after a while he sat up, and spoke to the Queen in a frightened whisper.

‘I tell you, my dear, I turned cold to the very ends of my hair! I shall never, never forget that moment.’

‘You will’ the Queen said, ‘if you don’t write it down.’

Alice watched with interest as the King took out a very large notebook and began writing. Then she saw a book lying on the table near her, and began to turn the pages.

‘It’s all in some language that I don’t know,’ she said to herself. It was like this.

Puzzled, she looked at it for some time, then suddenly understood. ‘Of course, it’s a looking-glass book! If I hold it up to the glass, the words will go the right way again.’

This was the poem that Alice read.

JABBERWOCKY

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘It seems very pretty,’ Alice said, ‘but a little hard to understand.’ (Actually, she didn’t understand a word of it, but didn’t like to say so.) ‘It seems to fill my head with ideas- but I don’t know what they are!’

Then she suddenly jumped up, as another idea came to her. ‘If I don’t hurry, I shall have to go back through the looking-glass before I’ve seen the rest of the house, and the garden. I’ll look at the garden first, I think.’

In a moment she was out of the room and running down the stairs. But it wasn’t really running, because she was moving gently through the air and her feet weren’t touching the stairs at all. At the bottom she managed to catch hold of the doorpost and after that she was pleased to find herself walking again in a natural way.

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