فصل 03

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Looking-glass animals

Alice stood at the top of the hill and looked down.

‘Which way should I go?’ she wondered On one side she could see a long way away some kind of large animals walking around She wasn’t sure that she liked the look of them so she decided to go the other way She ran down the hill and jumped over the first of the six little brooks.

‘Tickets please’ said the Ticket Inspector putting his head in at the window. In a moment everybody was holding out a ticket the tickets were almost as big as the people and seemed to fill the train.

‘Show your ticket child’ the Inspector went on looking angrily at Alice. And then several voices said all together ‘Don’t keep him waiting child His time costs a thousand pounds a minute’

‘I’m afraid I haven’t got a ticket,’ Alice said in a frightened voice ‘There wasn’t a ticket-office where I came from.’

‘Why didn’t you buy one from the engine-driver?’ said the Inspector. And again the voices said, ‘The engine-driver’s time costs a thousand pounds a minute!’

The Inspector looked at Alice first through his glasses, then over the top of them. Then he said, ‘You’re travelling the wrong way,’ and shut up the window and went away.

‘She ought to know which way she’s going,’ said the gentleman sitting opposite Alice (he was dressed in white paper), ‘but perhaps she doesn’t know her own name.’

A Goat, that was sitting next to the gentleman in white, said loudly, ‘She ought to know her way to the ticket-office, but perhaps she can’t read or write.’

There was a Beetle next to the Goat, and he had something to say about Alice as well. Then other voices spoke, but Alice could not see who they were. One voice sounded like a horse, she thought. And then a very small voice, right next to her ear, said, ‘You could make a poem out of that-something about “a horse, of course”.’

The gentleman in white paper spoke again. ‘Don’t worry, my dear,’ he whispered. ‘Just buy a return ticket every time the train stops.’

‘No, I won’t!’ Alice said crossly. ‘I don’t belong to this railway journey at all. I was in a wood just now, and I wish I could get back there.’

Then she heard the little voice again. She looked round, but could see nothing. ‘I know you are a friend, ‘the voice said in her ear, ‘a dear friend. And you won’t hurt me, although I am an insect.’

‘What kind of insect?’ Alice asked, a little worried. But just then there came a long scream from the engine, and everybody jumped up. The Horse put his head out of the window, then pulled it back in and said calmly, ‘It’s only a brook that we have to jump across.’

Alice did not like the idea of trains jumping brooks. ‘But we’ll get into the Fourth Square, I suppose,’ she said to her-self. In another moment she felt the train go straight up into the air. Frightened, she caught at the thing nearest to her hand, which happened to be the Goat’s beard.

But the beard seemed to disappear as she touched it, and she found herself sitting quietly under a tree. There was an Insect sitting near her, on a low branch of the tree.

It was a very large insect indeed-almost as big as a chick-en. Alice thought.

‘So you don’t like all insects?’ the Insect said, quietly continuing their conversation.

‘I like them when they can talk,’ Alice said. ‘None of them ever talk, where I come from. But everything here is so different. I probably don’t even know the names of the insects here.’

‘Can you remember your own name?’ asked the Insect.

‘Of course,’ said Alice. ‘Nobody forgets their own name.’

‘Don’t they?’ said the Insect. ‘There’s a wood down there, for example, where things have no names.’

Alice looked round, and saw a dark wood on the other side of an open field. When she looked back, the Insect had flown away. She got up and began to walk across the field. ‘This must be the way to the Eighth Square ‘she thought,’ but I hope I don’t lose my name in this wood.’

She soon reached the wood and was pleased to get out of the hot sun and into the shadows under the trees. ‘How nice and cool it is in here under the… under the… under the what?’ she said surprised that she could not think of the word. She put her hand on a tree ‘What does it call itself? I do believe it’s got no name’

She stood for a moment, thinking. ‘And now, who am I? I will remember, if I can. ‘She tried and tried, but she just could not remember her name. It began with an ‘L’, she thought, but she wasn’t really sure.

So she hurried on through the wood, hoping to get to the other side quickly and after a while she came out into another open field she stopped and thought hard. ‘Why it’s Alice, of course’ she said ‘My name’s Alice-I won’t forget it again. And now, which way should I go?’

It was not a difficult question to answer there was only one road, and a large signpost, which said;

To TWEEDLEDUM’S HOUSE

To THE HOUSE OF TWEEDLEDEE

‘I’ll just call in and say hello,’ Alice said, ‘and ask them the way to the Eighth Square. I would like to get there before it gets dark. ‘So she walked on, talking to herself as she went. After a long time the road came into another wood and suddenly turned a corner and there in front of her Alice saw two fat little men standing under a tree.

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