فصل 04

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فصل 04

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CHAPTER FOUR

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Alice knew immediately which one was which, because each had his name on his shirt. They were standing very still, with their arms round each other, and Alice forgot that they were alive. ‘They look just like schoolboys,’ she said aloud. Then one of them spoke, and Alice jumped in surprise.

‘You’ve begun wrong!’ cried the one called Tweedledum. ‘The first thing in a visit is to say “How do you do?” and shake hands.’ And here the brothers held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.

Alice did not know which hand to shake first, so she took hold of both hands at once. The next moment they were all three dancing round in a circle. This seemed very natural at the time, and Alice was not even surprised to hear music playing.

The two brothers were fat, and soon got tired. ‘Four times round is enough for one dance, ‘Tweedledee said, and they stopped as suddenly as they had begun. Then they stood looking at Alice in silence.

Alice did not know what to say. How do you begin a conversation with people that you have just been dancing with? she wondered.

‘I hope you’re not too tired?’ she said at last.

‘Not at all. And thank you very much for asking,’ said Tweedledum.

‘Very kind of you,’ added Tweedledee. ‘Do you like poems?’

‘Ye-es… well, some poems,’ Alice said carefully. ‘Would you tell me which road to take out of the wood?’

‘What shall I repeat to her?’ Tweedledee said to Tweedledum, not noticing Alice’s question.

‘The Walrus and the Carpenter is the longest,’ Tweedledum replied, putting a friendly arm round his brother.

‘If it’s very long,’ Alice said politely, ‘would you tell me first which road-‘

Tweedledee smiled gently and began his poem. It was a very long poem indeed - all about a Walrus and a Carpenter, who went for a walk along a beach and invited lots of young Oysters to go with them. The Oysters accepted happily.

‘Perhaps that wasn’t very sensible of them’ Alice said.

Tweedledee only smiled, and continued

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Walked on a mile or so,

And then they rested on a rock

Conveniently low;

And all the little Oysters stood

And waited in a row.

‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,

‘To talk of many things

Of shoes - and ships - and sealing - wax-

Of cabbages - and kings-

And why the sea is boiling hot-

And whether pigs have wings.’

Alice waited with interest to hear about this conversation, but it never happened, because the Walrus and the Carpenter went on to eat all the Oysters instead.

At the end Alice said, ‘I like the Walrus best, because he said he felt sorry for the poor Oysters.’

‘He ate more of them than the Carpenter,’ said Tweedledee. ‘He ate faster, you see.’

‘Oh!’ said Alice. ‘Well then, I like the Carpenter best.’

‘But he ate as many as he could get,’ said Tweedledum.

‘Well, they were both very unkind-‘ Alice began, then stopped when she heard a noise in the wood. It sounded like a wild animal. ‘What’s that?’ she asked, afraid.

‘It’s only the Red King snoring,’ said Tweedledee. ‘Come and look at him.’

The brothers each took one of Alice’s hands and they went through the wood to where the King was sleeping.

‘Doesn’t he look lovely?’ said Tweedledum.

Alice really couldn’t agree. The King was lying in a very untidy way, and was snoring loudly.

‘He’s dreaming now,’ said Tweedledee, ‘and what do you think he’s dreaming about?’

‘Nobody can guess that,’ said Alice.

‘Why, about you!’ Tweedledee said. ‘And if he stops dreaming about you, where do you think you will be?’

‘Where I am now, of course,’ said Alice.

‘Oh no!’ said Tweedledum. ‘You’ll be nowhere. You’re only a kind of thing in his dream! If he wakes up, you’ll go out-bang! - just like a light!’

‘What nonsense!’ Alice said crossly. ‘And if I’m only a kind of thing in his dream, what are you, I’d like to know.’

‘The same!’ the brothers cried together.

‘Shhh! Don’t make so much noise,’ Alice said. ‘You’ll wake him up.’

‘How can you wake him,’ said Tweedledum, ‘when you’re only one of the things in his dream? You know very well that you’re not real.’

‘I am real!’ said Alice, and began to cry.

‘I don’t know why you’re crying,’ Tweedledee said unkindly. ‘You won’t become real that way.’

‘I know they’re talking nonsense,’ Alice thought to herself, ‘and there really isn’t anything to cry about.’ She gave herself a little shake, then said, ‘I think I must find my way out of the wood now, because it’s getting very dark. Do you think it’s going to rain?’

‘Possibly,’ Tweedledum said, opening a large umbrella.

It was now getting very dark indeed and Alice thought there must be a storm coming. ‘What a thick black cloud that is!’ she said.’ And how fast it comes! Why, I do believe it’ got wings!’

‘It’s the crow!’ Tweedledee shouted fearfully. The two brothers turned to run and had disappeared in a moment.

Alice ran too, and hid under some low trees. ‘It can’t get me under here,’ she thought, ‘but I wish its wings didn’t make so much wind It’s blowing everything around terribly-and look Here’s somebody’s shawl flying through the air’

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