Wool and Water

Shecaughttheshawlasshespoke,andlookedaboutfortheowner:inanothermomenttheWhiteQueencamerunningwildlythroughthewood,withbotharmsstretchedoutwide,asifshewereflying,andAliceverycivillywenttomeetherwiththeshawl.

‘I’mverygladIhappenedtobeintheway,’Alicesaid,asshehelpedhertoputonhershawlagain.

TheWhiteQueenonlylookedatherinahelplessfrightenedsortofway,andkeptrepeatingsomethinginawhispertoherselfthatsoundedlike‘bread-and-butter,bread-and-butter,’andAlicefeltthatiftherewastobeanyconversationatall,shemustmanageitherself.Soshebeganrathertimidly:‘AmIaddressingtheWhiteQueen?’

‘Well,yes,ifyoucallthata-dressing,’TheQueensaid.‘Itisn’tmynotionofthething,atall.

Alicethoughtitwouldneverdotohaveanargumentattheverybeginningoftheirconversation,soshesmiledandsaid,‘IfyourMajestywillonlytellmetherightwaytobegin,I’lldoitaswellasIcan.

‘ButIdon’twantitdoneatall!’groanedthepoorQueen.‘I’vebeena-dressingmyselfforthelasttwohours.

Itwouldhavebeenallthebetter,asitseemedtoAlice,ifshehadgotsomeoneelsetodressher,shewassodreadfullyuntidy.‘Everysinglething’scrooked,’Alicethoughttoherself,‘andshe’salloverpins!mayIputyourshawlstraightforyou?’sheaddedaloud.

‘Idon’tknowwhat’sthematterwithit!’theQueensaid,inamelancholyvoice.‘It’soutoftemper,Ithink.

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