“Who are YOU?” said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I - I hardly know, sir, just at present - at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
“What do you mean by that?” said the Caterpillar 1)sternly. “Explain yourself!”
“I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir,” said Alice, “because I'm not myself, you see.”
“I don't see,”said the Caterpillar.
“I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,” Alice replied very politely, “for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”
“It isn't,” said the Caterpillar.
“Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet,” said Alice; “but when you have to turn into a 2)chrysalis - you will some day, you know - and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?”
“Not a bit,” said the Caterpillar.
“Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,” said Alice; “all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.”
“You!” said the Caterpillar 3)contemptuously, “who are YOU?”
Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little 4)irritated at the Caterpillar's making such VERY short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very 5)gravely, “I think, you ought to tell me who YOU are, first.”
“Why?” said the Caterpillar.
Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.
“Come back!” the Caterpillar called after her, “I've something important to say!”
This sounded 6)promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.
“Keep your temper,” said the Caterpillar.
“Is that all?” said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.
“No,” said the Caterpillar.
“What size do you want to be?”
“Oh, I'm not particular as to size,” Alice hastily replied, “only one doesn't like changing so often, you know.”
“I DON'T know,” said the Caterpillar.
Alice said nothing: she had never been so much 7)contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.
“Are you content now?” said the Caterpillar.
“Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn't mind,” said Alice, “three inches is such a 8)wretched height to be.”
“It is a very good height indeed!” said the Caterpillar angrily, 9)rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).
“But I'm not used to it!” pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself, “I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended!”
“You'll get used to it in time,” said the Caterpillar; and it put the 10)hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.
In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, “One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.”
“One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?” thought Alice to herself.
“Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms around it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.
“And now which is which?” she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect; the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!
She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was 11)shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a 12)morsel of the left-hand bit.
“Come, my head's free at last!” said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.
1) sternly adv. 严厉地，苛刻地 2) chrysalis n. 蛹
3) contemptuously adv. 轻蔑地 4) irritated a. 恼怒的，生气的
5) gravely adv. 严峻地 6) promising a. 有希望的，有前途的
7) contradicted a. 矛盾的，抵触的 8) wretched a. 可怜的，悲惨的
9) rear v. 用后腿站起
10) hookah n. 水烟袋 注释：
11)shrink v. 收缩 12) morsel n. 食物的一小口或一小点