It seems as though it has been so long since I had last seen her. The young girl with the blonde hair, whom had appeared so uncannily similar to Mary Ann; whom had interrupted the court; whom had played croquet with Her Majesty; whom had done so much in Wonderland. Her name was Alice, the "monster" who had stopped in for a visit. There were many questions surrounding her, yet one I was rather curious about that no one had bothered to answer: Where did she come from? She didn't seem like the other children; who the storks fly in and give to their parents. She hadn't known of the Mock Turtle, yet that's a story all the children in Wonderland know about. There must have been a reason why she seemed the way she was.
I looked around the area of the court, I searched about nearly the entirety of Wonderland for an answer! Yet not one being knew where she came from, and some could barely remember the child. After all, it had been ten years since she had visited Wonderland. But still! The citizens of Wonderland should have much better memories! Ten years was not that long ago, not at all. Thinking back to the first time I could recall her, it was a place I myself was not familiar with. The flowers could not communicate, and the cats could not grin or disappear into thin air. Nor did their streams have many crabs in them, and, from what I had overheard, their queens did not behead many of her own subjects. It was such a strange and worrying world to be in, however, Alice had managed to survive there for the years she was there, as far as I know.
"Perhaps if I retrace my steps from there I will be able to find some sort of lead..." I mumbled to myself as I hopped along swiftly. I took my pocket watch out, checking how much longer I may be able to search until Her Majesty required my assistance. I wouldn't want to be late, for I would surely be beheaded! Oh, how terrible that would be! The amount of beheadings in Her Majesty's castle is quite preposterous, however if I were to tell her that, she would certainly have me decapitated within moments! I recall when Alice first came down the... the... "The rabbit hole!" I said aloud, with both surprise and joy. My dear, how could I have forgotten about that entrance? Oh, I hope that no one had filled it in from Alice's land!
I scurried rather quickly (for I was running out of time, as is), and hurried to the place I recall I dug the hole. I looked up into it, into the vast darkness and spotted a small patch of light at the very top. I take one more look at my watch, and then put it back within my pocket. "I'll have to make this adventure last a very short while," I said aloud to myself, and began climbing up. Oh, I do hope Her Majesty shouldn't need me very soon. I want to spend time with Alice, for she is a rather interesting and peculiar girl. Her world is even more so peculiar, from what I can recall, again. I reached further up the hole, grabbing stray roots and such. "Oh dear!" I shouted, as I nearly lost my grip. My watch leaned out of my pocket, very nearly remaining inside. I kicked my feet, in an attempt to get it closer. For now, it decided to stay put. I continued climbing, only occasionally losing my grip again.
The light was rather close now, and with a few more steps, I was able to lift myself up into it again, feeling the warmth of the sunlight and the grass between my paws. It was slightly damp, and I was fortunate enough that I hadn't slipped back down and had to start over again. I suppose I am a lucky rabbit, in such respect. I sat upright, looking at the azure patches between the large gray puffs. There was less sunlight than I had anticipated, in this world. There wasn't much in Wonderland either, though. It was slightly windy outside, as well, and the winds in Wonderland don't blow rather furiously. Though, Her Majesty would likely blame one of her servants for the winds, and they would, of course, soon have to learn how to survive without their heads, if that were to happen. Thinking of Her Majesty, I felt for my watch. To my surprise, it was not in my left pocket. It was not in my right pocket, either. "Oh dear! If it were to fall through the hole, it would break! Perhaps I should go back, Her Majesty will be needing me soon..." I said to myself, rather frantically. I began to turn around, when I felt a pair of hands picking me up.
"Oh, look! Lorina, it's a rabbit!" A fairly familiar voice said excitedly, "Could we possibly keep it? It looks so terrified, perhaps it doesn't have a home!"
Was it her? Perhaps it was. I shifted around and kicked at her grip. "I have a home, thank you very much! Put me down this instant!" I said, for I didn't appreciate being picked up, even though this creature could possibly be Alice.
I heard a sigh to the right of me. "You'll have to ask mother. Pets are a huge responsibility, you know." Perhaps they couldn't hear me, when I told them to put me down.
"Her Majesty must be needing me, thank you for your patronage, now let me go!" I shouted at them, but again, they couldn't hear. I hadn't recognized the second voice that had responded to Alice. Was this the Lorina girl? What relationship does she have to Alice? Is she her mother, or sister? Maybe just a close friend, since she had told Alice she needed to ask her mother if she were to keep me.
Alice clutched me to her chest and began either trying to suffocate me, or was attempting to pet me somehow. She whispered, "Shh, it'll be okay, don't worry! You're in good hands now, Mr. Rabbit; there's nothing to fear anymore." I was tempted to bite her, but I restrained myself. I wasn't frightened, I swear! She just didn't understand, or perhaps she had gone deaf! I kicked at her hands, but she simply refused to release me. She stood up rather suddenly, and began walking down a hill to what I thought was a house. My vision was slightly obscured, since I was trying to see though Alice's hands.
When we got closer, I realized that it certainly was a house. It was quaint, but not too small. However, it didn't exactly compare well to my home or Her Majesty's castle. For a small family, I suppose it was fine. We entered the house through the front door, and a figure sat in what I assumed was the kitchen. Alice slipped me into her pocket, for whatever reason. I could only hear the muffled voices speaking, back and forth.
"Hello, mother," The girl named Lorina said, and Alice repeated it, except in a less morose tone.
Their mother responded, "Hello Alice, Lorina. How was your day out by the river?" I could tell the conversation was just going to be bland from there on out, so I didn't bother listening further, until Alice asked, "Mother, can we go to town today?" Lorina grumbled something having to do with not wanting to do to town, but this statement was ignored by the rest. I assume their mother nodded, because she simply told Alice to go to her room and brush her hair.
"Oh, what fun, we're going to town. Perhaps you could drop me off by the rabbit hole again and I can be on my way? I simply need a few things before I go, you see," I said aloud to Alice, in an attempt to escape. I had wanted to spend time with Alice, and get to know her country, however I hadn't planned on being picked up and put into her pocket for safe-keeping. She didn't respond, but instead ran up the stairs, and rushed into her room. I felt like I was going to vomit. Had she forgotten that I was in her pocket? Or was she just completely inconsiderate?
She closed the door, and finally took me out of her pocket, setting me down on her dresser. There was a mirror behind me, and I looked into it. I looked absolutely horrid. Alice took her hairbrush, and began brushing my own fur. I wanted to simply run at that moment. Alice obviously couldn't sense my rage, because she continued brushing me until she thought my fur was totally smooth, I assume, however it didn't meet my standards. Though, I would much rather brush myself, thank you very much, Alice. I thought, since I knew it would be futile to speak again. I looked into the mirror again, but not at myself.
Alice was rather large now; much larger than she was when she visited Wonderland last. She was taller, and her face had changed somewhat. She looked older, but not by much. Perhaps only three years added on. Perhaps Alice-land (that is what I'll call her country for now, since no one has told me the correct name) runs on a different calendar? How strange, for ten to amount to three. I had heard from those terrible twins that she was around seven years old when she visited. I had assumed that she would be seventeen when I would see her now, however she is seven years away from seventeen; ten. Alice was brushing her golden hair, smiling down at me. "Now, Mr. Rabbit, I can't simply call you Mr. Rabbit all the time, now that you're my pet. All pets need names, and Mr. Rabbit isn't a real name, you know." Oh dear, please do not give me a name. Do not give me one of your foolish names, please, Alice. I am perfectly fine with 'Mr. Rabbit', even if it isn't a name, it's probably better than whatever you are coming up with right now. This girl was admittedly creative, however her ideas were idiotic and foolish. But perhaps she had changed? "Peter," She said after a short moment of silence, "Your new name is Peter! You know, like the nursery rhyme:
Little Peter Rabbit's got a fly upon his nose,
Little Peter Rabbit's got a fly upon his nose,
Little Peter Rabbit's got a fly upon his nose,
And he flicked it and it flew away.
Floppy ears and curly whiskers,
Floppy ears and curly whiskers,
Floppy ears and curly whiskers.
And he flicked it and it flew away."
Alice recited the poem, which I had never heard of before. And my ears are far from floppy entirely, nor do I have a fly on my nose! Alice has the most preposterous ideas, sometimes. "What is it, Peter? Do you not like your name?" Alice asked, then paused for a response. No, I don't like this name at all. Mister Rabbit or White Rabbit would be perfectly fine with me, Alice. I thought, since I couldn't communicate any other way. "That's right! I think your name is perfect, too, Peter!" I didn't even respond, and yet she assumes I enjoy being called 'Peter' after some other rabbit in a poem. She must be entirely mad! "Peter, you should wait here, I'm going to bring Dinah so you can meet her!" Dinah? Who is this Dinah? Is this Alice's friend? Perhaps it's a stuffed animal she's become fond of.
Alice soon returned with a black cat in her hands. It had small feathers still on its paws, since Alice had snatched her right up while the cat was hunting birds. The cat didn't appear to be able to grin or disappear. It was not a Cheshire. She put the cat down next to me. "Are you Dinah?" I asked it, a slight quaver in my voice. The cat was significantly larger than I, and with the feathers on its paws it looked rather menacing.
"Dinah, this is our new friend Peter. Peter, this is your new friend Dinah!" Alice said, before Dinah had her own chance to respond.
"Yes, hello, Peter," Dinah said to me, with a slightly condescending tone. She was cautious when she approached me, for some unknown reason. "Where did you come from, and why are you here?" She hissed. She was most definitely not pleased with my presence.
I jumped when she came closer, a little bit intimidated by both her size and tone. She was glaring at me, too. "I'm--I am from Wonderland, and I am here because Alice decided to bring me here," I stated, trying to seem the least afraid. "It's--It's a pleasure meeting you, D-Dinah." My knees were beginning to shake, because as I spoke, Dinah leaned closer. Each time she took a step forward, I inched backwards.
"So," She began, "Do you think Alice likes you better than I?" I shook my head, but she continued speaking, "No, of course not! You're just a small rabbit she happened to pick up from outside, without an owner. You don't belong to Alice, I belong to Alice! Alice is my owner, not yours, Peter," She practically spat out my name that Alice gave me. She wanted to be Alice's favorite, most precious pet.
"Oh, um, er, no, not at all!" I said frantically. Her ears twitched, and she looked as if she was ready to scratch me. "Wh-What I mean is that I don't intend to take your place here, and-- and, I would actually prefer to go back to Wonderland, for, you see, Her Majesty the-- the Red Queen must really want me back, and-- and, I'm rather la--"
"Stop stuttering so much, you fool, or I'll be sure to have your head for dinner! It would be such a nice gift for Alice, to show my affection, you know," Her words were dripping in acid and fury. She reminded me much of Her Majesty, oh dear. Perhaps she would execute me, if she could.
"O-oh, your Majesty, you see, I-- er, my apologies, Dinah," I said, shaking more so than previously. My knees were ready to give out. Luckily, Alice swooped in and saved me, taking Dinah and putting her on the floor, a long jump away from me.
"Dinah, I can't see the mirror, move your tail!" She had said, brushing with one hand and petting me with the other. Oh, what a relief. Alice must have somehow sensed the tension, or she simply wanted to get going soon. As I thought, Alice soon enough scooped me up and put me in her pocket again moments later.
Off we went, down the stairs and out the door. We were brought in a carriage to town, away from the isolated countryside where Alice lived. Fortunately for me, Alice didn't shift as much when she sat in the carriage. If I had to go through a ride while Alice was jumping about, I wouldn't survive at all. When we arrived in town, the whole place seemed rather large and busy. There were many, many buildings, but they weren't horribly huge buildings. Many of them were stores, with jewelry and watches, clothes and food, along with various other items being sold on the street corners. There were crowds of people, however the occasional isolated person shopping alone appeared too.
Lorina and Alice jumped out of the carriage as we stopped. Their mother said something about the money they gave them, and not to be separated or talk to strangers, then Alice nodded and hopped along the sidewalk. She took me out of her pocket, and Lorina made a face of disgust. "You kept that thing?" She spat out the word thing, like I was some sort of toy. I'm more important than you think, you idiot! I am Her Majesty, the Red Queen's page and loyal subj--
Slam. Alice, the poor girl, fell flat on to the hard pavement. I tumbled out of her hands, falling roughly as well. Alice stood up, and I was surprised I didn't see any tears streaming down her face like waterfalls, as I'm certain they would have ten --or three-- years ago. I stayed on the ground, not being acknowledged by neither Alice nor Lorina. Alice began scolding herself for tripping, and Lorina was laughing as they continued walking without me.
How could they leave me behind here? I carefully made my way to the corner of the street, away from the major crowds of people. I sighed. There were so many other people, how was I to get back to Alice? After all, she was my only route home to Wonderland. I was contemplating finding Alice again or hopping home on my own when, for the second time today, I was picked up from behind by a pair of hands. I could recognize them as female hands, for their grip was similar to Alice's however seemed... Older. Alice's hands were small and dainty, yet these hands were larger and rougher. I shifted around, kicking as I did when Alice had grabbed me, and saw a familiar face. It wasn't Alice, but it was Lorina. Alice wasn't with her, to my surprise. Lorina stared at me, looking unamused. She sighed and said, "You know, you're not as adorable as Alice makes you seem." Finally, someone who had some sense! I am not some little fluffy innocent creature. I am the page of the Queen of Hearts, and I am a very important servant to her! I must return home to Wonderland, quickly, or else Her Majesty will want my head on a silver platter. I kicked at Lorina's hands some more, hoping she would carry me back to Alice, or even put me in her pocket; I didn't want to fall and drop me again. However, she did neither of these. She simply walked around the corner, holding me out in the open. She continued walking until we found the carriage. She opened the door to the carriage, and to my surprise there was Alice, in tears.
"Did you find...?" She started, before she saw me in Lorina's hands, "Oh my gosh! Lorina, you found Peter!" She took me from Lorina's hands, squeezing me and holding me against her chest, whispering to me as she did when she first found me, "Shh, shh, it's okay, there's nothing to fear, you're in good hands now, don't worry, Peter." Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lorina with a small smile on her face. Perhaps she wasn't as bad as I thought.
"Now, Alice, what do you say to your sister?" Their mother asked her, attempting to force a thank you out of Alice.
Of course, Alice replied, "Thank you so very, very much, Lorina!" I was surprised Alice hadn't already begun scolding herself and telling herself the best advice, though she would very seldom follow it.
Once they had all settled down and Alice had given herself her lecture about crying, they set off for their home. I watched the rest of the town roll by, and then hills, until finally I spotted the tree in which my rabbit hole was dug under. That was my only route back to Wonderland, back to Her Majesty, who must be more furious than ever now that I've wasted so much time here. I hopped up on the windowsill of the carriage, pawing at the glass was we slowly passed by the tree. Alice noticed this, and said, "Oh, mother, can we please stop by the river for a few moments? I want to let Peter see again." Her mother sighed, obviously exhausted from their trip into town, and agreed to let them stop for only a few minutes.
Alice, Lorina and I got out of the carriage (I was carried out, of course), and walked towards the riverbank. Alice put me down next to the tree, and I nearly hopped straight down to Wonderland. I watched Alice and Lorina splash at the water for a moment. Out of Alice's pocket, I saw something golden and shiny poke out. A watch chain slowly slipped down. I carefully walked over, pulled on the chain, and took my watch back. Alice must have had it this whole time. I looked at the time. It was-- Oh, dear me! Her Majesty must have already ordered my execution by now, I was so very late. I needn't keep her waiting any longer. I hopped closer and closer to Wonderland. "Goodbye, Alice!" I said aloud, this time bothering to speak. She must have heard me, because I swear I heard someone call my name as I took my last step and fell down the rabbit hole.