Alice (They/them/their)


Return to: The Need for a Gender-Neutral Pronoun



Lewis Carroll


CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by their sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice they had peeped into the book their sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’

So they were considering in their own mind (as well as they could, for the hot day made them feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by them.

There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so VERY much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ (when they thought it over afterwards, it occurred to them that they ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT-POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to their feet, for it flashed across their mind that they had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, they ran across the field after it, and fortunately were just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world they were to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping themselves before they found themselves falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or they fell very slowly, for they had plenty of time as they went down to look about them and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, they tried to look down and make out what they were coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then they looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there they saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. They took down a jar from one of the shelves as they passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to their great disappointment it was empty: they did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as they fell past it.

‘Well!’ thought Alice to themselves, ‘after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!’ (Which was very likely true.)

‘Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!’ said Alice, and they told their sister, as well as they could remember them, all these strange Adventures of theirs that you have just been reading about; and when they had finished, their sister kissed them, and said, ‘It WAS a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run in to your tea; it’s getting late.’ So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while they ran, as well they might, what a wonderful dream it had been.


The rest of this text can be found in its original format at the Gutenberg Project.


Return to: The Need for a Gender-Neutral Pronoun


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: