Alice (Ze/Zir)

 

Return to: The Need for a Gender-Neutral Pronoun

 

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

Lewis Carroll

 

CHAPTER I. Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by zir sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice ze had peeped into the book zir 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 ze was considering in zir own mind (as well as ze could, for the hot day made zir 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 zir.

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 ze thought it over afterwards, it occurred to zir that ze 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 zir feet, for it flashed across zir mind that ze had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, ze ran across the field after it, and fortunately was 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 ze was 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 zirself before ze found zirself falling down a very deep well.

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

‘Well!’ thought Alice to zirself, ‘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 ze told zir sister, as well as ze could remember them, all these strange Adventures of zirs that you have just been reading about; and when ze had finished, zir sister kissed zir, 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 ze ran, as well ze 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

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