Alice (Zie/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 zie 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 zie was considering in zir own mind (as well as zie 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 zie thought it over afterwards, it occurred to zir that zie 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 zie had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, zie 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 zie 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 zie found zirself falling down a very deep well.

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