What Alice finds outside the March Hare’s house under a tree are the March Hare, the Mad Hatter and the Door Mouse all sitting at the corner of a large table having tea. When they see Alice approaching they cry out that there was no room, no room! Because there are only three at this large table and there is so much room for others, Alice indignantly assumes (wrongly…Oh! how much trouble we get into by assuming) that there is plenty of room for her and takes a seat in a large armchair at the end of the table.

When encouraged by the March Hare to have some wine, she replies that she doesn’t see any, to which the Hare replies, ‘there isn’t any!’ Alice is angered by what she sees as a very uncivil offer. The March Hare confronts Alice on her anger at his breach of civility by countering that she shouldn’t have invited herself to sit down at the table. Alice justifies herself by saying she didn’t know it was the March Hare’s table since it was set for so many more than three. (Interesting how each one saw things from an entirely different perspective). The conversation abruptly changes when the Mad Hatter, out of nowhere, says to Alice that her hair needs cutting. Alice retorts that this personal remark is very rude, but the Hatter’s response is simply to ask Alice an unrelated riddle. The tea party continues to unravel with unproductive communication. The atmosphere is rife with misunderstanding, assumptions, subject avoidance, inconsideration, and nonsensical conversations. And the door mouse tells a story that doesn’t have an ending because when the Door Mouse asks Alice a question that confuses her and she replies that she ‘doesn’t really think’…. the Hatter replies, ‘then you shouldn’t talk!’ That does it for Alice. Rising from the table in disgust she walks away, ‘half-hoping they will call after her’, but no one takes any notice. She says it was the stupidest tea part she has ever been to in all her life! As she heads away into the wood she notices a tree with a door in it. Very curious, she thinks, and enters in. What does she find there?