What Alice found in the beautiful garden first were three gardeners. They were oblong and flat with the hands and feet at the corners and were numbered two, five and seven. They were painting a white rose tree red because they had mistakenly planted the wrong color and they feared the Queen of the garden might cut off their heads if she found out. Alice soon found out that they feared her for good reason. (Interesting that this Queen of Hearts was so heartless.) Almost anything and anyone could prompt her to scream, ‘Off with their heads!’ Why, even the Duchess was in jail awaiting execution for boxing the Queen’s ears. It’s a wonder there were any heads left at all. But Alice saw that they were only a pack of cards and felt she had nothing to be afraid of. The beauty of the garden, however, did seem overshadowed by the Queen’s anger and her subjects’ fear.

It was in this garden that the Queen had organized a game of croquet. When Alice defiantly stood up to the Queen’s command to chop off her head with a loud ‘Nonsense!’ the King suggested to the livid Queen that Alice was only a child.
The Queen soon changed her tone and asked Alice if she played croquet to which Alice responded, ‘Yes!’ This turned out to be an unusually curious, difficult and confusing game to play. The balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets were flamingos and the arches were the soldiers, doubled up. And nothing stayed still long enough to make a real game of it.
As the Queen’s wild and angry ranting continued during this game, Alice looked for a way of escape and was relieved to have the Cheshire cat show up (even if it was just its head) so she would have someone to talk to. When the cat chose not to kiss the King of Hearts hand it was…you guessed it, “Off with its head!” This edict caused a different stir and a dispute ensued about whether you could chop a head off of something that didn’t have a body. While they go to fetch the Cat’s master, the Duchess, the cat fades away. The King and executioner search wildly about for it, the rest go back to the croquet game…and we will have to wait until next time to find out what Alice does. She certainly continues to get herself in nonsensical situations.

Queen Of Hearts

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