Alice Adventures in Wonderland-Chapter X

Alice continues her adventure with the Gryphon and the melancholy Mock Turtle who relives memories of his past by telling stories. (Is this a way to avoid living in the present or thinking about the future?) This time his story is about a seashore dance called the Lobster Quadrille. He asks the Gryphon to help him show Alice the dance. The Mock Turtle does the singing in a slow, rhythmic voice. It is a sort of ballad about jellyfish, lobsters, seals, snails, whiting, porpoise and turtles and their participation in the dance by the seashore. Alice thanks him for the song and is particularly interested in hearing about the whiting. After a detailed explanation, they ask Alice to share her adventures. She begins by telling them what has happened to her since this morning, but manages to get things rather mixed up because her mind is still filled with the Lobster Quadrille. (There may be a lesson here in listening, remembering if your mind is unfocused on the agenda at hand).

The Mock Turtle can’t take her story any more as he finds it repetitive and says she doesn’t explain anything. So, changing the discussion, he proceeds to sing another very melancholy song about turtle soup. He is just finishing when they hear shouts that a trial is about to begin! This gets curious Alice’s attention and she wants to know ‘what trial?’ As they go running off to the trial I can’t help but wonder what new adventure Alice’s curiosity will lead her to next.
Lobster Quadrille

Published by Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon ( Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the

20 thoughts on “Alice Adventures in Wonderland-Chapter X

  1. Maybe Alice is getting ‘old’. I have a cousin/friend 78 years old. She tells me that her daughter and son say to her “Mom, you have told us this story x many x’s.” But, she is so excited about the story and the meaning she forgets and tells it again. She wants her children to get as excited as she is about it. And/or maybe she did forget that she had told it before.

    Then I heard friend say I just forget to tell the story and especially the important parts that could make a difference for others. Guess this would be selfishness.

    Sure sounds like a good lesson from the book of Philippians…” whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If we think properly we might speak timely and wisely.

    Maybe Alice needs to readjust her behavior and her thought pattern. Maybe she should stop talking to the animals in her head.

    And, the new trial, she probably wants to be an animal lawyer and give advice. O well, I will wait and see from your next chapter excursion tells, Debi.

  2. Great insightful comments Sara. I particularly like the one…”Maybe she should stop talking to the animals in her head.” In every adventure she does always seem to be looking for a conversation which ends in a lot of nonsense chatter with no clear outcome, purpose, focus or accomplishment. Guess that is one result of talking to the animals. Doesn’t sound very wholesome.
    Eph 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

  3. It does sound like touch of senility on Alice’s part in her lapsed memory of certain things. But sometimes one likes the story so much, themselves, that they reitierate often to the chagrin of the listener who may have heard it several times. However, the impact of the story is such on the narrator that they feel to tell it over and over.
    I think of the old Hymn….”I Love To Tell the Story” or “Sing It Over and Over Again, Wonderful Words of (Love).” or words to that effect.

  4. I think Alice needs to focus on the hope she has in Jesus Christ and all the adventures He Jesus fills lives with instead of listening to animal talk. Maybe we listen to too much animal talk and don’t focus on the path God has before us. Instead we like to look at the road most of us have traveled which got us and others of the same conversation in a whole heap of trouble.
    Let us follow Jesus –
    Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
    Heavenly breezes blow;
    Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
    Faces all aglow.
    Turn, turn from sin and doubting,
    Look to God above,
    Climb, climb up sunshine mountain
    You and I.
    When we are around others may be fill them with the hope we have experienced in Jesus by singing:
    Words by Francis Rowley
    I will sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ Who died for me.
 How He left His home in glory
 For the cross of Calvary. Refrain
    Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ Who died for me,
 Sing it with the saints in glory,
 Gathered by the crystal sea.
    I was lost, but Jesus found me,
 Found the sheep that went astray,
 Threw His loving arms around me,
Drew me back into His way. Refrain
    I was bruised, but Jesus healed me,
Faint was I from many a fall,
 Sight was gone, and fears possessed me,
 But He freed me from them all. Refrain
    Days of darkness still come o’er me,
 Sorrow’s path I often tread, But His presence still is with me;
 By His guiding hand I’m led. Refrain
    He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
 Then He’ll bear me safely over,
 Where the loved ones I shall meet. Refrain

  5. “The Mock Turtle can’t take her story anymore as he finds it repetitive and says she doesn’t explain anything.” Hum….did he actually tell Alice this or did he just begin singing, to change the discussion?

    Reading this makes me wonder….is Alice “old, mixed up, unfocused”; as mentioned above, or is she just in need of some constructive criticism; instead, of destructive criticism?

  6. uh-oh! You may be right, Needles. Maybe Alice has been a victim of “put-down” in her youth and needs some counseling and CONSTRUCTIVE, as you put it, criticism. There’s a little ‘Alice’ in all of us, me thinks.

  7. ‘constructive criticism; instead, of destructive criticism?” Needles, does destructive or constructive come from the one giving or the one receiving? Could it be the one that gives constructive criticism seems destructive to the hearer. Or, is it one gives destructive and where does it go? This has always been a wonder to me!

    I have noticed the word ‘sin’ has meaning for some and for others it is a joke.

  8. I received a book for Easter by Joyce Meyers from two great friends, Tammy and Wendy. And, I thank them! But, it sure gives plenty of ‘criticism’ for me as Needles speaks of above. Joyce says, “…big waste of time occurs when we try to change other people. Trying to fix someone who does not want to be fixed is useless. I have spent years trying to help different people, only to have them keep doing things that are destroying them. I finally realized Satan was using them to drain me of energy I needed to help people who really wanted help.” Joyce went on to say, “People won’t change unless they want to and are willing to turn to God for His help.”

    Now as I think on this I could fall on both sides of the fence. Let others take their time and give me advice that I totally reject. Or, others let me take time to give them advice they know they are going to reject. I am beginning to feel like Alice lost in confusion.

  9. Good point, Sara, sometimes the one giving the constructive criticism means for it to be constructive, but the hearer receives it as destructive. I think Psalm 141:5 helps me with some of this. Read with me: “Let the Godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it.” Now look at the footnotes for this verse: “David says that being rebuked by a Godly person is a kindness. Nobody really likes criticism, but everybody can benefit from it when it is given wisely and taken humbly. David suggested how to accept criticism: 1) Don’t refuse it, 2) consider it a kindness, and 3)keep quiet (don’t fight back). Putting these suggestions into practice will help you control how you react to criticism, making it productive rather than destructive, no matter how it was originally intended.”

  10. Notice this: “Nobody really likes criticism, but everybody can benefit from it when it is given WISELY and taken HUMBLY.”

  11. Needles, if I am understanding correctly, It takes relationship. When we are in proper relationship we can tell if the time spent giving criticism is helping or just being washed down the drain like dish water. Am I getting it?

  12. Yes, I think you are right, Sara? A “proper relationship”. You know the old saying…..”You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. Sounds like Joyce Meyer is right, when she says that “people won’t change unless they want to and are willing to turn to God for His help.”

  13. In reading and thinking about all of this, I have found another scripture and footnote that sure gives me some “food for thought”. Read with me the following scripture and footnotes” Proverbs 12:1 says,”To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Footnotes: “If you don’t want to learn, years of schooling will teach you very little. But if you want to be taught, there is no end to what you can learn. This includes being willing to accept discipline and correction and to learn from the wisdom of others. A person who refuses constructive criticism has a problem with pride. Such a person is unlikely to learn very much.”

  14. We are taught in Romans 8:5-6, “if we set our minds on the flesh, we will be controlled by the flesh and its lusts and desires. However, if we set our minds on the Spirit, we will be controlled by the Spirit.”

    If in fact we have set our minds on pursuing excellence and purpose for our lives then we would love and I mean love correction. I think we would have correction before we blunder around over and over with bamboozling mistakes.

  15. Needles, from what I understood in the story as I relistened to parts was that Alice was the first to long to change the subject because she was very puzzled by the whole conversation and was afraid her storytelling would come out all wrong.
    The Gryphon said to Alice that her story was different than he had ever heard and the Mock Turtle said he hadn’t even heard it before and thought it sounded like uncommon nonsense. He also thought it repetitive and confusing and needed explaining (To me, this was their opinion/constructive criticsm/open rebuke).
    Then the Gryphon initiates changing the subject by agreeing with the Turtle that Alice better ‘leave off’ telling her story and gives her a choice of more lobster dance or a song by the turtle. Sounds like they were wise enough to cut off her repetitive nonsense and meaningless confusion. At least they were openly forthright and honest to her face. Perhaps Alice showed some good sense in leaving off her ongoing storytelling mistakes and going in another direction.

    Proverbs 27:5,6: “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. “

  16. Ok, thanks Debi for helping me see that both the Turtle and the Gryphon tried to use some constructive criticism, for Alice.

  17. `You may not have lived much under the sea–‘ (I haven’t,’ said Alice)–`and perhaps you were never even introduced to a lobster- -‘ (Alice began to say `I once tasted–‘ but checked herself hastily, and said `No, never’) `–so you can have no idea what a delightful thing a Lobster Quadrille is!’ quote from chapter X

    I am thinking Alice was speaking about things she knew nothing about. Speaking with animals she knew nothing about. She was confused alright! She should of been learning instead of talking about things she knew nothing about.

    Debi, your comment “To me, this was their opinion/constructive criticism/open rebuke).” Could you elaborate on this a little more. Not sure I understand.

  18. Sara, I thought that the Gryphon and Mock Turtle thought Alice’s storytelling was not edffective because she 1)repeated herself 2) didn’t explain her story to what they could understand and 3) after listening to her stroy thought it was nonsense. This was their perception and opinion and they voiced it openly to her, not to someone else, not as gossip but to her forthrightly. I think they were telling her (which is what I meant by open rebuke) that she needed to be quiet and stop telling these stories.

  19. Yes, I see it since you put it that way. Wisdom recognizes wisdom. I think because you have the gift of wisdom you are able to identify it in others and help others to see it. Thanks.

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