Remember that when we left Alice last time she was in court where there was a trial going on over stolen tarts. By now Alice is growing so large that she upset s the jury box with her skirt as she stands up. The trial finally proceeds after this upset and when asked by the King what she knows she replies, ‘Nothing whatever.’
In response to Alice’s large size, the king declares, “Rule 42 …All persons more than a mile high to leave the court!” Alice retorts that she is not a mile high and that it’s not a regular rule and that the king invented it just now. To this brash comment the king replies, ‘It’s the oldest rule in the book.’ Alice is undaunted in her defense and firmly states, “Than it ought to be #1.” (Sounds like he is making up the rules as he goes? Is that legitimate?)
Having no answer to this remark, the scene shifts and the White Rabbit presents evidence. It’s a letter he’s found that’s not directed to anyone and turns out to be a set of verses. Much ado is made over interpreting the meaning and value of the verses. Alice argues that it doesn’t prove anything. She is growing bolder and bolder as now as she has grown so large. (Interesting how size turns fear into fearless.)
It is finally determined that the verses reveal that the ‘supposed’ stolen tarts are right in the middle of the room on the table. The king then tells the jury (for the 20th time) to consider their verdict but the Queen wants the sentence first, and the verdict last. Alice heatedly argues against this until the queen commands her to hold her tongue. Alice says she won’t and the Queen’s reply (of course) is, ‘Off with your head!’
That does it for Alice who screams, ‘Who cares for you, you’re nothing but a pack of cards!’ At this the cards rise into the air and fly down upon her. She tries to beat them off …..and then…..Alice wakes up and finds herself back on the bank of the river with her sister brushing dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees from her forehead.
Alice tells her sister all about her curious dream and when she is finished her sister tells her to run off to tea, which Alice does, thinking what a wonderful dream she had as she goes. Her sister stays on the bank of that river, however, and begins to dream herself. She dreams of Alice and, listening, her dream becomes filled with all of the character sounds in Alice’s dream. She sits with closed eyes, half believing in Wonderland but knowing that when she opens her eyes it will only be ‘dull reality’ and the noises will change to familiar barnyard sounds. She pictures how Alice will grow up and, keeping her childlike heart, will gather other little children about her and tell them strange stories, perhaps even of Wonderland, while remembering her happy summer days.
And here the story ends.
Lewis Carroll addresses all his child readers, writing some lovely thoughts. One in particular is a Christmas time thanks and a blessing that includes the wish that all children’s Christmas’s be “…Bright with the presence of that unseen Friend who once on earth blessed little children…”