There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: A Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. 'Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; 'only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.' The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: 'No room! No room!' they cried out when they saw Alice coming. 'There's PLENTY of room!' said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table. 'Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. 'I don't see any wine,' she remarked. 'There isn't any,' said the March Hare. 'Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily. 'It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare. 'I didn't know it was YOUR table,' said Alice; 'it's laid for a great many more than three.' "You may stay if you answer my riddle." shouted the Mad Hatter. "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's riddle seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. 'I don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely as she could. 'Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter said. 'No, I give up,' Alice replied: 'what's the answer?' 'I haven't the slightest idea,' said the Hatter. 'Nor I,' said the March Hare. Alice sighed wearily. 'I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, 'than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.' And she continued her walk.
Alice saw a table set under a tree in front of a house. Both March Hare and Hatter were having tea there. A Dormouse was sitting in between, which was asleep. Both of them were using it as a cushion and were resting on it. Alice thought that the Dormouse was sleeping, so he had no problem with them doing that on his head. Though the table was large, they were at one corner, huddled together. When they saw Alice, they said that there was no room, but Alice insisted that there was plenty of room for her to enter. She sat in a large armchair and Hare offered her some wine, but Alice couldn't see any. It was only tea, and she said that she could not see any wine. March Hare spoke out that there wasn't any, but Alice got angry and said that Hare should not have offered the wine if there was not any.
Hare said that it was not nice of Alice as well to sit without being invited. Alice retaliated that she didn't know it was his table. Alice said that the table was laid for many people and not for only three people. Mad Hatter interrupted and said that Alice could stay if she could answer his riddle.
Hatter asked why a raven was like a writing desk. Alice could not understand anything, though it was English. She said the same to Hatter. Hatter asked if Alice could solve the riddle. Alice said that she could not and asked the answer from the Hatter. Both Hatter and Hare uttered that they don't know the answer to the riddle. Alice said that they should not waste their time asking riddles which have no answers, and instead do something worthwhile.
Meanings of difficult words:
|Dormouse||An agile mouse-like rodent.|
|Riddle||A question or statement intentionally phrased so as to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer.|
|Raven||A large heavily built crow with mainly black plumage.|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-7. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll. (pp. 103-106). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.