One of the first memories I have of childhood is that of my grandmother reading stories to me. We used to have these big children’s books, beautifully drawn, and as I listened to her voice, telling me the most wonderful stories, I would get lost in those pictures, and immerse myself in the universe described in them.
One of those books was Alice in Wonderland. Truth be told, the first time my grandmother read the adventures of Alice to me, I didn’t quite get what the hell was going on. But I loved the pictures. They seemed so out of context with the real world, that I was fascinated by them, and “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll quickly became one of my favourite bedtime and nap time stories, up to the point that I learned it by heart and I used to correct my granny if she would skip a line.
The story of the girl that went down the rabbit hole in search of the white rabbit is one universally known. As a child, I was mesmerised by the laugh of the Cheshire Cat (or better said, my grandmother’s impersonation of it), by the Red Queen and her persistent quote “Off with their heads”, by the Flamingo birds used as cricket bats, by the Mad Hatter and his squeamishness, by the Caterpillar, sitting on his giant mushroom, by the talking flowers, by the Mock Turtle, but mostly about Alice herself. What little girl doesn’t dream of going on such wonderful adventures? I surely did.
Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.
But only when I was in high school, did I begin to truly understand what the hell was going on. When I was about 17 I stumbled upon an edition of Alice in Wonderland, with its original drawings, by Sir John Tenniel. Needless to say, I bought the book and read it again. It was like I was reading it for the first time, and later, when I was a college student, and I started learning about psychotropic drugs, I finally cracked the mystery 🙂
Final Badgery thoughts
As final thoughts, Alice in Wonderland is a book for all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, it has something for everyone. For kids, it’s a magical land, for teenagers, it’s a story of rebellion and for adults, well, it’s a way to become a kid again.