’I’ve tried the roots of trees, and I’ve tried banks, and I’ve tried hedges,’ the Pigeon went on, without attending to her; ’but those serpents!
’As if it wasn’t trouble enough hatching the eggs,’ said the Pigeon; ’but I must be on the look-out for serpents night and day!
’Serpent!’ screamed the Pigeon.
’I HAVE tasted eggs, certainly,’ said Alice, who was a very truthful child; ’but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know.’
’I’m NOT a serpent!’ said Alice indignantly.
’But I’m NOT a serpent, I tell you!’ said Alice.
You’re a serpent; and there’s no use denying it.
’I don’t believe it,’ said the Pigeon; ’but if they do, why then they’re a kind of serpent, that’s all I can say.’
As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about easily in any direction, like a serpent.
This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite silent for a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the opportunity of adding, ’You’re looking for eggs, I know THAT well enough; and what does it matter to me whether you’re a little girl or a serpent?’