Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass Looking-Glass, Chapter 8
By Lewis Carroll
Looking-Glass, Chapter 8
'It's My Own Invention'
The noise dies away and Alice looks up. She wonders again whether she is in her own dream or the Red King's.
A Red Knight gallops up and takes Alice prisoner. Then a White Knight gallops up and challenges him to a battle over her.
Alice hides behind a tree while the Knights fight. Their battle is silly and haphazard; they hold their clubs with their arms instead of their hands and they fall off their horses a lot. Eventually the Red Knight gallops away and the White Knight seems to be victorious.
The White Knight offers to take Alice to the Eighth Square and she accepts.
Alice helps the White Knight take off his helmet. He's dressed in ill-fitting armor and there are all kinds of strange things strung around his horse.
The Knight tells Alice about one of his inventions – a box for storing things that's hung upside down so the rain doesn't get in. Unfortunately, all the things have fallen out. The Knight hangs it on a tree instead so that it can be used as a beehive.
Alice notices a beehive and a mousetrap hanging from the Knight's saddle. They talk about these items and the Knight explains that he wants to be prepared for anything.
The Knight notices the dish Alice is still carrying. He tucks it away into his bag in case they find any more plum-cake.
As they start their journey, the Knight asks Alice if her hair is fastened adequately. He tells her about a silly invention for keeping hair from falling off by making it grow up sticks.
Alice notices that the Knight is a very bad rider; he falls off every time the horse stops and starts. She says the Knight must not have had very much practice riding, which offends him.
Alice suggests that the Knight use a wooden horse on wheels instead, since it would go more smoothly.
There is a pause and then the Knight tells Alice about a new plan he's invented for getting over a gate by doing a headstand.
Alice comments on the Knight's strange helmet. He tells her about another helmet he made for himself that was so large he once fell into it. The other White Knight came to put it on, and he had to kick the Knight in the head.
Alice asks the Knight how he can keep talking when he falls over, and the Knight says his brain keeps working no matter where his body is.
The Knight tells Alice about a strange pudding (the British term for "dessert") that he invented, made with blotting-paper, gunpowder, and sealing wax.
They arrive at the end of the Seventh Square. The Knight offers to sing Alice a song before she leaves him. He spends a long time telling her the title of the song – it seems to have a whole series of titles, including titles of the titles.
The Knight sings for Alice. He is a picturesque figure, and years later she remembers the scene vividly.
Verse Alert: the Knight sings a song all about his daydreams and strange plans and inventions.
When the Knight finishes singing, he gives Alice directions and rides away. He asks Alice to wave to him as he turns the corner, and she does.
Alice turns and leaps across the last of the brooks and finds herself in the Eighth Square. A huge golden crown appears on her head.