follow the white rabbit
Of the book Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Down the Rabbit-Hole - the Chapter 1 title,
has become a popular term for going on an adventure into the unknown.
But I think - nay, I am sure - that some children will read this gently and lovingly, and in the spirit in which I have written it.
For I do not believe God means us thus to divide life into two halves - to wear a grave face on sunday, and to think it out-of-place to even so much as mention Him on a week-day. Do you think He only cares to see only kneeling figures, and to hear only tones of prayer - and that He does not also love to see the lambs leaping in the sunlight, and to hear the merry voices of the children, as they roll among the hay? Surely their innocent laughter is as sweet in His ears as the grandest anthem that ever rolled up from the 'dim religious light' of some solemn cathedral?
Surely your gladness need not be the less for the thought that you will one day see a brighter dawn than this - when lovelier sights will meet your eyes than any waving trees or rippling waters - when angel-hands shall undraw your curtains, and sweeter tones than ever loving Mother breathed shall wake you to a new and glorious day - and when all the sadness, and the sin, that darkened life on this little earth, shall be forgotten like the dreams of a night that is past!
Your affectionate friend,
"I don't REJOICE in insects at all," Alice explained, "because I"m rather afraid of them--at least the large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of them." "Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat remarked carelessly. "I never knew them do it." "What's the use of their having names the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?" "No use to THEM," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people who name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?" "I can't say," the Gnat replied. "Further on, in the wood down there, they've got no names--however, go on with your list of insects: you're wasting time." "That's the effect of living backwards," the Queen said kindly: "it always makes one a little giddy at first--" "Living backwards!" Alice repeated in great astonishment. "I never heard of such a thing!" "--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways." "I'm sure MINE only works one way." Alice remarked. "I can't remember things before they happen." "it's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked. "What sort of things do YOU remember best?" Alice ventured to ask. "Oh, things that happened the week after next," the Queen replied in a careless tone. "For instance, now," she went on, sticking a large piece of plaster [band-aid] on her finger as she spoke ... She bound the plaster round her finger with a bit of ribbon. Alice was just beginning to say "There"s a mistake somewhere--," when the Queen began screaming so loud that she had to leave the sentence unfinished. "Oh, oh, oh!" shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as if she wanted to shake it off. "My finger"s bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!" Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam-engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her ears. "What IS the matter?" she said, as soon as there was a chance of making herself heard. "Have you pricked your finger?" "I haven't pricked it YET," the Queen said, "but I soon shall-- oh, oh, oh!" "When do you expect to do it?" Alice asked, feeling very much inclined to laugh. "When I fasten my shawl again," the poor Queen groaned out: "the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, oh!" As she said the words the brooch flew open, and the Queen clutched wildly at it, and tried to clasp it again. "Take care!" cried Alice. "You're holding it all crooked!" And she caught at the brooch; but it was too late: the pin had slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger. "That accounts for the bleeding, you see," she said to Alice with a smile. "Now you understand the way things happen here." "But why don't you scream now?" Alice asked, holding her hands ready to put over her ears again. "Why, I"ve done all the screaming already," said the Queen. "What would be the good of having it all over again?" By this time it was getting light. "Only it is so VERY lonely here!" Alice said in a melancholy voice; and at the thought of her loneliness two large tears came rolling down her cheeks. "Oh, don't go on like that!" cried the poor Queen, wringing her hands in despair. "Consider what a great girl you are. Consider what a long way you've come to-day. Consider what o'clock it is. Consider anything, only don't cry!" Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst of her tears. "Can YOU keep from crying by considering things?" she asked. "That's the way it's done," the Queen said with great decision: "nobody can do two things at once, you know. Let's consider your age to begin with--how old are you?" "I'm seven and a half exactly." "You needn't say 'exactually,'" the Queen remarked: "I can believe it without that. Now I"ll give YOU something to believe. I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day." "I can't believe THAT!" said Alice. "Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes." Alice laughed. "There"s no use trying," she said: "one CAN't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.