BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 5 – Advice from a caterpillar: Alice is beginning to wonder who she is, when a caterpillar gives her some advice about a magical mushroom. But is it good advice – and who thinks Alice is a snake?
After Alice frightened everyone by growing as big as a house, she ate some little cakes and shrank again. She doesn’t like being so tiny, so she’s looking for something to make her grow to the right size. But this is Wonderland and what she finds, sitting on top of a mushroom, is very curious indeed…
Am I as small as a mushroom, or is the mushroom as tall as me? Ohh!!
Sitting on top of the mushroom was a blue caterpillar smoking a hookah pipe.
Who are you?
I… I’m not sure. I know who I was when I woke up this morning. But I’ve changed so many times since then!
What do you mean by that? Explain yourself!
I can’t explain myself because I’m not myself. It’s very confusing… I think you should tell me who YOU are first.
Alice couldn’t think of any good reason. She decided to leave.
Come back! I have something important to say!
Don’t be unhappy.
Is that all?
No. So you think you’ve changed, do you?
I have, sir. I don’t stay the same size for more than ten minutes!
What size do you want to be?
Oh, I don’t mind. A little bit bigger is all I would like. Seven centimetres is such a terrible height!
It is a very good height! I myself am exactly seven centimetres in height!
And with that, the caterpillar crawled off the mushroom and away.
One side of the mushroom will make you grow taller. The other side will make you grow shorter. Seven centimetres indeed!
Hmmm… let me pull this side… and now this side…But which side is which?
There was only one way to find out the answer to that question. Alice took a bite of one piece of the mushroom – and shrank so quickly that she hit her chin on her foot.
Quickly, she ate some of the other piece of mushroom and …
Where have my shoulders gone? And my hands – where are you, hands?
Alice grew and grew until her neck was as long as a snake. Up and up she grew, through the branches and leaves, until her head was higher than the trees. Alice found she could move her neck just like a snake, bending this way and that. She was about to use her long neck to push her head down into the trees and look for her shoulders and hands, when suddenly a furious bird flew at her.
Snake! Snake! You want my eggs! I know!
I’m not a snake! I’m a… I’m a little girl!
Little girl or snake, it doesn’t matter to me, you want my eggs just the same!
I don’t want your eggs, really I don’t!
Then be off with you! Go away!
The bird settled angrily into its nest. Alice ate a little of one side of the mushroom, then a little of the other, then a little of the first again until she was a good size. She decided to find her way back the door to the beautiful garden that she saw when she first arrived in Wonderland. As she walked through the forest she found a little clearing, with a small house in it, not much more than a metre or so high.
I wonder who lives here? The house is so small – anyone who lives here will surely be afraid of me!
Alice ate a little more of the mushroom and quickly brought herself down to the right size for this little house. Next time, Alice meets a walking fish, talks to a smiling cat and has to look after a baby. Goodbye.
past tense of ‘shrink’; became smaller
a water pipe for smoking tobacco. Hookah pipes are popular in Turkey and the Middle East
how tall or short something is
the bottom part of your face under your mouth
shoulders (singular: shoulder)
the part of your body on each side of your neck, between the top of your arms and your neck
the part of your body between your shoulders and your head
BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 5 – Advice from a caterpillar (Transcript Video)
BBC Short Dramas – Alice in Wonderland
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 1
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 2
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 3
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 4
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 5
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 6
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 7
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 8
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 9
- BBC Short Dramas: Alice in Wonderland 10
More from the BBC
- L1: BBC The Flatmates
- L1: BBC 6 Minute Vocabulary with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Face Up to Phrasals with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Drama – The Race with transcript videos
- L2: BBC 6 minute English with transcript videos
- L1: BBC The English We Speak with transcript videos
- L3: BBC Better Speaking
- L1: BBC English at Work with transcript videos
- L1: BBC How to … with transcript videos
- L1: BBC Short and Easy Dramas with transcript videos
- L1: extr@ English with subtitles
- L1: Living English Video Series
- L2: A.A. Milne – Winnie the Pooh AudioBook
- L2: My Australia
- L3: Pride and Prejudice AudioBook
- L2: The Secret Garden AudioBook
- L2: Study English – IELTS Preparation
- L3: CNN Student News with transcript
- L3: The Business of English Video Series
- L2: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Easy AudioBook
Source: BBC Learning EnglishMore Series for You: