If there ever was a quintessential time-space traveller in English literature that was Alice. Her features give us the best excuse for presenting today’s reality from a foreigner point of view… and that’s just what we did: send her to the Children Section of our library in 2015!
Comments will be most welcome!
ALICE IN OUR LAND
(Click here to download the PDF file: Alice in our Land – Luciana Serra )
Alice is sleeping on the floor. She wakes up, rubs her eyes.
ALICE: Ohhhh [yawning] I must have slept for ages! I had this very weird dream… of falling through a rabbit hole! And there was a white rabbit with a pocket watch, too. And a crazy cat… I’m sooo tired… I feel as if I had been running all night! But… wait a minute… [She looks around] What is this place? Where am I? What a whole lot of books!!! [She looks up to the ceiling lamps] This is strange indeed… I must be dreaming again! [A phone rings right next to her. A librarian picks it up] Wooowwww!!! What’s that sound?
LIBRARIAN: Love? Yeah… listen, I can’t talk now, I’m at work. Yeah, OK. [She hangs the phone]
ALICE: [To the public] …Was she talking to that thing? [Now, to the Librarian] Hello!
LIBRARIAN: Good morning, darling!
ALICE: Can you make it play again?
LIBRARIAN: Ohhh… what do you mean?
ALICE: The little box, can you make it play again?
LIBRARIAN: This? The phone?
ALICE: What happens if I talk to it? [She now speaks to the wrong side of the phone] Heee-lloooo! [looks puzzled] “Dear, dear! How queer everything is today! I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night…”
LIBRARIAN: [Looking at her suspiciously] How old are you? [The phone rings again] It’s my son, you can speak to him, if you want. [She picks up the phone and passes it on to Alice]
ALICE: Hello? [the Librarian helps her setting the phone in the right position] This is Alice, what’s your name?… Hello, Hegoi… and… how did you get in there?… there, inside this little box? Did you drink from the “Drink Me” bottle, too?… Your mum? She’s here, hold on… [passes the phone to the Librarian]
LIBRARIAN: I… I don’t know… [in a lower voice] she looks a bit weird… she’s nice though. OK, see you later. Big kiss.
ALICE: Poor thing… and, how do you plan to get him out of there? Oh! Wait a minute, I think I still have… [she looks for something in her apron pocket] Yes! Here it is! A bit of the “Eat me” cake! Look, if he manages to eat a crumb of this, he will grow until he breaks his cage! [she bears a triumphant smile]
LIBRARIAN: [Looking really worried now] What…?! Where are your parents? Are you all alone here?
ALICE: [Sitting on a cushion, starting to cry] I don’t know… I think I’m lost! [She cries a bit harder]
LIBRARIAN: [Patting her head] Easy, easy… don’t cry so loud, we are in a library! Tell me, where are you coming from, I can help you.
ALICE: [Sobbing] I was… I was with my sister in the park… she was reading… I was very tired of sitting next to her… I think I fell asleep.
LIBRARIAN: OK, so your sister must be out there in the park [signaling the park through the window] Come, let’s go and look for her!
ALICE: [Starting to cry loud again, the librarian gesticulating for her to keep quiet] It wasn’t this park! This is not my park!!!
LIBRARIAN: What do you mean it wasn’t this park?
ALICE: I got here through a rabbit hole, not through a door!
LIBRARIAN: You mean that…? …What’s your name again?
ALICE: [Curtseying] I’m Alice, nice to meet you.
LIBRARIAN: [Starting to realize…] Give me a moment [she moves towards the shelves searching for a book among the book spines] Here! Here it is! Look! [Showing her an “Alice in Wonderland” copy] Do you recognize any of this?
ALICE: Amazing! Is that me? Look! The Crazy Hatter! The Cheshire cat!… But… why am I in a book?
LIBRARIAN: You should thank your dear friend Lewis Carroll! Now, the question is why you are here… And how you are going back…
ALICE: Do you know any rabbit holes around here?
LIBRARIAN: Wait!… I’ve got a better idea!… You said you came DOWN the rabbit hole, right? I know about something that will take you UP! [She holds Alice’s hand and guides her towards the lift. All the children must follow] Come, come, you’ll love it!
ALICE: [Once before the lift, Alice looks bewildered] Are you sure about this? [Steps into the lift]
LIBRARIAN: Be brave! Have a nice trip! [The Librarian pushes a button. Alice disappears into the up-going lift]