"'You are old,' said the youth; "one would hardly suppose/ That your eye was as steady as ever;/ Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose./ Pray, what made you so awfully clever?"
"I'll be judge, I'll be jury!" cried cunning old Fury; "I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death."
"The farther off from England, the nearer is to France;/ Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance."
I guess if I had been a more socially functional kid, these books would not have made more sense to me than real life did. But, for better or for worse, I just got Wonderland. I got the land on the other side of the looking-glass. I got the perpetually distressed and disheveled White Queen, the austere and ferocious Red Queen, the dissembling Walrus and Carpenter, the petulant Alice, the Mad Hatter, and even the Duchess and her baby-who-turns-into-a-pig. It all worked for me in a fairly profound way.
I never watched the Disney ALICE or the Tim Burton ALICE. I don't think I wanted any other versions to interfere with the images of the characters that I had been carrying around in my head for so long. And those images remain there, dear old friends who reach out to me every once in a while just to let me know they're still around.