The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence (how else could they look? did you ever hear of such a thing as a noisy look?). At length the caterpillar took the hookah pipe out of its mouth, and spoke to Alice in a languid drawl ('I've never been in a languid drawl before', thought Alice; 'it really is rather uncomfortable').
'Who are you?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging way to open a conversation.
'Well, sir', Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I - I knew who I was this morning, but so many curious things have happened to me since, that I hardly know...'
'What do you mean?' asked the Caterpillar, sternly. 'Explain yourself.'
'Well, I can hardly explain myself, I'm afraid, sir', said Alice, 'because I'm not myself any more, you see.'
'I don't see at all', said the Caterpillar.
'Well, sir, I'm afraid I can't put it any more clearly', Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'
'It isn't', said the Caterpillar.
'Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet', said Alice; 'but when you have to turn into a chrysalis - you will some day, you know - and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll find that rather queer, won't you?'
'Not a bit', said the Caterpillar.
'Well', said Alice, 'your feelings may be different, of course, but I know it would feel very queer to me.'
'You!' snorted the Caterpillar, not without contempt. 'Who are you?'
So that they were right back at the start of their conversation. Alice began to feel a little irritated at the Caterpillar's making such very short remarks, and she drew herself up, and said, 'Never mind me, matey. Who the fuck are you?'
The Caterpillar sat and smoked, with a shocked expression. The shocked expression must have come in sometime during the conversation, for Alice did not recall his being there at the start.
Alice continued. 'Well? Eh? You old poofter, sat there like cheese at ninepence smoking a daft pipe. You big nance.'
'Well, I never!' exclaimed the Caterpillar. 'We have come across a well-brought-up child today.'
'Oh shut the fuck up', said Alice. 'I mean, a talking bastard Caterpillar for fuck's sake. You fat old queen. Sat on your fat arse smoking opium all day talking shite. Who the fuck do you think you are, Thomas cunting de Quincey, Samuel Taylor fucking Coleridge, eh? Ponce.'
'Keep your temper', said the Caterpillar.
'Temper my arse', said Alice. 'You try being me, stuck in this shithole, meeting one daft mad fucker after another. You're all on drugs you lot are. How we got the Empire, I'll never know. Is there any wonder a kid might go off the rails?
'What did I do to deserve this bollocks, eh?'
'Well, you are very close to Mr Dodgson', said the Caterpillar, in a low voice.
'And what do you mean by that?' asked Alice, indignantly.
'One shouldn't complain when one gets one's just desserts', the Caterpillar remarked.
'Fuck off', cried Alice. 'Don't bring "Dopey Dodgson" into this, you old cunt. We...'
'You wanted him to write you your own special story, and now you don't like it', said the Caterpillar. 'I call that being ungrateful and a spoiled brat.'
Alice was quite put out by this personal remark. 'Just because we had a laugh at "Drippy Dodgson"! We didn't think he'd go on and write all this shite. Why the fuck would a grown man want to spend all his time with three little girls in a boat, and write a pathetic book about fucking Caterpillars and Mock Turtles and Mad cunting Hatters?'
'Well', said the Caterpillar, in a low voice again, 'you are very close to Mr Dodgson, so you oughtn't to be surprised when things happen.'
'What do you mean? When what happens?' asked Alice.
'I mean to say', said the Caterpillar, drawing on his hookah (he had left his drawing paper at home), 'I mean to say that, all those trips in the boat, and all those photography sessions in Mr Dodgson's dark room, were...'
'Cut!' yelled Lewis Carroll.