Alice, the eponymous heroine in the book, first talks to the mouse when she is floating in a pool of her own tears, having shrunk in size:
`O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!' (Alice thought this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she had never done such a thing before, but she remembered having seen in her brother's Latin Grammar, `A mouse—of a mouse—to a mouse—a mouse—O mouse!' The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.
With no response from the mouse, Alice fears that it may not speak English and attempts to speak French. Upon mentioning the French word for cat, chatte, the mouse panics. This leads to a discussion about cats and dogs, culminating in the mouse telling Alice his history.
The Mouse's Tale
When Alice hears the mouse's "long and sad tale", she is watching his tail. So, she imagines the tale in its shape.
Fury said to a mouse, That he met in the house, "Let us both go to law: I will prosecute YOU. --Come, I'll take no denial; We must have a trial: For really this morning I've nothing to do." Said the mouse to the cur, "Such a trial, dear Sir, With no jury or judge, would be wasting our breath." "I'll be judge, I'll be jury," Said cunning old Fury: "I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death."'
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