Alice in Wonderland 3: The Queen of Hearts

The garden into which Alice had finally found her way had a tree of white roses growing by the door. Three gardeners worked at the tree, changing the roses from white to red as fast as they were able.

“Why you are painting those roses?” Alice asked.

One of the gardeners stopped painting and said, “Why, the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a red rose tree, and we put a white one in by mistake. And, if the Queen was to find it out, we will all have our heads cut off!”

“That’s terrible!” Alice cried.

Before Alice could learn more, a procession of more flat, square people marched into the garden. Soldiers with clubs led the way, followed by courtiers covered in diamonds. Finally, a king and queen marked with hearts arrived.

“Why, they’re a pack of cards!” Alice thought.

The queen saw the painted roses and glared. “Those roses aren’t red. They’re white! Who’s been painting my roses?” the queen yelled. “Off with their heads!” She screamed, storming off. Her court followed.

Though Alice had only just met the gardeners, she couldn’t bear to see them hurt. So she hid them in a pot.

The queen’s guards pretended to look around, shrugged to one another, and went back to join the queen. Alice followed.

“Are their heads off?” the queen asked.

Alice didn’t like to lie, but she smiled and said, “Oh, yes. Their heads are quite gone.”

The queen looked at Alice. “Who are you? And more important, can you play croquet?”

“I’m Alice,” Alice said. “And yes, I can!”

The queen gave Alice a hedgehog for a ball and a flamingo for a mallet. The guards formed arches by crawling on their hands and knees. “How strange,” Alice thought.

FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 600
Word Count 1087

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