Twee­dle­dum and Twee­dledee

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of these ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

Many of you, Dear Read­ers, will re­mem­ber the charm­ing tale of Alice in Won­der­land in Lewis Car­roll's Through the Look­ing Glass, prob­a­bly from your child­hood days.

The thing with many fa­mous ac­cepted sto­ries from our child­hood is that they were orig­i­nally writ­ten by satirists who used the genre to crit­i­cize the habits and so­ci­ety they lived in, and thus avoided per­se­cu­tion.

Here's an ex­cerpt from Car­roll's book that I think you might en­joy.

'THEY were stand­ing un­der a tree, each with an arm round the other's neck, and Alice knew which was which in a mo­ment, be­cause one of them had "DUM" em­broi­dered on his col­lar, and the other "DEE". 'I sup­pose they've each got "TWEEDLE" round at the back of the col­lar,' she said to her­self.

They stood so still that she quite for­got they were alive, and she was just go­ing round to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was writ­ten at the back of each col­lar, when she was star­tled by a voice com­ing from the one marked "DUM".

'If you think we're wax-works,' he said, 'you ought to pay, you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at for noth­ing. No­how.'

'Con­trari­wise,' added the one marked "DEE", 'if you think we're alive, you ought to speak.'

'I'm sure I'm very sorry,' was all Alice could say; for the words of the old song kept ring­ing through her head like the tick­ing of a clock, and she could hardly help say­ing them out loud: Twee­dle­dum and Twee­dledee Agreed to have a bat­tle! For Twee­dle­dum said Twee­dledee Had spoiled his nice new rat­tle. Just then flew down a mon­strous crow, As black as a tar-bar­rel!

Which fright­ened both the he­roes so, They quite for­got their quar­rel.

'I know what you're think­ing about,' said Twee­dle­dum; 'but it isn't so, no­how.'

'Con­trari­wise,' con­tin­ued Twee­dledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'

'I was think­ing,' Alice said po­litely, 'which is the best way out of this wood: it's get­ting so dark. Would you tell me, please?' But the fat lit­tle men only looked at each other and grinned.

They looked so ex­actly like a cou­ple of great school­boys, that Alice couldn't help point­ing her fin­ger at Twee­dle­dum, and say­ing 'First Boy!'

'No­how!' Twee­dle­dum cried out briskly, and shut his mouth up again with a snap.

'Next Boy!' said Alice, pass­ing on to Twee­dledee, though she felt quite cer­tain he would only shout out 'Con­trari­wise!' and so he did.

'You've be­gun wrong!' cried Twee­dle­dum. 'The first thing in a visit is to say "How d'ye do?" and shake hands!' And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands with her.

Alice did not like shak­ing hands with ei­ther of them first, for fear of hurt­ing the other one's feel­ings; so, as the best way out of the dif­fi­culty, she took hold of both hands at once: the next mo­ment they were danc­ing round in a ring. This seemed quite nat­u­ral (she re­mem­bered af­ter­wards), and she was not even sur­prised to hear mu­sic play­ing: it seemed to come from the tree un­der which they were danc­ing, and it was done (as well as she could make it out) by the branches rub­bing one across the other, like fid­dles and fid­dle-sticks.”

Isn't it great, Dear Reader, that our na­tion is spared the likes of Twee­dle­dum and Twee­dledee among our po­lit­i­cal elite? Or then again, maybe not.

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