“Wake up, dear!” said your sister; “Why, what a long sleep you’ve had!”
“Oh, I’ve had such a curious dream!” you said, and you told your sister all the strange Adventures you’ve had this afternoon; and when you had finished, your sister kissed you, and said, “It was a curious dream, dear, certainly: but now run into your tea; it’s getting late.” You got up and as you ran, you thought what a wonderful dream it had been.
But your sister sat still just as you left her, leaning her head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinking of you and all of your wonderful Adventures, till she too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was her dream:—
First, she dreamed of you, and once again your hands were clasped upon her knee, with your bright eager eyes looking up into hers—she could hear the very tones of your voice, and as she listened, or seemed to listen, the whole place around her became alive with the strange creatures of your dream.
The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by—she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution—
So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality—the grass would be only rustling in the wind—the rattling teacups would change to tinkling sheep-bells, and the Queen’s shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd boy.
Lastly, she pictured to herself how you would, in the after-time, be grown-up; and how you would keep, through all your riper years, the simple and loving heart of your childhood: and how you would gather about your little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how you would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering your own child-life, and the happy summer days.