"Why hello there little one. I was once this size too you know. A dreadful height it is," Alice spoke softly to the colorful caterpillar inching along her pointer finger.

"But don't worry, soon you will transform and sprout wings. Then your height won't matter because you will be able to soar." Alice pointed to the clouds.

"She is talking to the crawlers again Lorna. What have you been teaching that girl?" Alice's mother inquired of her tutor as they stood and watched Alice playing in the field from the window pane.

"Nothing out of the ordinary madam. She seems to take on her own imagination."

"How do you mean?"

"She does not pay any mind to books without pictures and goes on about her own world. She even claims to have visited her world; speaking of things such as mushrooms that make her taller and liquids that make her smaller."

"I will not have anymore of that talk. You shall not encourage her in that matter." Alice's mother crossed her arms.

"Oh but I don't madam. Perhaps she will listen to you."

"Alice! Alice dear! Do come here."

"In a moment mother." Alice gently placed the caterpillar on a thick green leaf in the field and skipped over to where her mother sat inside sipping tea near the window.

"Walk daintily won't you? You are a lady."

Alice straightened. "What is it mother?"

"I don't want anymore of this talk about your world. No more shrinking or growing or talking to crawlers. I want you focused on your studies. Not your imagination. Is that clear?"

"But mother, it wasn't my imagination. I really did..."

"I said no more! You need to learn to grow up. Everyone your age is participating in their studies not prancing around in the meadows like they did in their infancy. When you return to school in autumn there will be no more talk about this world. Have I made myself clear?"

Alice stormed out of the back door and raced to the plant where she left her new friend.

"Mr. Caterpillar. Where have you gone?" Alice laid in the field crying.

"I'm late! I'm late!" A familiar voice filled the air.

Alice rubbed her eyes.

"Indeed! Mr. Rabbit! Please do wait up!" Alice followed the fluffy-tailed mammal.

She followed him but he didn't look back. He jumped straight down a dark and recognizable hole.

Alice glanced back at her house for only a moment.

"Perhaps I don't want to participate in my studies. Perhaps I want to live in my world." Then Alice released her grip from the ground not saying so much as a goodbye to her mother.