"I think I'll go and meet her,' said Alice, she felt that it would be far grander to have a talk with a real Queen.
It succeeded beautifully. She had not been walking a minute before she found herself face to face with the Red Queen.
`Where do you come from?' said the Red Queen. `And where are you going? Look up, speak nicely, and don't twiddle your fingers all the time.'
Alice attended to all these directions, and explained, as well as she could, that she had lost her way.
`I don't know what you mean by your way,' said the Red Queen: `all the ways about here belong to me -- but why did you come out here at all?' she added in a kinder tone. `Curtsey while you`re thinking what to say, it saves time.'
Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too much in awe of the Red Queen to disbelieve it.
`It's time for you to answer now,' the Red Queen said, looking at her watch: `open your mouth a little wider when you speak, and always say "your Majesty."'
`I only wanted to see what the European Union was like, your Majesty'
`That's right,' said the Red Queen, patting her on the head, which Alice didn't like at all, `though, when you say "European Union," - I've seen Union oversea, compare with which this would be a wilderness.'
For some minutes Alice stood without speaking, looking out in all directions over the country - and a most curious country it was. There were a number of tiny little brooks running straight across it from side to side, and the ground between was divided up into squares by a number of little green hedges, that reached from brook to brook.
`I declare it's marked out just like a large chessboard!' Alice said at last. `There ought to be some men moving about somewhere - and so there are!' She added in a tone of delight, and her heart began to beat quick with excitement as she went on. `The European Union is a great huge game of chess that's being played - all over the world - if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn't mind being a Pawn, if only I might join - though of course I should like to be a Queen, best.'
She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said this, but her companion only smiled slyly, and said, `That's easily managed. You can be the European Union's Pawn, if you like; and you're in the Second Square to began with: when you get to the Eighth Square you'll be a Queen'. Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.
Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Red Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Red Queen kept crying `Faster! Faster!' but Alice felt she could not go faster, thought she had not breath left to say so.
The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. `I wonder if all the things move along with us?' thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Red Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, `Faster! Don't try to talk!'
`Nearly there!' the Red Queen repeated. `Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster! And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.
`Now! Now!' cried the Red Queen. `Faster! Faster!' And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.
The Red Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, `You may rest a little now.'
Alice looked round her in great surprise. `Why, I do believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as it was!'
`Of course it is,' said the Red Queen, `what would you have it?'
`Well, in our country Ukraine,' said Alice, still panting a little, `you'd generally get to somewhere else - if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing.'
`A slow sort of country!' said the Red Queen. `Now, here in European Union, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'
`I'd rather not try, please!' said Alice. `I'm quite content to stay here - only I am so hot and thirsty!'
`I know what you'd like!' hypocritically said the Red Queen, taking a dry crust of bread out of her pocket. `Have a european bread?'
Alice thought it would not be civil to say `No,' though it wasn't at all what she wanted. So she took it, and ate it as well as she could: and it was very dry; and she thought she had never been so nearly choked in all her life.