A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious thing, and she went nearer to watch them, and just as she came up to them she heard one of them say, “Look out now, Five! Don’t go splashing paint over me like that!”
“I couldn’t help it,” said Five, in a sulky tone; “Seven jogged my elbow.”
On which Seven looked up and said, “That’s right, Five! Always lay the blame on others!”
“You’d better not talk!” said Five. “I heard the Queen say only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded!”
“What for?” said the one who had spoken first.
“That’s none of your business, Two!” said Seven.
“Yes, it is his business!” said Five, “and I’ll tell him—it was for bringing the cook tulip-roots instead of onions.”