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Pat (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

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Title: Pat (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)  
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Language: English
Subject: Dodo (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland (1985 film), Alice in Wonderland (1999 film), Wonderland (fictional country)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pat (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Alice character
Pat is believed by some to be the ape that appears in the Caucus Race
First appearance

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Created by

Lewis Carroll
Portrayed by

Scott Baio, Freddie Earlle, Jason Byrne, Bill Thompson, Jon Glover
Species Guinea pig?
Gender Male
Occupation Gardener
Nationality Irish

Pat is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He appears in the chapter "The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill." He works for the White Rabbit like his friend Bill the Lizard. Carroll never gave any description of the character other than being a gardener, and his species had been widely debated with evidence showing he is likely to be monkey or a guinea pig.[1]

When the White Rabbit mistakes Alice for his maid, Mary Ann, she drinks from a bottle that make her grow. The Rabbit thinks she is a monster, so he asks Pat to climb down the chimney to get the monster out of his house. Pat refuses, so the Rabbit decides to send Bill the Lizard to climb down instead. When Bill climbs down the chimney, Alice kicks him, causing him to fly out of the chimney and back into the Rabbit’s garden.


Pat’s appearance has been of much debate as Carroll never gave any description of the character, so it is unknown whether he is supposed to be and animal, human or a bird. However there are several theories as to what species he is.

Pat is strongly hinted to beIrish, judging by the way he speaks. He says several phrased that could be considered “Irish” such as; "Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour", "Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!' (He pronounced it `arrum.')". Carroll continues to hint his Irish roots by claiming he is “digging for apples”. In Victorian times Irish apples were a slang word for potatoes. Pat is also commonly an Irish name, short for Patrick.

According to The Annotated Alice Pat is likely to be one of the two Guinea Pigs that help to revive Bill [2] after he came shooting out of the chimney. If this is to be true then Pat also makes a second appearance as the two same Guinea Pigs are said to be jurors in the Queen’s court that are suppressed for cheering.

A second theory, suggested by David Lockwood, is that Pat is the Ape that appears in the Caucus Race[3] and the Pool of Tears. This is because Pat is strongly hinted to Irish and in Victorian satirical cartoons Irishmen were almost always depicted as having the appearance of apes. Furthermore, in several Punch cartoons of Irish workers were not only depicted as having an ape-like appearance but were frequently given the name Pat or Paddy. However the ape is not mentioned in the text and only appears in Tenniel’s illustrations, so it is possible he is only a product of Tenniel’s imagination and not Carroll’s.

Other theories have suggested that Pat is simply a lizard, as his co-worker Bill is also one. Many Disney fans confuse Pat with the Dodo, as the characters are merged together in the film, though there is no evidence to support they are the same character in the book.

Disney animated film version

In the Disney animated film, Pat is merged together with The Dodo, who appeared earlier on the film as part of the Caucus Race. This led to the character sometimes being referred to as Pat the Dodo, though this name is never mentioned in the film. In the film Pat is a sailor rather than a gardener and he is of a lot more authority. He is voiced by Bill Thompson

Dodo is first seen as Alice is floating on the sea in a bottle. Dodo is seen singing, but when Alice asks him for help, he does not notice here. On shore, Dodo is seen on a rock, organizing a caucus race. This race involves running around until one gets dry, but the attempts are hampered by incoming waves. Dodo is later summoned by the White Rabbit, when the rabbit believes a monster, actually Alice having magically grown to a giant size, is inside his home. Dodo brings Bill the Lizard, and attempts to get him to go down the chimney. Bill refuses at first, but Dodo is able to convince him otherwise. However, the soot causes Alice to sneeze, sending Bill high up into the sky. Dodo then decides to burn the house down, much to the chagrin of the White Rabbit. He begins gathering wood, such as the furniture, for this purpose. However, Alice is soon able to return to a smaller size and exit the house.

The White Rabbit soon leaves, while Dodo asks for matches, not realizing that the situation has been resolved. He then asks Alice for a match, but when she doesn't have any, Dodo complains about the lack of cooperation and uses his pipe to light the fire.

The Dodo later appears briefly at the end of the film, conducting another Caucus Race.

Other adaptations

  • 1985 television movie played by Scott Baio
  • 1985 television series played by Jon Glover
  • 1972 film played by Freddie Earlle
  • 1999 film played by Jason Byrne


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