"How Doth the Little Crocodile" is a poem by Lewis Carroll which appears in his novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's recited by Alice in Chapter 2. It describes a crafty crocodile which lures fish into its mouth with a welcoming smile.
This poem is performed by Fiona Fullerton in the film "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1972).
- How doth the little crocodile
- Improve his shining tail,
- And pour the waters of the Nile
- On every golden scale!
- How cheerfully he seems to grin,
- How neatly spreads his claws,
- And welcomes little fishes in
- With gently smiling jaws!
"Against Idleness and Mischief"
"How Doth the Little Crocodile" is a parody of the moralistic poem "Against Idleness And Mischief" by Isaac Watts (Alice was originally trying to recite that). Watts' poem begins "How doth the little busy bee," and uses a bee as a model of hard work. In Carroll's parody, the crocodile's corresponding "virtues" are deception and predation, themes which recur throughout Alice's adventures in both books, and especially in the poems.
- Martin Gardner. The Annotated Alice.