THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO

第19章

Pinocchio finds the Fox and the Cat again, and goes with them to sow the gold pieces in the Field of WondersCrying as if his heart would break, the Marionette mourned for hours over the length of his nose.No matter how he tried, it would not go through the door.The Fairy showed no pity toward him, as she was trying to teach him a good lesson, so that he would stop telling lies, the worst habit any boy may acquire.But when she saw him, pale with fright and with his eyes half out of his head from terror, she began to feel sorry for him and clapped her hands together.A thousand woodpeckers flew in through the window and settled themselves on Pinocchio's nose.They pecked and pecked so hard at that enormous nose that in a few moments, it was the same size as before.

"How good you are, my Fairy," said Pinocchio, drying his eyes, "and how much I love you!""I love you, too," answered the Fairy, "and if you wish to stay with me, you may be my little brother and I'll be your good little sister.""I should like to stay--but what about my poor father?""I have thought of everything.Your father has been sent for and before night he will be here.""Really?" cried Pinocchio joyfully."Then, my good Fairy, if you are willing, I should like to go to meet him.

I cannot wait to kiss that dear old man, who has suffered so much for my sake.""Surely; go ahead, but be careful not to lose your way.

Take the wood path and you'll surely meet him."Pinocchio set out, and as soon as he found himself in the wood, he ran like a hare.When he reached the giant oak tree he stopped, for he thought he heard a rustle in the brush.He was right.There stood the Fox and the Cat, the two traveling companions with whom he had eaten at the Inn of the Red Lobster.

"Here comes our dear Pinocchio!" cried the Fox, hugging and kissing him."How did you happen here?""How did you happen here?" repeated the Cat.

"It is a long story," said the Marionette."Let me tell it to you.The other night, when you left me alone at the Inn, I met the Assassins on the road--""The Assassins? Oh, my poor friend! And what did they want?""They wanted my gold pieces."

"Rascals!" said the Fox.

"The worst sort of rascals!" added the Cat.

"But I began to run," continued the Marionette, "and they after me, until they overtook me and hanged me to the limb of that oak."Pinocchio pointed to the giant oak near by.

"Could anything be worse?" said the Fox.

"What an awful world to live in! Where shall we find a safe place for gentlemen like ourselves?"As the Fox talked thus, Pinocchio noticed that the Cat carried his right paw in a sling.

"What happened to your paw?" he asked.

The Cat tried to answer, but he became so terribly twisted in his speech that the Fox had to help him out.

"My friend is too modest to answer.I'll answer for him.About an hour ago, we met an old wolf on the road.

He was half starved and begged for help.Having nothing to give him, what do you think my friend did out of the kindness of his heart? With his teeth, he bit off the paw of his front foot and threw it at that poor beast, so that he might have something to eat."As he spoke, the Fox wiped off a tear.

Pinocchio, almost in tears himself, whispered in the Cat's ear:

Carlo Collodi

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