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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 3 of 3||
A few minutes after, a Bricklayer passed by, carrying a pail full of plaster on his shoulder.
"Good man, will you be kind enough to give a penny to a poor boy who is yawning from hunger?"
"Gladly," answered the Bricklayer. "Come with me and carry some plaster, and instead of one penny, I'll give you five."
"But the plaster is heavy," answered Pinocchio, "and the work too hard for me."
"If the work is too hard for you, my boy, enjoy your yawns and may they bring you luck!"
In less than a half hour, at least twenty people passed and Pinocchio begged of each one, but they all answered:
"Aren't you ashamed? Instead of being a beggar in the streets, why don't you look for work and earn your own bread?"
Finally a little woman went by carrying two water jugs.
"Good woman, will you allow me to have a drink from one of your jugs?" asked Pinocchio, who was burning up with thirst.
"With pleasure, my boy!" she answered, setting the two jugs on the ground before him.
When Pinocchio had had his fill, he grumbled, as he wiped his mouth:
"My thirst is gone. If I could only as easily get rid of my hunger!"
On hearing these words, the good little woman immediately said:
"If you help me to carry these jugs home, I'll give you a slice of bread."
Pinocchio looked at the jug and said neither yes nor no.
"And with the bread, I'll give you a nice dish of cauliflower with white sauce on it."
Pinocchio gave the jug another look and said neither yes nor no.
"And after the cauliflower, some cake and jam."
At this last bribery, Pinocchio could no longer resist and said firmly:
"Very well. I'll take the jug home for you."
The jug was very heavy, and the Marionette, not being strong enough to carry it with his hands, had to put it on his head.
When they arrived home, the little woman made Pinocchio sit down at a small table and placed before him the bread, the cauliflower, and the cake. Pinocchio did not eat; he devoured. His stomach seemed a bottomless pit.
His hunger finally appeased, he raised his head to thank his kind benefactress. But he had not looked at her long when he gave a cry of surprise and sat there with his eyes wide open, his fork in the air, and his mouth filled with bread and cauliflower.
"Why all this surprise?" asked the good woman, laughing.
"Because--" answered Pinocchio, stammering and stuttering, "because--you look like--you remind me of--yes, yes, the same voice, the same eyes, the same hair--yes, yes, yes, you also have the same azure hair she had--Oh, my little Fairy, my little Fairy! Tell me that it is you! Don't make me cry any longer! If you only knew! I have cried so much, I have suffered so!"
And Pinocchio threw himself on the floor and clasped the knees of the mysterious little woman.
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