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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 2 of 3||
At the same time, he saw a Fisherman come out of the cave, a Fisherman so ugly that Pinocchio thought he was a sea monster. In place of hair, his head was covered by a thick bush of green grass. Green was the skin of his body, green were his eyes, green was the long, long beard that reached down to his feet. He looked like a giant lizard with legs and arms.
When the Fisherman pulled the net out of the sea, he cried out joyfully:
"Blessed Providence! Once more I'll have a fine meal of fish!"
"Thank Heaven, I'm not a fish!" said Pinocchio to himself, trying with these words to find a little courage.
The Fisherman took the net and the fish to the cave, a dark, gloomy, smoky place. In the middle of it, a pan full of oil sizzled over a smoky fire, sending out a repelling odor of tallow that took away one's breath.
"Now, let's see what kind of fish we have caught today," said the Green Fisherman. He put a hand as big as a spade into the net and pulled out a handful of mullets.
"Fine mullets, these!" he said, after looking at them and smelling them with pleasure. After that, he threw them into a large, empty tub.
Many times he repeated this performance. As he pulled each fish out of the net, his mouth watered with the thought of the good dinner coming, and he said:
"Fine fish, these bass!"
"Very tasty, these whitefish!"
"Delicious flounders, these!"
"What splendid crabs!"
"And these dear little anchovies, with their heads still on!"
As you can well imagine, the bass, the flounders, the whitefish, and even the little anchovies all went together into the tub to keep the mullets company. The last to come out of the net was Pinocchio.
As soon as the Fisherman pulled him out, his green eyes opened wide with surprise, and he cried out in fear:
"What kind of fish is this? I don't remember ever eating anything like it."
He looked at him closely and after turning him over and over, he said at last:
"I understand. He must be a crab!"
Pinocchio, mortified at being taken for a crab, said resentfully:
"What nonsense! A crab indeed! I am no such thing. Beware how you deal with me! I am a Marionette, I want you to know."
"A Marionette?" asked the Fisherman. "I must admit that a Marionette fish is, for me, an entirely new kind of fish. So much the better. I'll eat you with greater relish."
"Eat me? But can't you understand that I'm not a fish? Can't you hear that I speak and think as you do?"
"It's true," answered the Fisherman; "but since I see that you are a fish, well able to talk and think as I do, I'll treat you with all due respect."
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