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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 3 of 4||
"I beg your pardon, my friend, but why then are you wearing that cotton bag over your ears?"
"The doctor has ordered it because one of my knees hurts. And you, dear Marionette, why are you wearing that cotton bag down to your nose?"
"The doctor has ordered it because I have bruised my foot."
"Oh, my poor Pinocchio!"
"Oh, my poor Lamp-Wick!"
An embarrassingly long silence followed these words, during which time the two friends looked at each other in a mocking way.
Finally the Marionette, in a voice sweet as honey and soft as a flute, said to his companion:
"Tell me, Lamp-Wick, dear friend, have you ever suffered from an earache?"
"Never! And you?"
"Never! Still, since this morning my ear has been torturing me."
"So has mine."
"Yours, too? And which ear is it?"
"Both of them. And yours?"
"Both of them, too. I wonder if it could be the same sickness."
"I'm afraid it is."
"Will you do me a favor, Lamp-Wick?"
"Gladly! With my whole heart."
"Will you let me see your ears?"
"Why not? But before I show you mine, I want to see yours, dear Pinocchio."
"No. You must show yours first."
"No, my dear! Yours first, then mine."
"Well, then," said the Marionette, "let us make a contract."
"Let's hear the contract!"
"Let us take off our caps together. All right?"
Pinocchio began to count, "One! Two! Three!"
At the word "Three!" the two boys pulled off their caps and threw them high in air.
And then a scene took place which is hard to believe, but it is all too true. The Marionette and his friend, Lamp-Wick, when they saw each other both stricken by the same misfortune, instead of feeling sorrowful and ashamed, began to poke fun at each other, and after much nonsense, they ended by bursting out into hearty laughter.
They laughed and laughed, and laughed again--laughed till they ached--laughed till they cried.
But all of a sudden Lamp-Wick stopped laughing. He tottered and almost fell. Pale as a ghost, he turned to Pinocchio and said:
"Help, help, Pinocchio!"
"What is the matter?"
"Oh, help me! I can no longer stand up."
"I can't either," cried Pinocchio; and his laughter turned to tears as he stumbled about helplessly.
They had hardly finished speaking, when both of them fell on all fours and began running and jumping around the room. As they ran, their arms turned into legs, their faces lengthened into snouts and their backs became covered with long gray hairs.
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