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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 1 of 4||
Pinocchio, having become a Donkey, is bought by the owner of a Circus, who wants to teach him to do tricks. The Donkey becomes lame and is sold to a man who wants to use his skin for a drumhead
Very sad and downcast were the two poor little fellows as they stood and looked at each other. Outside the room, the Little Man grew more and more impatient, and finally gave the door such a violent kick that it flew open. With his usual sweet smile on his lips, he looked at Pinocchio and Lamp-Wick and said to them:
"Fine work, boys! You have brayed well, so well that I recognized your voices immediately, and here I am."
On hearing this, the two Donkeys bowed their heads in shame, dropped their ears, and put their tails between their legs.
At first, the Little Man petted and caressed them and smoothed down their hairy coats. Then he took out a currycomb and worked over them till they shone like glass. Satisfied with the looks of the two little animals, he bridled them and took them to a market place far away from the Land of Toys, in the hope of selling them at a good price.
In fact, he did not have to wait very long for an offer. Lamp-Wick was bought by a farmer whose donkey had died the day before. Pinocchio went to the owner of a circus, who wanted to teach him to do tricks for his audiences.
And now do you understand what the Little Man's profession was? This horrid little being, whose face shone with kindness, went about the world looking for boys. Lazy boys, boys who hated books, boys who wanted to run away from home, boys who were tired of school--all these were his joy and his fortune. He took them with him to the Land of Toys and let them enjoy themselves to their heart's content. When, after months of all play and no work, they became little donkeys, he sold them on the market place. In a few years, he had become a millionaire.
What happened to Lamp-Wick? My dear children, I do not know. Pinocchio, I can tell you, met with great hardships even from the first day.
After putting him in a stable, his new master filled his manger with straw, but Pinocchio, after tasting a mouthful, spat it out.
Then the man filled the manger with hay. But Pinocchio did not like that any better.
"Ah, you don't like hay either?" he cried angrily. "Wait, my pretty Donkey, I'll teach you not to be so particular."
Without more ado, he took a whip and gave the Donkey a hearty blow across the legs.
Pinocchio screamed with pain and as he screamed he brayed:
"Haw! Haw! Haw! I can't digest straw!"
"Then eat the hay!" answered his master, who understood the Donkey perfectly.
"Haw! Haw! Haw! Hay gives me a headache!"
"Do you pretend, by any chance, that I should feed you duck or chicken?" asked the man again, and, angrier than ever, he gave poor Pinocchio another lashing.
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