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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 4 of 6||
"After you have finished, I shall give you a glass of warm sweet milk."
"I am satisfied."
Farmer John took the Marionette to the well and showed him how to draw the water. Pinocchio set to work as well as he knew how, but long before he had pulled up the one hundred buckets, he was tired out and dripping with perspiration. He had never worked so hard in his life.
"Until today," said the Farmer, "my donkey has drawn the water for me, but now that poor animal is dying."
"Will you take me to see him?" said Pinocchio.
As soon as Pinocchio went into the stable, he spied a little Donkey lying on a bed of straw in the corner of the stable. He was worn out from hunger and too much work. After looking at him a long time, he said to himself: "I know that Donkey! I have seen him before."
And bending low over him, he asked: "Who are you?"
At this question, the Donkey opened weary, dying eyes and answered in the same tongue: "I am Lamp-Wick."
Then he closed his eyes and died.
"Oh, my poor Lamp-Wick," said Pinocchio in a faint voice, as he wiped his eyes with some straw he had picked up from the ground.
"Do you feel so sorry for a little donkey that has cost you nothing?" said the Farmer. "What should I do--I, who have paid my good money for him?"
"But, you see, he was my friend."
"A classmate of mine."
"What," shouted Farmer John, bursting out laughing. "What! You had donkeys in your school? How you must have studied!"
The Marionette, ashamed and hurt by those words, did not answer, but taking his glass of milk returned to his father.
From that day on, for more than five months, Pinocchio got up every morning just as dawn was breaking and went to the farm to draw water. And every day he was given a glass of warm milk for his poor old father, who grew stronger and better day by day. But he was not satisfied with this. He learned to make baskets of reeds and sold them. With the money he received, he and his father were able to keep from starving.
Among other things, he built a rolling chair, strong and comfortable, to take his old father out for an airing on bright, sunny days.
In the evening the Marionette studied by lamplight. With some of the money he had earned, he bought himself a secondhand volume that had a few pages missing, and with that he learned to read in a very short time. As far as writing was concerned, he used a long stick at one end of which he had whittled a long, fine point. Ink he had none, so he used the juice of blackberries or cherries. Little by little his diligence was rewarded. He succeeded, not only in his studies, but also in his work, and a day came when he put enough money together to keep his old father comfortable and happy. Besides this, he was able to save the great amount of fifty pennies. With it he wanted to buy himself a new suit.
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