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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 1 of 2||
Pinocchio discovers the thieves and, as a reward for faithfulness, he regains his liberty
Even though a boy may be very unhappy, he very seldom loses sleep over his worries. The Marionette, being no exception to this rule, slept on peacefully for a few hours till well along toward midnight, when he was awakened by strange whisperings and stealthy sounds coming from the yard. He stuck his nose out of the doghouse and saw four slender, hairy animals. They were Weasels, small animals very fond of both eggs and chickens. One of them left her companions and, going to the door of the doghouse, said in a sweet voice:
"Good evening, Melampo."
"My name is not Melampo," answered Pinocchio.
"Who are you, then?"
"I am Pinocchio."
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm the watchdog."
"But where is Melampo? Where is the old dog who used to live in this house?"
"He died this morning."
"Died? Poor beast! He was so good! Still, judging by your face, I think you, too, are a good-natured dog."
"I beg your pardon, I am not a dog!"
"What are you, then?"
"I am a Marionette."
"Are you taking the place of the watchdog?"
"I'm sorry to say that I am. I'm being punished."
"Well, I shall make the same terms with you that we had with the dead Melampo. I am sure you will be glad to hear them."
"And what are the terms?"
"This is our plan: We'll come once in a while, as in the past, to pay a visit to this henhouse, and we'll take away eight chickens. Of these, seven are for us, and one for you, provided, of course, that you will make believe you are sleeping and will not bark for the Farmer."
"Did Melampo really do that?" asked Pinocchio.
"Indeed he did, and because of that we were the best of friends. Sleep away peacefully, and remember that before we go we shall leave you a nice fat chicken all ready for your breakfast in the morning. Is that understood?"
"Even too well," answered Pinocchio. And shaking his head in a threatening manner, he seemed to say, "We'll talk this over in a few minutes, my friends."
As soon as the four Weasels had talked things over, they went straight to the chicken coop which stood close to the doghouse. Digging busily with teeth and claws, they opened the little door and slipped in. But they were no sooner in than they heard the door close with a sharp bang.
The one who had done the trick was Pinocchio, who, not satisfied with that, dragged a heavy stone in front of it. That done, he started to bark. And he barked as if he were a real watchdog: "Bow, wow, wow! Bow, wow!"
The Farmer heard the loud barks and jumped out of bed. Taking his gun, he leaped to the window and shouted: "What's the matter?"
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