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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 2 of 3||
"By this time, he must have been swallowed by the Terrible Shark, which, for the last few days, has been bringing terror to these waters."
"Is this Shark very big?" asked Pinocchio, who was beginning to tremble with fright.
"Is he big?" replied the Dolphin. "Just to give you an idea of his size, let me tell you that he is larger than a five story building and that he has a mouth so big and so deep, that a whole train and engine could easily get into it."
"Mother mine!" cried the Marionette, scared to death; and dressing himself as fast as he could, he turned to the Dolphin and said:
"Farewell, Mr. Fish. Pardon the bother, and many thanks for your kindness."
This said, he took the path at so swift a gait that he seemed to fly, and at every small sound he heard, he turned in fear to see whether the Terrible Shark, five stories high and with a train in his mouth, was following him.
After walking a half hour, he came to a small country called the Land of the Busy Bees. The streets were filled with people running to and fro about their tasks. Everyone worked, everyone had something to do. Even if one were to search with a lantern, not one idle man or one tramp could have been found.
"I understand," said Pinocchio at once wearily, "this is no place for me! I was not born for work."
But in the meantime, he began to feel hungry, for it was twenty-four hours since he had eaten.
What was to be done?
There were only two means left to him in order to get a bite to eat. He had either to work or to beg.
He was ashamed to beg, because his father had always preached to him that begging should be done only by the sick or the old. He had said that the real poor in this world, deserving of our pity and help, were only those who, either through age or sickness, had lost the means of earning their bread with their own hands. All others should work, and if they didn't, and went hungry, so much the worse for them.
Just then a man passed by, worn out and wet with perspiration, pulling, with difficulty, two heavy carts filled with coal.
Pinocchio looked at him and, judging him by his looks to be a kind man, said to him with eyes downcast in shame:
"Will you be so good as to give me a penny, for I am faint with hunger?"
"Not only one penny," answered the Coal Man. "I'll give you four if you will help me pull these two wagons."
"I am surprised!" answered the Marionette, very much offended. "I wish you to know that I never have been a donkey, nor have I ever pulled a wagon."
"So much the better for you!" answered the Coal Man. "Then, my boy, if you are really faint with hunger, eat two slices of your pride; and I hope they don't give you indigestion."
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