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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 1 of 4||
Pinocchio returns to the Fairy's house and she promises him that, on the morrow, he will cease to be a Marionette and become a boy. A wonderful party of coffee-and-milk to celebrate the great event
Mindful of what the Fisherman had said, Pinocchio knew that all hope of being saved had gone. He closed his eyes and waited for the final moment.
Suddenly, a large Dog, attracted by the odor of the boiling oil, came running into the cave.
"Get out!" cried the Fisherman threateningly and still holding onto the Marionette, who was all covered with flour.
But the poor Dog was very hungry, and whining and wagging his tail, he tried to say:
"Give me a bite of the fish and I'll go in peace."
"Get out, I say!" repeated the Fisherman.
And he drew back his foot to give the Dog a kick.
Then the Dog, who, being really hungry, would take no refusal, turned in a rage toward the Fisherman and bared his terrible fangs. And at that moment, a pitiful little voice was heard saying: "Save me, Alidoro; if you don't, I fry!"
The Dog immediately recognized Pinocchio's voice. Great was his surprise to find that the voice came from the little flour-covered bundle that the Fisherman held in his hand.
Then what did he do? With one great leap, he grasped that bundle in his mouth and, holding it lightly between his teeth, ran through the door and disappeared like a flash!
The Fisherman, angry at seeing his meal snatched from under his nose, ran after the Dog, but a bad fit of coughing made him stop and turn back.
Meanwhile, Alidoro, as soon as he had found the road which led to the village, stopped and dropped Pinocchio softly to the ground.
"How much I do thank you!" said the Marionette.
"It is not necessary," answered the Dog. "You saved me once, and what is given is always returned. We are in this world to help one another."
"But how did you get in that cave?"
"I was lying here on the sand more dead than alive, when an appetizing odor of fried fish came to me. That odor tickled my hunger and I followed it. Oh, if I had come a moment later!"
"Don't speak about it," wailed Pinocchio, still trembling with fright. "Don't say a word. If you had come a moment later, I would be fried, eaten, and digested by this time. Brrrrrr! I shiver at the mere thought of it."
Alidoro laughingly held out his paw to the Marionette, who shook it heartily, feeling that now he and the Dog were good friends. Then they bid each other good-by and the Dog went home.
Pinocchio, left alone, walked toward a little hut near by, where an old man sat at the door sunning himself, and asked:
"Tell me, good man, have you heard anything of a poor boy with a wounded head, whose name was Eugene?"
"The boy was brought to this hut and now--"
"Now he is dead?" Pinocchio interrupted sorrowfully.
"No, he is now alive and he has already returned home."
"Really? Really?" cried the Marionette, jumping around with joy. "Then the wound was not serious?"
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