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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 1 of 4||
After five months of play, Pinocchio wakes up one fine morning and finds a great surprise awaiting him
Finally the wagon arrived. It made no noise, for its wheels were bound with straw and rags.
It was drawn by twelve pair of donkeys, all of the same size, but all of different color. Some were gray, others white, and still others a mixture of brown and black. Here and there were a few with large yellow and blue stripes.
The strangest thing of all was that those twenty-four donkeys, instead of being iron-shod like any other beast of burden, had on their feet laced shoes made of leather, just like the ones boys wear.
And the driver of the wagon?
Imagine to yourselves a little, fat man, much wider than he was long, round and shiny as a ball of butter, with a face beaming like an apple, a little mouth that always smiled, and a voice small and wheedling like that of a cat begging for food.
No sooner did any boy see him than he fell in love with him, and nothing satisfied him but to be allowed to ride in his wagon to that lovely place called the Land of Toys.
In fact the wagon was so closely packed with boys of all ages that it looked like a box of sardines. They were uncomfortable, they were piled one on top of the other, they could hardly breathe; yet not one word of complaint was heard. The thought that in a few hours they would reach a country where there were no schools, no books, no teachers, made these boys so happy that they felt neither hunger, nor thirst, nor sleep, nor discomfort.
No sooner had the wagon stopped than the little fat man turned to Lamp-Wick. With bows and smiles, he asked in a wheedling tone:
"Tell me, my fine boy, do you also want to come to my wonderful country?"
"Indeed I do."
"But I warn you, my little dear, there's no more room in the wagon. It is full."
"Never mind," answered Lamp-Wick. "If there's no room inside, I can sit on the top of the coach."
And with one leap, he perched himself there.
"What about you, my love?" asked the Little Man, turning politely to Pinocchio. "What are you going to do? Will you come with us, or do you stay here?"
"I stay here," answered Pinocchio. "I want to return home, as I prefer to study and to succeed in life."
"May that bring you luck!"
"Pinocchio!" Lamp-Wick called out. "Listen to me. Come with us and we'll always be happy."
"No, no, no!"
"Come with us and we'll always be happy," cried four other voices from the wagon.
"Come with us and we'll always be happy," shouted the one hundred and more boys in the wagon, all together. "And if I go with you, what will my good Fairy say?" asked the Marionette, who was beginning to waver and weaken in his good resolutions.
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