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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 2 of 3||
"I knew you also," put in Geppetto, "and I wanted to go to you; but how could I? The sea was rough and the whitecaps overturned the boat. Then a Terrible Shark came up out of the sea and, as soon as he saw me in the water, swam quickly toward me, put out his tongue, and swallowed me as easily as if I had been a chocolate peppermint."
"And how long have you been shut away in here?"
"From that day to this, two long weary years--two years, my Pinocchio, which have been like two centuries."
"And how have you lived? Where did you find the candle? And the matches with which to light it--where did you get them?"
"You must know that, in the storm which swamped my boat, a large ship also suffered the same fate. The sailors were all saved, but the ship went right to the bottom of the sea, and the same Terrible Shark that swallowed me, swallowed most of it."
"What! Swallowed a ship?" asked Pinocchio in astonishment.
"At one gulp. The only thing he spat out was the main-mast, for it stuck in his teeth. To my own good luck, that ship was loaded with meat, preserved foods, crackers, bread, bottles of wine, raisins, cheese, coffee, sugar, wax candles, and boxes of matches. With all these blessings, I have been able to live happily on for two whole years, but now I am at the very last crumbs. Today there is nothing left in the cupboard, and this candle you see here is the last one I have."
"And then, my dear, we'll find ourselves in darkness."
"Then, my dear Father," said Pinocchio, "there is no time to lose. We must try to escape."
"We can run out of the Shark's mouth and dive into the sea."
"You speak well, but I cannot swim, my dear Pinocchio."
"Why should that matter? You can climb on my shoulders and I, who am a fine swimmer, will carry you safely to the shore."
"Dreams, my boy!" answered Geppetto, shaking his head and smiling sadly. "Do you think it possible for a Marionette, a yard high, to have the strength to carry me on his shoulders and swim?"
"Try it and see! And in any case, if it is written that we must die, we shall at least die together."
Not adding another word, Pinocchio took the candle in his hand and going ahead to light the way, he said to his father:
"Follow me and have no fear."
They walked a long distance through the stomach and the whole body of the Shark. When they reached the throat of the monster, they stopped for a while to wait for the right moment in which to make their escape.
I want you to know that the Shark, being very old and suffering from asthma and heart trouble, was obliged to sleep with his mouth open. Because of this, Pinocchio was able to catch a glimpse of the sky filled with stars, as he looked up through the open jaws of his new home.
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