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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 1 of 6||
Pinocchio finally ceases to be a Marionette and becomes a boy
"My dear Father, we are saved!" cried the Marionette. "All we have to do now is to get to the shore, and that is easy."
Without another word, he swam swiftly away in an effort to reach land as soon as possible. All at once he noticed that Geppetto was shivering and shaking as if with a high fever.
Was he shivering from fear or from cold? Who knows? Perhaps a little of both. But Pinocchio, thinking his father was frightened, tried to comfort him by saying:
"Courage, Father! In a few moments we shall be safe on land."
"But where is that blessed shore?" asked the little old man, more and more worried as he tried to pierce the faraway shadows. "Here I am searching on all sides and I see nothing but sea and sky."
"I see the shore," said the Marionette. "Remember, Father, that I am like a cat. I see better at night than by day."
Poor Pinocchio pretended to be peaceful and contented, but he was far from that. He was beginning to feel discouraged, his strength was leaving him, and his breathing was becoming more and more labored. He felt he could not go on much longer, and the shore was still far away.
He swam a few more strokes. Then he turned to Geppetto and cried out weakly:
"Help me, Father! Help, for I am dying!"
Father and son were really about to drown when they heard a voice like a guitar out of tune call from the sea:
"What is the trouble?"
"It is I and my poor father."
"I know the voice. You are Pinocchio."
"Exactly. And you?"
"I am the Tunny, your companion in the Shark's stomach."
"And how did you escape?"
"I imitated your example. You are the one who showed me the way and after you went, I followed."
"Tunny, you arrived at the right moment! I implore you, for the love you bear your children, the little Tunnies, to help us, or we are lost!"
"With great pleasure indeed. Hang onto my tail, both of you, and let me lead you. In a twinkling you will be safe on land."
Geppetto and Pinocchio, as you can easily imagine, did not refuse the invitation; indeed, instead of hanging onto the tail, they thought it better to climb on the Tunny's back.
"Are we too heavy?" asked Pinocchio.
"Heavy? Not in the least. You are as light as sea-shells," answered the Tunny, who was as large as a two-year-old horse.
As soon as they reached the shore, Pinocchio was the first to jump to the ground to help his old father. Then he turned to the fish and said to him:
"Dear friend, you have saved my father, and I have not enough words with which to thank you! Allow me to embrace you as a sign of my eternal gratitude."
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