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|The Adventures of Pinocchio||C. Collodi|
|Page 2 of 6||
The Tunny stuck his nose out of the water and Pinocchio knelt on the sand and kissed him most affectionately on his cheek. At this warm greeting, the poor Tunny, who was not used to such tenderness, wept like a child. He felt so embarrassed and ashamed that he turned quickly, plunged into the sea, and disappeared.
In the meantime day had dawned.
Pinocchio offered his arm to Geppetto, who was so weak he could hardly stand, and said to him:
"Lean on my arm, dear Father, and let us go. We will walk very, very slowly, and if we feel tired we can rest by the wayside."
"And where are we going?" asked Geppetto.
"To look for a house or a hut, where they will be kind enough to give us a bite of bread and a bit of straw to sleep on."
They had not taken a hundred steps when they saw two rough-looking individuals sitting on a stone begging for alms.
It was the Fox and the Cat, but one could hardly recognize them, they looked so miserable. The Cat, after pretending to be blind for so many years had really lost the sight of both eyes. And the Fox, old, thin, and almost hairless, had even lost his tail. That sly thief had fallen into deepest poverty, and one day he had been forced to sell his beautiful tail for a bite to eat.
"Oh, Pinocchio," he cried in a tearful voice. "Give us some alms, we beg of you! We are old, tired, and sick."
"Sick!" repeated the Cat.
"Addio, false friends!" answered the Marionette. "You cheated me once, but you will never catch me again."
"Believe us! Today we are truly poor and starving."
"Starving!" repeated the Cat.
"If you are poor; you deserve it! Remember the old proverb which says: `Stolen money never bears fruit.' Addio, false friends."
"Have mercy on us!"
"Addio, false friends. Remember the old proverb which says: `Bad wheat always makes poor bread!'"
"Do not abandon us."
"Abandon us," repeated the Cat.
"Addio, false friends. Remember the old proverb: `Whoever steals his neighbor's shirt, usually dies without his own.'"
Waving good-by to them, Pinocchio and Geppetto calmly went on their way. After a few more steps, they saw, at the end of a long road near a clump of trees, a tiny cottage built of straw.
"Someone must live in that little hut," said Pinocchio. "Let us see for ourselves."
They went and knocked at the door.
"Who is it?" said a little voice from within.
"A poor father and a poorer son, without food and with no roof to cover them," answered the Marionette.
"Turn the key and the door will open," said the same little voice.
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