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Adventures of Pinocchio.
Start of Story
Pinocchio discovers the thieves and, as a reward for faithfulness, he
regains his liberty.
Even though a boy may be very unhappy, he very seldom loses sleep over
his worries. The Marionette, being no exception to this rule, slept on
peacefully for a few hours till well along toward midnight, when he
was awakened by strange whisperings and stealthy sounds coming from the
yard. He stuck his nose out of the doghouse and saw four slender, hairy
animals. They were Weasels, small animals very fond of both eggs and
chickens. One of them left her companions and, going to the door of the
doghouse, said in a sweet voice:
"Good evening, Melampo."
"My name is not Melampo," answered Pinocchio.
"Who are you, then?"
"I am Pinocchio."
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm the watchdog."
"But where is Melampo? Where is the old dog who used to live in this
"He died this morning."
"Died? Poor beast! He was so good! Still, judging by your face, I think
you, too, are a good-natured dog."
"I beg your pardon, I am not a dog!"
"What are you, then?"
"I am a Marionette."
"Are you taking the place of the watchdog?"
"I'm sorry to say that I am. I'm being punished."
"Well, I shall make the same terms with you that we had with the dead
Melampo. I am sure you will be glad to hear them."
"And what are the terms?"
"This is our plan: We'll come once in a while, as in the past, to pay
a visit to this henhouse, and we'll take away eight chickens. Of these,
seven are for us, and one for you, provided, of course, that you will
make believe you are sleeping and will not bark for the Farmer."
"Did Melampo really do that?" asked Pinocchio.
"Indeed he did, and because of that we were the best of friends. Sleep
away peacefully, and remember that before we go we shall leave you a
nice fat chicken all ready for your breakfast in the morning. Is that
"Even too well," answered Pinocchio. And shaking his head in a
threatening manner, he seemed to say, "We'll talk this over in a few
minutes, my friends."
As soon as the four Weasels had talked things over, they went straight
to the chicken coop which stood close to the doghouse. Digging busily
with teeth and claws, they opened the little door and slipped in. But
they were no sooner in than they heard the door close with a sharp bang.
The one who had done the trick was Pinocchio, who, not satisfied with
that, dragged a heavy stone in front of it. That done, he started to
bark. And he barked as if he were a real watchdog: "Bow, wow, wow! Bow,
The Farmer heard the loud barks and jumped out of bed. Taking his gun,
he leaped to the window and shouted: "What's the matter?"
"The thieves are here," answered Pinocchio.
"Where are they?"
"In the chicken coop."
"I'll come down in a second."
And, in fact, he was down in the yard in a twinkling and running toward
the chicken coop.
He opened the door, pulled out the Weasels one by one, and, after tying
them in a bag, said to them in a happy voice: "You're in my hands at
last! I could punish you now, but I'll wait! In the morning you may come
with me to the inn and there you'll make a fine dinner for some hungry
mortal. It is really too great an honor for you, one you do not deserve;
but, as you see, I am really a very kind and generous man and I am going
to do this for you!"
Then he went up to Pinocchio and began to pet and caress him.
"How did you ever find them out so quickly? And to think that Melampo,
my faithful Melampo, never saw them in all these years!"
The Marionette could have told, then and there, all he knew about the
shameful contract between the dog and the Weasels, but thinking of
the dead dog, he said to himself: "Melampo is dead. What is the use of
accusing him? The dead are gone and they cannot defend themselves. The
best thing to do is to leave them in peace!"
"Were you awake or asleep when they came?" continued the Farmer.
"I was asleep," answered Pinocchio, "but they awakened me with their
whisperings. One of them even came to the door of the doghouse and said
to me, 'If you promise not to bark, we will make you a present of one
of the chickens for your breakfast.' Did you hear that? They had the
audacity to make such a proposition as that to me! For you must know
that, though I am a very wicked Marionette full of faults, still I never
have been, nor ever shall be, bribed."
"Fine boy!" cried the Farmer, slapping him on the shoulder in a friendly
way. "You ought to be proud of yourself. And to show you what I think of
you, you are free from this instant!"
And he slipped the dog collar from his neck.