Pinocchio, instead of becoming a boy, runs awayto the Land of Toys with his friend, Lamp-WickComing at last out of the surprise into which the Fairy'swords had thrown him, Pinocchio asked for permission togive out the invitations.
"Indeed, you may invite your friends to tomorrow's party.
Only remember to return home before dark. Do you understand?""I'll be back in one hour without fail," answered the Marionette.
"Take care, Pinocchio! Boys give promises very easily,but they as easily forget them.""But I am not like those others. When I give my word I keep it.""We shall see. In case you do disobey, you will be the oneto suffer, not anyone else.""Why?""Because boys who do not listen to their elders always come to grief.""I certainly have," said Pinocchio, "but from now on, I obey.""We shall see if you are telling the truth."Without adding another word, the Marionette bade the goodFairy good-by, and singing and dancing, he left the house.
In a little more than an hour, all his friends wereinvited. Some accepted quickly and gladly. Others had tobe coaxed, but when they heard that the toast was to bebuttered on both sides, they all ended by acceptingthe invitation with the words, "We'll come to please you."Now it must be known that, among all his friends,Pinocchio had one whom he loved most of all.
The boy's real name was Romeo, but everyone called himLamp-Wick, for he was long and thin and had a woebegonelook about him.
Lamp-Wick was the laziest boy in the school and thebiggest mischief-maker, but Pinocchio loved him dearly.
That day, he went straight to his friend's house to invite himto the party, but Lamp-Wick was not at home. He went a second time,and again a third, but still without success.
Where could he be? Pinocchio searched here and there and everywhere,and finally discovered him hiding near a farmer's wagon.
"What are you doing there?" asked Pinocchio, running up to him.
"I am waiting for midnight to strike to go--""Where?""Far, far away!""And I have gone to your house three times to look for you!""What did you want from me?""Haven't you heard the news? Don't you know what good luck is mine?""What is it?""Tomorrow I end my days as a Marionette and become a boy,like you and all my other friends.""May it bring you luck!""Shall I see you at my party tomorrow?""But I'm telling you that I go tonight.""At what time?""At midnight.""And where are you going?""To a real country--the best in the world--a wonderful place!""What is it called?""It is called the Land of Toys. Why don't you come, too?""I? Oh, no!""You are making a big mistake, Pinocchio. Believe me,if you don't come, you'll be sorry. Where can you finda place that will agree better with you and me? No schools,no teachers, no books! In that blessed place there is nosuch thing as study. Here, it is only on Saturdays thatwe have no school. In the Land of Toys, every day, exceptSunday, is a Saturday. Vacation begins on the firstof January and ends on the last day of December. Thatis the place for me! All countries should be like it!