Pinocchio is thrown into the sea, eaten by fishes,and becomes a Marionette once more. As he swims to land,he is swallowed by the Terrible SharkDown into the sea, deeper and deeper, sank Pinocchio, andfinally, after fifty minutes of waiting, the man on the cliffsaid to himself:
"By this time my poor little lame Donkey must bedrowned. Up with him and then I can get to work on mybeautiful drum."He pulled the rope which he had tied to Pinocchio'sleg--pulled and pulled and pulled and, at last, he sawappear on the surface of the water--Can you guess what?
Instead of a dead donkey, he saw a very much aliveMarionette, wriggling and squirming like an eel.
Seeing that wooden Marionette, the poor man thoughthe was dreaming and sat there with his mouth wide openand his eyes popping out of his head.
Gathering his wits together, he said:
"And the Donkey I threw into the sea?""I am that Donkey," answered the Marionette laughing.
"You?""I.""Ah, you little cheat! Are you poking fun at me?""Poking fun at you? Not at all, dear Master.
I am talking seriously.""But, then, how is it that you, who a few minutes agowere a donkey, are now standing before me a wooden Marionette?""It may be the effect of salt water. The sea is fond ofplaying these tricks.""Be careful, Marionette, be careful! Don't laugh at me!
Woe be to you, if I lose my patience!""Well, then, my Master, do you want to know my whole story?
Untie my leg and I can tell it to you better."The old fellow, curious to know the true story of theMarionette's life, immediately untied the rope which held his foot.
Pinocchio, feeling free as a bird of the air, began his tale:
"Know, then, that, once upon a time, I was a woodenMarionette, just as I am today. One day I was about tobecome a boy, a real boy, but on account of my lazinessand my hatred of books, and because I listened to badcompanions, I ran away from home. One beautiful morning,I awoke to find myself changed into a donkey--longears, gray coat, even a tail! What a shameful day for me!
I hope you will never experience one like it, dear Master.
I was taken to the fair and sold to a Circus Owner, whotried to make me dance and jump through the rings. Onenight, during a performance, I had a bad fall and becamelame. Not knowing what to do with a lame donkey, the CircusOwner sent me to the market place and you bought me.""Indeed I did! And I paid four cents for you.
Now who will return my money to me?""But why did you buy me? You bought me to do meharm--to kill me--to make a drumhead out of me!""Indeed I did! And now where shall I find another skin?""Never mind, dear Master. There are so many donkeysin this world.""Tell me, impudent little rogue, does your story end here?""One more word," answered the Marionette, "and I am through.