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cricket crawling slowly up the wall.

“But now this room is mine,” said the puppet with a proprietary attitude, “so please get out. And don't come back.”

“I won't leave this spot,” answered the cricket, “until I've told you something very consequential.”

“Tell me, then, and hurry.”

“Boys who refuse to obey their parents and run away from home will never be happy. When they're older they'll be very sorry.”

“All I know is that tomorrow morning I'll leave this place forever. If I stay here the same thing will happen to me that happens to all boys and girls. I'll be sent to school, where I'll be forced to study. And I hate to study! It's much more fun, I think, to chase butterflies and climb trees!”

“You fool! Don't you know that if you do that, you'll grow into a donkey and you'll be laughed at by everyone? Why don't you at least learn a trade, so that you can earn an honest living?”

“Can I tell you something?” asked Pinocchio, who was beginning to lose patience. “Of all the trades in the world, there's only one that really suits me.”

“What's that?”

“Eating, drinking, sleeping, and playing all day.”

“I'm telling you for your own good, Pinocchio,” said the cricket in a calm voice, “that there are dire repercussions for people who live that way. They generally end up in the hospital or in prison.”

“Be quiet! If you make me angry, you'll be sorry!”

“But Pinocchio, I'm already sorry—for you.”


“Because you're a silly, wooden-headed puppet.”

These words infuriated Pinocchio beyond all reason. He jumped up in a rage, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his might at the cricket. The poor insect was crushed against the wall.

If the cricket's death bothered Pinocchio at all, it was only for a few minutes. As the day wore on, a queer, empty feeling at the pit of his stomach reminded him that he had had nothing to eat.

A boy's appetite grows very fast, and in a few moments the queer, empty feeling had become hunger, and the hunger grew bigger and bigger, until soon he was as hungry as a wolf.

Poor Pinocchio ran around the room, rummaged through all the boxes and drawers, and even looked under the bed in search of a piece of bread or a cracker. But he found nothing.

And meanwhile his hunger grew and grew. Finally he wept and thought to himself: “The cricket was right. It was wrong of me to disobey my father and to run away from home. If he were here now, I wouldn't be so hungry! Oh, how horrible it is to be hungry!”

And as his stomach kept grumbling more than ever

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