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to a wall. The snake never moved.

Once more, in the same sweet voice, he said, “I'm going home where my father is waiting for me. It's been so long since I've seen him! Would you mind very much if I passed?”

He waited for some sign of an answer, but none came. On the contrary, the snake, who had seemed, until then, wide awake and full of life, became suddenly very quiet and still. His eyes closed and his tail stopped smoking.

“Is he asleep, I wonder?” thought Pinocchio. “Maybe I can jump over him.”

Tingling with apprehension, the puppet slowly inched forward until he was precariously close to the quiescent green form. Just as he bent his knees to give impetus to the jump, the snake, sensing the puppet's proximity, suddenly shot up like a spring. Recoiling in terror, Pinocchio tumbled backwards, head over heels. He fell so awkwardly that his head stuck in the mud, and there he remained with his legs straight up in the air.

At the sight of the puppet kicking and squirming, the snake laughed so hard that he burst a blood vessel. All at once his body began to jerk spasmodically. When the convulsive motions finally subsided, he was dead.

Pinocchio, having freed himself from his awkward position, once more began to run so as to reach the fairy's house before dark. But as he ran, pangs of hunger grew so strong that, unable to withstand them, he jumped into a field that abutted a farmhouse to pick some grapes.

But getting up close, Pinocchio noticed that the grapes were withering on the vine. As he was trying to decide whether or not to eat them, he heard a loud cracking sound and his legs were caught in an iron trap. It had been placed there by a farmer to catch some weasels who'd been attacking his chickens.

Chapter 17 “The Watchdog”

Pinocchio began to scream and weep and beg. But all was of no use, for no houses were in sight and not a soul passed by on the road.

Night came.

Partly because of the sharp pain in his legs, and partly because he was afraid to be alone in the dark, the puppet was about to faint. But just then he saw a tiny firefly flickering by. He called to it, “Dear little firefly, will you set me free?”

“Poor little fellow!” replied the firefly, stopping to look at him with pity. “How did you get caught in that trap?”

“I was hungry so I stepped into this field to take a few grapes and—”

“Are the grapes yours?”


“Who taught you to take things that aren't yours?”

“But I was hungry.”

“Hunger doesn't excuse stealing.”

“That's true, that's true!” cried Pinocchio in

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