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fox and the cat, and the tall oak tree where he'd been hung. But though he searched far and near, he couldn't see the house where the blue-haired fairy lived.

He became terribly frightened and, running as fast as he could, he finally came to the spot where the house had once stood. It was no longer there. In its place lay a small marble slab, which bore this sad inscription: “Here lies the beautiful fairy who died of grief when abandoned by her brother, Pinocchio.”

The poor puppet was overcome with anguish at reading those words. He fell to the ground and, covering the cold marble with kisses, burst into bitter tears. He cried all night, and dawn found him still there, though his tears had dried and only hard, dry sobs shook his wooden frame. But these were so loud that they echoed from the faraway hills.

As he sobbed he said to himself: “Oh, my fairy, my dear, dear fairy, why did you die? They say that our existence on earth is finite, that no one is immortal. But as a magical fairy you had the ability to manipulate the course of nature by calling upon forces that exist beyond the realm of the material world. You could have invoked the occult. You weren't supposed to die. Oh, why didn't I die instead of you, when I am so bad and you are so good? And my father—where can he be? Please, dear fairy, tell me where he is and I'll never, never leave him again! You're not really dead, are you? If you love me, you'll come back, alive as before. Don't you feel sorry for me? I'm so lonely. What will I do alone in the world? Will I have to spend the rest of my life roaming the streets like a poor waif? Where will I eat? Where will I sleep? Who will make my clothes?”

Poor Pinocchio! All these vexing concerns swirled around in his mind until he could no longer stand it. Losing all control, he tried to tear out his hair, but as it was only painted on his wooden head, he couldn't even pull it.

Just then a pigeon flew far above him. Seeing the puppet, he called to him, “Tell me, little boy, what are you doing there?”

“Can't you see? I'm crying,” sobbed Pinocchio, lifting his head toward the voice and rubbing his eyes with his sleeve. “My lovely sister has died.”

“My deepest condolences,” said the pigeon respectfully. Then, to try to soften the puppet's grief—but being careful to avoid such unpleasant words as death and dying—he added euphemistically, “It's especially difficult when a sibling passes, but take solace in

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