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about as if he were a twig or a bit of straw. At last, luckily, a tremendous wave tossed him directly onto the shore. The blow from the wave was so strong that, as he fell to the ground, his joints rattled and almost broke. Nevertheless, he jumped to his feet and cried, “Once more I've escaped with my life!”

Little by little the sky cleared. The sun came out in full splendor and the sea became as sedate as a country pond.

The puppet took off his clothes and laid them on the sand to dry. He looked out over the water to see if he could see a little boat with a man in it. He searched and searched, but he saw nothing except sea and sky.

The idea of finding himself in so lonesome a spot made him so sad that he was about to cry, but just then he saw a dolphin swimming nearby, with his head far out of the water.

Not knowing what to call him, the puppet shouted, “Hey there, may I have a word with you?”

“Certainly,” answered the dolphin, who happened to be very friendly.

“Will you please tell me if, on this island, there are places where one can eat without fear of being eaten?”

“Yes, there are,” answered the dolphin. “In fact, you'll find one not far from this spot.”

“Is it accessible on foot?”

“Certainly. Take that path right there. When it diverges, stay to your left and then follow your nose. You can't go wrong.”

“Tell me another thing. You travel day and night through the sea. Did you see, perhaps, a little boat with my father in it?”

“Who's your father?”

“He's the best father in the world, even though I'm the worst son.”

“Last night's storm didn't bode well for small craft,” answered the dolphin. “The little boat must have sunk.”

“And my father?”

“For the last few days a colossally large shark has been dominating the depths around here. Like other sharks, he attacks without provocation. He eats everything in sight—swimmers, fish, ships. Your father may have been one of the casualties.”

“Exactly how big is this shark?” asked Pinocchio, who was beginning to tremble with fright.

“How big?” replied the dolphin. “Just to give you an inkling, I can tell you that he's as big as a mountain and that he has a mouth so wide that he could easily swallow an entire railroad train.”

“Good gracious!” cried the puppet, scared to death.

By this time, the sun's torrid rays had completely dried Pinocchio's clothes. Dressing himself as fast as he could, he turned to the dolphin and said, “Good-bye, and thank you.”

This said, he took the path at so swift a pace that he seemed to fly,

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