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Pinocchio refused to allow himself to become disheartened. Finally, there passed before him a little woman encumbered with two heavy water buckets.

“Good woman,” said the puppet, whose wooden tongue was suddenly parched by thirst, “will you allow me to have a drink from one of your buckets?”

“With pleasure, my boy!” she answered, setting the two buckets on the ground before him.

Pinocchio could hardly believe his good fortune. When he had had his fill, he wiped his mouth and said, “My thirst is gone. Now if I could only get rid of my hunger!”

On hearing these words, the good little woman said, “If you help me carry one of these buckets home, I'll give you a slice of bread.”

Pinocchio looked at the buckets and said neither yes nor no.

“And with the bread, I'll give you a bowl of soup.”

Pinocchio gave the buckets another look but continued to balk at the idea of having to carry one.

“And after the soup, some cookies.”

At this last enticement, Pinocchio could no longer resist and said firmly, “Very well. I'll carry one home for you.”

The bucket was very heavy, and the puppet, not being strong enough to carry it with his hands, had to put it on his head.

When they arrived at the woman's house, she sat Pinocchio down at a small table and placed before him the bread, the soup, and the cookies, all of which Pinocchio ate with gusto.

His hunger finally satisfied, he raised his head to thank his kind benefactress. But he hadn't looked at her long when he gave a cry of surprise and sat there with his eyes and mouth wide open.

“Why all the surprise?” asked the good woman, laughing.

“Because,” answered Pinocchio, stammering and stuttering, “because…you look like…you remind me of…yes, yes, the same voice, the same eyes, the same hair…yes, yes, yes, you also have the same blue hair she had. Oh, my little fairy, my little fairy! Tell me that it's you! Don't make me cry any longer! If you only knew! I have cried so much, I have suffered so!”

And Pinocchio threw himself onto the floor and clasped the knees of the mysterious little woman and began to cry.

Chapter 21 “Pinocchio's Mother”

Afraid that Pinocchio might melt away if he cried much longer, the woman finally acknowledged that she was indeed the little fairy with blue hair.

“You rascal! How did you know it was I?” she asked, laughing.

“My love for you told me who you were.”

“Do you remember? You left me when I was a little girl and now you find me a grown woman. I'm so old, I could be your mother!”

“For a long time I've wanted a mother, just like

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