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had not yet discovered that his feet were burned and gone. As soon as he heard his father's voice, he jumped up from his seat to open the door. But as he did so, he staggered and fell flat on the floor.

“Open the door for me!” Geppetto shouted from the street.

“Father, I can't,” cried the puppet, rolling on the floor.

“Why not?”

“Because someone has eaten my feet.”


“The cat,” answered Pinocchio, seeing that the cat was busily playing with some wood shavings in the corner of the room.

Not knowing what else to do, Geppetto gave his son an ultimatum: “Open this door right now or I'll give you a spanking when I get in!”

“Father, believe me, I can't stand up,” moaned Pinocchio. “Oh, dear! Oh, dear! I'll have to walk on my knees for the rest of my life!”

Geppetto, thinking that all these tears and cries were only more of the puppet's tricks, angrily clambered up the side of the house and went in through the window.

At first he found nothing amiss. But upon discovering Pinocchio stretched out on the floor and really without feet, he felt very sad and his anger disappeared. Picking him up, he caressed him and said to him with tears running down his cheeks: “My little Pinocchio, my dear little Pinocchio! How did you burn your feet?”

“I don't know, Father, but believe me, the night has been a terrible one and I'll remember it as long as I live. The thunder was so noisy and the lightning so bright. And I was hungry. And then the cricket said I was a fool and I threw the hammer at him and killed him. And I couldn't find anything to eat and I went out. And the old man with a nightcap looked out the window and doused me with frigid water. And I came home and put my feet on the stove to dry them, and I fell asleep. And now my feet are gone, but my hunger isn't! Oh! Oh! Oh!” And poor Pinocchio began to scream and cry so loudly that he could be heard for blocks around.

Geppetto, who had understood nothing of all that jumbled, incoherent talk—except that Pinocchio was hungry—felt sorry for him. He pulled three ripe pears out of his pocket and offered them to him, saying, “These pears were for my breakfast, but I give them to you gladly. Eat them and stop weeping.”

“If you want me to eat them, please peel them for me.”

“Peel them?” asked Geppetto, aghast. “I would never have thought that you were so finicky about your food. Bad, very bad! In this world, even as children, we must get used to eating everything, and liking

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