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to come out of the net was Pinocchio.

Just as the fisherman was about to add him to the potpourri, his green eyes opened wide with surprise and he cried out, “What kind of fish is this? I don't remember ever eating anything like it.”

He looked at it closely and, after turning it over and over, said at last, “It must be a crab!”

Pinocchio, hurt at being mistaken for a crab, said angrily, “What nonsense! A crab indeed! I'll have you know that I'm a puppet!”

“A puppet?” asked the fisherman. “I must admit that a puppet fish is, for me, a completely new experience. All the better. I'll savor every mouthful.”

“But can't you see that I'm not a fish? Can't you hear that I speak and think as you do?”

“That's true,” answered the fisherman. “And now, seeing that you can speak and think, I'll treat you with special consideration.”

“And that is—”

“That, as a sign of my esteem, I'll allow you to choose the manner in which you'll be cooked. Do you want to be fried in a pan, or do you prefer to be boiled in water?”

“If I must choose,” answered Pinocchio, “I'd rather go free so I can return home!”

“You must be joking! Do you think that I, with my discriminating taste in food, would want to lose the opportunity to sample such a sublime piece of fish? A puppet fish doesn't come to these waters very often. I may never get another chance. Leave it to me. I'll fry you in the pan with the others. I know you'll like it. It's always a comfort to be in good company.”

The unlucky puppet, hearing this, began to cry and wail and beg. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he said, “How much better it would have been if I had gone to school! I didn't do the right thing, and now I'm paying for it! Oh! Oh! Oh!”

And because Pinocchio wriggled like an eel to escape from him, the fisherman took a long cord, tied him up, and threw him into the bottom of the tub with all the others.

Then he took a wooden bowl full of flour and started to roll the fish into it, one by one. When they were white with it, he threw them into the pan. Pinocchio's turn came last. The fisherman, without even looking at him, turned him over and over in the flour until he looked like a puppet made of chalk.

Chapter 25 “The Snail”

Suddenly, a large dog came running into the cave. “Get out!” cried the fisherman threateningly, still holding onto the puppet, who was covered with flour.

But the poor dog was starving, and he howled, “Give me

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