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and we'll always be happy,” cried four other voices from the wagon.

“Come with us and we'll always be happy,” shouted the more than one hundred boys in the wagon, all together.

“And if I go with you, what will my good fairy say?” asked the puppet, who was beginning to weaken in his good intentions.

“Don't worry about that so much. You're such a baby!” Then Lampwick shouted down to the other boys, “Isn't he a baby?” Then, using a tactic that almost never fails, he called to Pinocchio, “Do you know what? On second thought, go back home to your mother. We shouldn't twist your arm if you're really too afraid to come with us.” Then to the other boys: “We shouldn't twist his arm if he's really too afraid, should we?”

Pinocchio didn't answer. He sighed deeply once; a second time; a third time. Finally, he said, “Okay, make room for me! I'm coming, too!”

“The seats are all filled,” answered the little man, “but to show you how much I think of you, you can take my place as coachman.”

“And what about you?”

“I'll walk.”

“No, I couldn't permit such a thing. I'd much rather ride on one of these donkeys,” cried Pinocchio.

So saying, he approached the first donkey and tried to mount it. But the little animal turned suddenly and gave him such a terrible kick in the stomach that Pinocchio was thrown to the ground and fell with his legs in the air.

At this unexpected sight, the whole company of runaway boys erupted in raucous laughter. But the little man didn't laugh. He went up to the unruly animal, and, still smiling, bent over him lovingly and pretended to give him a kiss but actually bit off half his right ear!

In the meantime, Pinocchio lifted himself from the ground, and, with one leap, landed on the donkey's back. The leap was so well executed that all the boys shouted, “Hurrah for Pinocchio!” and clapped their hands in hearty applause.

Suddenly the little donkey gave a kick with his two hind legs and, at this sudden move, the poor puppet found himself sprawled in the middle of the road. Again the boys howled with laughter. But the little man, instead of laughing, became so loving toward the little animal that, with another kiss, he bit off half of his other ear.

“You can mount now, my boy,” he then said to Pinocchio. “Have no fear. That donkey was agitated about something, but I've spoken to him and now he seems quiet and reasonable.”

Pinocchio mounted and the wagon started on its way. While the donkeys trotted along the road, the puppet heard a very quiet voice whisper to him, “You poor thing! You've

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