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that I am. And tears of remorse are useless now. You should have thought of all this before.”

“But it's not my fault. Believe me, it's Lampwick's fault—Lampwick and his asinine ideas!” explained the puppet, in an attempt to deflect the blame.

“Who is this Lampwick?”

“A classmate of mine. I wanted to return home. I wanted to be good. I wanted to be a conscientious student and to succeed in school, but Lampwick said to me”—and here Pinocchio modulated his tone to mockingly mimic Lampwick's voice—“‘Why do you want to waste your time studying? Why do you want to go to school? Come with me to Playland. There we'll never study again. There we can enjoy ourselves and be happy from morning till night.'”

But the squirrel didn't laugh at the puppet's parody. Instead, he asked, “Why did you follow his advice?”

“He has a flair for the art of persuasion. And I'm not immune to temptation. I really did have misgivings about the whole affair, but I became so entranced by images of endless fun and games that I couldn't think straight! Oh! If I'd only had a bit of sense, a single iota of foresight, I would never have abandoned the good fairy who loved me so much and who has been so kind to me! And by this time I would no longer be a puppet. I would have become a real boy, like all my friends! Oh, if I see that Lampwick I'm going to tell him exactly what I think of him! We used to be more than compatible, but now I think he's nothing but a dirty, low-down—” But here, thanks to his sense of good manners, Pinocchio censored himself.

After abruptly ending his little speech, Pinocchio walked to the door of the room. But when he reached it, remembering his donkey ears, he felt ashamed to show them in public and turned back. To give himself some semblance of normality, he took a large bag from a shelf, put it on his head, and pulled it all the way down to his nose.

He went to Lampwick's house and knocked on the door.

“Who is it?” called Lampwick from within.


“Wait a minute.”

After a few minutes the door opened. Another surprise awaited Pinocchio! There in the room stood his friend, with a large bag on his head, pulled all the way down to his nose.

At the sight of that bag, Pinocchio felt slightly happier and thought to himself: “My friend must be suffering from the same thing I am! I'll bet he has donkey ears, too.”

But pretending he'd seen nothing unusual, he asked with a benign smile, “How are you, my

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