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hairs. The most horrible moment of all was when the two miserable boys felt their tails appear. Overcome with shame and grief, they began to cry. But instead of moans and wails, they brayed like donkeys: “Haw! Haw! Haw!”

Meanwhile, a loud knock sounded at the door and a voice called, “Open the door! It's the driver of the wagon that brought you here. Open, I say, or it'll be the worse for you!”

Chapter 29 “The Circus”

When the boys didn't open the door, the little man gave it a violent kick and it flew open. “Fine work, boys!” he said. “You've brayed so well that I recognized your voices immediately, and here I am.”

On hearing this, the two donkeys bowed their heads in shame, dropped their ears, and put their tails between their legs.

At first, the little man petted them and smoothed their hairy coats. Then he took out a comb and groomed them. Satisfied with the looks of the two little animals, he bridled them and took them to a marketplace, far away from Playland, in the hope of selling them for a good price.

In fact, he didn't have to wait very long for an offer. Lampwick was bought by a farmer whose donkey had died the day before, and Pinocchio went to a circus owner, who wanted to teach him to perform tricks.

When Pinocchio was led into the circus's stable, his new master, who was tall and had dark hair, filled his feeding bowl with straw. But after tasting one mouthful, Pinocchio spit it out.

Then the man filled another bowl with hay. But Pinocchio didn't like that much better.

“Ah, you don't like hay either?” the man cried angrily. “Wait, I'll teach you not to be so fussy.”

He took a whip and gave the donkey a violent blow across the legs.

Pinocchio, writhing in pain, brayed, “Haw! Haw! Haw! I can't stand the taste of straw!”

“If you find the straw so revolting,” answered his master, who understood the donkey perfectly, “then eat the hay!”

“Haw! Haw! Haw! Hay gives me a stomachache!”

“Are you telling me that I should feed you meat? Or maybe you have a yen for apple pie. Is that it? Maybe you'd also like to tell me how I should prepare your food. Let's see, do you prefer Spanish cuisine or French?” Then, angrier than ever, he gave poor Pinocchio another lashing.

After that second beating, the man ordered Pinocchio to keep quiet, and the donkey, lowering his head, passively obeyed. The door of the stable was closed and he was left alone. But since it had been many hours since he'd eaten, he started to ache from hunger.

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