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He tasted the hay again. He chewed it well, closed his eyes, and swallowed it. “This hay isn't too bad,” he said to himself. “But how much happier I'd be if I'd studied! Now, instead of eating hay, I'd be eating a good meal.”

Next morning when he awoke, Pinocchio was hungry again. The bowl of straw still sat on the floor beside him, but the thought of it filled him with revulsion. He looked for more hay, but it was all gone. He'd eaten it all during the night. He wished that the circus owner would come into the stable to replenish his bowl.

“Do you think” shouted his master just then, as he actually did come into the stable, “that I've brought you here only to feed you? Oh, no! You're going to help me make some money, do you hear? Come along, now. I'm going to teach you to play dead, to dance, and to jump through a hoop.”

Poor Pinocchio, whether he liked it or not, was forced to learn all these things. After three long months of rigorous training—and many, many lashings—he was finally ready for his first performance.

Large posters in sensuous colors were placed all around the town. On them were printed the words “Tonight! First Appearance of the Famous Little Donkey Pinocchio, Star of the Dance!” Below these words was depicted, in realistic detail, a smiling donkey in a dance costume.

That night the circus tent was full one hour before the show was scheduled to start. The seats around the ring were packed with boys and girls of all ages, impatient to see the famous little dancing donkey.

When the first part of the show was over, the circus owner, doubling as ringmaster, presented himself to the audience and said in a loud, clear voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I now introduce to you a very special donkey. His dynamic dancing—which has been described by some experts as a cross between a slow mambo and a vivacious Irish jig, and by others as reminiscent of primitive dance in its freedom of expression—has received worldwide critical acclaim! His creation of an idiom that owes nothing to classical traditional and everything to an original, idiosyncratic approach to personal style has guaranteed him a significant place in the annals of contemporary choreography! Now witness for yourselves the epoch-making routines of the donkey whose phenomenal footwork eclipses that of all rivals, the donkey who has come to symbolize the very essence of modern dance—the one and only Pinocchio!”

This eloquent introduction was greeted by vigorous applause. And the applause grew to a deafening roar when Pinocchio, the famous donkey, appeared in the

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