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his pain.

The next morning the veterinarian found a fissure in the side of the donkey's hoof.

“What's the prognosis?” asked the circus owner.

“It's not good. In fact, this donkey will be crippled for the rest of his life.”

“What do I need with a crippled donkey?” said the circus owner to the stable boy. “Take him back to the marketplace and sell him. And remember, I've incurred a lot of expense feeding and training him, so try to get a good price for him.”

The trip to the nearby marketplace took over an hour, for Pinocchio's affliction greatly impeded his movement. When they arrived, a buyer was soon found. “How much do you want for that crippled donkey?” he asked.

“Five dollars,” answered the stable boy.

“I'll give you five cents. Don't think I'm buying him to use for work. I just want his skin. It looks very tough, and I can use it to make a drum for our village band.”

After haggling over the price for a few seconds, they agreed on ten cents and the donkey changed hands.

His new owner took him to a high, steep cliff overlooking the sea, put a heavy stone around his neck, and tied a rope to one of his hind legs. Then he pushed him over the precipice into the water. Pinocchio sank immediately. His new master sat on the cliff waiting for him to drown, so that he could skin him.

Chapter 30 “The Shark”

After the little donkey had been underwater for about a half hour, the man on the cliff said to himself: “By this time that donkey must be drowned. I'll pull him up, and then I can begin work on my drum.”

He pulled on the rope that he'd tied to Pinocchio's leg. He pulled and pulled and pulled. All at once the taut rope slackened and he saw gently bobbing on the surface of the water, instead of a dead donkey, a very-much-alive puppet!

Seeing it, the poor man thought he was dreaming and sat there with his mouth wide open and his eyes popping out of his head. Finally gathering his wits, he pulled the rope, with the puppet still tied to it, all the way up.

“What happened to that donkey I threw into the sea?”

“I am that donkey,” answered the puppet.

“You? That's preposterous! Are you pulling my leg?”

“Your leg? No, but you pulled me up by my leg.”

“No, I was speaking figuratively. I meant, are you kidding me?”

“No, I'm serious.”

“But how is that possible?”

“Well, do you want to hear my whole story? Untie my leg and I can tell it to you better.”

The old fellow, curious to know the puppet's story, immediately untied him.

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